Professional Certificate in Parliamentary Committees

Day One 

09:00 Registration and Refreshments

09:45 Welcome and Introduction to programme 

10.00    Introduction to our Parliament and our role

Comparing our experiences    

What do we want to learn and experience on this programme?

11.00   Morning coffee

11.15   UK Parliament – Overview and roles 



Other roles


Key roles of Members 

Serving as an MP 

Supporting MPs

Compare with our countries 

12:15 Lunch

13:00 Select Committees 


Current role

Departmental and Cross Departmental Committees

Perspectives – MP, Minster,    

Current examples - 

14:30 Afternoon Tea

14:45 Serving Committees - The Role of Parliamentary Staff 

Small team of staff and specialist advisers, 

Committee Office Scrutiny within house and external sources

Balance of generalists and specialists 

16:00 End of the Day Wrap-up

Question and discussion 

16:15 Close

Day Two

09:30 Refreshments

09:45 Chair’s Welcome and Introductions

10:00   Organisation of Parliamentary Committees 

How committee objectives are set and agreed

How select committees are structured 

Recent developments - considering draft legislation and regional committees

Membership - selection, numbers and political balance

Evidence from Government

Role of Committee Chair

11.00 Coffee

11.30 Stages of a Scrutiny Inquiry  

From identify the issue to debating a report

Exercise – planning an inquiry

12:30 Lunch

13:30 Parliament and UK Constitution 

Main features of UK Parliament 

Constitutional principles 

Commons and Lords 


14:30 Afternoon Tea

15:00 Key Roles

Speaker – ‘Order Order’

  Black Rod – Access to Parliament 

Preparing for visit to Parliament

16:00 End of the Day Wrap-up

Question and discussion 

16:15 Close

Day Three 

09:30 Travel to Parliament 

09.45    Meet at Cromwell Green Entrance 

10:00 Role of Clerks 

Powers of Committees

The powers of parliamentary committees

The formal remit of select committees

Parliamentary privilege

Powers to compel the attendance of ministers

Powers to send for papers

11:30 Morning Coffee

11:45 Role of Procedure Committee

Role of Public Accounts Committee 

Final questions and discussion

13:00 Lunch

14.00 Visit to House of Commons Chamber

Public Accounts Committee

House of Lords 

16.30   End of visit 

Day Four

09:30 Refreshments

09:45 Chairman’s Welcome and Recap

10:00 Ethics, Standards and Conduct of MPs

11:00 Morning Coffee

11:15 Exercise - Case Study of a Committees

‘Meeting with the Speaker’  

Tom Levitt – former MP and member of Privileges Committee

12:30 Lunch

13:30 Government – Ministers and Civil Servants  

Roles of Ministers 

Accountability and Relationship to Parliament  

Role of Civil Servant 

Civil Service Code

Ministerial Decisions 

14:30 Afternoon Tea

15.00   Additional issues raised during course 

16:15 End of Day Wrap-up

Questions and discussions

16:30 Close

Day Five 

09:30 Refreshments

09:45 Chairman’s Welcome and Recap

10.00 Measuring the Impact of Parliamentary Committees 

Evidence on Select Committees

Acting as a focal point for concern 

Government responses to Committee reports

Assessing UK Committees for our own Parliaments 

Proposals for further reform of Select Committees

Educating the public: committee transparency and outreach

11.00   Morning Coffee

11.15   Final Discussion and Lessons Learned

Individual presentations of Worksheets 

Evaluation Forms

Certificate presentations and group photograph 

13:30 Lunch and Close