Reply To: Appeals presentation training


Hello Michele

I am that “representative”, and I’d like to clarify the LASA position on training.

LASA training courses are designed to support people working within organisations (either as a volunteer or as a paid worker) providing independent advice, information and /or advocacy for clients.

Of course a presenting officer’s role is to be a ” friend of the court” and as such to explain to the tribunal how a decision has been reached, it’s legal basis and the procedure that has been followed in each case. I believe that this is a valuble role.

Moreover, I do not believe that the relationship between a representative and a presenting officer in a tribunal (or out of it) is adversarial – tribunals are inquisitorial – and informed input from all parties is valuable and to be encouraged.

However – a presenting officer does not provide independant advice/information/advocacy for a client and as such does not fall within the group of people that LASA training courses are designed to support.

I do not believe (and did not say) that presenting officers are working in collusion with TAS – TAS is an independent body and each tribunal makes it’s own decision on the basis of the evidence, facts and law applicable to each case.

LASA provides a range of support for organisations who provide advice, information and advocacy for clients. Some of those services are appropriate for workers in local authorities who administer housing benefit – for instance our benefits website @ – however our standard training courses are not one of those services.

NB – We do offer in-house training and have in the past, for example, delivered special courses for HB administrators, but these are distinct and seperate from the courses we offer to organisations providing independent advice.

I hope that you find appropriate training soon.