Home' Defence Magazine : Issue 7 2009 Contents 36
PeoPLe strAteGIes AnD PoLICY
earning and career development
initiatives for Defence Australian
Public service (APs) employees
are being progressed to ensure
Defence retains and attracts
a first-class APs workforce.
A key driver for success is facilitating strong
relationships between APS employees and their
APS and military supervisors and managers.
As a first step, the team from Leadership,
Values and Cultural Engagement (LVCE), with
help from staff in other Groups, has conducted
interactive information sessions across the country
throughout August and September. These sessions
were designed to help strengthen learning
and career development discussions between
employees and their supervisors and managers.
Separate sessions were designed for the
employee and supervisor audiences – both providing
participants with tools and ideas to help have the
career conversation, guidance on how to identify
learning needs and also how to link the learning needs
to business requirements and future career roles.
Director-General Executive Branch, People
Strategies and Policy Group, Ms Sue Parr said that
the sessions were planned to coincide with the
September 2009 Performance Feedback Assessment
and Development Scheme (PFADS) review.
"It's important to remember that successful
learning and career development requires that the
conversation between employees and supervisors be
ongoing, not just a half-hour session at PFADS time.
"Any time, for example, that a new team
member starts, or new processes or new technology
is introduced, is a good time for having a conversation
about learning and development needs," Ms Parr said.
Key areas of focus:
Mutual responsibilities: Under the Defence
Employees Collective Agreement APS employees
and their supervisors – including military
supervisors – are jointly responsible the learning
and career development of APS employees.
The Development Model (see figure): There are
many ways to address capability gaps. Formal
training courses have a role play but should usually
constitute about 10 per cent of the total learning
and development solution. On-the-job training and
workplace coaching usually have a much larger
role to play. Research shows that employees retain
learning longer when given the opportunity to
apply in the workplace what they have learnt.
conversation tools: The information sessions
introduced the following three tools designed to
facilitate the employee/supervisor conversation:
■ capability Identification Tool (separate tools
for the APS and Executive Levels) – assists
employees in identifying their capability gaps
against the Defence Leadership Framework, the
Management and Administration Framework,
and the functional requirements of their current
or aspirational job.
■ Development Plan – this tool is essentially
the employee's business case to their
supervisor on how to bridge particular
capability gaps and identify any risk to the
team's business objectives should the plan to
improve capability not be approved.
■ Learning Agreement - this documents the
plan agreed by the employee and first- and
second-line managers for addressing the
Why should APS employees choose to use these
tools as well as participating in the PFADS?
"Focus groups conducted across the country
in 2008 highlighted to my team that although
employees and supervisors believe APS learning and
career development is important, many are not sure
how to start the career conversation," Ms Parr said.
"The tools we have introduced are designed to
make starting and having this conversation much
easier for both employees and their supervisors and
to ensure better alignment of employee development
with Defence and Public Service needs."
Noting that the current PFADS cycle is drawing
to a close Ms Parr said: “This is an excellent time
to discuss learning and development needs. I
encourage all employees to take the next step and
book time with their supervisor. It might be the best
career conversation that you have ever had”.
Further information on APS learning
and career development, including the new
conversation tools and frameworks detailed in this
article, can be found on the Leadership Values and
Cultural Engagement website from 25 September
ThE ART oF career
By Kelly Altenburg
It's important to remember
that successful learning and
career development requires
that the conversation
between employees and
supervisors be ongoing
Branch, People Strategies and
Policy Group, Ms Sue Parr
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