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.
Continuous Professional Development (CPD)
Continuous Professional Development (CPD) activities are undertaken by council employees to help maintain and improve standards of performance in their work. When council employees engage in CPD, they strengthen their knowledge and skills for the significant benefit of their councils and their communities.
In particular, the clerk as the most senior member of staff in the council should show a commitment to their and the council's continuous development and improvement. CPD activities make sure that clerks have up-to-date knowledge and skills and facilitate the development of new ideas for application in the workplace.
All clerks whose councils seek a Local Council Award, are required to demonstrate that they have achieved at least 12 CPD points in the 12 months immediately preceding the council's application for an award. CPD activities therefore carry a specified number of points.
This document sets out a national points scheme and explains how it works. While this document focuses on the clerk's development activities, all council employees should be encouraged to take part in CPD.
CPD activities include studying for qualifications, attendance at conferences and on short courses and reading relevant publications. Clerks also learn from undertaking new activities and from contributing to the development of the sector.
This CPD Point Scheme is a product of the National Training Strategy.
Councils Accredited with the Foundation Award
North Warwickshire Bourgh Council
- Ansley Parish Council
- Atherstone Town Council
- Mancetter Parish Council
- Wolvey Parish Council
Stratford upon Avon District Council
- Bishops Itchington Parish Council
- Harbury Parish Council
Warwick District Council
Rugby District Council
- Clifton on Dunsmore Parish Council
Councils Accredited with the Quality Award
Stratford upon Avon District Council
- Stratford upon Avon Town Council