The Local Council Award Scheme exists to celebrate the successes of the very best local councils, and to provide a framework to support all local councils to improve and develop to meet their full potential. All local councils want to serve their local communities and make a real difference to the lives of the people that live there. The scheme offers councils the opportunity to show that they meet the standards set by the sector, assessed by their peers, and to put in place the conditions for continued improvement.
The Award Scheme has been designed to both provide the tools and encouragement to those councils at the beginning of their improvement journeys, as well as promoting and recognising councils that are at the cutting edge of the sector. It is only through the sector working together, to share best practice, drive up standards and supporting those who are committed to improving their offer to their communities that individual councils and the sector as a whole will reach its full potential.
The scheme was created in 2014 and is managed on behalf of local councils by the Improvement and Development Board (IDB).
Councils can apply for an award at one of three levels.
- The Foundation Award demonstrates that a council meets the minimum requirements for operating lawfully and according to standard practice.
- The Quality Award demonstrates that a council achieves good practice in governance, community engagement and council improvement.
- The Quality Gold Award demonstrates that a council is at the forefront of best practice and achieves excellence in governance, community leadership and council development.
The scheme sets out criteria to meet at each level covering selected aspects of the council’s work. Councils can seek to progress through the tiers over time thereby raising standards. Councils of any size can aspire to an award appropriate for their budget and level of activity.
To support transparency, councils achieving an award at any level must use an online facility for publishing documents and information. In all instances the council confirms that the required documents, information and conditions are in place (whether published or not) by resolution in public at a full council meeting. For Quality Gold, councils also provide statements for submission to the panel demonstrating excellence in their activities. The panel may ask for additional information to check the accuracy of claims.
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