Elected Member Induction Materials

We produce a range of induction materials for new and returning councillors. These are designed to complement your council’s local induction programme.

The notebooks have been developed by the Improvement Service and COSLA, in consultation with councils, to provide you with information, support and guidance to help you effectively fulfil your role as an elected member.

As well as notebooks outlining the core roles and responsibilities of elected members, we have introductory guides to topics and subject areas that you may have responsibility for.

If you have any queries about induction materials, please contact David Barr.

Induction Notebooks

Getting Started with your Roles and Responsibilities

(20 minute read)

An overview of your roles and responsibilities as an elected member and the context in which you will be operating.

Being a Community Leader

(23 minute read)

A key role you have as an elected member is to be an effective community leader, representing your ward and the people who live there, ensuring adequate service provision for them and helping local people actively participate in democratic processes to shape the decisions that affect their lives.

This notebook will help you begin to learn about how you will carry out your roles and responsibilities as a community leader.

Governing Effectively: Keeping your Eye on the Big Picture

(17 minute read)

Each local authority in Scotland is governed by a council, which consists of you and your fellow elected members. This notebook will help you understand how you will contribute to governing the council. This is the context in which you will be carrying out your decision-making, strategy and policy development, scrutiny, regulatory and partnership working roles.

Developing your Working Relationships with Officers

(18 minute read)

This notebook will help you to understand the context of your relationship with officers and explore some of the ways you can build effective working relationships that are crucial to a well-performing council.

Developing your Working Relationships with Other Elected Members

(18 minute read)

The main factors that will influence working relationships between and amongst elected members are outlined in this notebook. This notebook will help you be more informed about the environment you are operating in and outline the considerations you should make about what kind of working relationships you need to have with other elected members in the council.

Other Guides and Briefings

The Planning System in Scotland: An Introduction for Elected Members

Elected members have an important role to play in the planning system through their general duties as a ward member, but also through positions on the Local Review Body, Executive Board or full council. This guide aims to help members understand what the planning system seeks to achieve and introduces the processes involved in decision-making.

Climate Change

Councils, both urban and rural from across the country, have declared climate emergencies, many with ambitious net zero targets. This briefing is an introduction to the critical role elected members have to play in tackling climate change and what this looks like in practice.

Public Health

An introduction to public health for elected members. The briefing looks at the role of local government in reducing health inequalities and what this means for elected members. It also provides information how Public Health Scotland can help local authorities by accessing data and intelligence to support decision-making and providing advice on actions they can take that will have the biggest impact.

Corporate Governance videos
David Barr - Project Manager, Organisational Development