Professional Development Pathway for Councillors – Year One

Thank you for your commitment to your community and for dedicating your time, skills, and support to your town or village. Local councillors have a range of duties, roles, and responsibilities that offer many ways to make a positive impact. We urge all councillors to proactively educate themselves on the various aspects of this important role to enhance their contributions. By acquiring a thorough understanding of how a local council operates, you can actively engage, improve the council’s efficiency, and achieve positive results for your community.


Local councils are structured, resourced and financed to meet the specific needs of their communities, influenced by a number of factors. Our councillor training programme provides a range of resources and events to support councils of all sizes.


What you need to know and why 

Local councils are governed by and operate under a regulatory framework that outlines their powers, responsibilities, and obligations. It is essential for all council members to have the knowledge and understanding of this framework to ensure accountability and lawful decision-making.

How to achieve this 

Our recommended year one pathway offers a flexible yet focused approach helping you make the best use of the resources that are available to support you in your role as a councillor. This pathway encompasses BMKALC knowledge, national guidelines, and publications, as well as engaging in learning, personal development and networking opportunities such as the BMKALC area forums, which offer an opportunity to connect with peer councillors.

professional PATHWAYs

from your council

What an induction pack might include:
  • Contact details of councillors and the clerk/officers (during their working hours)
  • Core documents, such as standing orders, financial regulations, the budget, Code of Conduct
  • Details of future meetings and committees (if relevant) and minutes of recent meetings
  • Link to the council website
  • The Good Councillor Guide (available from NALC in electronic format via their website and downloadable under Digital Publications below)
  • Guidance on managing information (eg: data protection, FOI, proper use of emails)

from US

Within the first 3-6 months

Below are additional activities that we recommend including in your agenda for the first year in office. We also advise that all new council members participate in Code of Conduct training and finance workshops designed for councillors.

further training

Please check our website Training & Events page regularly for the below listed learning and  development recommendations. Please note our Training & Events page is updated monthly with new learning and information opportunities.

Consider attending:

  • Councillor Essentials (fee payable)
  • Code of Conduct workshop (fee payable)
  • Finance for Councillors (fee payable)
  • The Planning Framework (fee payable)
  • Planning Responses (fee payable)
  • The Council as an Employer (fee payable)

further READING