Rural Payments Agency - Appearing Before a Select Committee

Sun 17 Apr 2016

Rural Payments Agency - Appearing Before a Select Committee

Client: Rural Payments Agency

Programme: Appearing Before a Select Committee

(Delivered in London, UK, 2017)

The client

The Rural Payments Agency (RPA) is a paying agency for the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) schemes in England, they make payments to farmers, traders and land owners. They also make payments on behalf of Natural England, and manage over 40 schemes to help ensure they have a healthy rural economy and strong rural communities.

The problem

The RPA were asked to appear in front of the House of Commons Select Committee on Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee and they got in touch with Dods Training to help with the preparations of the appearance.

Our actions

We first arranged a conference call with the client and the trainer to better understand the context of the Select Committee appearance and which colleagues from RPA will be attending the session. The group consisted of those who would appear in front of the committee and those who would be involved in the preparation. We also asked for further information to be passed on once the RPA had received more briefing from the Committee so the trainer can tailor the questions during the practice. After the date of the appearance was rescheduled we arranged for a follow up call to ensure our trainer is aware of any new developments.

During the day, our trainer started with an overview of how select committees work. The opening sessions also provided an opportunity to explore how this committee formulate their questions. The group watched clips of previous appearances to gain an insight into the dynamic between the members and each members’ interests and expertise.

The second half of the training provided those who were due to appear an opportunity to practice based on challenging and relevant questions. The trainer, acted as committee members and posed questions to delegates that were both technically detailed and politically challenging. Through this exercise the delegates could familiarise themselves with the type of pressure they will be under and practice how they can effectively communicate their messages.

After the filmed session, the trainer provided expert feedback and highlighted areas that may require further preparation. The clip was also sent to the delegates after the course for further review.


The course received fantastic feedback and the delegates found the filmed exercise particularly helpful. Our trainer able to pose relevant challenging questions and was very well prepared on the work the RPA as well as the House of Commons Select Committee on Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.  

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