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Core skills development

The Learning and development strategy (the Strategy) identifies skills that are relevant to all public servants. These skills are essential to a high-performing public service and are for employees at all levels in the APS.

How the APS Centre for Leadership and Learning helps

The APS Centre for Leadership and Learning is funded to design and develop learning programs, in partnership with APS departments and agencies, that build the skills identified in the Strategy. Each program is developed through extensive consultation with a multi-agency Core Skills Reference Group, APS stakeholders, and industry experts. These programs have been rigorously piloted to ensure high standards and relevance to public servants and to capability needs.

Program design

Core skills programs generally include a number of phases that use different learning methods including facilitated, peer-to-peer, on-the-job, and self-directed learning activities. The programs are designed with a central role for supervisors and managers. All learners have discussions with their supervisors prior to the workshop component to set goals and identify suitable work projects. Learners draw on their supervisor's expertise as a coach or mentor to continue learning in the workplace.

Core skills programs are designed and developed for use by all APS departments and agencies. Programs can be contextualised by incorporating agency-specific examples, case studies, templates, tools, resources and language. This principle of 'build once, use often' provides cost savings to departments and agencies and efficiencies across the APS.

Current priorities for core skills design include;

  • Management in action
  • Regulatory practitioners and managers
  • Professional policy pathway

Program release

Core skills programs are released following a rigorous design, development and testing process. Prior to release, departmental and agency learning and development representatives attend masterclasses to develop familiarity with the program curriculum.

Program releases in 2016

  • Cabinet Submissions - Advanced: April 2016
  • Introduction to better practice regulation: April 2016
  • APS Induction refresh: August 2016
  • Financial management and budgeting: August 2016

Annual Program Review

The Core Skills Design team will undertake a review of released foundation, core and management skill programs. In order to ensure that our programs continue to remain current, relevant and aligned with policy and legislation, our team will review and refresh programs where needed.

Program review schedule

  • APS Compelling communication
  • APS Appearing before parliamentary committees
  • APS Performance management (options one, two and three)
  • APS Building and leading high performing teams

Core skills delivery options

There are three ways to access foundation, core and management skills programs.

  1. Arrange for the program to be delivered in your agency using a facilitator from the Centre for Leadership and Learning. This model provides cost effective delivery that can be tailored to your requirements.
  2. Attend a training program with colleagues from across the APS, delivered by experienced APS or external facilitators.
  3. Deliver the program using a suitably experienced or qualified in-agency facilitator from your department or agency. Facilitator criteria are included in the Implementation Guide for each program.

Note: The APS Ethics and Values core skills program is only available on the National learning and development calendars or through in-agency delivery by an APSC facilitator. Producing a Quality Cabinet Submission management program is only available on the National learning and development calendars.

For information and assistance with implementation of core skills programs, contact the coreskillsdevelopment [at] apsc.gov.au (core skills development team).

Accessing program materials

All learning materials for core skills programs are available for download by agency HR and learning and development areas from the APSC Core and Management Skills Reference Group community on Govdex. Program materials generally include:

  • preliminary learning guides
  • participant workbooks
  • facilitator guides
  • power point slide decks
  • on-the-job guides
  • activity handouts
  • evaluation forms.

Many programs also include e-learning and videos. Each program has an Implementation Guide describing how the learning materials should be used.

To access the Govdex community, contact the coreskillsdevelopment [at] apsc.gov.au (core skills development team)