Parliamentary Questions: Answering & tabling

"An excellent course, really enjoyed it"

University of Aberdeen

For people who regularly need to answer, ask or table Parliamentary Questions, it is crucial to have an overall understanding of how the PQ system operates. It is also important to know the specificities of drafting briefings for, and answers to, the questions themselves.

'Parliamentary Question: Answering & Tabling' is a course that will provide participants with the knowledge and skills needed to maximise the effectiveness of their input in answering and tabling parliamentary questions. This course is from our Policy Skills series. At the Civil Service College, we tailor our courses to each participant’s role and organisations, ensuring that each participant gets the most out of the training. Our courses and trainers are continuously updated and evaluated to ensure that we are always delivering the best service possible.

Key Training Features

Who Can Attend

Learning Outcomes

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Key Training Features:

  • The varying types of Parliamentary Question in the Commons and the Lords
  • How questions are tabled - what is in and out of order?
  • Timings for tabling and for answers
  • Why questions are asked and what the questioner may do with the answer
  • How ministers see questions and what they try to achieve with the answers
  • Ministerial statements - written and oral

Who Can Attend:

This training course is designed for participants who need to draft Parliamentary Questions or draft responses and briefings on PQs.

Learning Outcomes:

Participants will gain a thorough understanding of how the system of Parliamentary Questions operates and how the Whitehall machine develops the answers. They will also gain an understanding of how to draft answers to written questions and provide briefings for oral questions.

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10:00 - 16:00


Available to be delivered In-House. Contact us for a quotation.


Face to face or virtual

In-House Option

This course is available In-House and can be tailored to meet your individual training requirements.


Lead Trainer

Bridget Prentice

Bridget Prentice

Bridget spent almost 20 years in parliament in a variety of leadership roles which has given her an insider's understanding of the challenges that face public and third sector bodies.

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Bridget Prentice

Bridget Prentice

With over 27 years’ experience of leadership in the public sector and almost two decades spent in Parliament, Bridget has an insider’s understanding of the challenges and opportunities that face public bodies and third sector organisations.

Bridget has served 18 years as MP for Lewisham East, was a Government Whip and a Minister in the Ministry of Justice with responsibility for 14 policy areas. This ranges from legal services, the courts and tribunals, youth engagement to electoral administration etc. She has piloted major pieces of legislation through parliamentary process and has negotiated financial packages to support key groups such as Coroners’ Courts Support Staff. She has also played a key role in designing and implementation of policy. She received Minister of the Year award for her work on diversity in the legal profession.

Prior to taking on ministerial positions, Bridget was a member of the Home Affairs Committee, Court of Referees and Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration. 

Bridget was a Commissioner on the Electoral Commission for four years overseeing the conduct of elections, referendums and political party finances.

She has been a trustee on a number of charities and is presently Chair of Age Exchange, a charity using reminiscence and the Arts to support people with dementia and their carers. She has been Chair of Governors of Trinity School, Lewisham and is a fellow of the Woodard Corporation.

She is a Freewoman of the London Borough of Lewisham

Lead Trainer

Joan Ryan

Joan Ryan

Rt Hon Joan Ryan is a former UK MP for Enfield North and also served as Member of the Environmental Audit Select Committee.

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Joan Ryan

Joan Ryan

Rt Hon Joan Ryan is the former UK Member of Parliament for Enfield North. Joan stood down in December 2019 having served as the representative for the constituency for 18 years, from 1997 to 2010 and then regaining the seat in the 2015 General Election. Joan was a Labour MP for the majority of her time in Parliament, but became a founding member of The Independent Group of MPs in February 2019. 

From 2016 to 2019, Joan served as Member of the Environmental Audit Select Committee, specialising in the causes and impact of Climate Change, air pollution and the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals. 

“I always loathed politics as a subject but now I am interested in it via this course, good professional training & colleagues”

Departments of Health

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