A report by the Human Resources Development Manager on Member training.
Submitted - a progress report by the Human Resources Development Manager on development opportunities offered to elected Members since the previous report was submitted to this Committee on 12 September 2018.
The HR Development Manager reported that 10 additional formal development sessions have been/are being offered to Members between 12 September 2018 and March 2019, covering a range of topic areas, some of which are mandatory. It was noted that the Member Development Scrutiny Sessions had been well attended.
The Human Resources Development Manager reported on the following:-
• During 2019/20 it is intended to develop and market E-Learning further to encourage Members to increase their use of the modules. It was noted that the platform the Council currently uses could be replaced with a more streamlined and easier to access version. In the meantime HR is undertaking work with the WLGA and the Health Board to improve the current system.
• An ICT skills questionnaire was circulated to all Members in January to establish training needs. Feedback has been collated and tailored training sessions will be arranged to meet Members’ individual training needs. Concern was expressed that access to certain information via I-pads, particularly E-Learning modules, had not been possible. It was noted that HR staff are working closely with the ICT team on alternative provision to make the process more user friendly.
• Some Members have expressed their wish to undergo further social media training on Twitter and Facebook.
• The need for Members to record their training online immediately following any attendance at training sessions was highlighted. A request to enable Members to record training electronically was made.
• In relation to Personal Development Reviews (PDRs), some feedback had been received from Group Leaders. The Head of Democratic Services will be monitoring progress via Group Leaders’ meetings.
• Work is in progress on the Development Programme for 2019/20. Feedback received on Members’ development needs from PDRs, guidance from the Senior Leadership Team and Group Leaders will be taken into account for inclusion. The Plan will be submitted for consideration by the Democratic Services Committee in March 2019, thereafter by the Full Council to be held in May 2019.
Concerns were expressed about the lack of attendance by Members at some training sessions, and the need to address this issue. The Head of Democratic Services reported that Group Leaders were regularly reminded of the training opportunities that are available to Members.
Discussion focused on whether Members might face consequences for non-attendance of mandatory training. The Monitoring Officer responded that there are no explicit penalties for non-attendance, but explained that the Standards Committee might publish such compliance data in a report to the Standards Committee, should they wish to do so. The Committee did not favour this option and felt that Group Leaders had a responsibility to ensure Members attend the training that they require to undertake their roles, and especially to attend mandatory training.
The Head of Democratic Services advised of the need to ensure that the four co-opted members of the Corporate Scrutiny Committee and two co-opted members of the Audit and Governance Committee are given the opportunity to attend training sessions. It was noted that a training session has been arranged by the Scrutiny Officers for the Scrutiny co-opted members on 9 April 2019.
Discussion focused on best practice to ensure that independent members receive information on training sessions. It was suggested, and accepted by the Committee, that in addition to the annual report to Council, there should also be a quarterly schedule of training sessions produced for all elected members and forwarded to each Lead Officer for Standards, Scrutiny and Audit and Governance so that they might identify any corporate training that would be relevant to their co-opted members, and then make arrangements for them to attend accordingly. It was considered inadvisable to send the whole list of training opportunities to all co-opted members as it might not be clear to them what training sessions would and would not be appropriate.
• To note the progress made in terms of Member Development.
• The HR Development Manager to forward electronic evaluation of training forms to Members when circulating information on training sessions.
• The Chair to raise the issue of the lack of attendance by Members in training sessions in the next Group Leaders’ meeting.
• The Chair to request that Group Leaders discuss with individual Members their reasons for not attending training sessions and especially those which have been mandated.
• To circulate a quarterly list of training courses to the Lead Officers for the Corporate Scrutiny Committee (Scrutiny Manager), the Audit and Governance Committee (Head of Audit and Risk) and the Lead Officer for the Standards Committee (Head of Function (Council Business)/ Monitoring Officer) so that they may forward, as appropriate to each co-opted member.
Action: See Resolution above