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Departmental Circular 7 2020

This training provides council members with the skills and knowledge to perform their roles as leaders in their local community. 

I would like to remind council members who were elected in the previous local government elections held on 19 October 2019, that they must complete the Council Member Essentials training by 19 October 2020, unless an exemption applies. 

A brief overview of the training, responsibilities and reporting requirements are outlined below.

Training details

  • The Council Member Essentials training recognises the challenging role of council members and includes the following five units:
    • understanding local government
    • serving on council
    • meeting procedures
    • conflicts of interest
    • understanding financial reports and budgets.
  • The training is expected to take about five days to complete and can be undertaken over the course of a year.
  • The training can be delivered flexibly, either online or face-to-face, by the approved training providers:
    • North Metropolitan TAFE
    • South Metropolitan TAFE
    • Western Australian Local Government Association (WALGA).
  • These providers can be contacted for further details on training availability and fees.
  • Once completed, the training is valid for five years, so an elected member is only required to undertake the training at every second election.

Local government responsibilities 

  • Individual council members should take steps to ensure that they have undertaken the mandatory training within the required timeframe.
  • Each council should monitor the uptake and completion of training and encourage members to meet the mandatory training requirements.
  • The CEO and local government staff should ensure that reporting on council member training is up-to-date and published on the local council’s website.

Reporting requirements

  • Local councils are required to report annually on council member training and the CEO must publish this on the council’s website, within one month after the end of the financial year to which the report relates.
  • The report must list the training each council member has completed in that financial year. This will include both the Council Members Essentials course, where applicable, and continuing professional development undertaken in line with the local council’s policy, which is also required under the Act.
For further information, please contact the Strategic Initiatives team at


Page reviewed 27 February 2023