Guidance for (Acting) Returning Officers administering a UK Parliamentary election in Great Britain

(Acting) Returning Officer - skills and knowledge

You should have a working knowledge of the relevant legislation governing the conduct of the election. This means that, in addition to having a clear understanding of your statutory functions, you should have an overview of what the legislation contains and an understanding of how it affects the administration of the election, so that you can review, question where necessary, and quality-assure the whole process.

There are management responsibilities attached to your role. For example:

  • commanding the required staff and resources to deliver a well-run election
  • drawing in the necessary support, skills and expertise from across your own local authority
  • overseeing the planning, project management and risk management of the election and incorporating any lessons learnt from previous polls
  • identifying and overseeing any actions necessary to mitigate any issues arising
  • ensuring that staff are appropriately trained to deliver the roles required of them
  • supporting the staff administering the election and providing appropriate oversight of their work
  • providing direction to staff, monitoring progress and receiving regular feedback on activities
  • in the case of cross-boundary constituencies, seeking advice and assistance from the RO and staff at the other local authorities
  • if you are not also the ERO, maintaining an effective working relationship with them
  • maintaining an effective working relationship with your police Single Point of Contact (SPOC)
  • ensuring that election accounts are completed in a timely manner
Last updated: 19 December 2023