Certificate in Local Council Administration (CiLCA)

Entry Level Qualification

CiLCA is an entry level qualification which tests whether you have a broad knowledge of all the aspects of a clerk’s work – roles and responsibilities, the law, procedures, finance planning and community involvement.

Certificate in Local Council Administration (CiLCA)

Course Overview

Helping you to build a rewarding career in your council

Study CiLCA and learn the tools to:

  • Make confident, informative decisions for your council and your community
  • Adapt to changing circumstances
  • Set a vision for the future for your council and your community
  • Advise and support the council as it identifies and implements plans for the future
  • Advise the council on its duties and powers
  • Ensure your council is compliant with proper financial practices
  • Respond to questions and problems with a dynamic, ‘can-do’ attitude
  • Choose to submit your portfolio in English or Welsh language (please note that guidance and the portfolio are provided in English language only)

CiLCA forms part of the criteria for the council to exercise the General Power of Competence. Click here to find out how CiLCA can benefit your council.

England – Find out more about the General Power of Competence here.

Wales – Find out more about the General Power of Competence here.

When a council’s chief officer (the clerk) obtains CiLCA, this meets one criterion for the general power of competence. In England, this also contributes to Quality and Quality Gold in the Local Council Award Scheme.

Wales – one of the qualifying criteria to exercise GPoC from 5 May 2022 is that the clerk must hold the CiLCA qualification.


You will have access to the course and learning platform for 12 months once you are registered


200 hours of work

This includes:

  • Workplace activities
  • Training sessions
  • Writing time
  • Mentor support

CPD Points

Claim a total of 20 CPD points for completing CiLCA


Online, self-paced


£450 (non-vatable)*

Please note that the cost for the qualification is separate from the CiLCA Portfolio training course. Students must register for the CiLCA Portfolio training separately.

Click here to view the CiLCA additional costs.

*Fees usually increase annually

Are you an SLCC member or a clerk in Wales? You could be eligible for a bursary. Click here to find out more.


Minimum of 12 months in post as a local council officer with a good working knowledge and understanding of a clerk’s role and work involved (can be gained by attending courses, in-house training, and practical experience).

Attendance on a CiLCA Portfolio training course.

“The feedback from the assessor was invaluable and they NEVER criticised – only offered assistance and guidance where and when needed. I will certainly recommend anyone to use EMMA for their CILCA portfolio.” Jane Tyrrell, Hartley Parish Council

Councillors and officers of advisory bodies have also taken CiLCA in the past. CiLCA is flexible enough to suit candidates from the diversity of local councils as long as a candidate has documents from a local council that can be annotated for CiLCA.


Ascentis, the awarding body, recommends that you attend training to assist you in completing your qualification. By attending a CiLCA training course, you will have access to a recognised CiLCA trainer. You can then ask them any questions regarding CiLCA.

Complete the CiLCA Training Needs Analysis. See how you score and if you find you should study ILCA or do induction training with your County Association, then don’t apply for CiLCA just yet.

Contact your County Association in the first instance, to find out dates and cost of your County Association CiLCA training. SLCC also provide training for CiLCA, click here to view SLCC’s available training.

Please note that the cost for the CiLCA Portfolio training course is separate to the qualification. Students must register for the CiLCA qualification separately.

When booking your CiLCA training session lookout for the CiLCA recognised trainer logo.

CiLCA Recognised Trainer

Click here to view the CiLCA Recognised Trainer list.


The CiLCA syllabus requires you to demonstrate that you have the core knowledge and skills for working with a local council through 30 learning outcomes across 5 units. Each unit has three to nine learning outcomes and related assessment criteria.

The 5 units are:

  • Core Roles in Local Council Administration
  • Law and Procedures for Local Councils
  • Finance for Local Councils
  • Management for Local Councils
  • Community Engagement

To see a full CiLCA syllabus download the CiLCA Portfolio Guide Digital 2022 (English).

Or CiLCA Portfolio Guide Digital 2022 (Welsh)


Your knowledge and understanding is assessed by showing that you can meet the assessment criteria by providing evidence in a portfolio. Your portfolio will be assessed one unit at a time (in any order).

Assessors check your performance against the assessment criteria.

You can find out how to submit work on EMMA in this short video.

There is a wide range of policies available for those undertaking their CiLCA qualification, and for CiLCA trainers too. Please click here to view the list of policies available.

If you would like to view a copy of a specific policy, please email [email protected].

CiLCA students will be able to access the relevant policies on the CiLCA qualification through EMMA.

CiLCA Support

SLCC provide support designed for students who have already attended CiLCA training with SLCC or the County Association. Each webinar covers one unit and provides individual support, for a maximum of 6 delegates.

To view the available support webinar dates (CiLCA Focus Sessions) click here.

The SLCC offer virtual, one-to-one mentoring sessions. For more information, please contact the Qualifications Administrator – [email protected].

Enrol for CiLCA

All prospective CiLCA candidates will be registered via SLCC on the e-portfolio system called ‘EMMA’ in bi-monthly intakes. You have 12 months from your intake date to complete the qualification.

Payment for the CiLCA must be received by the intake date for you to be setup on EMMA. If payment is not received by the intake date, unfortunately, you will not be set up on EMMA until the following intake.

Next intake commences:
01 December 2023

Important: Please ensure that, when you register for the CiLCA course online, you log in and register for yourself and not on behalf of someone else.

If you have a colleague who wishes to register for the CiLCA course please ask them to set up a user account here.


The CiLCA qualification is awarded/accredited by Ascentis. After successfully completing the qualification your portfolio will be ratified by Ascentis. After this has taken place you will be issued an e-certificate via email.