SA councils to apply revised training standards

Local governments in South Australia will soon be able to take advantage of revised LGA training standards, which have been developed to help council members meet expectations and attain leadership competencies.

According to the SA Minister for Local Government, Geoff Brock, the training will no longer take the form of a list of need-to-knows; rather, it will focus on a group of core leadership competencies along with specified objectives and outcomes.

Importantly, council CEOs will be able to draw on internal expertise to deliver the training, rather than having to rely solely on external providers.

The training can be delivered through:

  • council induction programs
  • leadership workshops, and
  • training modules

“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.”

The revised standards set out four leadership competencies:

  • 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 and finance: To develop the knowledge of integrated strategic and annual business planning and the skill to manage public funds appropriately.

Fulfilment of the required training within the first year of the new four-year council term will meet the mandatory requirements for elected members according to Section 80A of the Local Government Act 1999 (the Local Government Act) and Regulation 8AA of the Local Government (General) Regulations 2013.

“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,” said LGA of SA Chief Executive Officer, Clinton Jury.

“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.”

The revised standards will take effect following November’s local government elections.

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