A beginner’s guide to working with parliament

In my opinion, parliament is one of the best, most interesting, most beautiful places to work. It’s also one of the weirdest.

The daily working life of parliament is governed by quirky processes and unwritten conventions that have developed over several hundred years.

As with most professions, parliament has its own jargon and unending list of acronyms: purdah, recess, ping-pong, APPGs, spads, PQs, PMQs. The list goes on. Just last week deputy prime minister Nick Clegg became entirely unstuck by the parliamentary language required to refer to another MP.

A certain amount of repetition makes all this easier. Once you’ve seen a few bills through the legislative process from start to finish, you can cope with most things. Even then, things can happen that you’ve never seen before. The Lobbying Act had one of these for me, with the vote ending in a draw (in which case, the government wins)

And all that is just how parliament works. A bigger thing to learn is how to work with parliament., what tools you have at your disposal, how to have the most impact, and  how to work well and efficiently with parliamentary offices. Even simple things like what times and days of the week are best for holding events.

If you’re new to public affairs, NCVO has a one-day training course to help you understand how parliament works and how to work well with parliament

Introduction to working with parliament

This course aims to help charities approach political campaigning work and show the sector how they can work with parliament and influence decision makers.

Date: Tuesday 27 January 2015
Time: 09.30 – 16.30
Location: NCVO Conference Suite, London

By the end of the day you will have:

  • understood the passage of a bill through parliament
  • understood the concepts of charity law within a campaigning context
  • identified relevant stakeholders to the sector and how to engage them
  • discussed the practical tools for lobbying and the basic principles for engagement with policy makers
  • developed a parliamentary and stakeholder engagement plan

Book online now

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Charlotte was our senior external relations officer and public affairs consultant. She has left NCVO

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