Giving Council a Piece of Your Mind: Writing Reports That Work

This is a practical course on writing reports.

Many council reports are standardized; staff are able to refer to past examples and municipal formats. By contrast, policy reports are frequently "one-offs." This course focuses on these policy reports. It addresses the challenges of assembling strategic directions, incorporating public input, conveying options and framing recommendations.

Currently not available for registration.

Course schedule: Classes run from 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. PT via online-supported delivery

Please note that the registration cut-off is the Friday (at 6 p.m. PT) before the start of the course.

What will you learn?

By the end of the course, you will be able to do the following: 

  • Select the appropriate format to convey proposed policy directions
  • Format reports that propose a work program and funding
  • Articulate options and present the rationale for the proposed recommendation(s)
  • Understand options for phasing recommendations to incorporate public review of draft proposals
  • Reduce clutter in reports through use of appendices and the web
  • Present complex reports effectively
  • Use principles of “Speaking Truth to Power”

How will you learn?

  • Lectures
  • Small-group discussions
  • Case studies using example reports to illustrate how to reframe existing policies, introduce new directions, anticipate legal challenges and handle unpleasant realities

Who should take this course?

  • Local government planners, architects, engineers and others responsible for preparing reports to a local board or city council
  • Staff and members of non-profit organizations, community associations and others charged with preparing and reviewing policy reports
  • Elected officials responsible for directing staff to report on policy initiatives

How will you be evaluated?

There is no course assignment or evaluation.

Textbooks and learning materials

We will provide custom course materials.

Professional development credits

Professional development credits: PIBC members may self-report for continuing education learning unit consideration. This course qualifies for 7 Organized/Structured CPL units at the PIBC.

Hardware and software requirements

You will need a computer that is connected to the internet so that you can access Canvas, our online course management system. You can check if your browser is compatible with Canvas by accessing Canvas guides here. We recommend you use Google Chrome or Firefox.

Also, you will need to enable your computer’s audio and microphone to participate in live sessions offered through the Blackboard Collaborate virtual platform (within Canvas). You can check if your computer is compatible with Blackboard Collaborate here.

You can find more information on online-supported learning on our About Online Learning page. 

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