About the curriculum and standards

The Local Government Chief Executives' Framework consists of two components – the curriculum and the leadership standards for excellence.

The Local Government Chief Executives Development Framework hosted on this website consists of two components:

  • the curriculum – this sets out the seven core themes of the chief executive role and will be taught in a forthcoming programme
  • the leadership standards for excellence – these present a set of professional leadership standards for local government chief executives.

The framework was created following extensive engagement with the sector, to build a comprehensive picture of the complex accountabilities that local government chief executives hold. The research interviews that formed the basis of the work centred around a discussion on 'what makes a high performing chief executive?' – this feedback was then honed through an extensive consultation exercise with chief executives and the wider sector. The leadership standards for excellence detail the results of this research, setting out the standards which are applicable to all local authority chief executives in England, regardless of the type, or location, of the local authority.

How do the standards work?

For each of the seven core themes of the curriculum, there are several bullet points. Each bullet point, when achieved, is what our research demonstrated as indicators of high-performing or excellent chief executives within the core theme. Taken together, each of the bullet points set a high standard for what excellent looks like in each of the seven areas.

As the standards are part of a wider leadership framework, they have been presented for the intended audience (local authority chief executives) in three stages of development:

  • acquiring knowledge
  • gaining experience
  • sharpening judgement.

How can I use the standards?

  • Chief executives can use the standards to assess and address their own development needs as they aspire to excellence. We are developing a tool that will help chief executives use the framework for self-assessment, which will be launched by the end of March 2024.
  • The standards can also be used by chief executives in conversation with democratically elected leaders to help them understand the chief executive role and to inform the annual performance appraisal process.
  • The standards may be used by recruiters to understand the role and when considering which candidates to refer to councils for chief executive vacancies.