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Ireland´s Public Service Development Agency

Leadership in Local Government

In times of challenge and change, organisations need strong leadership. Public service transformation is now a priority issue and local authorities are set to play a key role in this transformation. Local authorities are also critical to the development of infrastructure, to stimulating economic activity and to supporting local communities.

To engage successfully with these issues in the current challenging economic times, local authorities need managers with the vision and drive to make a difference; who think innovatively and holistically about the challenges they face and who can follow through with real focus and determination to deliver results and public value.

It has now become even more essential for local authority managers to balance competing priorities, develop new approaches to service delivery; be willing to adapt to change and adopt new behaviours to enhance effectiveness.

These are the key issues underpinning the content, focus and learning methodologies on the Leadership in Local Government Programme. This programme is aimed at developing within individuals the capacity to understand and change organisational systems and to understand and change oneself.

A key objective is to build capacity in individuals to operate outside of their functional responsibilities and to broaden their understanding of organisational and system issues, enhancing their ability to operate at a strategic level. The programme therefore challenges individuals to move beyond their current functional roles and behaviour; to open up to approaches when working with others to achieve goals and to generate more efficient and innovative outcomes.

Further information about the programme is available below or see the Course Brochure Here.

Programme Details

This intensive, modular programme focuses on the development of leadership and management skills including personal development. Candidates for this programme typically come from SEO, SE, AO, SEE and analogous grades. They are also typically involved in strategic work, can demonstrate innovation, drive, leadership capacity and have aspirations for promotion to more senior positions.

The personal development element of the programme will include developing self-awareness through 360° feedback and reflection; exercising leadership by moving out of ‘the comfort zone’; enhancing authentic and effective communications; and building resilience and a focus on purpose.

The programme incorporates a variety of learning methodologies including; formal and informal feedback, peer learning, interaction with senior local government managers and expert inputs.

Individual Feedback: An important vehicle for integrating the organisational and individual strands of learning will be one-to-one coaching sessions with an experienced coach. Each participant will identify and address a number of key learning issues for the programme. These can be drawn from pre-determined development goals or from the 360° feedback tool used on the programme.

Peer Learning: The varying perspectives, experience and multi-functional mix of participants is an important element of the programme to help stimulate comprehensive and robust analysis of issues and to challenge perspectives and behaviours. Active interaction and exchange between participants in discussions and group activities is central to learning.

Approaches to Learning

Approaches to learning on this programme are based on the belief that learning and development must be embedded in the real issues facing managers and organisations.

Participants on the programme commit to taking responsibility for their own learning and development and for using this learning to benefit their organisation. Individuals are challenged and supported to link their on- programme learning to real challenges faced in their organisations.

Learning methodologies are varied and designed to support and challenge individuals and groups. The programme facilitates learning by creating a forum for discussion and debate on issues and on the requisite skills and behaviours needed to practically lead and achieve change in the context of their real work challenges. A key focus is on the value of peer exchange and learning. Learning from peers is highly relevant and very impactful. To support and challenge peers and self to full learning requires full commitment to the programme and engagement and participation on many levels.

To get the most out of the programme participants will need the energy and enthusiasm to commit to and fully participate in all activities of the programme. Attendance at all modules is compulsory.

Participation is not limited to module time as there is significant degree of ‘inter-module’ activity such as individual coaching, group work, reflection and practice. Candidates should consider this requirement when applying for the programme, as these are essential and fundamental components of participation.

Participants will have the opportunity to identify their development goals at the outset and in conjunction with their coaching session reflect on how they are linking these goals to organisational challenges and needs.

Application Process, Fee and Dates

Chief Executives are invited to nominate up to two executives for the Programme.

Nomination Form Available Here

The 2017 Programme Fee is €2,750 per person.

The closing date for nominations is Friday, 3 March 2017.  We would encourange submitting nominations as early as possible to secure a place on the programme as a limited number of places are available.

Dates for 2017

Module 1: 22-23 March 2017 (Venue: Mullingar)
Module 2: 17-18 May 2017 (Venue: Kilkenny)
Module 3: 21-22 June 2017 (Venue: Derry)
Module 4: 6-7 September 2017 (Venue: Mullingar)

*Dates may be subject to change.

Bookings / Enquiries

Nominations should be received no later than Friday, 3 March 2017 and should be sent to:
Emer McManus
Central Bookings Office
Institute of Public Administration | 57-61 Lansdowne Road, Dublin D04 TC62
Tel: (01) 240 3666 | Fax: (01) 668 9135 | Email:

The Leadership in Local Government Programme is supported by the Local Government County & City Management Association and the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government.

57-61 Lansdowne Road, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4 | Tel: +353 1 240 3600 | Fax: +353 1 668 9135 | Registration no: 21087