Training and Development Policy

Adopted on the 27th March 2018

Introduction

1.1 Hurst Green Parish Council [the council] is committed to improving the standard of its staff and councillors through training and professional development, for the benefit of good governance and for residents of the parish of Hurst Green.

1.2 It is recognised that training can take many forms, and the council encourages any individual connected with the council to both identify and to consider undertaking further training to increase the services and skills they can bring to the council.

1.3 The council will pay for the Clerks’ subscription to the Society of Local Council Clerks. It will encourage the Clerk to become a qualified Clerk. It will be a requirement of the Clerk role for future job holders to hold the qualification, or commit to achieving it, or a recognised equivalent. The council also pays for membership to bodies such as Sussex Associations of Local Councils.

1.4 With regards to its employees, the council expects all its employees to identify and undertake Continuous Professional Development (CPD) relevant to their role and to keep a record that they have done so.

1.5 With regards to its councillors, as a primarily voluntary organisation the council values the time given by its councillors to their community. This policy is aimed at maximising the rewards from that time by ensuring that its councillors understand and enjoy the important role they undertake in the community.

1.6 This policy will be reviewed at least annually by the council.

Policy Commitments

2.1 The council commits to ensuring its staff and councillors are trained to the highest standard and have access to the means to keep up to date with new legislation.


2.2 To support this commitment, the council will endeavour to consider any requested training costs that cannot be immediately meet, be allocated in the forthcoming annual budget to enable staff and councillors to attend appropriate training and conferences relevant to their office.


2.3 All council employees will have an annual training review meeting, the outcome of which will be a personal training plan for each of the council’s employees.

2.4 Publications which may assist members or staff will usually be purchased as needed i.e. Arnold Baker: Local Council Administration, Standing Orders and Chairmanship, Clerk’s Guides, Governance and Accountability for Local Councils etc. These will be either be purchased from the council’s general admin budget with the discretionary approval of the Chairman for items below £50, or with the approval of an ordinary carried motion at a meeting of the council. The subsequent timing of the purchase will be dependent on the item’s cost and the availability of funds to support the purchase.


2.5 All new councillors will receive an induction pack prepared by the Clerk and will be invited to attend an induction meeting with the Clerk and the Chairman of the council following the parish elections every four years, where basic information relating to the council’s organisation and responsibilities will be provided. New members will be expected to take advantage of this training offered. Re-elected councillors will be invited to support this meeting.


2.6 Any new employee of the council will be expected to take advantage of any courses/training which may be offered which will enhance their knowledge of the roles that they may be undertaking.


2.7 More experienced councillors will be encouraged to mentor new councillors to pass on their skills and knowledge.

Employee Training Review Meeting & Training Plan

3.1 To monitor the training needs of the council’s employees and to enable a discussion around opportunities that the council feels may be beneficial to the employee and the council, each employee will have an annual training review which will be conducted in private, at a meeting designated for the purpose, by the Chairman of the council and another councillor.

3.2 The council expects its employees to undertake responsibility for aiding in determining their personal training needs. To ensure this occurs, the council will ensure that an individual’s training needs are both discussed and recorded as part of an employee’s annual training review.


3.3 A key outcome of the employee’s annual training review meeting will be a personal training plan that will detail any training that either the employee or the council feel would be beneficial to the employee. The document will record the agreed upon actions that will be taken to ensuring that this training is undertaken in the year that follows the review.


3.4 Should the employee so choose, they may elect to have another employee or individual present at their training review meeting.


3.5 The Councillor to accompany the Chairman at an employee’s annual training review will be determined by an ordinary vote at a meeting of the council.

3.6 Records of all formal training of staff and councillors will be kept by the Clerk in the form of a training record and schedule; this will be in addition to each employee’s training plan, which shall be private to the Chairman, the accompanying councillor and the employee.

Professional Qualifications

4.1 All staff members will be encouraged to pursue professional qualifications, such as the Certificate in Local Council Administration (CiLCA) or equivalent. It will be a requirement of the Clerk role for future job holders to hold the qualification, or commit to achieving it, or a recognised equivalent.


4.2 The council will endeavour to meet the financial cost of registering for and submitting the CiLCA portfolio, or equivalent. If a candidate is unsuccessful, the candidate will be responsible for the cost of any re-submission.


4.3 Additional higher level qualifications or specific qualifications relevant to the role will be discussed as part of the annual appraisal. The council may agree to meet the cost, or part thereof, of a qualification which will be of mutual benefit to both the council and staff member.

Staff Personal Development

5.1 The council recognises that training and development for staff often provides continuous professional development for the staff member, while enhancing specific skills. Training courses for personal development are motivational for staff members and consistently leads to improved performance in their current role. Equally, the council acknowledges that such personal development will occasionally lead staff members to seek alternative employment to maximise their new or improved skills.

5.2 Where there is clear benefit to the council, payment for any personal development training will be made by the council, and the staff member will be expected to use their new or improved skills in their existing role within the council.

5.3 At the discretion of the council, where the cost of a personal development training course exceeds £250 the staff member will repay to the council the full cost of the training if they leave the employment of the council within 12 months of completion of the training. Agreement to this condition will be recorded in the staff member’s file.

5.4 At the discretion of the council, where the cost of a personal development training course exceeds £500, the staff member will repay to the council the full cost of the training if they leave the employment of the council within 12 months of completion of the training, and 50% of the cost of the training if they leave the employment of the council after 12 months, but within 24 months of the completion of the training.
Agreement to this condition will be recorded in the staff member’s file.

5.5 The provisions within part 5 of this policy do not apply to any training course deemed compulsory for the staff member to carry out their existing role, for example due to a change of regulations or insistence on particular qualifications.