How will the Lobbying Act affect third sector organizations?

Due to start operating in 2018, the Lobbying (Scotland) Act will have an impact on third organisations across the country. Jenny Bloomfield, Policy Officer at the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) wrote a handy post on how to determine whether you should register when the Act comes into action. A Q&A on the implications of the Lobbying Act for third sector professionals is accessible on the SCVO website if you answer yes to the questions below.


You might be wondering if the Lobbying Act is going to affect your organisation. Well, it’s a bit complicated. So you need to think about a few things.

Consider this

1. Does your organisation have any face-to-face or video conferencing engagement with MSPs, Ministers, Special Advisers or the Permanent Secretary outside of formal Parliamentary proceedings?

No – you don’t need to register. Just carry on as you are.

Yes – keep reading.

2. Is any of this engagement carried out by paid members of staff?

No – stop reading now.

Yes – stay with me.

3. Is all of this engagement only with local (constituency or list) MSPs in constituencies or regions where your organisation operates?

No – you need to read my next point.

Yes – Congrats! You will not have to register, unless your local MSP happens to also be a Minister, and/or you are lobbying on behalf of a third party. 

4. Does your organisation have members?

No – have a look at my next point.

Yes – you might* well have to register. Skip to the Q&A.

5. Does your organisation have ten or more ‘full time equivalent’ paid employees (e.g. the equivalent of ten or more people paid to work thirty five hours a week, made up by any combination of part-time or full-time workers)?

No – you won’t need to register.

Yes – you have to register. Skip to the Q&A.


Originally published on the SCVO website on 11th March 2016 under the title “Will the Lobbying Act affect me?”. Partially reposted with the author’s permission.

Pic - Adam Elder/Scottish Parliament 
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