This three day programme will give participants an in-depth knowledge of Research Methods relevant to scrutiny investigations, examining the roles of surveys, benchmarking, focus groups, commissioning external research, evaluation techniques, and the weighing of evidence.
It will also study the processes of Holding to Account by focusing on the effectiveness of select committees and scrutiny committees, the Scrutiny of Performance and Budgets, and Call-ins. It will examine External Scrutiny, and its development in relation to scrutiny of health, crime, local partnerships, and other joint working.
Finally, the module focuses on the Wider usage of Scrutiny Methods and Techniques, for example, considering case-studies of the police, the voluntary sector, boards of arms-length agencies, and partnerships.
The purposes of the programme is:
To provide participants with an in depth analysis of the methods used in scrutiny investigations, in local government, in parliamentary select committees, and elsewhere.
To give participants a qualification, endorsed by a leading university, which will recognise their knowledge in the field of scrutiny and special skills
To assist in developing scrutiny investigations as exercises in research or evaluation
To explore the issues which arise in managing the scrutiny process, including the relationships with senior politicians and officials
To provide a pathway to a higher degree for those who wish to take it.
Who should attend?
It is designed for those involved or interested in scrutiny in local government, but the material covered here, i.e. applied research techniques for policy analysts, is extremely relevant to policy analysts, or those aspiring to become policy analysts, interested in learning about practical research and information gathering techniques.
How will it be taught?
Those who choose can be assessed (the majority who take the module). To do this they submit a 3,000 word essay, and if this passes at post-graduate level then this isrecorded by the University of Birmingham as 10 credit points (*subject to University approval) towards a post-graduate degree, diploma or certificate. This is therefore a route through which those who have developed expertise in scrutiny, most often as officials supporting the process but in some cases as councillors or scrutineers, can get recognition and accreditation for what they have learnt.
Teaching methods include formal presentations, use of video, individual and group tasks, case studies and problemsolving workshops.
Those who would like 20 credits may also take the 10-unit module in Overview and Scrutiny, which will run 30 September and 1-2 October 2013.
For more information, please feel free to discuss how this course might help you with Jeevan Shoker, email@example.com 0121 414 4980 or Andrew Coulson firstname.lastname@example.org
Key topics include:
An critical appreciation of the theory that underlies scrutiny when undertaken as a process of research
The contribution of scrutiny to processes of holding to account
Cost effective means of collecting information and data
The politics and processes of evaluation
Scrutiny of performance and budgets
The scrutiny of external agencies and partnerships
Andrew Coulson is a nationally-recognised expert on scrutiny in local government and is particularly interested in governance by committees.
Simon Baddeley has a particular interest in the areas of member-officer working and political management leadership
Fees and booking
£500 plus £150 for post-graduate accreditation (which is optional but for many a key reason for coming on the programme).This course is exempt from VAT.
Online booking form:
Certificate in Scrutiny Methods and Investigations
06 - 08 November 2013
Flyer: Certificate in Scrutiny Methods and Investigations (PDF 534KB)
The programme will run in Muirhead Tower ten minutes drive from the centre of Birmingham or 15 minutes walk from University railway station.
The programme will run on the University of Birmingham campus in Edgbaston. The course is non-residential, but three star hotel accommodation on the Conference Park can be booked separately by those who wish to stay close by.
To book and reserve places please contact:
Tel: 0121 414 4980