A report by the Human Resources Development Manager on Member development.
Submitted - an update report by the HR Training Manager on the progress of development opportunities offered to elected Members since the report submitted to this Committee on 11 March 2020.
The HR Training Manager reported that the Member Development Plan presented to Committee is for the financial year 2019/20, and has some events outstanding. She stated that information on training sessions has been highlighted and ragged in Appendix 1, to note training that has been achieved, and any training needs identified to carry forward to the 2020/22 Development Plan. It was noted that feedback has been received from Council Services and Welsh Government on formulating a revised Plan for the current period up until the elections in 2022.
Although traditional training delivery methods have been put on hold, some guidance and training has been provided on social media. Members and staff have had to adapt, and use Teams and Zoom as a new way of learning. Extensive training has been delivered on the use of webinars, and members of the Audit Committee have attended webinar sessions with CIPFA. It was noted that E-Learning modules are available, and can be accessed on the Council’s Learning Pool platform.
The HR Training Manager reported that the Learning and Development Team are considering developing an elected Members’ section on the E-Learning platform, so that information regarding training/events may be readily available. She stated that Group Leaders have requested assistance with ICT training for some elected Members, which is also available.
Concerns were raised that the workload for officers and Members would increase significantly, should more training sessions be added to the Plan. A question was raised whether the training workload would be prioritised or condensed into one year’s work? The HR Training Manager responded that Senior Management and Heads of Service have been consulted on priority areas for training and development for inclusion in the Development Plan for 2020/22.
The Training Manager reported that discussions have also taken place with the WLGA’s Policy and Improvement Officer in order to establish what resources are available. Feedback suggests that the Council should focus on continuing with briefing sessions in areas involving Planning, Housing, Social Care and Education. Once the Plan has been finalised, it will need to be approved by the SLT and Group Leaders, followed by the Democratic Services Committee and full Council.
With regard to Personal Development Review (PDRs) for the forthcoming year, the focus is likely to be on chairing skills and providing further ICT training. Training will be prioritised, and the Plan will be updated following feedback in February 2021.
A member of the Committee referred to Point 3 (Finance) in the Appendix, and highlighted risks at all levels within the Council’s services. She stated that although the Audit Committee looks at risk in detail, the Council should have a process for managing its risks at a strategic level, and within Council services. She reiterated that it is important that managing risk is not just seen as a financial matter, but as a process every Member should understand, and incorporate that process into their day to day actions.
The Director of Function (Council Business)/Monitoring Officer suggested that she raises the issue of risk management with the Director of Function (Resources)/Section 151 Officer and Head of Internal Audit, to identify the type of training that is required for the risk area.
• To note the information presented in the report.
• That all training needs emanating from Personal Development Reviews are forwarded to the HR Training Manager by 28 February 2021, in order that the Member Training and Development Plan can be revised and specific training prioritised.
• That the Member Training and Development Plan for 2020/2022 be presented for approval to the Democratic Services Committee, prior to submission to the full Council in 2021.
• That the Director of Function (Council Business)/Monitoring Officer raises the issue of risk management with the Director of Function (Resources)/Section 151 Officer and Head of Internal Audit.
Action: See Resolution above.