Councillor Development Courses

We offer a range of in-house Councillor Development courses.  Following discussions with you regarding your requirements, we provide you with a training proposal which includes suggestions for content, duration and delivery methods.  These sessions can be delivered as repeated sessions or one-off sessions and we can accommodate timings such as evening courses as well as those delivered during working hours.  Popular courses in this category are:

Building Effective Councillor / Officer Relationships

For any Councillor wanting to develop effective and positive working relationships. This event is normally delivered over 2 hours

  • The importance of an effective working relationship
  • What happens when the relationship isn’t working effectively or breaks down?
  • Roles, pressures, responsibilities, power and influence
  • Inappropriate/unacceptable communication
  • Link to Codes of Conduct (for both Councillors and Officers)
  • Building a working partnership
  • Effective communication and constructive challenge
Chairing Meetings - Part 1 Introduction

This event is for councilors who are new to chairing meetings and is normally delivered over 2 hours

  • Formal v informal meetings
  • Participants and roles
  • Terms of reference, objectives, anticipated outcomes
  • Planning the agenda
  • Structure of the meeting
  • Reaching decisions, actions and follow up
Chairing Meetings - Part 2 Skills

This event builds on Part 1 Introduction to Chairing Meetings with a focus on improving skills and is normally delivered over 2 hours.

  • Chairing the meeting, guiding discussion and building engagement
  • Questioning and listening skills
  • Managing difficult situations, personalities and challenge
  • Time management and keeping on track

This 2 – Hour event supports Equality and Diversity strategies, explores awareness of definitions and will further develop community awareness.

  •  Recap of the terms equality and diversity
  • Exploring legislation and the requirements placed on Authorities
  • Equality Act, specific and general equalities duties
  • Your responsibilities
  • Demonstrating inclusion in actions and decision making (the Equality Impact Assessment)
  • Developing community awareness
  • Promoting equality and diversity within the organisation
  • Appropriate use of social media
Executive Decision-Making
Using Social Media

This event is aimed at Councillors wanting to use a range of social media tools to engage with their communities and is normally delivered over 2 hours.

  • Different platforms – pros and cons
  • Matching purpose to platform
  • Hints and tips to engage the audience
  • Getting the message across – planning and drafting content
  • Timing
  • Mitigating risk, what to avoid
Elected Member Appeals

This event is for councillors who may need to sit on a Hearing or an Appeal Panel. It provides a practical guide to sitting on a Panel and your role within it.

  • Legislative framework including key case law
  • Procedures in relation to hearings and appeals in the following circumstances:
    • Conduct
    • Capability
    • Redundancy
    • Some other substantial reason
    • Grievance
  • Making the decision
  • Implications of the decision
Introduction to Partnership Working

This event supports Councillors who find themselves working in partnership with others

  • Principles of partnership working – outcomes and service delivery
  • Commissioning, contract and relationship management
  • Effective working practices
  • Strategies for effective collaboration
  • Negotiating, influencing and questioning skills
  • Building effective relationships
  • Creating an environment of openness and trust
  • Representing the Council
  • Links with Scrutiny
Role of the Frontline Councillor

This event provides an overview of the local Councillor role and is normally delivered over 2 hours

  • The Councillor and the Council
  • Getting to know your ward
  • The campaign trail, local issues, case work, events and consultation
  • Representing the community and constituents’ expectations
  • Challenges facing Councillors
  • Council management and structure
Role of the Portfolio Holder

This event is for Councillors who expect to become a portfolio holder in the future or who are new to this role. It is normally delivered over 2 hours

  • Strategic direction and leadership
  • Links to policies, budget, strategies, service delivery
  • Accountabilities
  • Understanding your portfolio and knowing your subject
  • Key relationships and managing them
  • Internal and external spokesperson
  • Consultation and communication
  • Understanding the decision-making process (scrutiny, call-in, officer decisions, member decisions)
Scrutiny and Challenge

This event is for Councillors who are new to Scrutiny or anticipate they will be involved in the future and is normally delivered over 2 hours

  • Understanding the concept and role of Scrutiny
  • Key relationships that support effective Scrutiny
  • Principles of effective Scrutiny
  • Powers, statutory awareness, constitutional fit
  • Understanding the risk
  • Financial implications
  • Making recommendations
  • Scrutiny skills
    • Understanding the requirement and subject matter
    • Effective questioning techniques
    • Active listening skills
The Council as Employer

This event is aimed at councillors to enable them to understand the role of the council as an employer, its legal obligations, the contractual arrangements between the council and its employees, relevant policies and the contribution councillors make in this key area. It is usually delivered over 3 hours.

  • The Council’s role as an employer – The legal entity, delegation, liability
  • The Contract between employer and employee
    • Different Terms (Express, Incorporated, Implied)
    • Common law duties
    • Statutory rights of employees
    • What the council can expect from its employees
  • Your role as Councillors
    • Confidentiality
    • Recruitment and the recruitment process
    • Employment legislation
    • Appraisal and its purpose
  • An overview of key HR policies – Grievance, Discipline, Capability
Councillor Wellbeing
Councillor Wellbeing

A 2-hour webinar to consider a range of tools to help deliver wellbeing for Councillors.  It is delivered using a mixture of instructor-led theory, at least 3 practical tools/models that can be applied in the workplace and facilitated discussion.  The content includes:

  • Defining resilience
  • Understanding mental health in the workplace
  • Recognising signs and symptoms of anxiety in self and others
  • Maintaining own mental health
  • Supporting colleagues
  • Emotional responses to change
  • Understanding emotions (fight or flight)
  • Regulating own behaviour and behaviour of others
  • Diffusing and de-escalating emotional situations
  • Accepting change positively
  • Managing own workload, responsibilities and time
  • 5 ways to wellbeing

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