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Introduction to Parliamentary Select Committees

Date: 25th July 2024
Venue: “Virtual” platform delivery

Registration form (Word)

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Course Overview

"Select committees are a supple and adaptable tool..". So reported the UK Parliament's own Liaison Committee in 2019 But what are Select Committees? And what do they do and how do they do it?

This one-day programme introduces Parliamentary committees by exploring where they came from, why we have them and their role in modern Parliamentary systems. Our programme also explores how Select Committees work and the various roles of those that contribute to that work. And the crucial role Parliamentary Committees play in delivering good governance.

This highly participative programme uses a blend of information sharing, conversation, examination of case studies and video to explore the topic, led by our highly experienced facilitator.

The programme is aimed at those looking to build a foundation level understanding of Parliamentary Select Committees and is suitable for anyone who might need to contribute (by briefing, providing evidence etc) to the work of Select Committees. It will be of use to civil servants and those in the voluntary sector or businesses who might need to provide evidence to Select Committees or anyone who wants a better understanding of how Parliamentary Committees work.

Learning Outcomes

Participants in this interactive programme will:

  • Understand the form and function of committees in a modern Parliament
  • Be able to describe the different types of committees and the variety of role they deliver
  • Examine the real-world impact of Select Committees
  • Understand how to provide briefing for Ministers and officials appearing before a committee.
  • Receive insights on drafting evidence and appearing as a witness.


  • Why do we have Parliamentary committees?
  • What do Select Parliamentary Committees look like and how are they formed?
  • What are the various functions of these committtees?
  • Their role in providing oversight and good governance
  • What comprises convincing evidence to a Select Committee?
How they work
  • How are Parliamentary committees resourced and is that resourcing fit for purpose?
  • Who is involved in delivering efficient and effective committee services and what do they do?
  • Support for committee Members
  • What powers and privileges do they have and use?
  • What to do (not do) in front of a Select Committee
Making a difference
  • Are all committees equal?
  • What outcomes do properly functioning Parliamentary committees deliver?
  • How Select Committees influence the policy cycle
  • The relationship between committees and the plenary
  • Transparency and outreach: the challenge for Parliamentary committees
Modern reform
  • What is the place for Select Parliamentary committees in a modern legislature?
  • What characteristics make for efficient and effective committees?
  • How have they, and how should they, adapt?
  • Modernising Select Parliamentary committees... and what comes next.
Questions and Close


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Comments & Views

"The course met all of my objectives. The section on Policy design was very interesting and informative."

Charlotte Dann (BEIS)

"A great mix of practical advice and background information. Thank you!"

Andy Challis, Proskills UK