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LGA - Chief Executive development programme launched

Chief executives from councils across the country are set to benefit from a first-of-its-kind development programme, designed specifically to meet their needs and future challenges.

The Local Government Chief Executives’ Development Framework has been drawn up by the LGA and Solace, in partnership with more than 100 chief executives, councillors and other key stakeholders and follows the successful piloting of modules earlier this year.

The innovative curriculum for new and current corporate leaders in local authorities is designed to continuously evolve and be relevant to the most pressing issues of the day. The framework is based on seven core themes: The core chief executive role; Politics and the political interface; Good governance; Public ethics; Continuous improvement; Resource management; and Managerial leadership.

It follows three 24-hour pilot events attended by 29 Chief Executives in January and February, held both in-person and online. The cohort came from a mix of types of authority, geography and experience, ranging from appointed but yet to start in post, to five years in the role.

Organisations such as Lawyers in Local Government, CIPFA and the Centre for Governance and Scrutiny have worked together with Solace and the LGA to ensure modules have been informed by subject matter experts, experienced practitioners, policy leads and organisational development specialists.

Each of the pilot modules were aligned with one of the core themes in the Framework, respectively covering politics and the political interface, good governance and the core role of the Chief Executive. 

An evaluation of the pilot modules by the Institute of Local Government Studies and the University of Birmingham indicated a strong appetite for a full programme, with the engagement of new and existing chief executives.

Cllr Abi Brown OBE, Chairman of the LGA’s Improvement and Innovation Board, said:

“This innovative programme provides an essential starting point for the development of chief executives in local government and the feedback received so far has been overwhelmingly positive.

“I am delighted that the LGA and Solace, with funding from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities are now able to develop and launch this programme in full.  

“This will ensure a consistent understanding of the role of the local government chief executive and bespoke development for officers taking up this challenging role. We would encourage all councils to see this as an essential first step in the development of newly appointed chief executives.”

Joanna Killian, Chief Executive of the Local Government Association, said:

“As a previous council chief executive and as the Chief Executive of the LGA, it is excellent to see the establishment of this new programme dedicated to the role.

“Leadership in local government is challenging and complex, with constant changes and new demands. Unlike other sectors like the NHS, there has not previously been a bespoke development programme for local government chief executives.

“From my discussions with chief executives, I know they will see this development framework and programme as an essential foundation stone for the future of their role.”

Graeme MacDonald, Managing Director of Solace, said. “We have been piloting three of the seven foundation modules from the Chief Executive Development Framework, with chief executives, to ensure that the content is focused and relevant to the challenges they face in their role and fully meets their development needs.

“This is a truly co-designed programme of work which will support chief executives for years to come. It is particularly focused on providing new chief executives with a strong foundation to executive their role effectively.  We look forward to rolling out the full programme in 2024/25.”

The full Chief Executive Development Programme is now open to applications. To apply and to find out more, please visit the Chief Executive Development Hub

Original article link: https://www.local.gov.uk/about/news/chief-executive-development-programme-launched

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