CiLCA - is it worth it?

Published: 27 May 2021

CiLCA (Certificate in Local Council Administration) - is it worth it?

Back in July 2020 I saw an advert for a Clerk and Responsible Finance Officer role within a local Parish Council and thought, I will apply for that as I clerk for the governors at a local school, how different could it be? Oh, how little did I know, just how different it could be.

When I started as Clerk and RFO in September 2020, I was lucky enough to have the old Clerk stay for 1 month to hand over, she was an angel, she not only handed files over, but she tried to pass on her knowledge and train me as much as she could within those 4 weeks. The best advice she gave me was to attend as much training as I could to help me learn the role, so straight away I enrolled on lots of different DAPTC training courses, everyone an eye opener. After 6 months my Chairman asked me if I would consider starting my CiLCA soon, so I started researching CiLCA but kept finding people say leave it until you have been in post for 1 year before you apply. This confused me, why? No one ever said why, and I could not understand how am I supposed to do my job right, if I do not know what I am meant to do, so there was only one thing for it, call DAPTC!

I spoke to Neil Wedge, the Chief Executive at DAPTC, who put me in touch with another local clerk who had recently started her CiLCA to discuss with her the pros and cons and listen to any advice she had with regards to CiLCA. After an amazing 2 hour zoom video call, I had learnt not only was there CiLCA but also a course called ILCA, which is a basic level training program designed to help you learn the Clerk and RFO role within the first 6 months of starting in post; she also gave me other helpful tips like joining the Clerk’s Networking Forum on Facebook.

I have now completed ILCA and have started my CiLCA training and have thoroughly enjoyed both courses. Within CiLCA, (I am 1 month into the program) I have learnt how to use the Arnold Baker Book (no mean feat within itself!), I have changed our agendas to include legal references, added a few policies, the list could go on and on, but the biggest benefit for me is at least I can now rest assured, I am doing my job the right way.

So, in a nutshell is CiLCA worth it: YES.

Please go the DAPTC CiLCA webpage to find out more information.