On DORIS, the Chair noted that he had spoken to the DBC officer and advised that he has been shown a quick way to get into DORIS and the training session, though if you want to apply to be part of a training session you are unable to get in as this requires authorisation. LFowell confirmed that she has now been set up as a team leader for all councillors and if any courses are requested then she will be notified and be able to approve.
The Chair commented that a number of courses are in-house courses provided by officers who don't use the DORIS system at present. The Chair stated that this is an additional pressure on LFowell and Member Services as training sessions need to be put on DORIS and you can't register late, though this is now being rectified. The Chair provided an overview of the booking process.
LFowell confirmed that she has discussed the process with HR, and whilst backdating courses is a lot of work, they are looking to see if this can be shared across the two teams. LFowell stated that they are going to trial adding a member briefing to DORIS so members can book for it, and a Teams link will also be provided so that members can attend without going through DORIS. LFowell asked if members of the MDSG could book through the DORIS system to help them better understand how the process works and that they can then have a set process when new members come in 2023.
Cllr Freedman commented on the work to backdate training, noting that as they are coming up to a new intake, if people have not attended all mandatory courses, this is not necessary unless they are returning councillors.
Cllr Freedman suggested that the focus for DORIS should be providing training to staff and officers, and whilst it is positive for members to have access, they should be looking to direct members to in-person training. Cllr Freedman agreed that this could be changed as the DORIS system develops, adding that with the changeover of staff for officers and for members who are unable to go in during working hours, training courses act as a positive relationship-building tool between members and officers and they should therefore avoid DORIS becoming the main delivery tool for members.
The Chair commented on mandatory courses, noting that after the election all members will have to complete mandatory courses in the first year whether they are returning members or not.
Cllr Griffiths noted that not completing mandatory training could go to the Standards Committee and that members can potentially be barred from standing again. Cllr Griffiths agreed with Cllr Freedman that they should avoid creating additional work for staff, especially if no action is taken.
On virtual learning, Cllr Griffiths noted her favour of completing these in-person though the business model does not require staff to be in full-time and that their working hours should also be considered. Cllr Griffiths added that having a hybrid offer can also help open up the membership to other residents, such as those who have caring responsibilities.
The Chair acknowledged the importance of having a hybrid offer.
Cllr Bhinder agreed with Cllr Freedman, noting that in-person training is a good opportunity to meet up with officers.
Cllr Bhinder asked that Cllr Douris be noted as the Chair in the attendee list of the previous minutes.
LFowell noted that DORIS would allow members to book courses run by officers, whether virtual, in-person or hybrid. LFowell confirmed that hybrid is the best option as this allows everyone to attend. On catching up with training, LFowell advised that they are working with IT on a possible Teams channel for members to allow access to meeting and training recordings and files. Cllr Bhinder asked if they could look to use YouTube. LFowell confirmed that they would not use YouTube for training, though it is being used to stream full council meetings and will be widely used by committees as they go forward. Cllr Silwal noted how helpful it would be to access meetings and trainings on Teams again.
The Chair advised that there are training packages mainly aimed at members of staff that are available to members of staff, and that members can use DORIS as a recording facility to record the training sessions they have been to, the majority of which are provided by in-house colleagues, so there is a record of attendance. The Chair stated that they should maintain their own internal training sessions given that they also help with relationship building between staff and members.
The Chair asked that a Teams channel work from implementation. LFowell agreed, adding that they work well and will ensure that everyone has access to files in one space, and if they proceed with this then they will ensure it's set up to be ready for new members. Cllr Griffiths suggested that the channel first be tested by the MDSG before it is released to all members. LFowell confirmed that MDSG members will also be used to test the DORIS booking system.
ACTION: Cllr Douris to be listed as Chair in previous minutes.