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It’s time to hit the books: APS has launched a new professional development academy. Credit: Kimberly Farmer / Unsplash

The Australian Public Service (APS) has launched a new service-wide Learning and Development (L&D) Center to build capacity and set standards for vocational training.

The APS Academy aims to foster a “culture of learning” across the department, develop core skills and “generate high performance,” according to plans released last week.

“The launch of the academy responds to an important element of the government’s APS reform agenda to invest in APS capacity,” said APS Commissioner Peter Woolcott AO.

“The academy is a place where all APS employees can learn, develop, discuss and share,” he added.

The academy is part of APS’s new learning and development strategy and accompanying action plan, which were also released last week.

A new approach to professional development

The strategy sets out two new models that will affect learning and development across APS: a “lifelong learning model” and a “single APS learning ecosystem”.

The first recognizes that formal training is not the only means by which professionals learn, and expands the focus to include the learning methods that professionals use more regularly. These include people (connection with other professionals); resources (toolkits, guidelines, etc.); work (on-the-job training); and run.

The APS Academy will offer learning through these four methods to ensure that professionals “can take control of your own learning and development,” according to its website. Indeed, the strategy shares the responsibility for L&D between individuals, managers and leaders.

The second model – a “single APS learning ecosystem” – recognizes that the responsibility for developing knowledge and skills through APS is shared among many parties. This includes teams, individuals and managers alongside senior executives, L&D teams from agencies, APS professions, specialized development centers, external partners and others.

Learn the trade

The APS Academy is a “new addition to this ecosystem”, according to the strategy.

In addition to helping professionals and teams collaborate, share knowledge and network, the academy will also collaborate with agencies and other partners to provide training and development on required skills and behaviors. in APS.

These inter-departmental traits have been termed “public service craft capabilities”.

There are six APS “trades”: integrity; working in government (including a “willingness to serve” and understanding the context in which APS works); engagement and partnership (collaboration to develop policies and services); implementation and services (“identification, design and implementation of useful services”); strategy, policy and evaluation (analysis of challenges to “provide excellent advice to government); leadership and management (increasing productivity and inspiring individuals and teams).

The academy will be based at Old Parliament House in the Australian capital Canberra. It will host live events and workshops, as well as e-learning options for the public and Australian officials based across the country and the world to participate. The APS Academy website also states that it has’ do-it-yourself toolkits’ that contain an ‘organized suite of resources comprising frameworks, methodologies, tools, models, networks and centers of excellence. and research ”.

With the academy focused on service-wide capacity, “training and development teams from agencies and other contributors to the training and development ecosystem can focus on building specific capacity at the service level. ‘agency, professional and specialized,’ notes the action plan.

The academy will also lead a working group to create standards for learning and development in APS. He will then accompany the other teams in charge of training and development to adopt them.

Over the next year, as part of the action plan, the APS Academy will also help create an L&D evaluation framework to assess the impact of the lifelong learning model.

It will be supervised by an APS learning committee. This will be chaired by Woolcott AO, alongside several other internal executive members. External members have not yet been announced.

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