Listen to the new House of Commons Library Podcast

Bringing you the latest in Westminster and beyond.

Each week the House of Commons Library will tackle a new topic in 20 minutes, helping you stay up to date. The schedule for future episodes is as follows:

Please listen, and subscribe via the site if you’d like to have future episodes delivered straight to your inbox.

Find the podcast here: https://commonslibrary.parliament.uk/category/podcast/

Happy listening!
House of Commons Library

NEW: courses to help you with casework

The House of Commons Library is offering four new ‘taster’ courses aimed at helping you answer common constituents’ questions in the areas of housing, special educational needs, employment law and anti-social behaviour.

The training will be provided in Westminster by experienced lawyers. You can sign-up via ACT by first logging into the ACT Learning Pool (via Office 365), and then clicking the links below:

Introduction to Housing Law for caseworkers
The Law and Special Educational Needs and Disability
An introduction to employment law for caseworkers
The Law and anti-social behaviour

Once you have registered, we will be in touch with further details.  If you have any questions, please contact hclibrary@parliament.uk or call x3666.

Library Talks

The House of Commons Library Talks are available in audio format on the UK Parliament YouTube Channel.

A full list of talks, including those without audio, can be found on the intranet here: https://intranet.parliament.uk/research-online/commons-library-services/commons-library-talks/


The following list contains only those talks for which an audio recording is available:

Title: Social Policy – Commons Library talk and Q&A
Date originally presented: Wednesday 30 Nov 2016
Intranet page: http://bit.ly/2fX3jt1
YouTube link: http://bit.ly/2kzWCuw

Title: Brexit: ask the experts – Commons Library talk and Q&A
Date originally presented: Wednesday 16 Nov 2016
Intranet page: http://bit.ly/2fX3jt1
YouTube link: https://youtu.be/cIHGudcm9kA

Title: Earnings in 2016 – Commons Library talk
Date originally presented: Tuesday 08 Nov 2016
Intranet page: http://bit.ly/2kAai8J
YouTube link: https://youtu.be/hSdpD7xEDgY

Title: The Northern Powerhouse?
Date originally presented: Tuesday 01 Nov 2016
Intranet page: http://bit.ly/2kzOWs3
YouTube link: http://bit.ly/2kzZEPt

Title: Introduction of 30 hours of free childcare
Date originally presented: Tuesday 19 Jul 2016
Intranet page: http://bit.ly/28SzFSq
YouTube link: https://youtu.be/bEobVUKsC80

Title: Brexit: what happens next?
Date originally presented: Wednesday 13 Jul 2016
Intranet page: http://bit.ly/2kzZVlt
YouTube link: https://youtu.be/f62o-q_8cak

Title: Employment and Support Allowance changes from April 2017
Date originally presented: Tuesday 12 Jul 2016
Intranet page: http://bit.ly/28SzR3N
YouTube link: https://youtu.be/3QzscsAVCB8

Title: The role of the courts in the contemporary constitution
Date originally presented: Tuesday 05 Jul 2016
Intranet page: http://bit.ly/28SzxSS
YouTube link: https://youtu.be/Z2tuwczlgdk

Title: Elections May 2016: results in context
Date originally presented: Tuesday 24 May 2016
Intranet page: http://bit.ly/2kzSniu
YouTube link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QqcL-FtAQR0

Title: The phasing out of security of tenure in the social rented sector
Date originally presented: Tuesday 15 Mar 2016
Intranet page: http://bit.ly/21b5aIc
YouTube link: https://youtu.be/yl7PArqsj2g

Title: The Barnett Formula
Date originally presented: Wednesday 09 Mar 2016
Intranet page: http://bit.ly/21b50k0
YouTube link: https://youtu.be/OPlYOogzOCQ

Title: Replacing the UK’s nuclear deterrent
Date originally presented: Tuesday 08 Mar 2016
Intranet page: http://bit.ly/21b4QJv
YouTube link: https://youtu.be/J70VC77Cwu8

