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Local government officer: Job description

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Local government officers are responsible for the development and execution of council policies and procedures, as well as ensuring that local services are delivered effectively.

Local government offers a broad professional environment with good prospects for progression and promotion. It covers a range of officer roles, with many specialist areas including:

  • education;
  • finance;
  • health;
  • housing;
  • human resources;
  • IT;
  • leisure and recreation;
  • libraries;
  • planning;
  • regeneration;
  • social work;
  • tourism;
  • transport.

This work is likely to involve contact with members of the public, councillors, administrators and specialists in other departments or other local councils or authorities. Some posts, particularly more senior roles, also involve committee work. Some less senior roles will work more exclusively within specific departments, but can still be responsible for a variety of services.

Typical work activities

Specific activities vary depending on the local authority and department, and on the level of responsibility. Some departments will involve a lot of work with the public, others may have a more technical function and some will work more predominantly with other council staff and departments.

Common functions include:

  • assisting in the formulation, planning and monitoring of policies and procedures;
  • coordinating the implementation of council decisions and circulating reports to those affected;
  • providing support and guidance to the elected workforce, for example to cabinet or local committees;
  • coordinating communication strategies, including publications and departmental websites;
  • arranging and servicing meetings;
  • researching, preparing and writing up reports and briefing papers;
  • liaising with other council departments, such as finance or marketing;
  • liaising with external partners and agencies, including private and voluntary sector organisations, contractors and other local authorities;
  • coordinating departmental and corporate plans;
  • monitoring and reporting on performance and quality issues, ensuring value for money;
  • managing and evaluating projects;
  • organising and collecting data for external inspections, including evidence of compliance with legislation;
  • providing information, advice and guidance on policy and performance;
  • working with members of the public, councillors and other stakeholders, presenting information at meetings when required;
  • dealing with enquiries and giving advice;
  • supervising and managing staff;
  • managing budgets and funding;
  • providing support and a strategic steer to the management team relevant to your specific area;
  • developing and promoting a policy and performance framework, which contributes to the operational and strategic functioning of the department;
  • coordinating responses to national and local consultations on specific policy areas, such as education.

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Written by AGCAS editors
June 2015

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