STONE PARISH COUNCIL
Training/Learning and Development Policy 2020
Safeguarding policy for ensuring the Council is compliant with training/learning and development of its members and officers.
Contents
1 Introduction ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 3
2 Commitment to Training ………………………………………………………………………………………………… 3
3 Identification of Training Needs ……………………………………………………………………………………… 4
4 Corporate Training …………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 5
5 Financial Assistance ………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 5
6 Study Leave ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 6
7 Short Courses/Workshops/Residential Weekends ………………………………………………………….. 6
8 Evaluation of Training …………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 6
9 Linking with Other Council Policies………………………………………………………..…………………………7
10 Reporting on Progress………………………………………………….………………………………………………….7
11 Conclusion ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 7
12 Alternative Formats ………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 7
13 Freedom of Information……………………………………………………………………………….…………………..7
Appendix 1: Commitment to Officers and Members……………………………………………………………..8
1 Introduction
1.1 This document forms the Council’s Training and Learning & Development Policy. It sets out:
 The Council’s commitment to training
 The identification of training needs
 Corporate training
 Financial assistance
 Study leave
 Short courses/workshops
 Evaluation of training
 Links with other policies
 Reporting on progress
1.2 The objectives of this strategy are to:
 Encourage Members and staff to undertake appropriate training /L & D
 Allocate training in a fair manner
 Ensure that all training is evaluated to assess its value
2 Commitment to Training
2.1 Stone Parish Council is committed to the ongoing training and development of all Councillors and employees to enable them to make the most effective contribution to the Council’s aims and objectives in providing the highest quality representation and services for the people of the town/village.
2.2 The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (2007), training can be defined as: “A planned process to develop the abilities of the individual and to satisfy current and future needs of the organisation.” Learning and development describes the formal, ongoing efforts that are made within organizations to improve the performance and self-fulfilment of their employees and in our case members (i.e., Councillors) through a variety of educational methods and programs. In the modern local government, these efforts have taken on a broad range of applications—from instruction in highly specific job skills to long-term professional development. In recent years, training and development has emerged as a formal business function, an integral element of strategy, and a recognized profession with distinct theories and methodologies. More and more companies of all sizes have embraced “continual learning” and other aspects of training and development as a means of promoting employee growth and acquiring a highly skilled work force.
2.3 Stone Parish Council recognises that its most important resource is its members and officers and is committed to encouraging both Members and officers to enhance their knowledge and qualifications through further training. Some training is necessary to ensure compliance with all legal and statutory requirements.
2.4 The Council expects senior and specialist officers to undertake a programme of continuing professional development (CPD) in line with the requirements of their requisite professional bodies.
2.5 Providing training yields several benefits:
 Improves the quality of the services and facilities that Stone Parish Council provides.
 Enables the organisation to achieve its corporate aims and objectives.
 Improves the skills base of the employees and members.
 Produces confident, highly qualified staff working as part of an effective and efficient team; and
 Demonstrates that the employees are valued.
2.6 Training and development will be achieved by including a realistic financial allocation for training and development in the annual budget, as well as taking advantage of any relevant partnership or in-house provision available.
2.7 The process of development is as follows:
• Training needs should be identified by considering the overall objectives of the organisation, as well as individual requirements.
• Planning and organising training to meet those specific needs.
• Evaluating the effectiveness of training.
3 Identification of Training Needs
3.1 Employees will be asked to identify their development needs with advice from their line manager during their appraisal or regular meetings with their line manager. There are number of additional ways that the training needs of staff may be recognised:
 Questionnaires
 During formal interview/review
 Following confirmation of appointment.
 Formal and informal discussion
3.2 Members will be asked to identify their development needs with advice from the appropriate body or person. There are number of additional ways that the training needs of Members may be recognised:
 Questionnaires
 During review
 Following election/co-option
 Formal and informal discussion
3.3 Other circumstances may present the need for training:
 Legislative requirements i.e. First Aid, Fire Safety, Manual Handling.
 Changes in legislation
 Changes in systems
 New or revised qualifications become available
 Accidents
 Professional error
 Introduction of new equipment
 New working methods and practices
 Complaints to the Council
 A request from a member of staff
 Devolved services / delivery of new services
3.4 Employees who wish to be nominated for a training course should discuss this in the first instance during their appraisal; where it will be determined whether the training is relevant to the Council’s needs and/or service delivery.
