Local pilots process and criteria

We want to find a range of places across England where we can develop and deliver local pilots

We want to find a real mix of places, and the pilots should reflect a balance of geography (north/south) and an urban/rural balance etc.

We'll need to consider the applications in comparison with each other rather than simply on their individual merits, and will be working closely with Public Health England and other bodies to make sure we find the right partners and places.

Three-stage process

We want to ensure that any interested place is very clear about what we're looking for before engaging in the detailed work required to apply to be a pilot.

  • Workshops

Our selection process began with a series of 16 workshops, where we talked in more detail about what we're seeking to test through the pilots and how we think this might look.

Download a copy of the presentation slides

The workshops generated a wealth of ideas and discussions as well as questions – which are answered in our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) document. 

We also have a message from our chief executive, Jennie Price, who reiterates the key messages from the workshops.

This film (right) will help clarify what we're looking for as you complete your expression of interest.

  • Expressions of interest

Once you’ve attended a workshop, the second stage is to complete an expression of interest form.

This will ask you to outline your ideas. Some elements we're likely to ask about are:

  • Your place and how it is defined
  • The outcomes that you want to achieve and why these would be valuable to us
  • Who you are focussing on and why
  • What we can expect to learn from working with you
  • Who locally is committed to the pilot and how they are supporting it
  • Where the leadership in your place will come from
  • Your capacity to develop a detailed application in a time limited period
  • Any track record of your partners having worked together previously.

You will have about four weeks maximum to complete the expression of interest, so it is important to stress that we are not looking for a fully-developed proposal at this point we simply want to hear how your place has responded to the key challenges outlined in the workshops.

  • Formal application

From the submitted expressions of interest, we'll select a number of places to formally apply to become one of our pilots.

We know that for those places selected this will mean an intense period of work. The depth and detail we'll require will increase. At this stage it remains a competitive process with no guarantee of being ultimately successful. We plan to use a range of methods to assess and select each pilot. 

As we have a strong interest in getting this right, we will make a commitment to work alongside you to give you the best chance of success

Clearly we need to feel confident that you and your partners are committed to this journey if we select you to formally apply. However, you won’t be left on your own. As we have a strong interest in getting this right, we will make a commitment to work alongside you to give you the best chance of success.

Those not invited to submit an application will be offered the opportunity to stay involved through a ‘network of learning’ approach – a genuine offer to quickly share the new learning developed through the pilots.


When each stage of the selection process begins, we will release the appropriate detailed requirements, guidance and FAQs. As we progress through the process, the depth and detail required will increase. 

At this early stage, we appreciate that places would like some understanding of what we are looking for in selecting the pilots. Below are the main elements that will form part of the assessment criteria: 

  • Outcomes – we expect you to be clear about what you wish to achieve from delivering a pilot for us. We would like to know why these are of importance to you, your partners and ourselves and how these outcomes will drive transformation in your place.
  • Your place – we want to understand the story of your place. How you have defined your place and why this makes sense. What are the needs that you wish to address and how well do you understand these
  • Audience – this is about who are you trying to target and why. What do you know about your audience – but equally important, what you don’t yet know.
  • Leadership – who leads your place and who will lead your pilot. How will they provide strong and focussed leadership?
  • Your partners – who is committed to working on this, what value do they bring and what role will they play?
  • Readiness – how quickly can you and your partners organise yourselves to work at pace on developing and delivering the pilot?
  • Commitment – how will you ensure partners can provide the level of time and resource for the whole length of the pilot
  • Learning – how will you embed evaluation and capture valuable learning from the start? How will you share this with others quickly and effectively?
  • Sustainability – what will be the impact of the pilot in your place and how will it sustain any significant changes in people’s activity levels beyond the length of any funding from us

This list is not exhaustive and further detail will be provided on the assessment process and criteria alongside the opening of the expression of interest.