Local Council Award Scheme

The National Association of Local Councils (NALC) launched a new Local Council Award Scheme on 5 January 2015, supported by the Society of Local Council Clerks (SLCC) and the Local Government Association (LGA). This replaces what was formerly known as the Quality Town and Parish Council Scheme.

The scheme provides a framework to support local councils in demonstrating how they improve and develop to meet their full potential. It encourages progression by including three award levels: Foundation, Quality and Quality Gold – these offer councils the opportunity to show that they meet the high standards set by the local council sector, are complaint with all legal and procedural requirements, and have a positive ethos regarding sound management, training for both councillors and staff, and an effective programme of community engagement.

The Foundation award is for councils who want to show they meet a set of minimum standards to deliver effectively for their communities. To meet this award the council demonstrates that it has the required documentation and information in place for operating lawfully and according to standard practice. The council also has policies for training for its councillors and officers and so has the foundations for improvement and development in place.

The Foundation award allows you to benchmark your performance as well as challenging you to consider your councils continuing development and improvement.

The Quality Award demonstrates that a council achieves good practice in governance, community engagement and council improvement. Quality councils go above and beyond their legal obligations, leading their communities and continuously seeking opportunities to improve and develop even further.

To achieve the Quality Award a council demonstrates that it meets all requirements of the Foundation Award and has additional evidence of good governance, effective community engagement and council improvement. Due to the level of this achievement, a council with a Quality Award can also be eligible to use the general power of competence.

The Quality Gold Award demonstrates that a council is at the forefront of best practice and achieves excellence in governance, community leadership and council development. Quality Gold councils provide leadership for their communities, bring people together, have excellent business planning processes, ensuring value for money as well as constantly seeking new innovations and opportunities to improve. They highlight the very best we, as a sector, can achieve for our communities.

Further information on the Scheme is contained in the LCAS Guide (updated for 2021)   LCAS guide 2021

Guidance on how Clerks can demonstrate Continuous Professional Development (CPD) can be found in  CPD – Guidance

A copy of the Award Application Form can be accessed here  LCAS application form 29.03.21

Applications are accepted by NALC in three rounds each year. The current dates are available here. LCAS National Panel Dates 2021

For full details on the scheme, including the most up to date documents, visit NALC’s page.

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Local Council Award Scheme COVID-19 Updates