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Certificate in Local Council Administration (CiLCA)

What is CiLCA

This Level 3, foundation qualification provides you with a broad knowledge of all the aspects of a clerk’s work – roles and responsibilities, the law, procedures, finance planning and community involvement.

Benefits of CiLCA

Study CiLCA and learn the tools to:

  • Make confident, informative decisions for your council and your community
  • Advise the council on its duties and powers
  • Adapt to changing circumstances
  • Ensure your council is compliant with proper financial practices
  • Set a vision for the future for your council and your community
  • Respond to questions and problems with a dynamic, ‘can-do’ attitude
  • Advise and support the council as it identifies and implements plans for the future
  • CiLCA forms part of the criteria for the council to exercise the General Power of Competence. Find out more about the General Power of Competence.

Who can take CiLCA?

CiLCA is suitable for all officers working with local councils. Councillors and officers of advisory bodies have also taken CiLCA in the past.

CiLCA is flexible enough to suit candidates from the diversity of local councils.

When a council’s chief officer (clerk) has CiLCA , the council becomes eligible to apply for the higher levels of the Local Council Award Scheme (Quality and Quality Gold status) and will also be able to resolve to use the General Power of Competence.

It is recommended that a clerk should only begin CiLCA once they have a year’s experience in a local council role.

How do I complete CiLCA?

CiLCA is a portfolio based qualification using evidence from your own experience as a Clerk and the documentation you use as a council demonstrating your understanding and compliance with the required standards.

The portfolio guide is available for download prior to starting the qualification and this can be found here:  SLCC CiLCA portfolio guide

For further information about CiLCA, registration and the process please visit the SLCC website

Am I ready for CiLCA?

CiLCA should be viewed as ‘the test’ of your knowledge, rather than the learning.  It is therefore advised that officers be in post for approximately 12 months before attempting CiLCA, so they have the experience of the full council year as a foundation for their understanding and portfolio.

Prior to attending the Portfolio course, you will need to fill in a training needs analysis which will help us assess whether you are ready to embark on the course. Ascentis who accredit CiLCA are clear that candidates must not attempt the qualification until they have sufficient knowledge – if it is assessed by us and the candidate that knowledge is still required then relevant training courses can be recommended prior to commencing CiLCA.

For further information include course dates please visit the training section of our website.

What is the SPCA Portfolio Training Course?

CiLCA Portfolio training comprises of training students in the knowledge of how to complete the qualification. It assists them in building their portfolio and gives guidance and support along the way.It has been designed to offer the best possible support to students undertaking the qualification.

Through our CiLCA Recognised Trainers we support you as follows:

  • Training. 8 courses ( approx. one month apart) which take you through each step of the portfolio, building your confidence through exercises and discussion.  You will leave each session knowing how to approach each learning outcome, signposted to useful resources, and knowing the pitfalls to avoid.
  • Mentoring. 12 months of mentoring support; offered either one-to-one or in our monthly online drop ins, to help you overcome any barriers standing in your way. We can review a limited number of submissions, consider assessor feedback or simply guide you on how to structure your submissions to help you achieve success.

For further information include course dates please visit the training section of our website.




  • I undertook CiLCA after 5 years of clerking. I passed it in 9 months with 4 of the 5 unit marked as exemplary submissions.
    It was a long 9 months of ups and downs and some procrastination along the way. I would not have got through it without the support of Lisa from Staffordshire Parish Councils’ Association.
    Having spoken to other Staffordshire clerks who have undertaken CILCA without help, I would say don’t do CILCA unless you also do the SPCA course alongside it.
    A few of the Learning Outcomes are covered at each session and my advice would be to try to complete them before the next session so you keep in top of the work.
    It’s been hard but it has given me so much knowledge, confidence, respect from the Councillors and my parish council is definitely better for it.

    Karen Daker – Bilbrook Parish Council – Spring 2021 intake

  • It has really strengthened, deepened and broadened my understanding of local government and having a learning group is very helpful.
    It has improved my confidence at work. I would recommend it to any clerk.

    Parish Clerk – Autumn 2021 intake

  • Lisa was friendly, engaging, kept the training on track and has been helpful post the sessions too.
    I have completed 4 units to date, receiving an exemplary submission on one, and no referrals.
    I could not have achieved this without the training.

    Parish Clerk – Autumn 2021 intake