My development

The overall aim of our People Strategy is to have the ‘’right people, in the right job, with the right skills’’.

Please see the full People Strategy document below for more information.

PDF document People Strategy (PDF) [309 kb]

B with values 150

Ways to develop

As a member of council staff, you always have the chance to improve yourself through feedback, appraisals, work-based training and courses.

There are a number of other development options you may not have thought of that that will help you grow personally and to the benefit of the council.

Coaching and mentoring

Coaching involves being given extra support while achieving a specific aim, in this case achieving higher performance and improvement at work by concentrating on your skills and goals in a 1:1 setting.

Mentoring is similar to coaching as it involves working with someone on a 1:1 basis, but it is a longer term and more personal process and involves developing a relationship with someone that you respect and who has a career or role that you would be interested in following. Your mentor will have more experience in an area that you want to develop and their role is to share this knowledge, as well as support and challenge you.

What’s in it for me?
Coaching is very personal to you and your coach has been trained to ask the questions that help you focus on how to get to where you want to go. You will receive private 1:1 time to help you decide what your goals are – and how you are going to achieve them.

You will normally get 6 hour-long sessions with your coach, which will take place in work time. You get to decide what your goals are and this can include clarifying your own personal career ambitions, however, it should be focused on improving work performance.

How do I get involved?
Managers will receive training on coaching and mentoring as part of the new Aspire management development programme. If you are interested, please speak to your line manager in the first instance.

Conferences and seminars

Attending conferences and seminars ensures that you are up-to-date with the current thinking in your area and gives you the opportunity to meet and network with colleagues from outside of the council.

Get involved by asking colleagues about conferences and seminars that they found useful or signing up with groups that you found interesting during your professional research.

District Councils’ Network (DNC) staff development programme

The DCN’s staff development programme is a national programme for staff working in district councils and is for aspiring non-managerial staff aged 35 and under.

What’s in for me?
You would get to network with other district council colleagues, attend conferences on topics including national policy, finance and Member/Officer Relations and get additional mentoring.

How do I get involved?
The programme runs annually from April and candidates are accepted via an application process. There are also some additional restrictions to application and full details can be found on the website


Reflective practice is a key method for embedding knowledge and skills and adds to the value of your development programme. You will get the chance to assess your development during normal 1:1s, with your coach, at regular catch ups with your HR business partner and at workshops with your colleagues in the first Aspire group.

Gain academic or professional qualification

You may have decided that you want to undertake a professional qualification as part of your development. This could be something specific to your current job role or a more general accredited leadership course.

What’s in it for me?
You would gain a recognised qualification that can increase your credibility and increase future job opportunities, while allowing you to meet and work with people outside of the council.

How do I get involved?
Refer to the Professional Qualifications policy which can be found at the bottom of this page which will give you details of how you can apply for funding and support.

Project work
Participation with projects can differ as much as the projects themselves. You could contribute as an expert for your area or be a project manager. The time and involvement would vary depending on your role.

What’s in for me?
Working in a project team will improve your strategic thinking as well as general project management skills and will help you develop relationships across the council.

Working with people you do not normally work with adds diversity and helps develop new ways of thinking into the project.

How do I get involved?
There are a list of current projects available on Sinbad. If you have an interest in joining a specific project team, please contact your HR business partner who will discuss your options and liaise with the project manager to see if there is an opportunity for you to be involved.

Professional qualification scheme 2016/17

Internal training courses

HR organises a range of internal training courses each year in response to training needs. These are advertised via email and the training calendar on Sinbad.

New e-learning courses are also being introduced to support your development and we will let you know as soon as they are available.

What’s in it for me?
You can apply for any of the courses we have available to develop or refresh your skills

How do I get involved?
Dates and details will be circulated as courses are arranged and these can be booked via HR Pro.

Job shadowing

If there is a role that you are aiming for but would like to know more about, you could take part in job-shadowing, where you see exactly what someone currently in a role that interests you actually does.

What’s in for me?
You would be told about the particular job in detail – what it entails, key responsibilities and interactions and how decisions are made – and then spend time watching that person carry out their day-to-day role. This could take place for a block of time or during a set of regular meetings so that you experience the full breadth of the position and, ideally, you would have the opportunity to carry out some of the role yourself under the supervision of the main job holder. This person could also become your mentor, which would also be beneficial.

How do I get involved?
Contact the individual directly to discuss potential job-shadowing options. This arrangement also needs to be agreed by both of your Heads of Service.

Professional research

Professional reading and research ensures that you tailor your research to exactly the areas that are interest to you and come up with ideas that you can put into practice at work.

Start by reading magazines and newspapers specific to your area or general to local authorities. You can also share knowledge and raise your profile by contributing to online forums and communities such as Linked In.


