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Corporate goal 2: Build capability

Build capability

Improving the capability of the APS through leadership and core skills development

Source of criteria: APSC Corporate Plan 2015–19, page 10; PBS 2015–16, pages 123–4

Measure: We will offer a comprehensive suite of APS Executive Level and Senior Executive Service leadership programs for
APS entities.

Result: In 2015–16, the Commission continued to design, develop and deliver leadership and core skills programs for the APS that incorporated contemporary thinking and best practice.

Measure: We will develop core skills programs for APS use, with 10 programs to be released during 2015–16.

Result: Ten new core skills programs were released for APS use during 2015–16.

Measure: Benchmarks measuring the quality and effectiveness of new programs will be established in 2015–16, with continuous refinement in future years.

Result: Benchmark measures have been established to measure the quality and effectiveness of new programs.

Programs developed in previous years continued to be delivered and improved based on evaluation feedback and the identification of key priorities.

Measure: We will provide APS entities with quality advice and brokerage services in relation to external leadership development options.

Result: The Commission has provided advice for leadership development options external to the Commission, including those offered by the Australia and New Zealand School of Government. A brokerage service was considered but not pursued as agencies remain best placed to make procurement decisions in relation to these services.


Driving a more systematic approach to talent management to better position the APS for the future

Source of criteria: APSC Corporate Plan 2015–19, page 10; PBS 2015–16, pages 123–4

Measure: We will take a more systematic approach to the development and deployment of the senior levels of the SES.

Result: The Commission provided support to the Secretaries Talent Council and the Deputy Secretaries Talent Council,
and continued to support departments and agencies to implement their talent management initiatives.

Measure: We will support entities with the implementation of the APS Talent Guide and Toolkit.

Result: During 2015–16, the Commission released the APS Talent Management Guide and the Talent Management Toolkit, delivered a Human Resources Summit for practitioners and established a human resource practitioners
working group.

Measure: We will establish a pilot Band 1 talent pool by January 2016.

Result: A pilot Band 1 talent pool was successfully established.

Measure: We will provide a range of fit-for-purpose talent development options including leadership programs, secondments and academic studies on an ongoing basis.

Result: In addition to providing intensive leadership develop programs, the Commission continued to support immersive development programs, such as those provided by Jawun and the Sir Roland Wilson Foundation, and secondments through the Business Council of Australia.

Measure: Benchmarks measuring the usefulness of our services will be established in 2015–16, with continuous refinement in future years.

Result: Establishment of relevant benchmarks is ongoing. Benchmarking for talent management is more complex than for program delivery due to the extended timeframes involved. As the talent management approach matures, appropriate benchmarks will be established.


Strengthening international cooperation and partnerships in the Asia–Pacific region

Source of criteria: APSC Corporate Plan 2015–19, page 12; PBS 2015–16, page 123

Measure: We will undertake activities to build public administration capacity and strengthen the capability of public servants in the Asia–Pacific region.

Result: During 2015–16, the Commission successfully delivered projects aimed at improving public administration and governance in the Asia–Pacific region under the auspices of the Australian Government's aid program.


Performance analysis—corporate goal 2

During 2015–16, the Commission continued to build capability in APS talent management and leadership development.

The Public Sector Management Program, supported by the Commission, celebrated its twenty-fifth anniversary in 2016. The program's signature qualification for APS staff is a Graduate Certificate in Public Sector Management, delivered by Queensland University of Technology on behalf of the Commission. A total of 328 employees across Australia commenced their studies under the program in 2015–16.

In partnership with Jawun (a not-for-profit organisation), the Commission coordinated the short-term secondment of 79 APS employees to Indigenous organisations during the reporting year.

Improving the capability of the APS through leadership and core skills development

During 2015–16 the Centre for Leadership and Learning within the Commission continued to provide a range of leadership and core skills development programs. Evaluation results indicated that:

  • 93% of leadership program participants agreed that the program was valuable in helping them develop their leadership capability
  • 81% of core skills program participants agreed that the program was valuable in helping them develop their capability.

