Training & Development Policy

Training and Development Policy

This policy was adopted by the Council at its meeting held on 23rd January 2019,  Minute Ref. 19/09d,  For review annually.


This policy has been produced as confirmation of the Council’s commitment to the training and development of both the councillors and staff of the Parish Council.


West Bergholt Parish Council takes all aspects of training and development extremely seriously enabling councillors and staff alike to discharge their duties in the community to the highest quality through regular training.

Types of training and development:

The Council will consider that training is provided for any councillors or staff who request to attend courses. All new councillors and staff are supported by induction to the Council by the Clerk. Councillors are asked to attend Councillor Training Days held by the EALC[1].They are also provided with both The Good Councillor’s Guide and New Councillor pack supplied by the Clerk, containing useful information and the Council’s governing documents.

The Clerk should be a qualified clerk[2] with either the CiLCA qualification or the higher education qualifications awarded by the University of Gloucestershire or working towards either of these qualifications. New employees are given an Employees Handbook, containing Council information and the relevant employment policies. All staff to be trained in conjunction with legislation. Courses are also completed by the Handymen in the operation of equipment.

Development can include attending meetings, forums and discussion groups, even networking events such as the Mayoral Reception can provide the Council with useful contacts and the sharing of ideas.

Identification of training needs:

There is an appraisal system in place for staff which highlights any training needs and the requirements of individuals. The EALC Training Calendar is circulated on a weekly basis and a “table item” at every monthly full Council meeting, with booking forms, giving an opportunity for staff & councillors to request attendance. Training may also be required through (this is not a definitive list & may be added to):

  • Changes in legislation
  • Changes in systems
  • New or revised qualifications
  • Renewal of qualifications
  • Accidents
  • Professional error/mistake
  • Complaints to the Council
  • Informal & formal discussions
  • A request from a member of staff/councillor
  • New or upgraded machinery or equipment

Resourcing training to meet needs:

Training requirements are planned into the annual budget process and is in place for both councillors and staff to support training identified. The year-to-date figures are reported on the monthly financial summary sheets and made available on the website. The Parish Council will reimburse travel expenses associated with attending training courses once in receipt of an expenses claim form. The following are a list of places used for training, this is not a definitive list and can be added to:

  • Essex Association of Local Councils
  • Essex County Council
  • Colchester City Council
  • Writtle Agricultural College
  • The Rural Community Council of Essex
  • Colchester Association of Local Councils

Measuring the impact of training:

Staff and councillors acquire more confidence, match legal requirements and understand the workings of a Parish Council. A training feedback process is in place to comment on the course, content and the trainer. There is a permanent item on the monthly Parish Council agenda for councillors and staff to feedback on the training and development which they have undergone in the past month and the courses booked that month listed. Councillors and staff that attend training are expected to bring the Clerk’s attention to any new legislation changes covered by a course.

Recording of training:

There is a training record for all councillors and staff members which is produced annually and placed on the Council’s website.

Training the Council as a whole:

If the whole Council requires training on a particular subject the Clerk will source an appropriately qualified person to instruct them.

Keeping the Council up to date:

The Council subscribes to the following publications and websites which are available to staff and councillors for reference:

  • LCR Magazine – Local Council Review by NALC[3]
  • Clerks and Councils Direct
  • The Clerk Magazine
  • EALC Publications: E-Bulletin, Training Bulletin, County Update Legal Update
  • RCCE Publications: The Essex Warbler and The Oyster
  • SLCC – Society of Local Council Clerk’s website
  • NALC – National Association of Local Council’s website

The Council also maintains the latest edition hard copies of:

  • Arnold-Baker on Local Council Administration by Paul Clayden
  • Local Councils Explained by NALC

Support for the Council and Clerk

The Council is supported by the EALC and will continue to support the Clerk as a member of the SLCC.

Continuous Professional Development

The Clerk as the most senior member of staff should show a commitment to their and the Council’s continuous development and improvement in order to facilitate new ideas in the workplace. All Clerks whose Councils seek a Local Council Award, are required to demonstrate that they have achieved at least 12 CPD points in the 12 months immediately preceding the Council’s application for the award. CPD activities therefore carry a specified number of points. The national point system is as follows:

  • CiLCA – 15 points
  • Learning a new skill or activity at work – up to 6 points
  • Attendance of conferences & training events – every two hours equates to 1 point
  • Reading – can allocate a maximum of 6 points in 12-month period for relevant reading
  • E-Learning – 1 point for two hours, to a maximum of 6 points in 12-month period
  • Developing the sector – maximum of 6 points for 3-month period for any role such as mentor, trainer, tutor, assessor, advisor, speaker and writer

A CPD recording document is kept in the Clerk’s staff file and reviewed at appraisal.

This document has been produced as a training and development strategy for the Council and will be reviewed annually by the Staffing Sub-committee of the Council.

[1] Essex Association of Local Councils

[2] One of the criteria for the General Power of Competence is to have a qualified Clerk

[3] National Association of Councils

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