Peer challenges

Peer challenge is a proven tool for improvement. It is a process commissioned by a council and involves a small team of local government officers and councillors spending time at the council as peers 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 1000 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 both 2013 and 2016 we commissioned independent evaluations which endorsed the value of peer challenge. In 2018 we have commissioned 19 stories from councils about how sector-led improvement (SLI) has resulted in tangible change and improvement in councils who have participated.

Corporate Peer Challenges

Peer challenge is a core element of our sector-led improvement offer to local authorities. A fully funded Corporate Peer Challenge is available to all councils every four to five years. In addition we offer a range of other service specific and thematic peer challenges. 

Children's Services Peer Challenges

The LGA offers safeguarding peer challenges and diagnostics to underpin the LGA sector-led improvement offer and to support to assist local authorities on their improvement journey. 

If you wish to discuss these offers in further detail please contact Richard Cooke, LGA Programme Manager (Children's Services) on email: richard.cooke@local.gov.uk

We are looking for new officers to join our pool of children’s peers. Find out more.

Peer annual report

The Peer annual report gives a summary of the peer activity the LGA has undertaken in 2018-19.

If you want to discuss a peer challenge in your council then please contact your regional LGA Principal Adviser.