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Objective 5: Enhance capabilities

9. Design job role profiles

The skills, knowledge and attributes required for data users and producers across the APS will be determined and incorporated into a suite of high-level data job role profiles.

Data job role profiles will provide the building blocks for identifying data capability requirements and career pathways for the data profession.

10. Identify and develop capabilities

The capabilities and expertise required for sophisticated and specialised data roles across the APS will be identified and defined, building on the data job role profiles. Capability building opportunities and learning pathways will be explored in alignment with the APS Learning and Development Strategy.

Existing senior leadership groups, such as the Deputy Secretaries Data Group and the Data Champions Executive, will be engaged to provide a view of senior leadership data capability across the APS, and to develop and champion data leader attributes.

11. Identify and promote structured learning opportunities

Current and emerging capability offerings will be reviewed to identify structured learning and development opportunities for APS staff to grow their data capabilities.

This will be informed by engagement across the APS, as well as any insights drawn from the Data Champions project on Data Literacy and Communication.

The Data Professional Stream will collaborate with academia to promote learning pathways which build sophisticated and expert capabilities for data users and producers.

Developing data capability in the Australian Taxation Office (ATO)

The ATO's Capability Framework provides staff with information on the capabilities required for their jobs and is a common building block for Human Resources activities. It includes skills, knowledge and traits/attributes. Proficiency is based on a five-point scale (from awareness to expert). As part of uplifting the broader capability of ATO staff, a set of core skills - the essential skills all staff are required to demonstrate – were developed, including data literacy.

In 2018, ATO Learning and Development launched a learning program focussed on building foundation data literacy capability across the entire organisation. The program linked directly to the six elements of the APS data literacy program. A targeted 6-month communication and marketing campaign raised awareness of the program and encouraged staff to undertake the courses and build their data literacy capability.

In addition to improving data capability for the whole of the ATO, learning pathways were created for the Smarter Data Program. Three roles were identified as critical for initial development work - Business Analyst, Data Analyst and Data Manager. The targeted Business Analyst pathway was launched in 2019 and features new job specific skills (developed as part of the consultation process) and knowledge items as well as proficiency levels. Staff are encouraged to use the pathway and provide feedback on the learning products as part of an agile, iterative approach to continuously improve the pathway based on user experience.

Work has commenced on the Data Analyst pathway and is well underway on the Data Manager pathway.

12. Encourage learning by immersion

A range of options to increase short-term and longer-term mobility for data professionals across the APS will be explored and trialled. Opportunities will be identified to build and solidify sophisticated and specialised data capabilities through immersion in data roles across APS agencies. This will encourage sharing of expertise and context, and will help to grow data capability across agencies.

The APS data fellowship program will be continued and promoted to develop advanced data skills for high-performing data specialists.

Collaborating on geospatial capability management

The Commonwealth Statistical Geospatial Forum identified a need to address the shortage of staff with suitable levels of skill in the use of geospatial data and technologies in order to deliver quality geospatial information and insights. The Forum observed that management of staff capability development was ad hoc and predominantly siloed within agencies. It was agreed that there was value in working together across agencies to coordinate geospatial recruitment, placement, rotation and development.

A small, inter-agency working group was established in 2019 to develop and trial arrangements. Its objective is to facilitate collaboration on geospatial staffing and development, and establish career pathways for geospatial specialists in the APS. The group has prioritised:

  • facilitating temporary movement and development of current staff for career development and new experiences; and
  • filling vacant positions as well as creating a recruitment pool to maintain overall capability and flexibility.

The working group has diagnosed blockers or barriers relating to staff movement, mechanisms for joint recruitment and availability of resources to dedicate to this initiative. The group continues to explore opportunities for professional development and capability building.

Last reviewed: 
16 September 2020