Certificate in Local Council Administration (CiLCA)

Broad knowledge

CiLCA is a foundation 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.

The cost to register for CiLCA is £410 (non-vatable), see below for the additional costs.

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


Certificate in Local Council Administration (CiLCA)

Benefits of CiLCA

Study CiLCA and learn the tools to:

  • Make confident, informative decisions for your council and your community 
  • Advise the council on its duties and powers 
  • Adapt to changing circumstances 
  • Ensure your council is compliant with proper financial practices 
  • Set a vision for the future for your council and your community 
  • Respond to questions and problems with a dynamic, ‘can-do’ attitude 
  • Advise and support the council as it identifies and implements plans for the future
  • Choose to submit your portfolio in English or Welsh language (please note that guidance and the portfolio are provided in English language only)
  • Claim 20 CPD points

England – CiLCA forms part of the criteria for the council to exercise the General Power of Competence (GPoC). Find out more about the General Power of Competence here.

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

Who can take CiLCA?

CiLCA is suitable for all officers working with local councils. 

You will need a good working knowledge and understanding of a clerk’s role and work involved. We recommend that you are in post for a minimum of 12 months before applying for the CiLCA qualification. 
Good working knowledge and understanding of the clerk’s role can be gained by attending courses, in-house training and practical experience. 
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. When a council’s chief officer (clerk) obtains CiLCA, the council may be eligible, in England, to apply for the Local Council Award Scheme (Quality and Quality Gold) and also able to use the general power of competence.

Click here to view the CiLCA leaflet (printable version)

How much is CiLCA?

The CiLCA qualification fee is £410 (non-vatable). 

In addition to the qualification fee you will need to attend training courses in order to build your CiLCA portfolio:

  • Virtual courses: delivered over 6 webinar sessions, for 2 hours once a month throughout the year – £250 + VAT for SLCC members, £300 + VAT for non-members
  • Face-to-Face courses: delivered over 4 days, each day of the course covers all the questions within the five sections of the portfolio – £340 + VAT for SLCC members, £390 + VAT for non-members

You may incur further costs that are not included in the qualification fee (e.g. referrals, extension request).

Click here to view the CiLCA additional costs.

“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

Am I ready to register?

You need to be sure that you are ready to study CiLCA and should consider studying CiLCA when you have gained some experience of working in the sector (at least 12 months).

1. Training needs analysis

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’register for CiLCA just yet.


2. To book onto a CiLCA training course

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 CiLCtrainer. You can then ask them any questions regarding CiLCA. Please note that the cost for the CiLCA Portfolio training course is separate to the qualification. Students must register for the CiLCA qualification separately.

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.

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



3. Portfolio guide

Once you have booked onto CiLCA training, download the CiLCA Portfolio Guide Digital 2022 It is advisable to read the portfolio guide prior to starting your CiLCA training.


4. Apply for the CiLCA qualification

Apply online for your CiLCA qualification. The cost of the qualification is £410 (non-vatable) 
ImportantPlease ensure that, when you apply for CiLCA online, you login and register for yourself and not on behalf of someone else. 
If you have a colleague who wishes to register for CiLCA please ask them to setup a user account here. 
All prospective CiLCA candidates will be registered via SLCC on the e-portfolio system called ‘EMMA’ in bi-monthly intakes starting from 1 April 2021. You will have 12 months from your intake date to complete the qualification. Registering after your first training session will make the best use of your time. 
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.

Are you an SLCC member or a clerk in Wales?
You could be eligible for a bursary, click here to find out more.
Please also ensure you register for CiLCA (Wales) which contains the relevant legislation and content for clerk’s in Wales – choose either the English or Welsh language version.

5. Submissions 

You can take a look at how to submit work on EMMA in this short video.


6. CiLCA Support Webinars

Designed for students who have already attended face-to-face, CiLCA training with SLCC or the County Association, each webinar will cover one unit and, to provide individual support, for a maximum of 6 delegates.

We would ask that students who receive training and mentoring through their County Association to contact them in the first instance to find out if they are offering a similar virtual service.

To view the available support webinar dates, please click here.

The SLCC offer virtual, one-to-one mentoring sessions. For more information, please contact the Qualifications Administrator – cilca@slcc.co.uk


7. Completion

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. The e-certificate will feature a QR code which can be scanned by a mobile phone to authenticate the certificate.


There are 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 cilca@slcc.co.uk CiLCA students will be able to access the relevant policies on the CiLCA qualification through EMMA.