Congratulations on your appointment as a new council officer and thank you, on behalf of the sector, for supporting your local council in the role that they play on behalf of the local community. 

This development pathway is designed to offer you as a new employee a flexible but focussed plan to make the best use of your time and the resources that are available for this tier of the public sector.  Like any new employee it is important for your employer, the council, to not only prepare for your arrival but also invest as much time as possible in your induction and resulting training and development plan because this will bring with it long-term benefits for everyone.

What you need to know and why 

Your local council is structured, resourced and financed based on the needs of the local community and this is influenced by a number of factors.  As a new employee it is important to understand the roles, responsibilities and duties of the council as a whole, councillors as individuals and the officers, like yourself.  Following your interview you should be aware of how you fit into delivering local services and, of course, your job description and person specification will also explain the purpose of the job, main duties and responsibilities.

Developing a training plan

Below is our "blueprint" for new employees joining the sector who are likely to have transferrable skills but no previous knowledge or experience of how local councils work.   We include an outline of what we would expect your employer (the council) to provide and what to expect from SALC from day one.  The intention is to support your council (our member) in managing new and existing employees in their personal development. 

We recommend that all councils 

Experienced clerks

The pathway is relevant to experienced clerks too who might want to update their knowledge or skills or perhaps planning to undertake the Certificate in Local Council Administration (CiLCA), the Community Governance Degree or a Masters in Public Leadership.  

Clerk/Proper Officer - first year

Day 1 to month 1

first month of

Your Council is your new employer must provide you with a statement of particulars of employment on or before you start your employmentSee this link to the ACAS website.   The Council can get guidance from SALC if necessary but there is a publication available called The Good Councillor Guide to Employment access using this link.

After making you welcome on your first day we would expect arrangements to be made to meet your councillors and help with system set up.  Here is a link to a model induction checklist for clerks.  Here is a further link to a sample training and development policy which we recommend all councils have along with a dedicated budget.

Contact details of SALC so you can inform us by email 


Welcome email and information about our services (use this link to find out more) and access to the SALC portal.  Here are some guidance videos to help you get the most out of the portal.  Including The Model Council our online knowledge bank.

We recommend you book onto our clerk networking events through the portal.  There are new clerk sessions as well as ones with experienced clerks. 

Use the links below to view some basic information to help introduce you to the sector.  In particular look at the calendar linked below that will help you focus on what is coming up administratively over the next 3 months.  

View a typical local council year

View our jargon buster 

Look out for our weekly e-bulletins on  Monday/Tuesday and Wednesday.  Share the content with councillors too as they provide important local and national updates relevant to the sector.

The structure of local government in Suffolk - link to SALC information page.

first 6 


We suggest the following:


Remember - check out your Council's Standing Orders, Financial Regulations, policies and procedures.

SALC, NALC and SLCC (if you are a member) websites.   Take a look at the links drop-down menu at the top of this page these will signpost you quickly to numerous organisations.

We always recommend reading or at least knowing such resources are available.

6 to 12
months from
taking up post


Consider attending or factor into year 2 development plans.  Visit our training menu page to view all here.

  • SALC Code of Conduct workshop 

  • Data Protection for councils - parts 1, 2 and 3 (we suggested this is phased over a period of time)

  • Freedom of Information for local councils

We always recommend reading or at least knowing such resources are available - we have made this easy by providing the links below.

Clerk/Proper Officer - year two onwards

We describe development plans for year two onwards as "options" for clerks / officers as this can vary depending on the size of your local council and the services they offer.    

                    FURTHER TRAINING

                    If you have not had time to factor in other finance training in year one as a reminder:

                    • Finance
                      VAT for VAT registered councils
                      VAT partial exemption
                      VAT for unregistered councils
                      Internal Controls

                    • Safeguarding
                      Available through Community Action Suffolk - link to website

                    • E-learning
                      Diversity, Equality and Inclusion
                      Health and Safety
                      Mental Health
                      Information security
                      Modern slavery
                      Customer services
                      Anti-money laundering
                      Environmental awareness

                    SUFFOLK NETWORKING

                    NATIONAL NETWORKING

                    Find out about a wide range of NALC networks using this link, which include:

                    • climate emergency

                    • coastal communities

                    • LGBT+ councillors

                    • super councillors

                    • women councillors

                    • young councillors


                    Qualification routes

                    The Society of Local Council Clerks (SLCC) offer the option of a qualification route which some clerks/officers might prefer to take as part of their personal development plans or mix with the above pathway to get the best of both.  Any formal qualification requires careful planning and good time management alongside commitment from your council both financially and general support to help you succeed.

                    Certificate in Local Council Administration (CiLCA)

                    SALC is a registered training provider for CiLCA and offers unit-based workshops throughout the year including our preparing for CiLCA session - essential to attend if you are considering undertaking this qualification.  Find out more details on the member portal under "events".

                    Use this link to access more information on the SLCC website

                    Community Governance 

                    This Level 4 Certificate of Higher Education in Community Governance is a professional qualification available to all local council staff, councillors and county officers building on the knowledge gained in CiLCA.  

                    Learn more

                    This Level 5, Foundation Degree in Community Governance and Level 6, BA Honours Degree, are professional qualifications developing the knowledge already gained from studying the Community Governance qualification.

                    Learn more

                    MA in Public Leadership

                    Coming soon ....... this MA is specifically designed for graduate local council officers but it is also suitable for people working with other public sector agencies, especially those who interact closely with local communities.

                    Discover more