Appeals presentation training

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    Does anyone know of any good training for presenting appeals at Tribunal. I am about to pass on the appeals role to a new person, but would like to ensure they are supported by decent training. I’ve never encountered any training on presentation at all (let alone decent!)


    Lasa offer a 2 day training course on representation skills for tribunals, for more details see [url][/url]


    thanks for that.


    I emailed LASA about the 2 day course as detailed below

    “I am interested in attending the above course. However, I am not sure at what level the course is pitched. I would appreicate it if you would provide contact details of a few people who have attended previous courses, preferably someone who presents HB/CTB tribunal cases.”

    A representative rang and basically the course is not set up for people who will be presenting cases to tribunal on behalf of the LA. According to the LASA representative HB/CTB presenting officers are seen to be working in collusion with TAS. The course is pitched towards voluntary groups and how they can best represent their clients at appeal hearing.

    I was told that the course wouldn’t be for me – not welcome because I would be arguing the opposite to most of the people who attend the course. I thought the whole point of an independent tribunal was to make sure a just decision was made. What an US and THEM attitude!!

    Does anyone out there know of another company? LASA is obviously not for LA’s dealing with HB/CTB appeals.

    😡 😡


    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.


    I must admit that I am very suprised at LASA’s “new” approach to training HB Officers; having worked with them on training for London LA’s. But then one of the main reasons for setting up this BB was that LASA’s own (generally excellent) site does not really encourage a wide range of views.

    Try the Child Poverty Action Group website at
    for details of their courses. They offer a range of seminars including presenting at Commissioners which I can personally recommend. Most delegates, naturally, are from welfare organisations but do not let that put you off. Firstly, any quality trainer will want to encourage a range of opinions and experience. Secondly, staff do move between LA’s and voluntary agencies. I would argue that the more LA’s know, the better their decisions are for the customer. Of course a rep will try to put over their best case even if they have little to go on and sometimes this means trying to confuse the issue. They have a job to do too.

    The fact that I will put across a case why a person is not entitled to HB does not stop me supporting CPAG as a member or more directly as a speaker at their events. LASA’s position is disappointing.


    hi –

    to clarify rightsnet’s position on this …

    … think peter’s done us a bit of a disservice in that we had a lively, useful and open on-line debate on the issue last year and were happy to confirm that we welcome contributions from those involved in local authority benefit administration, including presenting officers – the only thing we ask is that members roles are clearly reflected in their registered organisational names

    indeed this is something we ask of all our users, including eg CAB advisers, those working in Welfare Rights Units etc

    the reason we welcome contributions from those involved in local authority benefit administration is exactly to [i:2815b4d6b7]”encourage a wide range of views”[/i:2815b4d6b7]

    hope this helps

    nb – if you haven’t looked at rightsnet, we’re @ [url][/url]

    shawn mach

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