Training courses for MPs’ Staff

A Working for an MP Guide
Training courses for MPs’ Staff
First Published 25 November 2006 w4mp
Last Updated (date) w4mp
Last Reviewed (date) w4mp
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THIS IS NO LONGER CURRENT: For all training information please see our Training Site


  1. Training for Staff provided by Capita Learning & Development – updated 5 July 2010
  2. Training provided by the House of Commons Libraryupdated 3 May 2010
  3. Parliamentary ICT Training – added 21 September 2010
  4. Fire Safety Awareness Training – updated 10 May 2010
  5. Training provided by others (16 organisations listed) – updated 22 November 2011

Available now for new staff: the W4MP/Dods guide to Working for an MP


1. Training for Staff of MPs provided by Capita Learning and Development to Commons Resources Department

Capita Learning and Development provide training to Members’ staff. Their programme of courses is published here, and you should have also received their course directory in the post and various emails about forthcoming training opportunities.

See the current course schedule

If you have attended any training sessions with Capita, please take the chance to complete an evaluation form to tell them what’s working and what can be improved on.

The Members’ Staff online learning portal

This has now (July 2010) been launched. It enables you to do e-learning modules at a time and pace that suits you, from the comfort of your own desk!
2. Training provided by the House of Commons Library
(Most links in this section are to the parliamentary intranet. New staff: you need to set up your access as an MP’s staffer. Not done it yet? Phone the Parliamentary Information Communications Technology (PICT) on x2001)

Want to learn about the information resources available to you via the parliamentary intranet? Need to get to grips with parliamentary documentation and basic procedure? The Commons Library runs two training programmes that can help. The Library’s Find It programme looks at a range of intranet resources and online search techniques. The Parliament: Introduction and Documentation programme provides an introduction to parliamentary functions, procedures and documentation. Courses are open to Members of both Houses, their staff and parliamentary staff.

Details of Commons Library courses can often be found in W4MP’s own events listingsbut this is not a comprehensive list.  Much better to go to the Library’s own training page:

Details of forthcoming Library courses are available on the Library Intranet:

The Library What’s On page shows listings for Library training, Library talks, and other events in Parliament:


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3.  Parliamentary ICT Training

Parliamentary ICT Coaching and Training
PICT Training provides a comprehensive range of high quality End-user IT courses. These range from getting you up and running on the Parliamentary Network, enhancing your productivity and effectiveness with Microsoft Office through to bespoke designed course and content development. Established in 2006 we have had many successes including being placed 3rdin the Public Sector Training Department of the year for the IITT. We have 5 dedicated training rooms, each fully equipped with 8 PC’s, white boards, projectors and flipcharts. With 8 full time staff we have a solid base from which we can support training for Windows 7, Microsoft office, Remote Access and Mobile computing such as Blackberries.

Members Staff
Working in partnership with Capita L&D, we can now offer both Classroom training and e-learning enabling you to receive Microsoft Office training where ever you are.

The link to our training pages on the intranet is

All our ICT Trainers are accredited trainers with the Institute of IT Trainers.


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4.  Fire Safety Awareness Training

Legally required annual fire safety awareness training for the Parliamentary Estate is now available on-line to Members’ staff. Covering both general and building specific fire safety arrangements it will ensure you know what to do in the event of a fire. You are also encouraged to make sure your constituency offices are clear of all fire risks. Full information here.


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5. Training provided by others

  1. TGWU/Unite parliamentary branch
  2. WestminsterExplained
  3. Parli-Training
  4. Industry and Parliament Trust
  5. Samaritans
  6. Understanding ModernGov
  7. Think Productive
  8. Connect Training
  9. Scottish Refugee Council
  10. Inside Lobbying
  11. You Never Can Tell  
  12. Public Relations Consultants Association
  13. Dods Legislation
  14. Asher Dresner Speechwriter
  15. Campaigntrain
  16. Government Knowledge (latest addition – November 2011)

As you would expect, listing here does not imply any endorsement or promotion of the providers, but we are happy to list any organisation offering relevant training for MP staff. If you have any suggestions, or if you would like your organisation to be featured here, please contact parliamentary branch of Unite union is keen to involve as many members as possible so that we can expand the work of the branch. their site: Westminster Explained training courses are designed primarily to meet the training and development requirements of people in the Civil Service and wider public sector, but they are equally useful for the voluntary sector and those working in Public Affairs. their site: Parli-trainingis a specialist training company, which  provides intensive but practically based user-friendly vocational training courses for people working within Public Affairs.Over the last two years we have discovered that a large number of highly qualified people working in this area require specially devised  courses to enhance their ability to lobby governmental institutions, more effectively.Our courses are specifically aimed at Government Affairs personnel, Parliamentary Officers, Media & Communication Specialists, Campaign team leaders and those working within Policy departments within NGO’s, blue chips companies and for small pressure groups.

