Staff and Councillor Training

This Staff and Councillor Training Policy outlines the training and development (or Continuous Professional Development) that staff and Councillors can expect to receive.

As the first tier of local government, parish and town councils are uniquely placed to make a major contribution to localism. If parish and town councils are to play a significant part in democracy, it is essential that councillors fully understand their role and responsibilities. Engaging in learning, training and development is essential in gaining experience and enabling both staff and councillors to understand their role and contribute fully to the democratic process.

There is a wide range of training available to local councils. Sector-specific training is delivered through a number of different mechanisms and organisations at both national and local (county) level.

Staff

Training and Development

The council recognises that its employees are its principal asset. To ensure that the council can deliver the appropriate services to the community it is essential that all employees are fully trained to perform their roles to the highest level. The responsibility for growth and development is shared between employees and the council. The council will support employees to develop the skills and experience needed for their roles and work with employees to develop their abilities; and will identify time and budgets to enable this to happen.

Performance Management

The Personnel Committee and Town Clerk will undertake an annual appraisal with employees to review the past year’s performance, identify training or development needs, and plan for the coming year. The Town Clerk’s appraisal will be undertaken by the Personnel Committee.

Employees are encouraged to discuss in an open and honest manner any ideas or issues they have concerning their employment. Appraisal forms can be obtained from the Town Clerk.

Further training and refresher courses will be arranged where there is an identified need.

Councillors

On expressing an interest in joining the council:

Prospective councillors should first contact the Town Clerk to the council confirming that he/she is interested in joining the Council or filling the vacancy. The Town Clerk will ask the prospective Councillor to answer some qualifying/disqualifying questions. (see the Policy on The Eligibility of a Councillor procedure) .

On joining the council by Election or Co-option:

All new Councillors will be given a Policy Information Pack.

Background

Councillors are from a range of diverse backgrounds and bring different and valuable skills to the role. Despite this, few new Councillors have extensive knowledge of the system of local government, how a council works or the full range of their roles and responsibilities.

From their first council meeting Councillors will be required to make important decisions on behalf of their communities and take responsibility for those decisions. Those decisions often involve significant use of public money, assets or natural resources. It is important that Councillors have, or may quickly attain, a clear understanding of the system of local government, how their council works and the full range of their roles and responsibilities. It is equally important that all councillors have ongoing opportunities to undertake appropriate skills development and training in areas needed to assist them to carry out their role effectively.

Training courses:

Many of the recommended training courses are run by the Gloucestershire Association of Local Councils (GAPTC). The Town Council will pay for any relevant training.

Notification of Training Opportunities to Councillors

Any training or educational opportunities for Councillors will be notified to councillors by email. If a Councillor wishes to attend a certain training course they are to let the Town Clerk know as soon as possible in order that a place may be booked.