Leadership Programme for Councillors in Wales
Councillors in Wales
Programme 1: September to November 2023 (North Wales, weekends)
Programme 2: January to March 2024 (South Wales, weekdays)
Blend of residential and virtual events
Three two-day modules over three months
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Political leaders in local government are facing unprecedented challenges due to the ongoing impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, austerity, cost of living and local government reform. The Leadership Programme for Councillors in Wales is an opportunity for leaders, and those in leadership positions, to explore the latest thinking in political leadership, and equip themselves with the knowledge and skills they need to rise to these challenges.
The programme is delivered through a partnership with Academi Wales, Welsh Government and the Welsh Local Government Association (WLGA). Academi Wales are working with the Institute of Leadership & Management (ILM) for programme recognition.
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Benefits to you
The programme provides an environment where councillors from across the political spectrum can meet experienced councillors from other councils and parties to discuss common issues. The combination of learning from experts in the field of leadership and from the experience of their peers gives programme participants confidence in their abilities and a new network of trusted colleagues.
The programme is informal and highly interactive, which offers the opportunity for an engaging and thought-provoking learning environment. Each programme is limited to 25 councillors ensuring that everyone has an opportunity to participate.
“This is by far the best training for members I have been on.”
“The examples of good practice were particularly helpful as were the opportunities to hear about different experiences.”
“I would genuinely recommend this course to all members, it’s outstanding.”
“The session from the council leader was invaluable, practical and inspiring!”
This learning programme will help you to develop your leadership behaviours in the following areas:
Learning and self-awareness
Drive and resilience
Focusing on citizens and quality
Championing innovation and change
Political awareness and skill
This programme is open to senior councillors in Wales, including leaders, leaders of political groups, executive members, opposition spokespeople and scrutiny chairs. Many councils view it as an opportunity to promote succession planning and the development of future lead councillors.
Programmes are cross-party and restricted to 25 councillors at any one session to ensure maximum participation.
We offer 2 guaranteed places per council across the two programmes. Depending on the level of demand we may be able to offer additional places; however, no more than 4 councillors from each council can take part.
How does it work
The Leadership Programme for Councillors in Wales is a modular development programme comprising of three, two-day modules over a three-month period.
Module 1 (residential) focuses on leading through relationships. This module enables participants to identify their personal leadership styles, strengths and weaknesses and explores how councillors can develop, maintain and use relationships (both internal and external) to provide effective leadership at the political, organisational and wider community levels.
Module 2 (virtual, non-consecutive days) looks at leading innovation and change. This module will develop councillors’ ability to lead and manage complex changes to improve effectiveness and efficiency and to achieve better outcomes for their citizens and their communities.
Module 3 (residential) explores leading communities and place. The focus is on helping councillors to communicate with and provide leadership to their communities and within partnerships to achieve growth and prosperity.
Between modules councillors will be encouraged to continue conversations, share developing practice and prepare for the next module. Following the programme, participants will be given opportunities to continue discussions in the action learning sets established during the programme.
North Wales (weekends)
Module 1: 23 to 24 September 2023 (Residential)
Module 2: 28 and 30 October 2023 (Virtual, non-consecutive days)
Module 3: 18 to 19 November 2023 (Residential)
South Wales (weekdays)
Module 1: 17 to 18 January 2024 (Residential)
Module 2: 21 and 23 February 2024 (Virtual, non-consecutive days)
Module 3: 13 to 14 March 2024 (Residential)
The Leadership Programme for Councillors in Wales is provided at no cost to councils and is funded by Academi Wales, Welsh Government. Academi Wales will provide accommodation for councillors on the night between the two days of modules 1 and 3. This will include a single room on a dinner, bed and breakfast basis and will not include the cost of any alcohol.
Councils will need to fund travelling expenses and any additional accommodation and catering required before or after modules 1 and 3. Councillors wishing to make these additional arrangements must do so via their Democratic Services Officer, who will contact the venue directly. Any associated costs must be reclaimed through your council’s usual travel and subsistence process.
How to apply
It is important that you read the frequently asked questions before you book your place.
Your council will have a procedure for prioritising and nominating councillors to attend the programme. We offer 2 guaranteed places per council across the two programmes. Depending on the level of demand, we may be able to offer a first and second reserve place. However, no more than 4 councillors from your council can take part.
- Please discuss your nomination with your Democratic Services Officer.
- When the Council has decided who will attend, Heads of Democratic Services will email AW.BoardLeadership@gov.wales to provide details of up to 4 nominated councillors. We require the following details for each councillor:
- email address
- position / role within the council
- preferred programme (North / South / Either). While we will do our best to secure the preferred location, we cannot guarantee it.
- type of nomination (guaranteed place / first reserve / second reserve)
- Heads of Democratic Services will receive confirmation of the councillors who have been offered a place. They must then inform the relevant councillors.
- Councillors with a confirmed place can book themselves onto the programme through the Academi Wales website.
The closing date for receipt of nominations is 16 June 2023.
Once you have received confirmation of your place on the programme, fill in the registration form to complete your booking.
Frequently asked questions
Please contact WLGA.Improvement@wlga.gov.uk if you require further information about the programme content.
Any councillor can attend as long as they have sufficient experience to actively participate. This means that participants will need to be sufficiently involved in decision making or policy development or review within the council and leadership in the community to apply their learning to real situations.
No! This programme is very practical. You’ll need to be engaged throughout and willing to talk and listen to colleagues but the facilitators are down to earth and there is no formal written work or assessments.
Yes. In order to graduate from the programme and receive a certificate, you will need to attend each of the three modules. Please note that the programme has been updated and now includes a virtual session (module number 2). The virtual sessions will be delivered through Teams.
Be proactive, have a clear idea of what you want to achieve as a result of attending. Do you want to develop your leadership skills? If so what will you apply your new skills to? Do you have a particular challenge you need help with? What are your plans for the next year? Can you refine or test them with colleagues on the programme?
Each programme consists of three modules – the first and last are residential. To reflect the shift to remote working we now offer the second module virtually.
For the residential elements, although the official course delivery stops at the end of the day, much of the important discussion and learning continues over dinner and into the evening. Previous participants have suggested that these informal discussions and comparing practice and approaches are just as important as the facilitated sessions.
Not much, any pre-work will only take about an hour per module and is not onerous. It’s very important however to come prepared in order to get the most out of the time with colleagues and facilitators.
This depends on overall numbers. Initially councils are offered two places over both programmes. However if every council does not take up its entitlement further places will be available. Attendance will be capped at 3 to 4 councillors per council per programme to maintain confidentiality in action learning sets.
The programme is provided at no cost to councils and is funded by Academi Wales, Welsh Government. Academi Wales will provide accommodation for councillors on the night between the two days of modules 1 and 3, on a dinner, bed and breakfast basis. This will include a single room and will not include the cost of any alcohol consumed.
Councils will need to fund travelling expenses and any additional accommodation and catering required before or after modules 1 and 3. Councillors wishing to make these additional arrangements must do so via their Democratic Services officers, who will contact the venue directly. Any associated costs must be reclaimed through your council's usual travel and subsistence process.
Because both the formal and informal aspects of the programme are only available to councillors, partners are unable to attend. If a councillor requires assistance from a carer, they will of course be accommodated.
Please note for the virtual module, the nominated delegate is the only person approved to be on the video call. No one else should be on the call.
Your council will have a procedure for prioritising and nominating councillors to attend the programme. We offer two guaranteed places per council across the two programmes.
Depending on the level of demand, we may be able to offer a first reserve and second reserve place. However, no more than four councillors from your council can take part.