Specialist training modules

CfPS offers a range of training modules which focus in on more specialist areas of scrutiny – including the scrutiny of health and social care. This complements our “essentials” modules covering the basics of scrutiny and our “advanced” modules, which aim to deepen expertise, as well as our broader training and consultancy offer. 

Speak to a member of the CfPS team to find out more about any of these modules and courses

Modules on health and social care

ST.01  Police and Crime Panels

Scrutinising Police and Crime Commissioners and community safety partnerships is the core function of local authority led Police and Crime Panels. But this can be a complex world of multiple agencies and policing strategies and community priorities. This course helps members and officers to navigate through this challenging new landscape.

ST.02  Performance management

Covers the principles of performance management – the use of scorecards, the use of other modern performance management systems (including the way that performance is understood and acted on under agile systems) and the way that scrutiny can effectively use performance information to influence its work.

ST.03  Building positive working relationships

Understanding motivations, direction of travel and the overall objectives of key players will help scrutiny to know when and how it should support, and challenge, the executive and others.

ST.04  Commercialisation and Commissioning

Help for officers to support their members. The support members need and expect is changing as councils are becoming more commercial. How can officers help members to understand – and constructively challenge – some of the big strategic risks and opportunities associated with these ventures? Ensuring transparency and accountability in council commercial ventures. How to advise members to avoid ineffective scrutiny mechanisms that attempt to micro-manage performance, instead keeping them focused on outcomes and benefits.

ST.05  Objective Setting

Scrutiny must set its mission, vision and objectives – what is it trying to achieve and how will it succeed? This module is the essential tool-kit to making scrutiny focused, strategic and effective. It helps scrutiny to prioritise, avoid drift and select the best methods for good scrutiny.

ST.06  Scrutinising Partner Organisations

For councils to be sustainable and effective so much depends on strong partnerships. But how these partnerships are publicly held to account and their effectiveness tested is a key challenge for scrutiny. It’s a big new area and members need to understand the different elements of partnership arrangements and their role in scrutinising them. This module helps to build a scrutiny framework for council partnerships and understanding the partnership landscape. We can help councillors to understand the wider range of public, private and third sector partners with whom the council works, and how to work with those partners more effectively.

ST.07  Scrutiny Programme Planning

This module is designed to help members and officers to build a balanced scrutiny programme. It will help to provide objective support to ‘declutter’ work programmes to focus on real priorities. It will look at ways to build capacity and efficiency to segmenting and sharing scrutiny activity, use of task and finish teams or scrutiny sub-groups. Less is more! This course can be delivered in two ways – as a preparatory skills course for councillors to develop their work programme, or as a workshop to pull together and agree a work programme.

ST.08  Understanding and Using Evidence and Data

For scrutiny members learning how to build a picture from complicated data and piece together a narrative from the evidence is a crucial scrutiny skill. This module helps members to tackle data, research, evidence, witnesses and insight. Covers councillors’ information access rights, the need to understand why and how information is needed, basic skills in evaluating and understanding evidence, and using evidence to underpin the work programme. 

ST09  Introduction to risk

An introductory session about the basics of risk and risk management. Covers scrutiny of financial, operational and reputational risks and the importance of gathering insight from across the council and the community to avoid surprises. Using scrutiny to build resilience.

HACT.01  Health Scrutiny

Funding for social care, pressures on the NHS, integration of health and care services and the impact of Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships (STPs) and Integrated Care Systems (ICSs) are all major issues for scrutiny. Not forgetting the wider determinants of health and public health actions, this module helps members to understand this complex and pressured environment and how they play a vital role in providing democratic challenge and accountability.

HACT.02  NHS Long Term Plan and integrated care

Designed for health scrutiny committees and others with an assurance role in local health and care systems, this session can be used to build relationships between NHS and local government colleagues, exploring the political and organisational dynamics of integrating care and how councillors, CCG lay members, provider non-executives and public governors can work effectively together. 

HACT.03  Children’s Safeguarding and Scrutiny

To support councillors and officers to explore the role and function of effective overview and scrutiny of children’s safeguarding through:

  • Underpinning knowledge of legislation, roles and functions
  • Overview of recent reports and learning from scrutiny and inquiries
  • Practical tools and approaches to support local scrutiny reviews of children’s safeguarding

HACT.03  The Curious Corporate Parent

Provides an overview of the role and functions of the corporate parent for elected members. It will support members to develop a ‘curious’ approach to corporate parenting to enable them to champion the needs of looked-after children.

HACT.04  Scrutiny of Adult Social Care

The cost and demography issues remain a constant pressure and of the highest order of risk for councils. Working closely with health providers and partners in the care and voluntary sector is of paramount importance. And as care provision itself is regularly under spotlight as standards and market provision is often volatile the role of scrutiny in this critical and complex field is vital. This module is essential training for all councillors involved in adult social care.