CiLCA Support Programme

Our CiLCA Support Programme guides you through your Certificate in Local Council Administration (CiLCA) – a portfolio based, level 3, foundation qualification designed specifically for local council officers.

Our CiLCA Support Programme guides you through the portfolio with training sessions and ongoing mentoring to help you complete the qualification.

Why do CiLCA?

CiLCA helps officers to become more aware of the law and procedures for local councils.  It checks that officers can manage the councils activities, its finances and community engagement.  CiLCA can help your council achieve standards of good practice and builds the reputation of local councils in a fast changing world. Read more about the qualification.

Who can take CiLCA?

Any officer can take CiLCA to learn more about how local councils work.  They should have at least six months (preferably 12 months) experience and have undertaken basic knowledge training before starting.

How long does it take?

It might take between six months and a year to complete CiLCA.  On average, you might complete one task each week.  There are 30 tasks in total.

What is the DALC CiLCA Support Programme?

Our CiLCA Support Programme has been designed to offer the best possible support to students undertaking the qualification. Through our CiLCA Recognised Trainers we can support you with:

  • Training. 7 courses (one month apart) which take you through each step of the portfolio, building your confidence through exercises and discussion.  You will leave each session knowing how to approach each learning outcome, signposted to useful resources, and knowing the pitfalls to avoid.
  • Mentoring. 12 months of mentoring support; offered either one-to-one or in our monthly online drop ins, to help you overcome any barriers standing in your way. We can review submissions, consider assessor feedback or simply guide you on how to structure your submissions to help you achieve success.
  • Community. Join our DALC CiLCA Students Facebook Group and chat with other local students undertaking CiLCA at the same time as you.  Discuss ideas, share thoughts and support one another.  Our CiLCA Trainers are also on hand to support your discussions.

Our CiLCA Support Programme is excellent value at just £300 + VAT per student, exclusive of the registration fee (£450) which you will need to pay to the SLCC to complete CiLCA.

If you’re interested, then get in touch with us to see how we can support you.


Sally Smale

“I will not deny that CiLCA is a huge undertaking and does require commitment to put in the hours and read around the topics. However, I would thoroughly recommend going through the process. I’d been clerking for a year (2nd time round) when I started and knew I still had a lot to learn. The discipline and structure of CiLCA guided me through all the aspects of the role of the clerk and enabled me to explore my weaker areas. The knowledge I acquired and, in particular, finding our what I didn’t know and when I need to check things / seek advice has given me far more confidence in my work and I find I am enjoying it all so much more.

The training and support from DALC was invaluable and I would not have succeeded without them.”

Sally Smale Diptford, Ringmore and Modbury Parish Councils
Karen Chapman

“Whilst undertaking the CiLCA qualification I found the group sessions invaluable in helping to “set the scene”.  The course covers a wide range of local government matters and being led through each module in a pragmatic and focussed approach was hugely helpful. In addition, the back-up support was invaluable for the “niggles” along the way, with DALC officers offering ongoing support with speedy responses to any issues raised. The support was hugely important and great value for money too! I would recommend anyone undertaking this qualification also sign up to this option.”

Karen Chapman Great Torrington Town Council
Caroline Metcalf

I found undertaking CiCLA this last year, invaluable in helping me to learn everything I needed to know in my role as the new Parish Clerk in Bere Ferrers.

The assistance and advice I also received from DALC, especially from Rebecca, was very much appreciated and all queries, big or small, are always answered and there’s never an issue.

Caroline Metcalf Bere Ferrers Parish Council
Katherine Anness

“To be honest, I underestimated how much would be involved in completing the CiLCA portfolio when I signed up for it! I ended up working harder on the CiLCA portfolio than my undergraduate dissertation years ago and I think that was because so many topics were covered, whereas with a dissertation you get the luxury of focusing on one area in-depth and can focus your efforts on reading around that one topic. Having said that, that’s what is great about CiLCA, it covered a very wide range of topics, everything that a clerk would need to know to support their council. The only thing that I can think of that wasn’t covered adequately was data protection and that’s because I was one of the last to complete the 2015 portfolio; I notice that the new CiLCA portfolio includes a learning outcome related to data protection, so this has already been addressed. 

