1. COMMITMENT TO TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT
Abergavenny Town Council is committed to the ongoing training and development to enable Members and employees to contribute to achieving the Council’s aims and objectives by providing the highest quality representation and services.
The objectives of this Policy are to:
- Encourage Members and employees to undertake appropriate training and development activities;
- Allocate training in a fair manner;
- Ensure all training is evaluated to assess its value
3. IDENTIFICATION OF TRAINING NEEDS
3.1 There are various circumstances in which training needs may arise, such as:
- Legislative requirements e.g. first aid, fire safety, manual handling etc.
- Changes in legislation
- Changes in systems
- New or revised qualifications become available
- Professional error
- Introduction of new equipment
- New working methods and practices
- Complaints to the Council
- A request from a member of staff or councillor
- Devolved services / delivery of new services
3.2 Officers: An employee who feels they have a training need should in the first instance discuss this with their line manager. Similarly, if it is felt that an employee is in need of training, the line manager will discuss this with the employee. Training needs should not be left to be identified during the annual appraisal process, they may arise at any point of the year and should be addressed as soon as possible. However, individual training needs will also be considered at each appraisal meeting. The training need will be reviewed and assessed against the objectives of the Council, the responsibilities of the role and the development of the employee.
3.3 Councillors: If a councillor feels they have a training need they should discuss this in the first instance with the Town Clerk. The Town Clerk will be able to assess the request and ascertain whether this is something all councillors may be interested in/benefit from undertaking. The Council will undertake an annual training needs analysis with councillors soon after each Annual Meeting of the Council in May. This will encourage councillors to look at any personal development areas or knowledge gaps as a councillor that they wish to address and importantly, consider any training needs they feel they may have with regards to Committees they are members of following the Annual Meeting. On completing the training needs analyses, the results will be collated and reviewed by the Town Clerk. The Town Clerk will then take steps, to arrange any training required.
3.4 Below is a list of examples of internal training councillors may wish to seek:
- Code of conduct
- Conduct at meetings
- Standing Orders
- Mayor / Deputy Mayor role and responsibilities
- Council’s Strategic Objectives
- Specific Council projects
- Budget setting
- Finances and cost centres
- Disciplinary and Grievance procedures
- Appeals procedures
- Social media
- Applying for grant funding
4. TRAINING METHODS
There are different ways in which training and development can be achieved.
- Internally – If training can be given utilising the in-house expertise and knowledge, this possibility will be explored. This often includes general computer training, training on specific work procedures or council specific practices and legislation.
- Partnership – The Council has links with other partners where training can be sourced, such as through Monmouthshire County Council, One Voice Wales, GAVO and via other community & town Councils
- Day Workshops/Seminars – When Council Officers receive information on workshops and seminars this is shared with employees and councillors, where relevant.
- Conferences – Details of conferences are shared with employees and councillors, again where relevant.
- Professional Qualifications – Training towards a professional qualification will often be sourced through the professional body and completed at a local university or college.
- External Training Providers – There are numerous training providers available. When sourcing training from an external provider, the Town Council will always seek to obtain the best price and where possible, from a nearby location. Upon identifying a training need, the employee/councillor and their line manager/Town Clerk should consider the most effective way in which the training can be sourced and whether or not others may benefit from the training.
5. FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS
5.1 Each year as part of the annual budget setting process, Abergavenny Town Council will include a training budget for employees and councillors. When calculating this, any training needs identified as part of the annual appraisal process and councillors training needs analyses will be taken into consideration. All Council sponsored training must be appropriate to its needs and is subject to the availability of financial resources.
5.2 For approved courses such as CiLCA, the Council will cover the course fee, examination fees, associated membership fees and one payment to re-take a failed examination.
5.3 The Council will pay the annual subscription to the Society of Local Council Clerks and One Voice Wales to enable staff and councillors to take advantage of training courses and conferences.
5.4 Employees or councillors attending training outside of Abergavenny may submit an expense claim to cover travel costs to and from the venue. Where practical and possible, if there is more than one attendee from the Council, car-pooling or shared travel arrangements should be made.
5.5 The Council will grant paid time off work for one-off training courses lasting one day or less, providing these are approved with the line manager. Where a training course or workshop falls on an employee’s non-working day, time off in lieu (TOIL) may be accrued for hours in attendance at the training. An employee undertaking a longer training course or qualification will be required to use TOIL to cover these absences. The only exception here is with NVQ qualifications for trainees sponsored by the Council for which paid leave from work will be granted, providing this is approved in advance by the Town Clerk. Where an employee requires time off work for an exam or study leave prior to an exam, the Council will be flexible to ensure this time off can be granted using either TOIL or annual leave, providing adequate notice is given by the employee.
6. RECOUPING COSTS
It is standard practice of the Council that where the Council is covering the costs of an employee’s training course or qualification (this being a course or qualification, rather than one day course or workshop) a written agreement will be made that if the employee leaves the Council’s employ within a set period of time during or having completed the course, the employee will be expected to reimburse the Council as per the agreement. This does not apply to employees in apprenticeship positions.
7.1 It is vital that any training undertaken is evaluated for effectiveness. With the exception of internal/on the job training, upon completing a training session/course/workshop, the employee or councillor should complete a short Training Report and return this to the Town Clerk.
7.2 Report forms will be reviewed and collated annually as part of a report to the Policy & Resources Committee. The completion of these forms will also help assess whether or not the training is suitable for another individual at a future date and helps ensure any key points taken from the training are learned and/or acted on.
7.3 The Town Clerk will keep a record of training undertaken for employees and councillor