Staff Development Programme

The Staff Development Programme is a  scheme for talented district council officers run by the District Councils’ Network. It is based on a ‘cohort’ model, for a maximum of 70 participants.

The Staff Development Programme consists of three core elements;

  • Conferences: There will four national conferences (dates and location to be confirmed shortly) each based around a specific theme:
    September: The National Policy Agenda and the Future of Local Government in Localities
    December: Working in a political environment
    January: Local government challenge-simulation exercise
    March: Driving Change and personal development
  • Mentor Network: We have developed an extensive network of mentors over the years who provide valuable advice and encouragement to participants. Each participant will be assigned a mentor who will help them in their personal development over the course of the programme.
  • Online Communications: Learning doesn’t stop after the conference or even after the end of the programme- we want to encourage long term networks between the participants and will therefore be encouraging the use of the LGA’s Knowledge Hub as an online space to encourage ongoing collaboration and problem solving between councils.

It was piloted in 2013/14 and was deemed a real success with participants feeling they benefited from the scheme.

“The programme has certainly helped me to gain confidence in my abilities and every session was a pleasure to attend.  I have many colleagues just starting out on their careers who I feel would hugely benefit from it and so I would happily recommend this programme; Actually I often found myself wishing that my team could be sat with me… !”
Melanie Baldwin, Christchurch and East Dorset Councils

Details about this years activities have been shared with each council and we are currently receiving applications until 12 August.

The programme has two main aims;

  • To equip participants with the knowledge of the key issues facing district councils including devolution, local government finance, driving regional economic growth and supporting planning reform amongst others.
  • Helping participants to develop the key skills to seize the opportunities in an evolving local government landscape.

The SDP is a brilliant opportunity for local government officers at the start of their career to equip themselves with the knowledge and skills to adapt and seize the opportunities in a changing local government environment. Participants are encouraged to take back their learning from the course to their teams and wider council and a number of authorities have commented on the positive benefit the SDP has had on both the individual participant and wider organisation.

Read more at “Developing public leaders of the future” by Sandra Dinneen (Pubilc Sector Executive – opens in new link). Applications for 2017-18 will be opening soon.