Introducing our Councillor Development Framework!

We’re introducing our Councillor Development Framework to help all councillors find the support, guidance and training they need on their councillor journey from newly elected to effective community leader.

Our Councillor Development Framework has been developed to help meet the needs of councillors who are looking to find the support, guidance and training they need to be a good councillor. With parish and town councils delivering an increasingly wide range of services and projects, councillors are playing an ever more important role in their communities. The responsibilities of sitting on the council can be daunting with rules, procedures and legislation to understand as well as managing community expectations and your own aspirations. That’s where the framework can support you on your journey from newly elected to effective community leader.

The councillor development framework offers a variety of learning opportunities such as suggested reading, e-learning, webinars and in-person courses to suit every council size and budget, as well as different learning styles and time availability.


Getting started

All councillors bring a wide range of knowledge, skills, and experience to their role. We recommend councils complete a skills audit to help identify the valuable experience within their team – this will help plan for the future, assist with team building, and identify where training may be helpful.

Getting to know the council is just as important as training when you are getting started! We recommend councillors engage in any induction process that is offered, read the council’s policies and procedures, and ask for help from the clerk and/or experienced members when needed.

Foundation

Key knowledge and a broad understanding is a good starting point for all councillors. The foundation level focuses on:

  • Understanding key roles and responsibilities
  • Knowledge of councils and how they operate
  • Exploring what councils can do in their community
  • Understanding the area you represent

Being a Good Councillor

This is a foundation level course providing an introduction to local councils and being a councillor. It is available as a webinar series, or as a face-to-face course, or through our in-house training.

Code of Conduct

An overview of the rules and expectations that govern councillors, including declaring interests, dispensations and complaints. Available as a webinar, or through our in-house training

E-learning options are also available with courses on:

An introduction to local councils

Standards in public life

Check out our range of e-learning available here.

Recommended Read

The Good Councillor’s Guide, published by the National Association of Local Councils, is essential reading for all councillors providing an introduction to the work of councils and the part you play as a councillor.

Download your free copy

Core

Once foundation knowledge has been attained, councillors can develop their understanding on key aspects of council business. This next stage develops subject knowledge, building a greater understanding of how the council operates. It focuses on:

  • the council’s responsibilities as an employer
  • local council finances
  • engaging in the planning system
  • complying with data protection and information laws

Previous experience may help with some of these topics, but it is important to recognise the difference between local government and other sectors.

Being a Good Employer

An introductory course to support understanding of the council’s role as an employer, and employee rights.

Responding to Planning

Understand the council’s role in the planning system and how best to represent your community’s views

 

Finance for councillors

Gain a greater understanding of local council finance including responsibilities, budgeting, precepts, audit and VAT

Councillors: data protection

Understand how data protection legislation sits within your role as an elected member

 

Advanced

The advanced stage is for councillors keen to develop specialist/advanced knowledge in certain areas of council business such as employment, finance, and planning. This may be particularly useful for members on council committees where in-depth knowledge would be beneficial to the council.

Example courses

  • Managing employees (appraisals and supervision)
  • When things go wrong (disciplinary and grievances)
  • Budgeting for councillors
  • Internal controls
  • Procurement

With many more available to view on our training and events page.

Leader

For those councillors aspiring to leadership positions, or looking to develop their leadership skills within the community, we have developed courses to enhance your knowledge and skills further.

The leader level focuses on:

  • Chairmanship skills
  • Team leadership
  • Leadership in the community
  • Leading in challenging situations

Example courses

  • Chairing local council meetings
  • Dealing with difficult people and conversations
  • Crisis communications

How to book onto our courses

All of our courses are listed here, with several dates available for some courses. Courses are booked on a first come, first served basis. Reservations for unknown delegates will not be accepted. Councils will be invoiced for delegates near the time the course takes place.

If you cannot find the course you are looking for, please contact us (email communication preferred).

Cancellation policy: cancellations within 48 hours of the course will still be charged for.

 

Being a Good Councillor Full Course (Exeter)

*New for 2023*

This full day Being a Good Councillor course will help new councillors gain essential knowledge to support them in their role.

Recommended for:

Councillors wanting a comprehensive introduction to the essentials of being a good councillor.

