Training and events

The Centre for Public Scrutiny’s expert training helps equip those involved in scrutiny and oversight with the skills, knowledge and confidence to challenge effectively, and support organisational improvement.

Our open courses run throughout the year and focus on specialist topics such as health and financial scrutiny to skills-based sessions including questioning skills. The courses cover a range from introductory to more advanced training for experienced practitioners.

Our national conferences offer an opportunity for councillors and officers to collect and discuss some of the most pressing issues affecting scrutiny and governance. These popular events are great for learning, networking and framing the work you do within a national context. 

In-house training and consultancy

We have divided our offer into three parts:

  • “essential” training modules – those designed to provide a basic to intermediate level of support for councillors and officers on the fundamentals of the scrutiny role;
  • “advanced” training modules – those designed to provide support to those people with a good existing understanding of the basics, who wish to develop their learning;
  • “specialised” training modules – going into more detail on things like performance management, the use of evidence and commercialisation. 

We also provide a range of consultancy and improvement services, including our scrutiny healthcheck

Courses are either delivered by CfPS staff or one of our highly experienced consultants.

Courses are designed for:

  • scrutiny chairs, who will already have a fairly substantial expertise but who may feel the need to deepen their knowledge and understanding;
  • scrutiny councillors generally, ranging from brand new councillors to those of longer standing;
  • scrutiny and democratic services officers, who may need support and assistance as they provide advice to councillors;
  • others within the council – Cabinet, and senior officers, particular. These people’s contribution is critical to scrutiny’s success and effectiveness. We also provide support to local authority middle managers to explain the political structures and dynamics of local authorities. 

We can cater for you whatever your needs – from light touch evening sessions to intensive programmes tackling specific issues, such as the oversight of children’s safeguarding, over the course of several days. In-house training can often be more cost-effective than sending multiple delegates to open courses.


If the training you require isn’t listed here then please get in touch on 020 3866 5100 to discuss your requirements. For more information please contact Susan Vaughan020 3866 5100.