Our strategy

Read about our living strategy, “Transforming together: trusted advice in times of change”.

Illustration of 3 silhouettes wearing lanyards. Next to them is the text Our living strategy, transforming together: trusted advice in times of change

Our purpose

We exist to shape a society where people face far fewer problems. Our national charity and network of local charities are united by this common purpose. 

We’re driven by our ambition to make things better for people, individually and collectively. We’re driven by the power of good advice, to help people solve their problems. And we’re driven to change the underlying causes of problems, through our work with governments and other organisations.

Our missions

Our 3 service-wide missions are:

  1. Provide advice fit for the future - we’ll be there for people when they need us in the ways that help make the biggest impact

  2. Close the gap - we’ll end the disparities in access and experience for marginalised people

  3. Take early action - we’ll prevent more people reaching crisis by addressing problems earlier

Who we support

Our information and advice is available to everyone - whoever they are, whatever their problem. Structural inequalities lead to certain people facing disadvantages, making them more likely to need our help, and we prioritise their needs.

Our fundamentals

Our fundamentals set out who we are and how we operate as a service.

We work as one service with many leaders

Our federated model is a key strength. This is how we reach people across different communities, and develop new ideas and ways of working. It also means that we have a lot of talent across our service, lots of opportunities to learn from each other, and the ability to work together to have a huge impact.

We’re led by people’s needs 

We prioritise what’s best for the person needing support, and we design our services in a way that puts people’s needs first. We also know advice is at its best when it gives people the knowledge and confidence to help themselves and others. We recognise inequalities are entrenched in our society, so we work to remove barriers and design approaches that are inclusive and meet the needs of marginalised groups.

We’re rooted in the community 

Good advice is a key ingredient of helping communities thrive. Every community we serve is different, so we create local approaches and we’re right at the heart of each community. We celebrate and support local innovation, and harness the collective power of our community roots. We play a notable role in the wider voluntary and community sector, extending our reach and impact beyond the advice we give individuals and enriching wider communities. 

We’re strengthened by volunteers 

At our heart, we’re about people helping people and, from our earliest days, this has included volunteers working alongside paid colleagues. A key element of how we’ll always operate is by the amazing power of volunteering. We’ll continue to develop our volunteering models to maintain this contribution to our service, and the connection this provides to our communities. 

We see the whole person 

When we help people, we see the whole picture rather than one isolated problem. We see how people’s issues interconnect and work hard to find a way forward that’s right for them. 

We’re trusted experts 

We’re knowledgeable, experienced and provide expert information so we can help people navigate technical and complicated problems. We’re proud that people trust and recommend us. We invest in this expertise and trust, and also use it to shape our advocacy work. 

We’re good partners 

We know we can only make the biggest difference for people we support when we work alongside others. We work in partnership across our network as one service, in each community, and with others who want to shape a society where people face far fewer problems. If you’re interested in working with us, you can read about how to become a partner.

How we’ll deliver on our missions

It’s crucial that we’re flexible and able to adapt, so our strategy will live and evolve, with some things changing as we learn together. We’ll balance adaptability and responsiveness with staying true to our way of doing things.

As a service and in partnership with others, we will: 

Provide free, independent, confidential and impartial information and advice 

These are the key ingredients of our service. We’re here to help each individual find a way forward. We constantly evolve as the needs of the people we support change, so people can access advice on new issues in new ways and so we can advocate in ways that can create positive change. 

Learn, adapt and innovate

We collect research, insights and learning from across the service and more broadly, to identify patterns, and build intelligence. We work together as a service to scan the horizon and our constant radar keeps us alert to immediate and longer term shifts. We use this to identify ways to respond, and create better ways to support people and advocate for change. The power of our network means we come together to respond collectively, at scale, and with more impact.

Use the power of our data to advocate and target solutions to underlying root causes of issues 

We know that some of the tough challenges that people face can’t be solved by one adviser, one local Citizens Advice office, or one organisation. To address complex challenges or deep-rooted issues we use our experience, data, insights and research, as a service and alongside others, to advocate for change. We also develop new approaches and solutions with others to demonstrate alternative ways that show how things could work differently, to enable people to face far fewer problems.

Read our full strategy.

Contact us

If you're interested in talking to us about our strategy, email us at strategy@citizensadvice.org.uk.