PAS is an educational charity and social enterprise. We help people to shape the future of their place and community by engaging with the planning system, in an open and inclusive way. We support a planning system that is inclusive, positive and innovative, where individuals and communities help shape the future of their place. We help individuals and community groups to get involved in the planning system in an impartial, open and inclusive way. Find out more about our approach to engagement and about our values and priorities.

We provide skills training and support for community groups, planners, elected members and public bodies, as well as to seldom-heard groups who often cannot readily engage in the planning system. In particular, we support community organisations to develop and deliver their own aspirations for place through local place plans and other community-led plans

Our Advice Service offers a free, impartial and confidential planning advice service, provided by our specialist volunteers, all of whom are chartered planners.

PAS was founded as a charity in 1993, although the organisation had already been operating in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen for several years through informal networks of volunteers. This core principle of volunteering is alive and well today and our organisation continues to be volunteer-led, with a network of over 400 specialist volunteers, including professionals from across the built environment sector.

The Scottish Government highlighted the unique nature of our volunteering model in its 2019 National Volunteering Framework (see our case study on pg23).