How Government Works
This interactive one-day course is designed to give participants an overview of how the UK Government works and the role and impact of ministers. It uses current examples to develop insight into the way policies develop from the ideas of campaigners and lobbyists through public consultation to legislation.
Who will benefit from attending?
Everyone who needs and wants to increase their understanding of the structure, personalities and processes of Government. This includes building insight into the roles of ministers and civil servants and understanding the influences in the decision-making process.
At the end of the course participants will have:
- Developed their knowledge of the structure and functions of government departments, Parliament and the wider public sector – including the impact of devolution
- Know the roles of key players from ministers to civil servants;
- Enhanced their understanding of how ideas and proposals are handled in government
- Understood how ministers interact with Parliament
- Explored how Government uses communications to inform and shape behaviours.
Organisations will be able to draw on staff who understand the processes of government and the political environment in which policy-making professionals operate.
09.45 Welcome and registration
10.00 Aspirations for the day
An opportunity to share experience and expectations for the day
10.15 The structure and culture of the UK Government
An exploration of the current political environment and the shape of the UK Government – Where the power lies and where the power is divided between the UK and the devolved authorities
11.00 Refreshment break
11.15 Understanding how ministers think and work
Using practical exercises to build insight into the ministerial psyche. In groups participants identify what drives ministers and who influences them and develop strategies for more effective working with ministers.
12.00 The role of the Civil Service
In a tutor-led discussion participants will explore the structure of the Civil Service, the Code under which they operate and the role of Special Advisers. Propriety: a quick quiz to identify what is and what isn’t acceptable under the Civil Service Code.
12.30 From Advocacy to Policy
Introduction to the policy ideas process and exercises to identify the influences on Government.
13.45 Government-Parliament Relations
The role of Parliament in holding Government to account
Practical exercises exploring how MPs uncover information, including using parliamentary questions.
14.15 Practical work on a current case study
Participants will work through an issue currently being considered by Ministers. The case study will reinforce the learning of the day.
15.30 Refreshment break
15.45 Beyond information
The use of communication in Government to inform and shape behaviours
Exercises in developing relevant messages and communication campaigns
16.30 Final Question and Answer