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Founded in 1977, the Industry and Parliament Trust (IPT)is a registered educational charity dedicated to promoting mutual understanding between Parliament and the worlds of business, industry and commerce for the public benefit.    This is achieved by encouraging dialogue between legislators and wealth generators from all sectors of business.  The IPT is independent, non-partisan and non-lobbying.Specifically, the IPT provides programmes of study, research, education and training in the organisation and practice of industry and commerce, and also of the administration of Government both within the United Kingdom and the European Union.The following are the ways the IPT achieves its aim:

  • Fellowships for MPs, MEPs, Peers and Officers of both Houses, allowing them to spend time in a range of companies.  This enables parliamentarians to gain a greater understanding of the inner workings of business and enhance their appreciation of the impact of legislation on a company;
  • Study Programmes and events for companies in the Houses of Parliament and in the European Institutions.  These programmes offer participants insight into the mechanics of the legislative process, learning from those at the heart of political decision-making;
  • Attachment Schemes for civil servants, enabling them to see the parliamentary process at first hand in the company of an MP or MEP.


A 10% discount is available for Civil Servants. training to a range of organisation across the public, private and third sectors. As experts in listening we have developed training that helps people, such as caseworkers, work better with colleagues and constituents.Understanding what others are trying to communicate to you is essential for building open and strong relationships, whether face to face or by telephone. More and more organisations are recognising the value of effective communication through effective listening and questioning techniques in increasing productivity and sales. This course is for staff of all levels who wish to enhance their communication skills.Information on other Samaritans courses can be found at ModernGov (UMG)are the training arm of GovNet Communications, the complete public sector communications company. UMG provide a portfolio of highly informative, interactive public sector and policy training courses, that clearly and concisely explain the workings of Government and Parliament. Catering for the public, private and third sectors, our courses cover a wide range of areas designed to enrich your knowledge and enhance your skills.We also produce bespoke training courses for a variety of clients on an in-house basis, and are a supplier to Government of policy skills courses through the Buying Solutions Learning and Development framework. For more details e-mail or call 0845 666 0662.

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Think Productiveoffers practical support to organisations that want to increase productivity. We help employees to beat stress, feel more in control and develop playful, productive momentum.  We were bored of the typical Time Management Training formats, so have developed workshops that incorporate ‘at-desk coaching’ to ensure that practical change happens straight away.Workshops include:

  • Getting Your Inbox To Zero
  • Email Etiquette
  • How to Get Things Done
  • Making Meetings Magic

“It was a tremendously impressive and useful morning” – Tom Levitt MP

“I’m still keeping my inbox pretty much to zero which is a minor miracle. I know this sounds completely bonkers but I really think the ‘inbox to zero’ and ‘How to Get Things Done’ sessions are the most useful training sessions I have ever been on. I don’t know if this is connected but I have definitely felt calmer and less stressed since the sessions and I genuinely feel a bit more in control of my workload.” – Zoe Pronger, The Cabinet Office Trainingprovides practical, bespoke public policy and communication skills training.  Our courses explain the structure and processes of policy-making, the key issues and hot topics, and the skills and techniques for working with stakeholders and decision-makers – from local authorities and stakeholders, to ministers and officials.As an award-winning, independent political communications agency, Connect have an unrivalled experience of the people, policies and processes involved in political decision-making. Previous delegates at our courses include public affairs, parliamentary, communications and campaigns staff from a range of leading public sector organisations, industry bodies, trade unions, campaign groups and charities, and the private sector.With a strict limit on the number of participants on each session, these bespoke courses provide the opportunity to engage with and discuss the issues most relevant to your work Refugee Counciloffers a range of training courses designed to equip service providers with the knowledge and skills necessary to work sensitively and supportively with those seeking asylum in the UK.Our main course, “An Introduction to Working with Asylum Seekers and Refugees” covers the following elements:Rights, definitions and context

– Definitions: understanding immigration terminology. What is the legal meaning of the terms “asylum seeker” and “refugee”.

