Local Council Award Scheme
Prior to 2015, Councils were accredited under the former Quality Parish Scheme, which was launched by DEFRA in July 2003. The scheme was updated in June 2008. The Parish Council was first accredited on 19th March 2008 as the 549th Council nationally and was re-accredited in 2012.
The scheme was updated and relaunched as the Local Council Award Scheme (LCAS) in February 2015, with three levels (Foundation, Quality and Quality Gold).
The Parish Council was the second in Northamptonshire to be awarded Quality status, in December 2015.
The Foundation Award is for Councils who want to show they meet a set of minimum standards to deliver effectively for their communities. To meet this award the Council demonstrates that it has the required documentation and information in place for operating lawfully and according to standard practice. The Council also has policies for training for its Councillors and officers.
The Quality Award demonstrates that a Council achieves good practice in governance, community engagement and council improvement. Quality Councils go above and beyond their legal obligations, leading their communities and continuously seeking opportunities to improve and develop even further.
To achieve the Quality Award a Council demonstrates that it meets all requirements of the Foundation Award and has additional evidence of good governance, effective community engagement and council improvement. A Council with a Quality Award can also be eligible to use the General Power of Competence.
The Quality Gold Award demonstrates that a Council is at the forefront of best practice and achieves excellence in governance, community leadership and Council development. Quality Gold Councils provide leadership for their communities, bring people together, have excellent business planning processes, ensuring value for money as well as constantly seeking new innovations and opportunities to improve.
How is the accreditation undertaken?
The County Accreditation Panel meets to review the submitted applications and on-line evidence portfolio. The panel's decision is then forwarded to the National Association of Local Councils for formal certification.
The accreditation must be renewed every 4 years.