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NEWTON ST CYRES PARISH COUNCIL

TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT POLICY

1       Introduction

1.1    This document forms the Council’s Training and Development Policy.  It sets out:

  • The Council’s commitment to training
  • The identification of training needs
  • The minimum recommended training requirements for employees and councillors
  • Financial assistance
  • Study leave
  • Short courses/workshops
  • Evaluation of training
  • Links with other policies
  • Reporting on progress

1.2 The objectives of this strategy are to:

  • Encourage Councillors and staff to undertake appropriate training
  • Allocate training in a fair manner
  • Ensure that all training is evaluated to assess its value

 

  • Commitment to Training
    • Newton St Cyres Parish Council is committed to the ongoing training and development of all Councillors and employee(s) to enable them to make the most effective contribution to the Council’s aims and objectives in providing the highest quality representation and services for the people of the parish.

 

2.2    According to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (2007), training can be defined as:

         “A planned process to develop the abilities of the individual and to satisfy current and future needs of the organisation.”

 

  • Newton St Cyres Parish Council recognises that its most important resource is its Councillors and employees and is committed to encouraging both Councillors and employees to enhance their knowledge and qualifications through further training. Some training is necessary to ensure compliance with all legal and statutory requirements.

 

2.4    The Council expects employees to undertake a programme of continuing professional development (CPD) in line with the requirements of their requisite professional bodies.  In order to ensure CPD, the clerk is encouraged to attend relevant training courses as and when these arise, the cost of which will be met by the council.  Such training courses will usually be run by DALC and take place locally.

 

2.5    Providing training yields a number of benefits:

  • Improves the quality of the services and facilities that Newton St Cyres Parish Council provides;
  • Enables the organisation to achieve its corporate aims and objectives;
  • Improves the skill base of the employee(s), producing confident, highly qualified staff working as part of an effective and efficient team; and
  • Demonstrates that the employee(s) are valued.

 

  • Training and development will be achieved by including a realistic financial allocation for training and development in the annual budget, as well as taking advantage of any relevant partnership or in-house provision available.

 

2.7    The process of development is as follows:

  1. Training needs should be identified by considering the overall objectives of the organisation, as well as individual requirements.
  2. Planning and organising training to meet those specific needs.
  3. Designing and delivering the training.
  4. Evaluating the effectiveness of training.

 

  1. The identification of Training Needs

3.1    Employees will be asked to identify their development needs during meetings with Councillors on the Staff and Personnel Committee and at the annual appraisal.  Councillors training needs will be identified upon election and during their term of office, as detailed in 3.2

 

  • Other circumstances may present the need for training:
  • Legislative requirements i.e. First Aid, Fire Safety, Manual Handling
  • Changes in legislation
  • Changes in systems
  • New or revised qualifications become available
  • Accidents
  • Professional error
  • Introduction of new equipment
  • New working methods and practices
  • Complaints to the Council
  • A request from a member of staff
  • Devolved services / delivery of new services

 

  1. Minimum training requirements:

4.1     Employees (the Clerk)

On appointment

Training needs will be discussed with the recruitment panel.    If the Clerk is new to the job of clerk, they should attend the DALC course for new clerks within six months of appointment.  The cost of this will be met by the Council.

 

During employment

Consideration will be given to the Clerk undertaking the “Introduction to Local Council Administration Course” offered by SLCC.  This is a web-based training course the cost of which will be met by the council.

 

Upon a request from the Clerk, consideration will be given to the Clerk undertaking the “Certificate in Local Council Administration” (CiLCA) as offered by SLCC.  This is the professional qualification for Clerks and must be completed within a year of registration.

 

Consideration will be given to the Clerk attending the DALC 1.5-day course which assists with the CiLCA qualification

 

4.2     Councillors

New councillors (elected or co-opted) should attend the new councillor training course run by DALC within six months of appointment.  The cost of attendance will be met by the Council.

