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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.


Location: Online
Duration: 2 evenings
Tuition: $378

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Upcoming Offerings

Start Date
Seats Available
Start DateWe will offer this course in Fall 2024. Registration will open once the details are finalized.
InstructorAnn McAfee
Seats Available25

What you will learn

After completing this course, you’ll 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 you will learn and be evaluated

  • Expect lectures and small-group discussions
  • Case studies will use example reports to illustrate how to reframe existing policies, introduce new directions, anticipate legal challenges and handle unpleasant realities

You will be evaluated on a Pass/Fail basis on:

  • Attendance. You need to attend at least 75% of classes to pass the course.

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

Learning Materials

No textbook is required. We will provide all course materials online.

Technical Requirements

For online courses, you will need a computer with audio and microphone that is connected to the internet. Canvas is the online system that will be used for the course. For more information and online support, visit Online Learning.

Professional Development Credits

AIBC CES participants, PIBC members and BCSLA members may self-report for continuing education learning unit consideration.