Local Council Award Scheme


We know that local councils are at the very heart of their communities; giving neighbourhoods a voice and making people more involved in the decisions that affect them. Over 15 million people (35% of the population) live in the communities served by local councils. Local councils want to serve their communities as best they can and make a real difference to the lives of the people that live there.


The new Local Council Award Scheme (LCAS) has been designed to celebrate the successes of the very best local councils, and to provide a framework to support all local councils to improve and develop to meet their full potential. The scheme offers councils the opportunity to show that they meet the standards set by the sector, assessed by their peers, and to put in place the conditions for continued improvement.

The scheme has been designed to provide the tools and encouragement to those councils at the beginning of their improvement journeys, as well as promoting and recognising councils that are at the cutting edge of the sector. It is only through the sector working together, to share best practice, driving up standards and supporting those who are committed to improving their offer to their communities that individual councils and the sector as a whole will reach its full potential.

The Local Council Award Scheme undergoes a review every year. Local councils must meet the criteria of the guidance that is in place at the date they submit their completed application form to their local accreditation panel.

Why should you apply?

There are a range of reasons why a council could benefit from taking part in the award scheme. For those councils who are already confident that they perform to a high standard the scheme provides assurance to the council that it is up-to-date and progressive by the standards set by the sector. For those who wish to improve, it provides a framework to plan and make the first steps. Helping the council improve performance and confidence, with policies in place for continuous development. And for all councils winning the award it should be a celebration for councillors and officers, as their commitment and hard work is recognised and respected.

The award is a tool that councils can use when working with the local community or other local partners. Giving them confidence that the council is delivering to a national professional standard.

And finally, the scheme will contribute to the national reputation of local councils demonstrating achievements and a commitment to improvement.

How do you apply?


The first step is to register online with NALC. You will then be charged a £50 registration fee by NALC.

Tip: You do not need to have all the criteria in place at this stage, you are simply registering your interest in taking part in the scheme

Tip: You can apply for any award level - you don't need to start at Foundation


When you have the criteria prepared and in place, confirm this in a public meeting


You should then notify your local accreditation panel co-ordinator and provide the application form including links to online documents. At this stage you will also pay an accreditation fee to your local County Association. This fee depends on the award level you are applying for and the size of your council, full information can be found in the

Local Council Award Scheme Guide



The national panel co-ordinator will contact you with the result of your application. These are assessed nationally and not locally in Dorset.

Continuous Professional Development (CPD) for Local Council Clerks

All clerks whose councils wish to participate in the Local Council Award Scheme are required to demonstrate that they have achieved at least 12 CPD points in the 12 months immediately preceding the council’s application for an award. CPD activities therefore carry a specified number of points. Certificates with the relevant CPD points are awarded to all clerks attending DAPTC courses, conferences and seminars. One day of training covering five hours of content equates to two point five CPD points for a Clerk. Every two hours of training carries one CPD point.

*The Local Council Award Scheme replaces the Quality Council scheme.

How to receive additional CPD points