The department invests substantially in capability building, guided by the Learning Strategy 2015-19. The strategy includes a range of learning methodologies and tools to support workforce change and use new technologies. It represents a cultural shift across the department from ‘training’ to ‘learning’. Primary aims are to build a workforce with the capability to meet future service delivery challenges, including digital capabilities.
In 2016–17 the department rolled out an electronic career development tool (TalentHub) to all staff. This tool aligns to the Human Services Capability Framework which focuses on capabilities required now and into the future. The tool enables staff to assess their level of competency against the framework’s capabilities.
Priority initiatives for learning during the year were the internal review process, training in policy initiatives, family and domestic violence awareness, gender guidelines, dealing with recipient aggression, multiculturalism and Indigenous cultural awareness.
Formal learning consisted of technical and service delivery courses as well as courses in corporate leadership, and management. There were 717,214 attendances at a range of face-to-face and electronic learning sessions recorded on the department’s learning management system in 2016-17. This equates to an overall investment of 678,866 hours of formal learning.
Enhanced service delivery capability
The department continues to run programs which support the service delivery capability of the workforce.
The Service Delivery Accreditation Program recognises experienced and competent service officers, specialist officers, team leaders and managers by awarding them a nationally recognised qualification relevant to the requirements of their role.
During 2016-17 the accreditation program supported 735 experienced service delivery staff to achieve the following qualifications:
- 371 APS 3 - 4 service officers working in service delivery attained Certificate IV in Government (Service Delivery) qualifications
- 261 APS 5 - 6 team leaders and managers working in service delivery attained Diploma of Government qualifications
- 103 APS 5 service delivery specialists, including Community Engagement Officers, Indigenous Service Officers, and Multicultural Service Officers, attained Diploma of Community Services qualifications.
The department’s Induction Program is a mandatory requirement for all new staff.
In 2016-17 the program was reviewed, leading to the introduction of a three tiered approach (orientation, general induction and job role specific induction) so that staff are more job ready earlier in the induction process.
During the year the department increased the use of digital technologies with the introduction of SharePoint as the platform for managing the induction program combined with classroom and web-based learning.
In 2016-17, 79 per cent of new staff had participated in the program.
Advancing the department’s digital agenda and uptake of digital learning by the workforce is a major departmental priority. A growing proportion of staff are engaging with technology to support our digital transformation. The department is increasingly using different digital technologies for learning across the organisation.
In 2016-17 the department provided staff with new online tools to access, manage and support their development. This included:
- rolling out the TalentHub (see the start of this Part 4.2, Learning and development)
- implementing Workforce Performance Builder software that produces simulations, documentation and instructional videos to provide visual learning for any system within the department
- expanding learning delivery via virtual classrooms.
Leadership and management development
The Public Sector Management Program targets high achieving mid-level managers throughout the Australian Public Service. The main objective is to build capability of future managers. Since January 2016, 56 departmental participants have successfully completed the program. Graduates receive a Graduate Certificate in Business (Public Sector Management) with the option to gain credit towards a Masters-level qualification.