The relevant Regulations, which came into operation on 1 June 2014, recognise training for elected members provided by the following bodies:-
- the Association of Irish Local Government;
- the Local Authority Members Association;
- national representative bodies for functions for which local authorities have responsibilities; and
- programmes of education and training which relate to functions for which local authorities have responsibilities and which are validated by the Quality and Qualifications Assurance Authority of Ireland established by the Qualifications and Quality assurance (Education and Training) Act 2012.
Local authorities are also required to adopt a training and development programme for elected members, the objectives of which are to adopt a more structured approach to supporting the development needs of members so that they can discharge their duties as effectively as possible.
I have issued directions to local authorities stating that this training and development programme should have regard, inter alia, to key policy issues facing elected members, the profile and experience of the elected members and the likely resources that will be available to meet training needs.
Local authorities are independent statutory bodies and it is a matter for each local authority to prepare and adopt its own training and development programme for elected members and to assess this as necessary.