CiLCA (Certificate in Local Council Administration) is fast becoming an essential qualification for the role of Clerk/RFO. It also opens new opportunities for Town and Parish Councils to deliver enhanced services locally, as they could qualify to adopt the General Power of Competence. The associated costs of supporting your Clerk to achieve this qualification are significant, so it is essential to plan ahead. Here at your local county association, the only recognised CiLCA training provider in Norfolk, our Trainer, Gabbie Joyce, delivers two 6-session CiLCA courses a year, starting March and September. (March 2024 is open for booking now). These are the elements that should be considered if your Clerk is thinking about CiLCA in 2024.
- The training course – 6 small-group sessions covering each unit of the portfolio. This includes the SLCC required module on preparing for portfolio production and ongoing mentoring from our Tutor, Gabbie.
- Registration with SLCC for portfolio assessment. We advise students not to register until at least after their first training session, where we help them work out an achievable study plan.
- Resources – This depends on what is already within the Council’s reference library, for example The Clerks Manual 2023 and the CAB on Local Council Administration 12th or 13th edition. If your council is not already a member of Norfolk ALC, joining would open up free access to other essential resources (in addition to the other benefits of membership).
- Study time – the time required to complete this qualification is 200 hours. For clerks working significant part-time or full-time hours, much of this time forms part of the job (updating procedures, reviewing and creating policies), 20 hours is applied to structured training (our course) and 40 hours is recognised as being required to carry out study and produce the written portfolio. These 40 hours are usually provided as paid study leave by the Council, recognising the CiLCA qualification benefit to both Clerk and Council.
The associated costs:
- Training – £250 plus vat (members). £300 plus vat (non-members).
- SLCC Registration – £450 (annual increase might apply in January 2024).
- £150 budget for reference books.
- Study leave – 40 hours at current salary rate, spread across 12 months from start of CiLCA learning. This often spreads the cost across two financial years.
When tallied up this is a significant financial investment. Where Clerks work for more than one smaller council, the costs are often shared. Additionally, here in Norfolk, eligible councils (financial thresholds) have access to apply to the Norfolk SLCC Branch Bursary, with an opportunity to claim up to £200 towards registration fees. Contact us for more details on this bursary and indeed any aspect of CiLCA.