Stand for Public Office

Women are 51% of the population, but there are not enough women in senior management and positions of influence. We want to help change this. Women often tend to lack confidence and belief in their own abilities - but most women are great multi-taskers and have wide-ranging personal and professional experience that make them well-rounded representatives.

So, whoever you are, you probably have many skills that you haven't even considered and have a lot to offer. Consider this your chance to play a key role in shaping a modern Britain... your chance to play your part!

And if you know someone else who would be great in one of these roles too, why not #AskHerToStand - click here to find out more.

See also:

  • Becoming an MP/MSP/Assembly Member (AM)

    See also: Becoming a Candidate for the Scottish Parliament (PDF)

    See also: Becoming an Assembly Member (Wales)

    The Candidates' Department will be happy to hear from anyone who is considering standing as a parliamentary candidate (England or Scotland) or Assembly Member (Wales). To get on the Approved List of Conservative Candidates, you must pass the Parliamentary Assessment Board (PAB), which run throughout the year, usually up to about a year before an election but the Candidates' Department can give you the current situation.

    Prospective Parliamentary Candidates (PPCs) are chosen by constituencies from any time from 2-3 years before an election, up until a few months before - but you must be on the Party's approved candidate's list (i.e. have passed the PAB) before you can apply for any seat.

    Using a PAB as a training course on how to pass it is expensive and will not be looked on favourably: The answer is to be the best prepared you can before applying.

    This will include getting involved within your local community, with social action, local election/by-election campaigning and with your local association - and definitely with the CWO!

    CWO Development is here to help you (we even have a few men on our courses). The workshops are held on Saturdays - and some evenings and weekends - and will help you with campaigning, communications, interviews (TV & Radio), branding, mock selection panels, application forms and so much more.

    56% of new women Conservative MPs were helped by CWO Development in 2015 - and we can help improve your chances. The workshops are useful for you no matter what level of public office you wish to stand for - and teach you transferable skills that can be used in your political, private and professional live as well.

    Previous candidates that have been put back on the list will also find them useful in honing their campaigning, application and selection skills.


    • Attend any CWO Development Workshops that may help you.
    • If you have not already done so, make contact with your local Conservative Association (link takes to you to a Find Your Team search).
    • If there are any local or national elections coming up, be sure to volunteer to help during the campaign.
    • Consider becoming a Council candidate. It will give you excellent experience in campaigning - and if successful - in life in an elected office.
    • Consider your commitments to local voluntary community organisations and charities. Your involvement in these areas indicates a commitment to public service.
    • Think realistically about the role of a candidate. Is it the right time for you as far as your professional and private life is concerned? Are you prepared to travel to a far flung constituency and how much time can you devote to fighting a seat?
    • Understand the role and job of an MP/MSP/AM. Buy some books written by newer members.
    • Consider any training needs you have, as many of the skills needed by an elected member can be taught, i.e. public speaking and presentation.
  • Becoming a Councillor
    Download Guide to becoming a Conservative Councillor

    Download the Guide to becoming a Conservative Councillor (320Kb PDF), produced by the CWO and the LGA (Conservative Group).

    To become a councillor is to take on one of the most rewarding tasks within the Conservative Party. A councillor is in the position to influence decisions to help her own local community. Working together with the other conservative councillors, or working independently to help individuals in her own ward can give great satisfaction.

    There are different types of councils, depending upon the area in which you live, Parish Councils, District Councils, County Councils, Unitary Authorities, Metropolitan Districts and London Boroughs.

    You will need to be elected to become a councillor. You must first get in touch with your local Constituency Association; they are responsible for deciding who will be nominated to become a councillor. You will be asked to fill in a form, and provide a CV.


    • A British subject or a citizen of the Irish Republic or the European Union and resident of the United Kingdom
    • 21 or over on the day of nomination
    • Either on the electoral register for the council area in which you are seeking election, or have lived or worked in that council area for at least the last twelve months

    You will not be able to stand for election if:

    • You hold a paid office or employment within the council you wish to stand for
    • You have been convicted of a criminal offence and sentenced to not less than three months imprisonment within the last five years

    Do not be afraid that you are not qualified for this important position. Women naturally have all the skills necessary for this. Communication skills, organisational skills, caring and listening skills - women have them in abundance. Training is provided, expenses are provided, sometime crèches are provided, and your work schedule will be worked out between you and your group leader so that you do not take on more than you can manage.

    7 Step Plan to becoming a Conservative Councillor

    • Getting selected
    • Plan your campaign
    • Organise your team
    • Canvassing
    • Leaflets
    • Polling Day
    • You've been elected!

    Apply to Become a Councillor

    You will first need to be a member of the Conservative Party, so join now if you're not already a member!

    You will then need to be selected by your local association, so your first point of contact would be with them, especially to see what council vacancies they have available.

    To find out your nearest Conservative Association, type your town/city name plus 'Conservative Association' into a search engine and see whether you have a local association online. For example, if you live around Salford, type Salford Conservative Association into your preferred search engine and in this example a list of 10 local associations will appear - click on the one that is closest to where you live.

    If you are having trouble finding your local association, please email:
    with your full address and postcode.

    The Conservative Councillors Association is also an excellent place to do some research and see whether becoming a councillor is right for you. You can join as an associate prior to becoming a councillor (membership to the Conservative Party is required).

  • Becoming a Directly Elected Mayor
  • Police & Crime Commissioners
  • Becoming a School Governor
  • Becoming a Magistrate
  • Public & Board Appointments
    Woman Councillor

    Do you have a particular area of expertise or a particular interest? If so there will definitely be a Public Appointment that will be of interest to you.

    Did you know?

    • There are around 40,000 Public Appointments
    • 10,000 Public Appointments come up for renewal each year
    • Most Public Appointments are part-time
    • Time commitment varies with many only being 1-2 days per month
    • Travelling costs are usually paid and often an attendance fee as well

    Many of the Public Appointments involve committee work, so you need an ability to be able to communicate well and enjoy working with others.

    We are sure that you will find something below that will interest you and that you can make a valuable contribution to!

    This is your chance to play your part!

    Latest Public Appointments