ADSO offer two qualifications for those working in Democratic Services: a Certificate in Democratic Services Knowledge and Diploma in Local Democracy.


Certificate in Democratic Services Knowledge

Target Audience

This qualification is aimed at those who already work in the Democratic Services area, including all Democratic functions such as meetings support, scrutiny, members support and civic support. They may be newly appointed or want to get some recognition for their skills and knowledge learnt ‘on the job’.  For more details about the Certificate in Democratic Services Knowledge download this brochure.


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Gaining the Certificate

Each learner will be assigned an Assessor to support them through their qualification. In order to achieve the modules, learners will be required to write  seven assignments which they will submit through an e-portfolio and which will be signed off by their Assessor before quality assurance and certification. There is no formal training required but ADSO provide a number of resources to support learners including Knowledge Banks to help with research and guidance on completing their assignments. Learners are also entitled to attend ADSO training course directly relevant to their qualification free of charge.



Learners must complete their assignments to set deadlines with the aim of completing within an agreed timescale (about 20 months) They need to plan and manage their time in order to achieve this – it is not possible to achieve the qualification without being prepared to spend time working on it in the learners own time.


 £1140 + VAT for an ADSO member  and £1470 + VAT for a non ADSO member


Expression of interest

The next cohort of Certificate learners is due to start in March 2020.  Please note that we have already had a high level of interest for this cohort so we are currently operating a waiting list. If you would like to be added to the waiting list you need to register your interest in the qualification by emailing Sue Crosland at SW Councils: with the following information:

  • Name
  • Job title and Authority
  • Contact telephone number and email address
  • Reasons for wanting to undertake the qualification
  • CV providing an overview of experience in Democratic Services

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