Wednesday, May 29, 2024

New training standards for SA councils

Revised LGA Training Standards have been released to support South Australian council members to meet key legislative expectations and new leadership competencies.

The updated standards set the knowledge and skills council members need to support their roles and will be delivered through council induction programs, leadership workshops and training modules.

Minister for Local Government, Geoff Brock said council member training would no longer be a checklist of need to knows, but instead contain a suite of core leadership competencies with defined learning objectives and outcomes.

“Early investment in council member training will support even more effective working relationships within local government, which is far better than paying for interventions to address problems down the track,” Minister Brock said.

“The new standards represent a contemporary approach from the state and local government, acknowledging leadership behaviours and skills are the foundation of effective performance, which the community expects.”

LGA Chief Executive Officer, Clinton Jury said the new standards provide a consistent approach to help set councils up for success in the new term.

“The local government sector has a strong aspiration to grow our community leadership culture and we welcome the Minister’s endorsement of these new standards,” Mr Jury said.

“The updated framework responds to a positive shift to meet new legislative requirements, build leadership capability in the sector, invest in our community leaders and focus on building a team culture to deliver better community outcomes.

“Many of the changes to these standards reflect good practice induction programs already applied in the sector.”

Under the new standards, council CEOs may use internal expertise to deliver the required training, not just rely on external training providers.

Completion of the training within the first 12 months of the new four-year council term will satisfy the mandatory requirements for elected members set out in Section 80A of the Local Government Act 1999 (the Local Government Act) and Regulation 8AA of the Local Government (General) Regulations 2013.

The four leadership competencies outlined in the standards are:

Behaviour: To identify attributes and develop skills that uphold the behavioural standards and principles of good governance.

Civic: To develop knowledge of the Australian system of government and how councils fulfil the objectives of the Local Government Act to deliver reputable community outcomes.

Legal: To develop the knowledge and skills required to meet the legal responsibilities of a council member.

Strategy & Finance: To develop the knowledge of integrated strategic and annual business planning and the skill to manage public funds appropriately.

The LGA Training Standards come into effect following November’s local government elections.

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