A common theme emerging from training program evaluations is a perceived lack of support for employees to apply and practise new skills. The Commission analysed relevant data to identify the contributing factors. We are working to develop strategies to improve workplace support for participants.

Core skills program materials, including learning design standards and facilitator guides, are available to agencies on govdex. Agencies have a range of options available for the delivery of the programs and can access quality-assured providers from the Commission's Learning and Development Panel.

The Commission delivered events promoting leadership and core skills development to over 7,000 employees through five streams:

  • AccELerate (formerly the EL Leadership Network) fosters innovation and collaboration in the EL cohort and supports ELs in adopting more effective people management practices.
  • The APSwide series offers employees at all levels the opportunity to hear from high-profile public and private sector speakers whose experiences provide insights that are relevant to becoming a strong leader.
  • The Graduate series provides an avenue for graduates to build their knowledge of current APS issues and establish strong networks with graduate colleagues from other departments and agencies.
  • The Australian Government Leadership Network operates in six states and territories. It runs an annual conference and quarterly 'Connections' events. It provides a forum for leaders in the APS to exchange ideas, hear from prominent speakers, share knowledge and contribute to the development of public sector initiatives.
  • The national People Management Network gives government HR practitioners the opportunity to examine and deliberate on contemporary people management and human resource issues. The network's events have a strong local focus and are supported by presentations from senior HR practitioners.

In December 2015, the first-ever 'Year in Review' event was held. It involved the secretaries of the departments of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Treasury, and Industry, Innovation and Science, and the Australian Public Service Commissioner. More than 500 people attended, including 100 people streaming live from regional areas.

Driving a more systematic approach to talent management to better position the APS for the future

The APS is moving towards a systematic approach to talent management and has established a Secretaries Talent Council and a Deputy Secretaries Talent Council.

In 2015, the Commission released the APS Talent Management Guide, which provides guidance on talent management principles and practices used in the APS. Feedback from agencies about the usefulness of the guidance materials has been very positive. The Talent Management Toolkit, released at the same time, provides practical tools to assist agencies in implementing talent management initiatives in the workplace. This support extended to the delivery of a talent-focused Human Resources Summit for practitioners, and a human resource practitioners working group to support the implementation of talent initiatives.

A pilot Band 1 talent pool was successfully established in December 2015. Due to interest in this program, nominations and assessments were commenced for a subsequent round.

Strengthening international cooperation and partnerships in the Asia–Pacific region

On behalf of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Commission continued to strengthen public administration and governance in the Asia–Pacific region. The Commission's role in strengthening international partnerships in 2015–16 was to support the Indonesian Government in implementing its 2014 Civil Service Law. The Commission also hosted two Indonesian officials for a month and assisted Indonesia's National Financial and Development Supervisory Agency in the delivery of two capability reviews.

In Papua New Guinea, the Commission worked with the Department of Personnel Management to develop a State of the Service Report, a workforce planning framework and networking opportunities for emerging women leaders. The Commission also worked with the Papua New Guinea Institute of Public Administration to deliver Australian-accredited courses in public sector management and in training design and delivery.

Also in Papua New Guinea, the Commission partnered with CIT Solutions to design and deliver a number of qualifications at the Papua New Guinea Institute of Public Administration (PNGIPA). In 2015, the Diploma of Government (Management) and Diploma of Government (Financial Services) were delivered to 96 PNG public servants from national and provincial levels of government. In addition to these diplomas, the Certificate IV in Training and Assessment was delivered to 15 trainers in PNGIPA to improve the country's internal ability to deliver training.

The Commission delivered public sector projects in Kiribati, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Solomon Islands, Fiji and Samoa.

The Commission hosted 15 international delegations from the People's Republic of China, the Republic of Korea, Japan, Singapore, India and Chile. The Commission entered into memorandums of understanding with the People's Republic of China and Singapore to encourage cooperation and the exchange of information between public administrations.