The Association of Democratic Services Officers is a national body, which represents all members who work or have worked within the Democratic Service, within Local Authorities, Joint Authorities and Employers Organisations.

The definition of the functions covered by the Association is as follows:

  • Meetings support – providing support services to the Council, the Executive/ Cabinet, the Council’s committees (including overview and scrutiny and regulatory), forums, appeal hearings, licensing panel, and area bodies and partnership meetings. Providing advice on meeting procedures and legislation.
  • Overview and scrutiny support – providing assistance to the scrutiny function, helping members to scope, research, analyse evidence and draft reports.
  • Member support – supporting the Council’s elected members including training and development, political and group support, the supply of information, the support of member related administration services, members’ ward enquiries, administration of members’ allowances payments and general advice on the ethical framework for councillors.
  • Community Governance – to support the work of Councils and councillors in delivering services in neighbourhoods and community areas
  • Civic support – providing a support service to the Mayor and other civic representatives, the Lord Lieutenancy, arranging major civic events and twinning activities.

Membership is open to anyone who works or has worked within any of the functions listed in the definition of the Association. This includes members who work for Local Authorities, Joint Authorities, Housing Associations and Employers Organisations. Membership runs from 1 November – 31 October each year.

At our Board meeting on 18 September 2020, the Board agreed to offer 12 months free membership to those who are actively looking for a job within democratic services and are currently unemployed. We are hoping to increase future democratic services professionals in both their knowledge and networking to help them improve their employment prospects. If you are someone you know my be interested in this offer, please let us know by emailing or contacting our Company Secretary,

Our current membership rate from 1 November 2021 onwards is £55 per person plus VAT (ie £66 inc VAT) for full members, reduced to £30+VAT (ie £36 inc VAT ) for part time members (people working under 35 hours per week) with discounts for Authorities who will pay subscriptions on behalf of members on the following basis:

2 to 5 members – 10% overall reduction
6 to 10 members – 15% overall reduction
11 members or more – 20% overall reduction

As in previous years, we have an early bird offer on new memberships for those who join ADSO between August and October. Basically this means that anybody joining during this period will have whatever remians of that period up until 31 October included for free. So if you know of anybody wishing to join, please alert them to this value for money offer.

To join download either of the application forms below:


PDF Format:

ADSO Membership Application Form – Individual 2021-22-v10

extension: pdf

ADSO Membership Application Form – Multiple Memberships 2021-22 v10

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Word Format:

ADSO Membership Application Form – Individual 2021-22-v10

extension: doc

ADSO Membership Application Form – Multiple Memberships 2021-22 v10

extension: doc


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