Training, Virtual Meetings

Training using Zoom

Headshot of Sarah Cope

Sarah Cope, Business Development Manager 

24 February 2021

Last month we ran our annual Advanced Democratic and Committee administration course. In all the years preceding this one we had run it as a two-day course at a venue London, however, due the pandemic we were forced to rethink. Since the start of the pandemic we have been committed to the safety of our users, and so the decision to hold the course virtually using Zoom was really the only option.

The course is facilitated by Mark Palmer, Peter Edwards and John Austin, who between them have numerous years of experience working with, and in the Democratic services sector. The course is aimed at Democratic and Committee Officers with three or more yearsexperience and teaches detailed knowledge and skills to be an effective officer and manager within Democratic services. 

As always, the course was extremely well attended, selling out well before the deadline for bookings. In the virtual setting we were able to accommodate more delegates than we might when meeting in London. We also saw a much bigger attendance from outside the South East region with delegates from Leicestershire, Milton Keynes and Melton. 

Illustration of people sat at desks with one person doing a presentation

A fantastic workshop that is a must for all new Democratic Services officers! 

During the pandemic, like everyone else, here at SEE we have had to get used to many a virtual meeting and have learned how to use some of the great features such as breakout rooms. For the twoday course we made sure to take advantage of breakout rooms to facilitate networking in smaller groups and made use of screen-sharing for our presentations. We found the delegates were very quickly at ease, willing and able to take part in group discussion. 

As with all of our courses, we made sure to send feedback forms to our delegates. Feedback more than ever was important as we were keen to know what we did well in conducting this training virtually, and crucially, what we could improve on. The feedback we received was excellent, though one common theme was the difficulty to network in the virtual environment, this is something we are giving thought to improving. One especially useful piece of feedback was that time spent in each breakout room session was too little, we have already taken this on board and are ensuring more time is allocated for our Introduction to Democratic and Committee Administration four-day programme which is running now.  

It is safe to say we learnt a great deal from the delivery of this programme virtually for the first time, and we are taking all the feedback and learnings on board for the future courses. For now, we continue to deliver our training virtually, we hope in the future when COVID lockdown eases, to offer a hybrid of virtual and in-person training to suit you and your circumstances.  

With thanks to those delegates who took part in the course, this was some of their feedback… 

Really useful and insightful sessions and gained a lot from the experience 

The course was excellent! I found the course was delivered in a professional way in a different medium to normal and it helped confirm and enhance my existing knowledge about my role as well as filling in gaps in my knowledge. I would wholeheartedly recommend this course to anyone in Democratic Services who is looking to develop themselves in the role. 

If you would like more information about the training we can provide for Democratic Services managers and officers please do contact us using the form below, or check out our training courses here: seemp.co.uk/training/

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If you want any more information please get in touch.

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