I must say that I couldn’t have done it without Rebecca at DALC, she’s an absolute legend. I opted for one-to-one mentoring support from DALC whereby I could send my submissions to Rebecca as and when over the twelve months and she would let me know if she thought that anything might be missing from the assessment criteria. I found DALC’s CiLCA mentoring support to be very reasonably priced also.”

Katherine Anness Mary Tavy Parish Council
Jane Clark

The CiLCA qualification has been extremely worthwhile but challenging for me. As a clerk of three years, I had some experience, however, I was not fully aware of some of the legal requirements of a council and the training highlighted gaps in current policies and procedures. As a consequence, I needed to generate these before being able to use working documents for the learning outcomes, of which there were thirty, so it was quite a heavy workload. I struggled at first fully realising the work required but I am happy to say that the training has broadened my knowledge and given me confidence and, in my opinion, more importantly, created a stable platform for the council to carry out its functions now and into the future.

Without support from DALC it would not have been possible. The training was concise and the virtual mentoring sessions useful and the guidance given by Rebecca Walker while I began the slow realisation of the amount of work I had to do before I even got to writing some of the essays and annotations was crucial… there were some low moments!

However, I passed, and I am really pleased I did it. I have now written a training policy for the council that includes building a reserve to support the next clerk, if unqualified, to take the CiLCA qualification, after a year in the role. For me it has been a steep learning curve but, I believe, a necessary one.

Thank you to all at DALC.

Jane Clark Tedburn St Mary Parish Council
Karan Bennett

The CiLCA qualification portfolio provides an excellent foundation for the parish clerk role and I feel much more confident having completed it. The DALC CiLCA support programme was invaluable; the trainer was very knowledgeable and approachable and the monthly tutorials and mentoring sessions were a great opportunity to meet (virtually) and work with others undertaking the qualification.

Karan Bennett Bishop's Clyst Parish Council
Juliette Thompson

When I decided to come back to clerking my intention was to complete CiLCA as soon as possible, but with onset of Covid and finding myself clerk to four parish councils within six months of returning, CiLCA was pushed to one side.

Once I started studying, the experience and knowledge gained from my four councils helped enormously and their encouragement, along with the help from Rebecca at the DALC CiLCA support programme has been brilliant.

Even though everyone says it, taking CiLCA really does boost your confidence and I would thoroughly recommend it

Juliette Thompson Kingskerswell, Ideford, Coffinswell and Shillingford St George parish councils
Amii Shelley

CiLCA has been a huge learning curve, with learning outcomes highlighting areas where I felt confident, and those where I lacked knowledge. Taking part in the qualification has given me a greater understanding of my role and the confidence to support the Council and wider community.

The support from DALC was invaluable, and I would reccomend their mentoring service to anyone thinking of starting CiLCA.

Amii Shelley Chudleigh Town Council
Abi Horn

CiLCA has been a very worth while experience it highlighted gaps in my knowledge as well as in the council. The council have been interested in the feedback and willing to make changes on the back of advice from SLCC and DALC. I definitely could not of completed it with out the DALC training sessions and the reassurance of Rebecca at the end of an email when doubting I was doing the right thing.

The support from DALC was invaluable, and I would reccomend their mentoring service to anyone thinking of starting CiLCA.

Abi Horn Sourton Parish Council, Okehampton Town Council
Jakki Henderson

Whether it takes you one month or more than a year, it’s a great feeling when you pass the CILCA!

Great mentoring from DALC’s Rebecca Walker, who also doubled up as our personal therapist 🙂 and of course my wonderful Broadhembury Parish Council for their amazing support and faith in me. Thank you all so much!

Jakki Henderson Broadhembury Parish Council
Cathy Aubertin

This process has made me much more confident in my role and I’ve learnt a lot along the way. But I couldn’t have done it without Rebecca’s support, for which I am truly grateful.

Cathy Aubertin Broadhempston Parish Council