Course Overview:

This face-to-face course will provide the opportunity for councillors to gain essential knowledge and understanding, whilst also meeting other councillors. The course will cover:

  • roles and responsibilities of councils, councillors and the clerk
  • council powers, the duties of the local council and the precept
  • local council meetings and the role councillors have to play
  • the council in the community and how to increase your engagement

This course will be delivered by Elise Callaghan.

Lunch and refreshments will be provided.

A copy of the Good Councillor’s Guide and all supporting resources will be provided to delegates on the day.

Other sessions available:

 

Being a Good Councillor Full Course (South Devon)

*New for 2023*

This full day Being a Good Councillor course will help new councillors gain essential knowledge to support them in their role.

Recommended for:

Councillors wanting a comprehensive introduction to the essentials of being a good councillor.

Course Overview:

This face-to-face course will provide the opportunity for councillors to gain essential knowledge and understanding, whilst also meeting other councillors. The course will cover:

  • roles and responsibilities of councils, councillors and the clerk
  • council powers, the duties of the local council and the precept
  • local council meetings and the role councillors have to play
  • the council in the community and how to increase your engagement

This course will be delivered by Elise Callaghan.

Lunch and refreshments will be provided.

A copy of the Good Councillor’s Guide and all supporting resources will be provided to delegates on the day.

Other sessions available:

 

Being a Good Councillor Full Course (North Devon)

*New for 2023*

This full day Being a Good Councillor course will help new councillors gain essential knowledge to support them in their role.

Recommended for:

Councillors wanting a comprehensive introduction to the essentials of being a good councillor.

Course Overview:

This face-to-face course will provide the opportunity for councillors to gain essential knowledge and understanding, whilst also meeting other councillors. The course will cover:

  • roles and responsibilities of councils, councillors and the clerk
  • council powers, the duties of the local council and the precept
  • local council meetings and the role councillors have to play
  • the council in the community and how to increase your engagement

This course will be delivered by Elise Callaghan.

Lunch and refreshments will be provided.

A copy of the Good Councillor’s Guide and all supporting resources will be provided to delegates on the day.

Other sessions available:

Being a Good Councillor Full Course (East Devon)

*New for 2023*

This full day Being a Good Councillor course will help new councillors gain essential knowledge to support them in their role.

Recommended for:

Councillors wanting a comprehensive introduction to the essentials of being a good councillor.

Course Overview:

This face-to-face course will provide the opportunity for councillors to gain essential knowledge and understanding, whilst also meeting other councillors. The course will cover:

  • roles and responsibilities of councils, councillors and the clerk
  • council powers, the duties of the local council and the precept
  • local council meetings and the role councillors have to play
  • the council in the community and how to increase your engagement

This course will be delivered by Elise Callaghan.

Lunch and refreshments will be provided.

A copy of the Good Councillor’s Guide and all supporting resources will be provided to delegates on the day.

Other sessions available:

Being a Good Councillor Full Course (Mid Devon)

*New for 2023*

This full day Being a Good Councillor course will help new councillors gain essential knowledge to support them in their role.

Recommended for:

Councillors wanting a comprehensive introduction to the essentials of being a good councillor.

Course Overview:

This face-to-face course will provide the opportunity for councillors to gain essential knowledge and understanding, whilst also meeting other councillors. The course will cover:

  • roles and responsibilities of councils, councillors and the clerk
  • council powers, the duties of the local council and the precept
  • local council meetings and the role councillors have to play
  • the council in the community and how to increase your engagement

This course will be delivered by Elise Callaghan.

Lunch and refreshments will be provided.

A copy of the Good Councillor’s Guide and all supporting resources will be provided to delegates on the day.

Other sessions available:

Being a Good Councillor Full Course (West Devon)

*New for 2023*

This full day Being a Good Councillor course will help new councillors gain essential knowledge to support them in their role.

Recommended for:

Councillors wanting a comprehensive introduction to the essentials of being a good councillor.

Course Overview:

This face-to-face course will provide the opportunity for councillors to gain essential knowledge and understanding, whilst also meeting other councillors. The course will cover:

  • roles and responsibilities of councils, councillors and the clerk
  • council powers, the duties of the local council and the precept
  • local council meetings and the role councillors have to play
  • the council in the community and how to increase your engagement

This course will be delivered by Elise Callaghan.

Lunch and refreshments will be provided.

A copy of the Good Councillor’s Guide and all supporting resources will be provided to delegates on the day.

Other sessions available:

Managing employees through effective supervision and appraisals

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Code of Conduct

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Being a Good Councillor | Short Course

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