Title: Supporting science
Date originally presented: Wednesday 02 Mar 2016
Intranet page: http://bit.ly/1Uam2wF
YouTube link: https://youtu.be/M11BoqoEwOI

Title: The Draft Investigatory Powers Bill
Date originally presented: Tuesday 23 Feb 2016
Intranet page: http://bit.ly/2kA7SLs
YouTube link: https://youtu.be/k5SRZphmVho

Title: Hot topics in Higher Education and Further Education: funding and policy changes
Date originally presented: Wednesday 10 Feb 2016
Intranet page: http://bit.ly/2kAbblY
YouTube link: https://youtu.be/z9Fg4cVA4rQ

Complaints about an MP

There are two organisations which deal with complaints about Members of Parliament:

The Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards will investigate allegations that an MP has broken the Code of Conduct and the rules associated with it.  These include for example rules about: „

She will not investigate complaints about:

  • policy matters; „
  • an MP’s views or opinions; „
  • an MP’s handling of or decision about constituency cases and correspondence at any stage; (A local MP will generally do as much as they can to help a constituent, but (s)he is not obliged to take up every matter that is brought to their attention);
  • the conduct of an MP’s wider public life, unless the MP’s conduct has caused serious damage to the reputation of the House of Commons as a whole or of MPs more generally.

Further information can be found in the advice leaflet from the PCS.

Compliance Officer for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority

http://www.parliamentarycompliance.org.uk/

The post of Compliance Officer for IPSA was established by the Parliamentary Standards Act 2009, as amended by the Constitutional Reform and Governance Act 2010.

The Compliance Officer’s remit is defined in statute and is to:

  • conduct an investigation if he has reason to believe that an MP may have been paid an amount under the MPs’ Scheme of Business Costs and Expenses (the Scheme) that should not have been allowed; and
  • at the request of an MP, review a determination by IPSA to refuse reimbursement for an expense claim, in whole or in part.

As the Compliance Officer’s role is confined to matters pertaining to the Scheme, he has no power to investigate complaints that pre-date the creation of IPSA in May 2010. Complaints regarding expense claims prior to May 2010 are usually handled by the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards.

w4mp Guides

LIBRARY:  Authoritative guides to help in your job, useful links and light reading.  

—-

Since it began in 2000 w4mp has commissioned an extensive collection is a of guides to good practice to provide you with advice and support in carrying out the main activities expected of you in your job.

Most guides are written by staff working for MPs; some originate from various House Departments or our good friends in the  House of Commons Library.

Guides are constantly being revised and updated so if you do print a guide out please remember to check back from time to time to see if changes have been made.

Navigating the w4mp Library

You can search the whole site, including guides, using the standard search bar or this search box:

Or you can follow these links

If you would like to see a full list of all guides then we have a Guide Index that you can consult.

“My Constituency” iPad app now available

A new version of the ‘My Constituency’ iPad app has been released on the iTunes Store. Created by the find people in the House of Commons Library it will display key statistics for each constituency area including election results, unemployment, youth unemployment and population,

screenshot
screenshot

In this version new datasets have been added and improvements to the displays have been made.

You can find out and compare results from one area to another and against the region or the UK as a whole. The information is displayed in bar charts and line graphs. Or you can use My Constituency’s map to find out about a constituency and those around it.

The datasets are produced by House of Commons Library statisticians using a variety of authoritative sources including the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and the Department for Work and Pensions. The unemployment figures are updated monthly and with other statistics updated annually.

Find out more and if you do download it you might like to provide feedback.

View In iTunes  (an Android version is promised for the next release)

Training

Learning and Development

The main resource for training for Members’ Staff is The Commons Learning and Development team. Courses take place both on the Parliamentary Estate and in regional cities, and if a course of interest is not available at a convenient location or date, they will endeavor to accommodate specific requirements, subject to sufficient demand.