 

New councillors will receive a Councillor Reference pack.  If required a briefing on the Code of Conduct can be arranged

 

4.3     Chairman

Consideration should be given to the Chairman attending the Chairman course run by DALC.  The cost of attendance will be met by the Council

 

  1. Corporate Training

Corporate training is necessary to ensure that employee(s) are aware of their legal responsibilities or corporate standards e.g. Health and Safety, Risk management and Equal Opportunities.  Employees will be required to attend training courses, workshops or seminars where suitable training is identified.

 

  1. Financial Assistance

6.1    It is important to note that all training funded by the council must be appropriate to the needs of the Council, be relevant to the individual’s role and is subject to the availability of financial resources.

         Each request will be considered on an individual basis and the benefits to the individual and the council will be identified.

         Where possible, all training courses will be attended locally in the interest of operational effectiveness and obtaining best value.

 

  • Other considerations include the following:
  • Implication of employee release for training course(s) on the operational capability of the Council
  • The most economic and effective means of training
  • Provision and availability of training budget

 

  • For approved courses employees can expect the following to be sponsored:
  • The course fee
  • Examination fees
  • Associated membership fees
  • One payment to re-take a failed examination

 

  • Councillors and officer(s) attending courses are required to inform the Clerk or Training Officer immediately of any absences, giving reasons.

 

  • Failure to sit an examination may result in the Council withdrawing future course funding and/or requesting the refunding of financial assistance. Each case will be considered on an individual basis.

 

  • Any employee undertaking post-entry qualifications funded by the Council must be aware that should they leave Newton St Cyres Parish Council employment within two years of completion of the qualification they will be required to repay all costs associated with the undertaking of such training. In addition, all costs must be repaid if the employee leaves before completion of the qualification or fails to complete it.
  • If the employee takes up employment with another Local Authority an exemption to this clause may be granted.

 

  1. Study Leave

         Employees who are given approval to undertake external qualifications are granted the following:

  • Study time to attend day-release courses
  • Time to sit examinations
  • Study time of one day per examination (to be discussed and agreed by the Training Officer in advance)
  • Provision of study time must be agreed with the Council prior to the course being undertaken.

 

  1. Short Course/Workshops/Residential Weekends
    • Where attendance is required at a short course, hours attended may be claimed if appropriate.

 

8.2    Councillors and employees attending approved short courses/workshops/residential weekends can claim for the following:

  • The course fee (usually invoiced following the event)
  • Travelling expenses in accordance with the Council’s current policy
  • Subsistence in accordance with the Council’s current policy

 

 

  1. Evaluation of Training
    • Records of all training undertaken by employee(s) and councillors will be kept.

 

  • As part of Newton St Cyres Parish Council’s continuing commitment to training and development, employee(s) are asked to provide feedback to the Training Officer on the value and effectiveness of the training they undertake highlighting in particular the key implications of new legislation, guidance and/or best practice for the ongoing efficiency and effectiveness of the authority.

 

  1. Linking with other Council Policies

          How will this link to the Council’s other policies?

  • Equality of opportunity in all aspects of Councillor and officer development;
  • A ‘Statement of Intent’ on training for both Councillors and staff is a requirement for the Local Council Award Scheme;
  • Risk Management Policy – a commitment to Training and Development greatly assists in achieving good governance and an effective system of Risk Management;
  • Health and Safety – ongoing training and development is key to ensuring a positive approach to Health and Safety is embedded throughout the council;
  • Undertaking training is a clear indication of Continuing Professional Development.

 

  1. Reporting on Progress

         The Clerk will report annually to the full Council detailing attendance at training over the year.

 

  1. Conclusion

The adoption of a training policy should achieve many benefits for the Council.  It will assist in demonstrating that the Council is committed to continuing professional development and enhancing the skills of both Councillors and staff.

 

  1. Freedom of Information

         In accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000, this Document will be posted on the Council’s website and copies of this document will be available for inspection on request.

 

Date of last review:               May 2018

 

Date of next review:             May 2019