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Independent News For The Australian Public Service
Edition Number 396. Updated Tuesday, 11 February 2014

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Standards initiative launched by IPAA

The Institute of Public Administration Australia (IPAA) has launched new Professional Capability Standards along with the IPAA ACT 2014 Events Program.
 President of IPAA ACT, Glenys Beauchamp said the Professional Capability Standards in procurement and policy defined the technical skills and knowledge expected of public sector workers as professionals in those roles.
 “IPAA ACT ‘s research identified that professional standards could make a significant contribution to improving public sector performance, while helping to enhance the careers of those who aim to work at a professional level within the public sector,” Ms Beauchamp said.
 She said the development of these standards had been driven by Alison Turner and a steering committee comprised of public sector practitioners, representatives of peak bodies and leading academics.
  “The work being completed in this area on behalf of IPAA is unique. Already the standards are being used to support recruitment, career planning and define appropriate educational curricula for professionals in these roles,” Ms Beauchamp said.
 “These standards will support public administrators as they seek to develop Public Servants that can manage the future challenges and opportunities that are front-and-centre for the APS.”
 She said that previously Public Servants working in procurement and policy development roles have been considered generalists.
  “The implementation of these capability standards recognises there is high level of skills and knowledge need to perform at a professional level in these roles. Supporting their development and helping Public Servants gain professional qualifications is another step in the continuing improvement of public administration in Australia,” Ms Beauchamp said.

Enhancement for careers
 Australian Public Service Commissioner, Stephen Sedgwick said developing standards was entirely appropriate for a professional association.
 “IPAA’s capabilities standards will complement the leadership, values and employment frameworks developed by the Australian Public Service Commission and the work under way to strengthen core skills in the APS,” Mr Sedgwick said.
 “Initiatives like these help us develop agile Public Servants that can respond at pace as future challenges and opportunities emerge.”
 Executive Director of the Australasian Procurement and Construction Council, Teresa Scott said the standard was truly national and aligned with State and Territory workforce development strategies.
 She said procurement had become a keystone in fiscal strategy.
 “With Australian Governments’ annual expenditure on goods, services and construction estimated at $262 billion, a one per cent saving in procurement expenditure across all jurisdictions would result in an annual return of $2.6 billion,” Ms Scott said.
 IPAA National President, Terry Moran said IPAAs national priorities this year included developing and promoting professional standards and development.
 “IPAAs diverse membership and linkages with all levels of Government, as well as the private, public and community sectors, allows us to bring together a broad range of skills and experience to contribute to this crucial work,” Mr Moran said.
 “I hope all jurisdictions will utilise these standards to guide a growing emphasis on the importance of professional development in the public sector. This renewed emphasis is critical to preparing public sector people for the next round of change which will be driven by the digital economy.”
 Ms Beauchamp said that in 2014 the IPAA ACT would be focused on hosting more seminars that examine current and relevant topics, annual and flagship events such as the Annual Report Awards and the Prime Minister’s Awards for Excellence in Public Sector Management—and new events that highlight the ACT’s proximity to the centre of Australian Government and municipal and territory services in the capital.
 More information on IPAA ACT events and the Professional Capability Standards can be found at this PS News link.   

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