Courses are free of charge to all Members’ staff who are paid through IPSA’s staffing allowance and travel costs to training events can be met from the expenses scheme administered by IPSA.

Full details can be found in the training section of the Parliamentary Intranet.

The full course catalogue is available via Act – the Parliamentary learning management system.  A list of course can be found at the bottom of this page.

House of Commons Library

The House of Commons Library also provides training that may be of value to staff.  Courses are open to Members of both Houses, their staff and parliamentary staff, unless otherwise stated on the course schedule and individual arrangements can be made for constituency staff.

See the Library’s training page on the Parliamentary Intranet for details and booking.

Other Providers

As you would expect, listing here does not imply any endorsement or promotion of the providers, but we are happy to list any organisation offering relevant training for Members’ staff. 

If you have any suggestions, or if you would like your organisation to be featured here, please contact us via our Feedback Form

Westminster Professionals

Training, networking and support for those in and around Westminster

  • Training delivered by political professionals who understand your daily challenges
  • Networking opportunities across Parliament – strengthening your connections, giving you new ideas and enhancing your career prospects.
  • Support for you and your office with individualised training, advice and services

Current Training Courses

Upcoming training courses

We have received information about upcoming training courses that staff can sign up for. Courses are free of charge to all Members’ staff who are paid through IPSA’s staffing allowance and travel costs to training events can be met from the expenses scheme administered by IPSA. Full details can be found in the training section …

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Essential Writing Skills for Members’ staff

The course will cover the principles of good written communication and how to put them into practice. It will look at some essentials about the use of language, grammar, tone and writing style and will include an introduction to the ‘Plain English’ approach to business writing. For full details and dates, please click here: https://parliament.learningpool.com/course/view.php?id=429

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Speech Writing

This course will cover the elements which make up a compelling speech, focusing on structure and the ability to tailor to the best abilities of the speaker and understanding the needs of the audience. For full details and dates, please click here: https://parliament.learningpool.com/course/view.php?id=554

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Supervisory Management Course

This one day course has been designed to provide an initial opportunity to build management capability and will be of particular benefit to those with limited or no experience of line management. For full details and dates, please click here: https://parliament.learningpool.com/course/view.php?id=1412

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Taking Control of Your Time & Speed Reading

This workshop will give Members’ staff the opportunity to think about their roles and identify the tasks that really get results. In addition, delegates will learn a variety of tips and techniques on how to control more of their time, enabling them to focus on their key tasks. For full details and dates, please click …

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Media Handling and Social Media

This session will cover the opportunities and challenges that using social media in the Public Sector presents and introduce delegates to using social media platforms for themselves, their teams and their organisation. For full details and dates, please click here: https://parliament.learningpool.com/mod/facetoface/view.php?f=480

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Conversations with Vulnerable People

This one day course is designed to equip staff with the skills and confidence to handle challenging conversations with customers or employees in a sensitive and professional way. A person’s emotional state can affect their reactions. Understanding how this happens can help you resolve conflict more successfully. The Samaritans trains their volunteers in active-listening techniques …

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Mental Health Awareness

Attendees will discuss the causes signs and symptoms of mental health, how to respond to and deal with a situation and how they can support and unburden themselves after the event. For full details and dates, click here: https://parliament.learningpool.com/course/view.php?id=260

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Building Emotional Resilience

Having a good level of emotional resilience can positively affect teams, colleagues, other individuals and one’s own wellbeing, increasing productivity and performance in the workplace. Individuals will have a better chance of delivering results at work if they are able to deal with stressful life events. The course will focus on managing emotional health and …

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Writing a Brief

This course will cover the essentials of good writing which are needed for drafting briefings such as content, structure, layout & use of language that meets the reader’s needs, and the process of drafting, editing and clearing a briefing. For full details and dates, click here: https://parliament.learningpool.com/course/view.php?id=553

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