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Red Challenge - Department of Defence

Learning and development for the digital learner

In an age of digital transformation, how should APS organisations approach learning and development (L&D)?

We’re looking for exciting and implementable solutions that will establish the foundations for a five-year ‘APS Digital Learning Strategy’. While this strategy is Defence specific, we’re looking for solutions that could be implemented across the APS.


As part of your approach, you must consider the availability of digital resources, the advancement of technology and the ranging demographic of the workforce.

The pace of digitisation is rapidly transforming the way people prefer to learn; while face to face learning remains important within some contexts, the ability to access information and offerings ‘just-in-time’, and at a location of an employee’s choosing, has never been better.

Delivery of L&D should ideally cater to a range of learning preferences. Today’s workforce comprises technology ‘natives’ (typically young professionals accustomed to accessing learning anytime, anywhere via their smart device) as well as technology ‘immigrants’ (typically older professionals whose learning preferences may reflect more traditional delivery methods).

The approach APS organisations are able to take with respect to the range of learning solutions available to their workforce will often be reflective of the agency’s size, budget, physical and ICT infrastructure, as well as the demographic of its employees and the organisational learning culture.

The ability for organisations to offer the widest range of learning platforms, including interactive spaces for social learning, is fraught with security and accessibility issues.

  • Potential limitations (physical office space, applications, access to the internet, ICT hardware) due to internal infrastructure.
  • ICT and information security.
  • Funding pressures.
  • Varying degrees of learners’ ICT capability.
  • Possible reluctance for some learners to access learning on their personal device and/or outside of traditional work hours.
The end goal

As representatives of the future APS workforce, your views, preferences and reflections on digital learning will help shape the recommendations for a five-year APS Digital Learning strategy.


The Department of Defence is seeking to implement a five-year strategy that identifies short, medium and long term recommendations that will inform digital transformation of workplace learning to enable our workforce to learn like never before.

The Department of Defence leads government organisations with offerings that support ongoing education and training of our workforce. However, we are behind with respect to enabling our workforce anywhere, anytime access to interactive and social learning platforms for professional and business skilling.

The work in the Department of Defence encompasses the widest possible employment spectrum. If you can name it – we do it. Therefore, our ability to offer the widest range of L&D solutions that can be used to skill our workforce for the future is imperative. However, for this task, the immediate focus is on professional and business skilling for the APS workforce within Defence.

The Department of Defence has a complex internal ICT infrastructure that is centrally governed by one large business unit.

The Department of Defence comprises more than 17,000 APS members dispersed across Australia and internationally.

Last reviewed: 
15 June 2018