If you would like to develop your public speaking skills, you could join a local toastmasters group. It is a non-profit organisation that teaches public speaking and leadership skills through a nationwide network of meetings. The group aims to increase self confidence and personal growth and gives you the chance to develop your communication skills in a safe environment. To find out more, look at


Volunteering involves giving up your time to do something that benefits a group or the wider environment. It will give you the chance to meet new people and contribute to a goal while giving you opportunity to develop new skills. For example, to gain more finance experience, you could volunteer to be a Treasurer for a local charity.

To find out more, look at

Booking a course

If you want to book an internal or external course, you may find the documents below useful. They will guide you through requesting a course on HRPro.

Frequently asked questions

I have a disability – will I be able to participate in the internal training on offer?

We endeavour that ensure that all internal training is accessible for everyone. However, if you feel that you have a disability that will impact how you access the learning and development services provided, please discuss your needs with your manager in the first instance. After that, please contact Human Resources in order that any reasonable adjustments can be made.

I’m on a temporary/fixed term contract, can I apply for training?

All staff have equal access to training opportunities; specific development will be agreed with you and your line manager.

However, employees on temporary or fixed term contracts will not usually be eligible to apply for training within the last three months of their employment unless exceptional circumstances apply, for example if the training is essential for them to carry out their role with the council.

Any application for training from an employee on a temporary or fixed term contract which falls outside of their temporary contract period will be refused.

Booking an external training course

Booking an internal training course

Learning and development at the council

We offer lots of learning and development opportunities at the council, which are offered in a variety of ways including e-learning, a professional qualifications scheme and specific in-house training courses.
Our main asset is our staff and that’s why we are committed to training and personal development via our Aspire programme, which is a framework bringing together succession planning, talent management and leadership/management development.

To discuss your development or any training opportunities please visit our 'who should I speak to?' webpage to find out who in the team you should speak to.

Learning Zone

LearningPoolThe Learning Zone gives access to a wider range of on-line learning modules that you can work through at your own pace. You have access to any of the modules in the course catalogue, so feel free to take a look at any that interest you. At the moment there are two mandatory modules that all staff must complete – Data Protection and Freedom of Information. To find out more, please visit

Qualifications and skills

A key principle of our People Strategy is that we will ensure that staff can develop their skills, knowledge, competencies and potential.

To help us to analyse needs and to plan future staff development and training opportunities, we introduced a new qualification and skills section in HR Pro which will give you a place to record your academic accomplishments as well as your professional qualifications.

We are also interested if you have any specialised skills that would be beneficial in the work environment.

Please take a look at the document below, which will guide you through entering your qualifications and skills on HRPro.

Qualifications and skills completions guide

Right to request time for training

What training can I request?

Under the ‘time to train’ legislation, you can request any training that you believe will make you more effective and productive in you role. This can include courses that result in a recognised qualification or shorter non-accredited training sessions.

To qualify, you must have a minimum of 26 weeks’ continuous service with Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council at the date on which the application is made.

Each individual is entitled to make one request for time off for training every 12 months.

The procedure

The request must be submitted in writing and include the following:

  • a statement that it is an application under section 63D of the Employment Rights Act 1996
  • the subject matter of the proposed training
  • where and when the training will take place
  • who could provide or supervise it
  • what qualification it could lead to
  • how the employee thinks the proposed training would improve their effectiveness in your business
  • the date of the application.
Next steps

The council has a legal duty to consider all applications and establish whether the desired training can be accommodated within the needs of the business.

All applications for time to train will first be considered by your line manager. It may be possible for the line manager to agree a time to train request simply on the basis of the written application. If so, the employee will receive written confirmation from HR within 28 days of receipt of their application.

Where it is not possible to agree to the time to train request based on the written application alone, the following procedure will be followed:

  • Your line manager will meet with you within 28 days of receipt of the written application, to discuss further. You have the right to be accompanied by a Unison representative or work colleague.
  • This meeting will provide both you and your line manager the opportunity to discuss the desired time to train in depth and consider how it might be accommodated. Both parties must be prepared to be flexible. If the original time to train cannot be accommodated, this meeting also provides an opportunity to investigate whether an alternative arrangement can be agreed.
  • Within 14 days of the meeting taking place, the employee will receive written confirmation, either accepting your request, confirming any compromise arrangement previously agreed at the meeting or rejecting your request, providing a business reason and an explanation as to why this is relevant to your application.

Where a request is refused, you have the right of appeal.

An appeal must be made in writing within 14 days of the date of notification of the council’s decision. This should be submitted to the HR Services Manager.

On receipt of the written appeal, HR will arrange for the appeal to be considered by an alternative manager, to ensure that the request is being considered objectively.

You will then be notified of the appeal decision within 14 days of the appeal meeting.

If the appeal decision confirms the decline of the application, you will not be able to re-apply for time off to train for a period of 12 months from the date on which the application was made.

If you require any further information or guidance on the time to train legislation, please do not hesitate to contact the HR team.

going beyond

Contact details

Human Resources team

Telephone: 01256 845584

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