Primary healthcare managers are required to include citizens in service co-design and co-production. Health policy guidance appears deceptively simple and largely outlines how people could participate in a range of health services activities. Policy tends to neglect outcomes assessment, and a multidisciplinary academic literature corpus is large and complex to navigate for practical, time-poor managers. In this paper, we set out to provide a summary ‘map’ of key concepts in participation to assist managers in aligning participants, activities, expected outcomes and outcome indicators, and to consider contextual factors that could affect participation processes and outcomes. The intention is a practical tool for planning and evaluation of participation. The map is built drawing on policy guidance, literature and authors’ experiences of implementing and researching health services participation.