Become a clerk

The most senior employee in a local council is often known as the clerk or executive officer, and they have the legal role of proper officer. If you become a clerk you will provide the council with independent, objective and professional advice and support. Your role will be to ensure the council conducts its business lawfully.

What qualifications do I need to be a clerk?

Specific qualifications, skills and experience needed will depend on the employing council, but ideally you will have administrative experience and be IT literate.

You will be able to work towards obtaining a professional qualification known as the Certificate in Local Council Administration (CiLCA). The CiLCA is a foundation level qualification, which will test  all aspects of your work.  If you achieve the qualification, it will demonstrate that you have all knowledge and skills you need, and give you extra confidence in your role.

What responsibilities does the role entail?

As a clerk you will have a statutory duty to carry out all the functions of the role, and in particular to serve or issue all notifications, as per legal requirements. You will be seen as a professional adviser to the council and will be required to assist with developing policies and procedures to ensure that the council conducts their business and makes decisions within the constraints of the law and with best practices.

Sometimes, depending on the size of the council and the number of employees they have, you may also be the responsible financial officer (RFO) and asked to manage the council’s financial records and auditing procedures. Larger councils tend to have a separate RFO among a team of staff, while smaller councils often combine the RFO and clerk roles.

Why be a clerk?

Becoming a clerk can be tremendously fulfilling as it is  a key role within the local government sector. A competent clerk is a true asset to both the parish council and the community in which it serves. You will learn new skills and knowledge that can build your confidence and you will have the opportunity to gain a recognised qualification.