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Home Events - East Midlands Councils ADSO ADSO – Becoming a Democratic Services Officer – An Introduction

ADSO – Becoming a Democratic Services Officer – An Introduction

ADSO is hosting ‘Becoming a DSO – an introduction’ held via Zoom.  This is a quick introduction, designed to give you some essentials and to give you the chance to ask questions and meet other new starters.  It will be delivered as a single 3-hour workshop.


This course is aimed at newly appointed Democratic Services Officers who wish to develop their understanding of their role.   Specifically designed for those taking their first steps into the world of Democratic Services, this course is aimed at those in the first twelve weeks of starting.

How the course will be delivered

The course will be delivered virtually, and by the end of the workshop you will:

  • Understand what a local Council is and how it is funded.
  • Know the different types of local Council and what services they provide.
  • Understand how decisions are made and your role in supporting this, both in and out of meetings
  • Have a sense of how accountability works in local government, how Councils and Councillors are held to account and the role of scrutiny.
  • Have considered how the political environment of your workplace affects your role and makes it unique.

The workshops will include plenary presentations, case studies and smaller group working, enabling delegates to learn with colleagues from across the country.


Michael Robson has recently taken up a senior governance role in the North of Tyne Combined Authority, previously working in the Democratic Services Team at North Tyneside Council for over 30 years. During this time Michael has supported a wide variety of democratic functions, including regulatory and scrutiny committees, the health & wellbeing board and school admission appeals. Since electing its first Mayor in 2002, North Tyneside has experienced significant periods of political turbulence, particularly when the Council and its overview and scrutiny committees were controlled by the opposing group to the Elected Mayor.   Michael serves on the ADSO Board as a representative for combined and themed authorities. As well as a trainer, Michael is also a qualified A1 Assessor working with learners undertaking the Certificate in Democratic Services.

Rachel Basham has over fifteen years’ experience of working in local government, in a variety of roles across Democratic Services and Leadership teams. Her current substantive post is Member Services Manager at Surrey County Council, although she is currently on a 12-month secondment at Woking Borough Council, providing additional strategic support to their Leadership team. Rachel is a City and Guilds qualified adult trainer alongside being an assessor for both the ASDO Certificate in Democratic Services and the Charter for Member Development.

Date and time

Thursday 11th July 2024, 9.30am-12.30pm


  • ADSO Member rate – £55 + VAT per person to attend the course
  • Non-ADSO Member rate – £80 + VAT per person to attend the course
  • ADSO learners – This course is not part of the offer to ADSO members working towards the Certificate or Diploma

How to book a place

Please book a place using the link below.

Booking requirements

  • A purchase order number is required for all bookings made out to ADSO.  Courses cannot be attended if a purchase order is not received.
  • A hardcopy of the purchase order is required.
  • Please provide us with your ADSO Membership number (if applicable)
  • A few days after booking you will receive a calendar invite for the workshop(s).  Please note that your email address will be visible to all participants unless you advise us otherwise.
  • Please send the above information to


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  • 1Select Ticket
  • 2Attendees
  • 3Payment
  • 4Confirmation
ADSO Members
Available Tickets: 2
The "ADSO Members" ticket is sold out. You can try another ticket or another date.
Non-ADSO Member
Available Tickets: 2
The "Non-ADSO Member" ticket is sold out. You can try another ticket or another date.


11 Jul 2024


9:30 AM - 12:30 PM




Virtual via Zoom


East Midlands Councils