– Refugee migration. What causes people to flee the main refugee nationalities and what factors influence where they go?Legal framework and asylum process

– Background to the 1951 Refugee Convention and its current interpretation.

– Current UK asylum process and its impact on the people who go through it.

Cultural sensitivity
– How can we ensure our services are responsive to diversity, and as accessible and approachable as possible?

Practise issues
– Discussion of some of the common problems that refugees experience in Scotland and how we can effectively provide support.

Other courses that we offer include, ‘Working with Interpreters’, ‘Asylum Support: The Essentials’ and ‘The Needs and Experiences of Refugee Women’.  A full schedule of our courses can be found on our website here:

Go to top of page Lobbyingruns introductory courses aimed at people interested in pursuing a career in lobbying in the UK Parliament and the Devolved Assemblies. Our courses are targeted specifically at university students, recent graduates and people working in Parliament who want the inside track.All the courses and the bespoke training we offer is run by professional lobbyists, who have extensive knowledge of the industry and practical experience of recruiting within it. We cover everything from pointers on how to get your first job in lobbying, to information on the kind of salaries and career structures you can expect. We even teach you about the different tools you will be expected to use and provide you with handy tips on how to get the most out of them.In short, we provide you with everything you need to kick-start your career as a lobbyist. Contact us now and quote promotional code ‘W4MP10’ for a special 10% discount off our services. More information about our courses is at: Never Can Tellbreaks the mould when it comes to developing personal communication skills. In the age of technological-driven communication, we never forget that you are the presentation. Script, voice and performance are what we are about. We cross-fertilise ideas from the business, media and political worlds so that a presentation becomes a conversation.Our sister blog at gives a sample of our idiosyncratic take on the communication world. We take our name from the expansive Chuck Berry song of the 1960’s with its enigmatic title, driving lyrics and motivational tune. The result – persuasive, practical and powerful ( rule of three of course ) performances for our clients. Click here to listen to some thoughts on voice and communication in the 21st century. PRCA has been running training courses since 2001 when our members highlighted that the PR Training available was too theoretical. We work closely with those responsible for talent development in agencies and with training experts to ensure our training programme is not only comprehensive, but also practical so that delegates spend as little time as necessary away from the office, and can implement what they have learned as soon as they return to their desks. We are continuing to innovate around the core principle of practicality and example of this was lunching our online training.PRCA Training offers fantastic value for money, whilst maintaining the highest standards in tuition through our approved trainer scheme. Courses have been developed in conjunction with leading practitioners and academics and attendee feedback is closely monitored, to ensure that PRCA Training offers the best commercial PR courses on the market. Click here for the link to our training opportunities.

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The House of Commons Library now offers full access to Dods Legislationvia the Parliamentary intranet. This brand new online service provides you with comprehensive tracking of bills through their parliamentary stages.The service presents Bills in an easy to follow format including side-by-side versioning with real-time alerting to new documents, bill versions and stakeholder reaction, and was designed for staff, researchers and Members. The system is available free of charge for anyone with an email address.For details of upcoming training dates, see the parliamentary intranet or

For any more information or to arrange a one-to-one demonstration, please contact

Free Speechwriting and Presentation Consultation with Speechwriter Asher Dresner.Why are some speeches better than others? Which words work and why? How can you make your speeches resonate better? How can you use frames to make your speeches more powerful?


If you write speeches, or would like to, and would like a chance to have a one-on-one consultation with a professional speechwriter on how to improve them, this is your chance. I am offering thirty minute consultations, which are completely free for a limited period only.


Email: and delivering change with impact. Our current workshops are listed on our website MPs’ office staff Campaign Train’s Public Affairs survival workshop offers insight and understanding into the true workings of Whitehall and Westminster, giving training on: EDMs, Private Members’ Bills, Select Committee inquiries, working with APPGs, PQs and debates. It provides practical tips on how to: deliver a strong public affairs strategy; nurture public affairs relationships; write a public affairs briefing; track and influence legislation. To book or for more information please email

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Government Knowledge and Bridge Partnership are proud to deliver a series of one day, interactive courses for public, private and third sectors. Our training and learning division provides high quality, interactive courses and bespoke training solutions.Our one day courses cover a wide range of areas from the workings of parliament, government and the devolved administrations through to courses on sectors, departments and the working of local government and councils. They are relevant for staff across the public, private and third sectors. All of our training will equip you with the relevant skills and knowledge to apply and use in the workplace.


Contact us on or call 0845 647 7000









 Last updated: 22 November 2011