Becoming a DSO – An Introduction

20th May 2021 @ 9:30 am – 12:30 pm
Online via Zoom
Kirsty Lowe

ADSO are delighted to announce the launch of a new, interactive, virtual course ‘Becoming a DSO – an introduction’.  Specifically designed for those taking their first steps into the world of Democratic Services- this course is aimed at those in the first eight weeks of starting.

This is a quick introduction, designed to give you some essentials and to give you the chance to ask questions and meet other new starters.  It will be delivered as a single 2.5-3 hour workshop.

This course is aimed at newly appointed Democratic Services Officers who wish to develop their understanding of their role.   It is for those who have never worked in this area before and who want a quick introduction to orient themselves.

How the course will be delivered
The course will be delivered virtually, and by the end of the workshop you will:

  • Understand what a local Council is and how it is funded.
  • Know the different types of local Council and what services they provide
  • Understand how decisions are made and your role in supporting this, both in and out of meetings
  • Have a sense of how accountability works in local government, how Councils and Councillors are held to account and the role of scrutiny.
  • Have considered the impact of politics and what this means for you as an officer of the Council.

The workshops will include plenary presentations, case studies and smaller group working, enabling delegates to learn with delegates from across the country.

Learner requirements
You will be required to watch a short video and reflect on some of the ‘jargon’ you may have already experienced in preparation for some of the activities.

Peter Sass, ADSO Vice Chair and Head of Governance for Richmond and Wandsworth Councils
Peter Sass, ADSO Vice Chair and Head of Governance for Richmond and Wandsworth Councils in South-West London; Deputy Monitoring Officer for Wandsworth Council.  Peter has over 35 years’ experience in numerous governance roles; mainly Democratic/Members’ Services and elections/electoral registration. He has worked at all tiers of local government including a parish council.  Peter has supported ADSO since its inception in 2009 and believes passionately in the professionalisation of the sector.

Lennox Beattie, Executive and Regulatory Manager, Blackpool Council
Lennox is an experienced Democratic Services practitioner having been the Executive and Regulatory Manager at Blackpool Council for the past 14 years. He has been responsible for support to the Executive and its governance for that period.

Lennox is also involved in ADSO work through the qualifications, which includes both the certificate and diploma.

Date and time
Thursday, 20 May 2021 – 09:30-12:30

Virtual Platform – The virtual workshop will be held using Zoom.


  • ADSO Member rate – £55 per person to attend the course
  • Non-ADSO Member rate – £80 per person to attend the course

All costs subject to VAT.

ADSO learners – This course is not part of the offer to ADSO members working towards the Certificate or Diploma

How to book a place
To book a place please use the online booking form via the link below:

Please note that you will need to supply a purchase order number.  This can either be done by adding to your online booking, alternatively email the purchase order to

If you have any questions about the course contact

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