Highlighting Managerial Leadership

A range of officer development opportunities.


The next generation of local government will be leading through unprecedented times and councils have a vital role play in building civil society:

  • making tough decisions
  • devolving power to local people
  • promoting fairness and tackling inequality.  

As the role of councils is rapidly changing, so to is that of our officers, managers and chief executives. To support the leadership capacity of these professionals now and in the future our offer focuses particularly on ensuring:

  • the brightest and best graduates are encouraged and supported into the sector
  • those leading our local authorities are offered, joint political and managerial development opportunities;  stretching their knowledge and capability to effectively lead across place, together.
LGA and Solace Group managerial leadership programmes

The LGA sponsors Solace Group to deliver managerial leadership programmes to rising stars and executive leaders.

IGNITE - a Solace leadership programme for chief executives

IGNITE is a programme which is supported by the Local Government Association and which has been delivered in 2016/2018 by Collaborate CIC.

Solace and LGA coaching & mentoring

The LGA in partnership with Solace, are pleased to be able to continue this programme of national coaching support for Chief Executives and their direct reports.  The programme has also recently been extended to provide career support to middle managers from BAME and other under-represented backgrounds 

National Graduate Development Programme

The NGDP seeks to match bright, passionate graduates with councils where they can deliver key projects and amazing value for money.

Leading Edge

The LGA's Leading Edge area of work focuses on the critical interface between elected leaders and senior officers; challenging them to consider the key issues facing councils, communities and the wider public sector.

Local Government Challenge

LG Challenge is an annual competition for local government officers to take part in a series of real-life challenges hosted by local authorities across the country and compete for a 10k scholarship.

Responding to the Climate Emergency

The programme will help senior council officers, across all services, to explore their crucial local leadership role in responding to the climate emergency. During the course, you’ll commit to two carbon reducing actions. These actions will be evaluated by the Carbon Literacy Project for you to be certified as carbon literate, enabling you to train others in your area of work. If you have any questions, you can read the frequently asked questions.   

CIPFA Training for Chief Finance Officers

The CIPFA CFO Leadership Academy is aimed at serving and aspiring CFOs across the public sector who want to strengthen their personal impact and leadership skills. Delegates from English local authorities may be eligible for an LGA bursary.

Further information 

Commercial and contract management

The Government Commercial College provides key commercial and contract management learning for civil servants and the wider public sector. These free e-learning courses cover a range of topics, and are designed to support those in both commercial and non-commercial roles to develop their skills and achieve a baseline of professional excellence.

You need to register for an account to gain access to the course catalogue and the courses.

Cyber, digital and technology
  • The Local Government Association has been awarded £1 million from the National Cyber Security Programme to fund local government officers in England to undertake a professionally certified course, as part of a sector-wide skills uplift. Please contact [email protected] for more information or visit here.
  • The Cyber 360 programme supports councils to explore their cyber security culture – sharing fresh perspectives in a safe, friendly and constructive environment. We are now inviting expressions of interest from all councils, and from council officers, to take part in the programme as participating councils or as members of the Cyber 360 team. We are happy to have a conversation with anyone who is considering taking part in an LGA Cyber 360 either as a volunteer officer or as a participating council. Please email [email protected] to book in a conversation or read more on our 360s webpage
  • The LGA Cyber Security Programme is providing grant funding for a cohort of senior officers and councillors to enrol on a university-led course for leaders. This is the University of Oxford’s Cyber Security for Business Leaders Programme, for which they have offered a discounted rate. We are currently taking expressions of interest from any councillors and officers at non-IT ‘Heads of Service’ and above looking to enhance their understanding of cyber risk to enable better strategic decision making for a cyber-resilient future. Places are limited and funded on a first come first serve basis. Please make the relevant colleagues aware of this offer and for further information and expressions of interest please email [email protected].
  • Cyber, Digital and Technology working groups and networks – the LGA provides various forums for officer development to collaborate with likeminded colleagues within the cyber and digital space across groups: Local Government Digital Committee (LGDC), Digital Inclusion Network, Transformation Network, Digital Construction Working Group and the Cyber Security Policy Group. For more information please see the Stakeholder Section of our digital resource webpage.