Peer challenge is a proven tool for improvement. It is a process commissioned by a council and involves a small team of local government peers spending time at the council to provide challenge and share learning.

The process involves engaging with a wide range of people connected with the council and the findings are delivered immediately.

Since we launched our offer to support sector-led improvement in 2011, we have delivered more than 400 peer challenges. In 2013 our 'Rewiring Public Services' campaign endorsed the central role it plays in improving council's impact on issues like economic development, improving social care and pressing ahead with transforming public services. In 2014 an independent evaluation endorsed the value of peer challenge.

Peer Challenge

About Peer Challenge (PDF)

A brochure detailing the programme and how you can get involved. Every council in England is able to have a corporate peer challenge at no direct cost.

Peer Challenge case studies

Case studies (PDF)

See how authorities have been using peer challenge and the benefits they are gaining in this summary publication.

Evaluation (PDF)

In January 2014 Cardiff Business School independently endorsed the value of peer challenge. Find out more in this report.

List of councils that have taken part

Since we launched Peer Challenge, over 200 councils have taken part - even more if you include those who have taken part as peers.

Peer challenge video


Watch chief executives and councillors talk about peer challenges.

Peer Challenge outcomes


Peer Challenge outcomes, as published by councils.

Call for peers

At the heart of the peer challenge process are local government officers and councillors (and others) who voluntarily spend their time as 'peers'. Find out how you can become a peer.

Specific Peer Challenges

In addition to the free peer challenge offer, we also offer more specific peer challenges for local authorities.

LGA Corporate Peer Challenge Report, January 2015

This corporate peer challenge of the Local Government Association (LGA) used the same principles as those applied to councils as part of the approach to sector led improvement.