4 Corporate Training
4.1 Corporate training is necessary to ensure that employees are aware of their legal responsibilities or corporate standards e.g., Health and Safety, Risk Management and Equal Opportunities. Employees will be required to attend training courses, workshops or seminars where suitable training is identified.
5 Financial Assistance
5.1 It is important to note that all supported training must be appropriate to the needs of the Council, be relevant to the individual’s role and is subject to the availability of financial resources.
Each request will be considered on an individual basis and the benefits to the individual and the organisation will be identified.
To best ensure cost effectiveness, Members and employees will be required to attend the nearest college/venue offering the required course, unless an alternative is authorised by the Council in the interest of operational effectiveness or Best Value.
5.2 Other considerations include the following:
 Implication of employee release for training course(s) on the operational capability of the council
 The most economic and effective means of training
 Provision and availability of training budget
5.3 For approved courses Members and employees can expect the following to be sponsored:
 The course fees
 Examination fees
 Associated membership fees
 One payment to re-take a failed examination
5.4 Members and officers attending assisted courses are required to inform the Clerk immediately of any absences, giving reasons.
5.5 Failure to sit an examination may result in the Council withdrawing future course funding and/or requesting the refunding of financial assistance. Each case will be considered on an individual basis.
5.6 Stone Parish Council operates a Return of Service agreement. Any employee undertaking post-entry qualifications funded by the Council must be aware that should they leave the Council’s employment within two years of completion of the qualification they will be required to repay all, or part of the costs associated with the undertaking of such training as follows:
• 100% costs within 3 months
• 75% costs within 6 months
• 50% costs within 1 year
• 25% costs up to 2 years
If the employee takes up employment with another Local Council an exemption to this clause may be granted.
6 Study Leave
6.1 Employees who are given approval to undertake external qualifications are granted the following:
 Study time to attend day-release courses
 Time to sit examinations
 Study time of one day per examination (to be discussed and agreed by line manager in advance)
 Provision of study time must be agreed with the line manager prior to the course being undertaken.
7 Short Courses/Workshops/Residential Weekends
7.1 Where attendance is required at a short course, paid leave will be granted to employees.
7.2 Members and staff attending approved short courses/workshops/residential weekends can expect the following to be paid:
 The course fee (usually invoiced following the event)
 Travelling expenses in accordance with the Council’s current policy
 Subsistence in accordance with the Council’s current policy
8 Evaluation of Training
8.1 Records of all training undertaken by employees will be kept in the personnel files of each member of staff.
8.2 As part of Stone Parish Council’s continuing commitment to training and development, employees are asked to provide feedback on the value and effectiveness of the training they undertake highlighting the key implications of
new legislation, guidance and/or best practice for the ongoing efficiency and effectiveness of the authority.
9 Linking with other Council Policies
9.1 Relationship with other Council policies:
 Equality of opportunity in all aspects of Member and officer development;
 A training policy and training record for both Members and staff is a requirement for the accreditation of the national Local Council Award Scheme.
 Risk Management Policy – a commitment to Training and Development greatly assists in achieving good governance and an effective system of Risk Management.
 Health and Safety Policy – ongoing training and development is key to ensuring a positive approach to Health and Safety is embedded throughout the authority.
 Undertaking training is a clear indication of Continuing Professional Development.
10 Reporting on Progress
The Parish Clerk will report annually to the Council, or relevant committee, detailing attendance at training over the year, as well as the inclusion of the Member and staff evaluation of courses attended.
11 Conclusion
11.1 The adoption of a training or learning and development policy should achieve many benefits for the Council. It will assist in demonstrating that the Council is committed to continuing professional development and enhancing the skills of both Elected Members and staff.
11.2 The adoption of a training or learning and development policy has a practical implication for Stone Parish Council budget and ensures that the Council is aware of the implication of its commitments and allocates adequate and appropriate funding in a long term and sustainable platform that supports these aspirations and commitments.
12 Alternative Formats
12.1 Equality Act 2010: Stone Parish Council as a committed and compliant Local Authority to all aspects of Equality Legislation will make every effort to ensure that access to material including this policy is available in alternative format: please contact clerk@stoneparishcouncil.comcreate new email for further information.
