Our learning and development program ensures our staff have the skills and capability they need to do their job well, and ensure they are supported to meet their career goals.
In 2016–17 we:
- developed and facilitated a learning program for our expanded local government mandate
- increased our focus on the skills that can effectively impact client relationships (see the case study on our client simulation)
- improved how and where we spend our learning dollars
- provided an opportunity for Senior Auditors and Audit Leaders to facilitate parts of the graduate induction program
- delivered cultural awareness training to support our new Indigenous Internship Program (see the case study on our Indigenous Internship Program).
We continued to help staff gain their professional accounting qualifications in 2016–17 by reimbursing 100 per cent of fees. Twelve staff qualified as Chartered Accountants and two as Certified Practising Accountants. We also support non-audit staff with their further education by paying a percentage of their fees for relevant study. Study leave is granted for all those undertaking approved studies. Training days per staff member in 2016–17 averaged six days and included a combination of online training and face-to-face sessions. On top of this face-to-face and online learning, staff receive considerable on the job learning. The use of internal coaching, and training delivered by internal subject matter experts, remains a focus to ensure we continue to offer cost-effective learning solutions.
We continue to provide mentoring as a way of developing our staff. We also assist potential candidates for Senior Auditor and above roles with the opportunity to attend an interviewee skills workshop. Each year we send our potential leaders to the Institute of Public Administration Australia (IPAA) Young Professionals Breakfast. A number of lunchtime assertiveness training sessions were held to assist staff and leaders at all levels to confidently deal with challenging situations. We continue with each newly promoted manager receiving an induction into their new roles whilst working with unsuccessful candidates to assist them with a development plan to address gaps. We also held another successful Business Simulation in 2016–17 to bolster the leadership and business acumen skills of our managers.
Financial audit staff this year were trained across a variety of subject areas, including Plain English, audit methodology, accounting standards, on-the-job coaching and auditing local government. Corporate Services staff received relevant industry-specific training and continued to develop through attendance at seminars, training sessions and conferences. Performance audit staff attended industry conferences, and developed advanced report writing skills through face-to-face training and coaching.
Throughout 2016–17, we continued to offer our staff a variety of work and development opportunities. Staff are given the opportunity for internal movement including acting at higher levels. As part of our commitment to offer staff experiences in other organisations, we seconded 12 staff to PwC Australia, one to Deloitte and one to BDO. We also arranged four secondments to other government departments, and some internal secondments between branches.
Training spending $’000
Average training days per staff member
*2017 Our new MiCareer human capital management system enables more targeted and accurate reporting of average training days per employee. We are therefore from 2016–17 starting to report just on actual face-to-face and online training days per employee as a more accurate measure of average training days per employee, as opposed to also including on-the-job learning, coaching and the like.
The year ahead
In 2017–18, our learning and development program will include:
- launching the ‘Connect’ collaboration tool to enable knowledge sharing for different topics
- developing a Leadership Framework that links to the NSW Public Service Commission’s Capability Framework
- focusing on women’s leadership development
- ensuring senior managers have the required skills to present at local government public meetings through training and coaching
- developing an online learning module called ‘About Government’ for those recruits hired from outside the public sector
- developing a partnership with the Committee for Economic Development in Australia (CEDA) to enable our Office Executive and Leadership Team to attend meetings and events with other members of government.