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The Standards Commission is an independent body whose purpose is to encourage high ethical standards in public life through the promotion and enforcement of Codes of Conduct for councillors and those appointed to the boards of devolved public bodies.

Scottish Government’s Consultation on Mandatory Training for Councillors on their role in the Planning System

23rd September 2023

The Scottish Government’s is currently consulting on mandatory training for councillors on their role in the planning system. The consultation closes on 26 October 2023.

The Government notes that elected members have a crucial role in the decision-making process within the planning system, by carrying out specific planning functions including the determination of certain planning applications for their local authority. It notes, however, that elected members do not necessarily have a planning background and consider it is vital that adequate training is provided to ensure that they have the knowledge and understanding to help them make decisions that are robust and sound in planning reason.

The Government is intending to implement mandatory training on planning for elected members as part of a wider package of measures to improve the performance of the planning system as a whole. Section 45 of the Planning (Scotland) Act 2019, once in force, will prohibit elected members from carrying out certain specified planning functions if they have not completed training specified by Scottish Ministers. This consultation is seeking views on the proposed approach to implementing this training.

A copy of the consultation paper, which incorporates the questions being posed, can be found here. The Standards Commission's response, submitted on 27 September 2023 can be found here