Two hour development sessions for scrutiny committee and board members – virtual or in person

Peer to peer learning

Practical tips and techniques

New tools and frameworks to try

Want to make scrutiny more effective?

Every councillor, committee and council are different, so scrutiny should work in a way that’s just right for each situation.

These two hour development sessions can be delivered virtually or in person and can be aimed at:

  • A single scrutiny committee
  • All scrutiny councillors
  • Scrutiny chairs and vice chairs
  • The scrutiny support team
  • Any combination of the above

Topics for sessions have included:  

  • The essentials of scrutiny
  • Making scrutiny more effective
  • Constructive questions
  • Constructive challenge 
  • Improving workplans for greater impact
  • Working with task and finish groups
  • Effective leadership and chairing

Discover new ways of working that are just right for you

Development sessions will help scrutiny councillors to be more effective.

Specifically the sessions will help councillors to:

  • Notice what’s working well so they can do more of it
  • Find new things to try that are just right for that committee
  • Hear what other’s find helpful in other councils
  • Share good practice ideas with colleagues
  • Debate and discuss challenges and solutions

What participants have said about the Constructive Conversations course

A thought provoking course. It helped me think through the best ways of ensuring conversations are constructive and minimising destructive behaviours that can so often derail meetings.  Councillor Liz Atkins, Overview and Scrutiny Chair, Lambeth London Borough Council

The best remotely delivered course I have experienced, an excellent blend of teaching and small group work to reinforce and apply learning. From the first session I was able to apply course insights to my Chair role, with better results straight away.  Jonathan Flowers, Non-Executive Director and Advisor. Chair of In2SCienceUK

Thought provoking and relevant course with plenty of ideas to take away and try.  David Lloyd, Programme Director and Deputy Chief Executive, Tpas Cymru

The Constructive Conversations course gave me a comprehensive theoretical framework based on research by conversation experts and plenty of pointers to more in-depth reading. It was also very practical, with loads of helpful examples and many opportunities to practice constructive conversations.  Anna Verhamme, Higher Education Consultant and former director of strategic planning and governance

An extremely enlightening and valuable course. I learnt a lot about myself as well as “the conversation” and I enjoyed meeting the other participants. I’m surprised at how much fun it was! Cllr. Sharon McCarney, Deputy Mayor, Fishguard and Goodwick Town Council

This course is brilliant and I would recommend it to everyone. It gives you the thinking and the practical tools – and it’s so valuable to have the time and space to consider these things and learn together with others.  Noreen Blanluet, Director, Co-production Network for Wales

How does it work?

Each session is tailored. Before each session Dave will discuss with you the format and content to ensure it is right for your needs.

Each development session lasts two hours and can be delivered online, via zoom, or in-person.

Each session is a mix of working in small groups, presentations and whole group discussion. The interactive format allows participants to work on issues relevant to them.

There is no limit on the number of participants for each council. 

Following the session you receive the slides from the presentations and any points captured in the chat or on flip charts.


Your course facilitator – Dr Dave Mckenna

Dr Dave Mckenna

Dave has delivered courses, workshops and webinars for a range of organisations including the Centre for Governance and Scrutiny, Tpas and Academi Wales. He is a self-confessed scrutiny and governance geek with extensive experience working with local government councillors and members of public bodies. Trained in solution focussed techniques, Dave combines enjoyable group work with insights from research and original tools and frameworks. 

You can find Dave on twitter or LinkedIn or check out his website for loads of helpful blog posts.

How much does it cost?

The standard price for each session is £800 (add expenses for in-person sessions).

If the sessions sound like they might be of interest, please drop me a line on my contacts page 


Not sure if it’s right for you?

Want to know more?

Check out this video of me introducing the course. 

Just drop me a line on my contacts page.