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Program 1.1—component 1.1.2: Investing in APS development and capability (part 4)

APS learning and development programs and services

During 2012–13, the Commission continued to work in partnership with APS agencies to build capability by strengthening the knowledge, skills and experience of APS employees.

Induction and graduate programs

The Commission provides a number of programs for new APS employees.

APS induction

The APS induction program equips employees with a broad understanding of the role of the APS in serving the government, the parliament and the public. The program aims to give new APS employees the wider contextual knowledge they need to be effective public servants.

During 2012–13, the Commission’s APS online induction program was updated and redesigned to meet accessibility requirements. The refreshed program was launched on the Commission website on 1 July 2013 to coincide with the changes to the PS Act. The program is also offered by the Commission as a facilitated half-day program.

Graduate development

In 2012–13, the Commission’s graduate program incorporated 21 days of face-to-face training, a major project including a report and DVD, and four whole-of-government networking events. Upon successful completion, a Diploma of Government was issued by the Commission with credit recognition by professional and industry associations as well as the tertiary sector.

The 70 graduates, from nine agencies, participating in the 2012 program were presented with their Diploma of Government and Graduate Development Program certificates by the Commissioner and senior representatives of their agencies at a graduation ceremony in December 2012.

The 2013 graduate program has 88 participants from 19 agencies. The Commission partnered with the Australian Government Information Management Office to introduce an information and communication technology (ICT) graduate stream. This is a whole-of-government initiative with cross-agency cooperation to address skills gaps and support capability development among future ICT leaders.

The graduate networking event A Taste of Government, Great Hall, Parliament House, Canberra, 25 March 2013.

Graduate events

The Commission delivered four whole-of-government networking events for graduates in 2012–13, with an average attendance of 711 participants. These events provided graduates with a valuable interactive insight into the APS and its senior managers.

Highlights included:

  • the graduate networking event A Taste of Government in March 2013 which was addressed by the Minister for the Public Service and Integrity, the Hon Gary Gray AO MP. In addition Dr Ian Watt AO, Secretary of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet and Mr Stephen Sedgwick AO, Public Service Commissioner shared their experiences in the APS with graduates
  • the Great APS Graduate Debate staged at the Canberra Theatre and hosted by radio and television personality Adam Spencer in May 2013, where graduates debated the topic ‘Darwin got it right: it’s survival of the fittest in the APS’. The event attracted an audience of 839 graduates and included graduates on the Commission’s Graduate Development Program as well as other APS graduates, 10 of whom tested their wit and skill as debaters
  • a question-and-answer panel event in September 2012 facilitated by ABC television journalist and compere Tony Jones. The event included six panel members who brought a diverse range of perspectives on building a socially inclusive Australia. The panelists were Ms Lynne Pezzullo, Ms Nicole Lawder MLA, Dr Rhonda Galbally AO, Dr John Falzon, Dr Jackie Huggins AM and Ms Kathy Ragless AM.

APS panel discussion, ‘Perspectives on social inclusion’, Canberra Theatre, 20 September 2012. Speakers (L–R front): Ms Lynne Pezzullo, Ms Nicole Lawder MLA and Dr Rhonda Galbally AO; (L–R back): Dr John Falzon, Dr Jackie Huggins AM, Mr Tony Jones and Ms Kathy Ragless AM.

The Great APS Graduate Debate, Canberra Theatre, 15 May 2013. Winning graduate team (L–R): Shannon Priestly, James Vrachas, Sacha Edema, Simon O’Connor and James Bell, with Adam Spencer and Stephen Sedgwick.

APS 1–6 programs and services

The Commission continues to support capability building through a comprehensive and coordinated range of leadership, learning and development programs and events for APS 1–6 employees. These programs and events aim to develop the capability of APS 1–6 employees to deliver on government priorities, objectives and outcomes. In 2012–13, the Commission delivered 197 APS 1–6 programs attracting 3,160 participants.

New initiatives in 2012–13 included:

  • a summer series of programs designed to develop professional and management skills and assist with career development—the series was popular, with 259 participants attending 16 programs
  • delivery of programs in capital cities and regional areas around Australia—the programs were well received, with 596 participants attending 36 state programs. Feedback from participants and agencies was positive and further programs will be held in 2013–14.

Accreditation services

The Commission has operated as a registered training organisation since 1 July 2008 and renewed its registration in June 2013 for a further five years. Accreditation services are offered for the following qualifications:

  • Certificate IV in Government
  • Certificate IV in Government (Workplace Relations)
  • Certificate IV in Training and Assessment
  • Diploma of Government
  • Diploma of Government (Procurement and Contracting)
  • Diploma of Government (Management).

At 30 June 2013, 230 APS employees were undertaking qualifications through the Commission, and 225 employees completed qualifications in 2012–13.

The Commission worked closely with several agencies during the year to tailor and adapt qualifications and assessment options to meet specific agency needs. A highlight was working with the Australian Government Information Management Office to pilot a tailored graduate development program for ICT graduates incorporating the Diploma of Government qualification.

In-house program delivery

In addition to its other programs, the Commission offers in-house delivery of core APS programs to meet the particular needs of agencies in a flexible and cost-effective manner. They are usually delivered to an agency in its own training rooms.

The programs can be tailored to address agency-specific challenges and procedures. In 2012–13, facilitators delivered 231 in-house programs around Australia—99 in the Australian Capital Territory and 132 across the states and the Northern Territory. The two most popular programs in 2012–13 related to APS job application and interview skills and selection panel training.

Table 12 provides a summary of APS 1–6 and in-house programs delivered in 2012–13 and the previous two years.

Table 12: Number of APS 1–6 and in-house programs, 2010–11 to 2012–13
Program 2010–11 2011–12 2012–13
ACT APS 1–6 153 211 197
ACT in-house delivery 97 87 99
Regional, including in-house delivery 94 73 132
Last reviewed: 
11 May 2018