The award is designed to equip councillors with a full range of effective community leadership and partnership skills, enabling them to represent their communities within a wider governance context. It is the first nationally available qualification for councillors.
Barbara Janke, leader of Bristol City Council, said: 'Recent reforms to local government have led to a heavier workload for councillors and also required them to take a more strategic approach to their roles. The effectiveness of local councillors is key to the quality of service provision for local communities. This new qualification has enabled us to develop the skills of local councillors, and provides both existing and potential future councillors with a recognised professional accreditation.'
Following a successful pilot in the South West, the first graduates received their awards from the Lord Mayor of Bristol in a ceremony at Mansion House today. The qualification will now be rolled out to local councillors across the country.
1. Edexcel, a Pearson company, is the UK's largest awarding body offering academic and vocational qualifications and testing to more than 25,000 schools, colleges, employers and other places of learning here and in over 100 countries worldwide. We deliver 9.4 million exam scripts each year, with 3 million marked onscreen in 2005. Our qualifications include GCSE, AS and A Level, GNVQ, NVQ and the BTEC suite of vocational qualifications from entry level to BTEC Higher National Diplomas and Foundation Degrees.
2. The BTEC Professional Award in Local Governance was developed by Bristol City Council.
3. The fist 30 BTEC graduates received their certificates from the Lord Mayor of Bristol in a graduation ceremony on Monday.
4. For further information about the qualification and where it is available, contact Linda James, Councillor Development Officer, Bristol City Council, on 0117 922 2097.
Press release from Southwark LBC follows.
Southwark members first to graduate with new qualification
Two Southwark LBC members are among the first in the country to be awarded a new qualification for councillors.
Jeff Hook and David Hubber were among a cohort of 30 graduates to receive the BTEC Professional Award in Local Governance this week.
The new award, developed by Bristol City Council, is the first nationally available qualification for local councillors.
Mr Hook, Southwark's executive member for community safety, said: 'I am very proud to be one of the first councillors in the country to take part.
'For many people being a council member is a full-time job. This award not only helps councillors develop leadership skills and represent their communities effectively, it also recognises the work and commitment that members put into their roles.'
Mr Hubber, added: 'The job of a councillor is in many ways more demanding than ever and any tool available to help us to be as effective as possible is to be welcomed.
'This course was both challenging and enjoyable. Meeting and exchanging ideas and experiences with councillors from other areas added value too.'
They were presented with their certificates by the Lord Mayor of Bristol Peter Abraham who presented certificates to 30 councillors from the south of England in a ceremony at Bristol City Council, Mr Hubber and Hook were the only members from London.