About Quality Status Local Council Award Scheme On the 6 January 2015 the new Local Council Award Scheme (LCAS) was introduced (replacing the previous Quality Council Status scheme, which ended on 31 December 2014). The new scheme introduces a three tiered approach with councils able to apply for an award at one of the following levels. The Foundation Award demonstrates that a council meets the minimum requirements for operating lawfully and according to standard practice. The Quality Award demonstrates that a council achieves good practice in governance, community engagement and council improvement. The Quality Plus Award demonstrates that a council is at the forefront of best practice and achieves excellence in governance, community leadership and council development. Download Local Council Award Scheme.pdf for full details of the scheme. The LCAS is still a form of peer review and submissions for the three awards above are monitored by an Accreditation Panel. The current Accreditation Panel members are as follows:- Dennis Coates (Independent Chairman) Councillor B Stephens (DCC Cabinet Member and Portfolio Holder for Partnerships and Communities) G Elliott (DCC Head of Partnerships and Community Engagement) M Waterson (Ex Shildon Town Council Clerk) L Swinbank (Ex Sedgefield Town Council cler and now clerk to Hawthorn Parish Council) A Foster (Waldridge Parish Council Clerk) D Anderson (Bishop Auckland Town Council Clerk) M Clark (Gainford & Langton, Ingleton and Evenwood & Barony Parish council clerk) Further information Should you need any further guidance on the Local Council Award Scheme then please contact Steve Ragg using the details on our contact us page.