12.2 The Council may also be able arrange to provide versions in other languages.
13 Freedom of Information
13.1 In accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000, this Document will be posted on the Council’s website stoneparishcouncil.com and copies of this document will be available for inspection on deposit in the Council Office.
Appendix 1:
14 Commitment to Officers and Members
14.1 Stone Parish Council has a fully integrated policy in the field of training and Learning and Development based in this document and the commitment to funding in its regular budget. The Council supports the concept of investing in life long Learning and Development for members and officers and will commit an appropriate percentage (%) of its budget on a regular sustainable basis. The Council will work closely with the Kent Association of Local Councils and avail itself of the resources of the SLCC and other bodies as appropriate to ensure high quality Learning and Development programmes.
14.2 Stone Parish Council makes the following commitment to its members: that every new Member of the Council whether elected or co-opted will be trained to an adequate standard as set out by the Council and reflecting prevailing accepted standards within a year of taking office. In addition, skills audits will be acted upon to ensure specialist members receive additional training along with the bulk of the Council to take account of legislative changes and new initiatives.
14.3 Stone Parish Council makes the following commitment to its officers and employees of the Council that they will be trained to an adequate standard as set out in prevailing legislation, Local Authority standards and reflecting the aspirations of the Council as soon as possible upon appointment and on an on-going and rolling programme reinforcing professional development.
STATEMENT OF INTENT REGARDING TRAINING & DEVELOPMENT
COMMITMENT TO TRAINING
Stone Parish Council is committed to maintaining the standards expected of Quality Status Council. This includes ensuring its staff and councillors are trained to the highest standard and kept up to date with 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.
The principles of the National Training Strategy for Town and Parish Councils, is recognised as an excellent strategy for both administrative staff and councillors and will form the basis of the council’s approach to training.
Stone Parish Council employs four full-time staff and six part-time staff. Its training needs will therefore cover many different areas and impose additional training responsibilities on the council in managing the health, safety and welfare of its staff.
Training will be designed to enhance the performance of staff and councillors, broaden skills and experience, provide networking opportunities and ultimately, raise the standards of the council.
IDENTIFYING TRAINING NEEDS
Staff training needs will generally be identified through annual appraisals. However, introduction of new equipment, the need for specialist knowledge or implementation of new legislation may also result in a need for training.
The Clerk will identify appropriate training opportunities and investigate cost and relevant training providers. An annual training schedule will be prepared and submitted to the Human Resources committee for approval to ensure training is relevant and fit for purpose.
The Clerk will be expected to attend relevant training days whenever possible and other members of staff and councillors will be expected to attend training days relevant to their office.
The Clerk will identify training requirements for councillors and opportunities to attend courses will be brought to the attention of the full council.
Grounds staff and caretaking staff will require specialised training in their respective fields. Such training will be identified and either be carried out in-house or by specialist training centres as is appropriate.
RESOURCING TRAINING
The Council will pay the annual subscription to the Society of Local Council Clerks (SLCC) and Kent Association of Local Councils (KALC) to enable staff and councillors to take advantage of their excellent training courses and conferences.
New councillors will have an induction meeting with the Clerk and will be provided with an information pack containing informative documents.
All councillors will be expected to attend training in relation to Codes of Conduct, the General Power of Competence, and any other new legislation that requires all members are trained.
It is recognised that it may be difficult for some councillors to attend training during the daytime because of work commitments. Councillors will, however, still be encouraged to attend training provided by partner authorities and KALC and attend conferences whenever possible. In-house training during an evening will be considered wherever possible, to enable all councillors to attend.
All training presentation papers will be retained and used for in-house training and information sharing.
MONITORING THE EFFECTIVENESS OF TRAINING
The Human Resources Committee will be responsible for monitoring and meeting the training needs of staff.
Training undertaken will be evaluated by the Human Resources Committee to gauge its relevance, content and appropriateness.
Benefits of training should be reflected in the professional conduct and productivity of council and committee meetings; presentation of council publications and correspondence; performance of staff; and achievements of the council.
TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT
The Council is committed to encouraging and supporting employees to improve their overall performance through training and development opportunities.
The Council will fund any training or learning opportunities that will advance the knowledge or skills of an employee in relation to his/her post. This funding includes course and examination expenses and any travel and subsistence costs incurred.
In addition, reasonable time off for study within paid working hours will be given.
Review Date: May 2022