This policy was approved at the Parish council Monthly Meeting on 3 February 2021
This document forms the Council’s Training Policy. It sets out the Council’s commitment to training, how training needs will be identified and how the Council will meet its commitment. It also sets out types of training related to the job role, and what employees can expect from the Council.
Commitment to Training
Coxhoe Parish Council is committed to ensuring its staff and Councillors are trained to the highest standard and kept up to date with all new legislation. To support this funds are allocated to a training budget each year to enable staff and Councillors to attend training and conferences relevant to their office.
In terms of training needs:
a) The Council as a whole is responsible for monitoring and meeting the training needs of employees and members and managing the budget.
b) Training requirements for staff will usually be identified through the line management processes such as one to one sessions, appraisals and also at times of change. The Clerk is able to authorise training for all employees in accordance with other policies such as the Scheme of Delegation and Financial Regulations. For training which may not be routine or mandatory, the Clerk must get approval from the Human Resources Committee or full Council.
c) A number of factors will be taken into account when assessing a request from an individual. This policy provides one element of the decision-making process. Other factors will include availability of finance and the individual’s employment record.
d) The principles of the National Training Strategy for Town and Parish Councils is recognised as an excellent strategy for both Clerk and Councillors.
e) The Clerk will be expected to hold or be working towards the Certificate in Local Council Administration (as a minimum) and the Council will provide appropriate training and support to enable this to be achieved.
f) The Clerk will be encouraged to attend the conferences of national bodies such as the Society of Local Council Clerks if the Clerk and the Human Resources Committee believe this would be beneficial. This would fall outside of the time allowed for training in the section on Study Leave below.
g) Employees will be expected to attend all relevant training days whenever possible which are relevant to their role and duties. Time will be allowed and remunerated for attendance at such training.
h) New Councillors will be expected to attend induction training provided locally and will be provided with an information pack containing the documents as set out in the Induction Training pack.
i) Councillors will be encouraged to attend induction and on-going development training provided by CDALC and the County Training Partnership (CTP).
j) Training opportunities for Councillors will be circulated by the Clerk.
Training and development will be achieved by including a realistic financial allocation for training and development in the annual budget.
The Council will pay the annual subscription to the Society of Local Council Clerks (SLCC) and Durham Association of Town and Parish Councils (CDALC) to enable the Clerk and Councillors to take advantage of their training courses and conferences.
Categorising training and personal development
The three categories are as follows:
1 Mandatory: Mandatory training is legally required for the post-holder, or a qualification deemed to be so fundamental to the role, that the council makes it a mandatory requirement. Any mandatory training or qualifications should be stated on the job description. For mandatory qualifications, it is unlikely that an applicant would be recruited without having previously attained the qualification. Where a qualification becomes mandatory for the role, the council will provide reasonable assistance for the employee to attain the qualification (see the section on Guidance for Support below).
Some mandatory training may be specific to a particular job role whilst other training may be a generic requirement. Examples of mandatory training include food hygiene and data protection.
2 Desirable: Desirable training is not legally required for the post, but it is directly relevant to the individual’s job. Any desirable training or qualifications are to be stated on the job description.
For desirable qualifications or training, an individual may be recruited without having previously attained the qualification or undergone the training but may be expected to attain the qualification within a defined period of time. The need for training may also be identified through one-to-one meetings or annual appraisals. A desirable qualification is likely to enhance the skills and reputation of the council. Examples may include Cemetery Legal Compliance.
3 Optional: An optional qualification or optional training may not be directly linked to the individual’s current job. Optional training or development is generally more beneficial to the individual’s career than it is for the council.
Personal development aimed at developing the skills or knowledge of an individual in order to provide a successor for an existing job is deemed to be optional. However, depending on the circumstances, training for succession may be ‘desirable’. Examples may include Community Governance and Town Planning Technical Support Level 3 Diploma.
Guidance for support
Support for qualifications, training and personal development can include financial assistance towards the cost of tuition, examinations and resource materials in addition to half or full day release and time off for study leave and taking the examination. Any financial and non-financial support to training and development is entirely at the discretion of the council.
Any financial support in excess of £100, including the offer of a loan, will always be conditional upon the employee’s agreement to either a full or partial repayment of the financial support provided. The council reserves the right to reclaim financial support where the employee:
• Leaves the council during the duration of the course.
• Fails to complete the training.
• Fails to attend training without good reason.
• Such costs will be reimbursed on the basis of a sliding scale: 100% at six months; 75% at 12 months; 50% at eighteen months; zero after two years.
Where a member of the staff team requires study leave to undertake mandatory or contractual training, they will be able to take all the leave within normal working hours.
Where individuals request study leave to undertake study which is not mandatory but part of the individual’s formal continuous professional development, the council will usually contribute up to a maximum of five days per annum, pro rata for part time staff.
Where individuals request study leave to undertake training which is not mandatory but part of the individual’s desire for career development, the council will not usually contribute to the costs for this training.
Time off for study leave must be approved in advance. To make a request the individual is asked to write to the Clerk (or Chair of the Council for the Clerk), setting out the details of the course of study, how it relates to their work, and the time being requested.
No study leave will be granted where individuals undertake study which is not required for their role, or not directly related to their role. However, the Clerk (or Chair of the Council) will consider requests for flexible working to allow the study to take place, as long as the needs of the council can be met.
This is a non-contractual procedure which will be reviewed from time to time.