Sunday, July 25, 2021

New Australian Public Service Academy Opens With 113 Courses

The Australian Public Service Academy (APSA) was set up in July 2021, by the Australian Government, for the training of employees. I joined the government as a programmer's assistant ,and retired 19 years later, as a senior IT policy advisor, having been trained mostly in-house, with some courses at ANU (where I am now a lecturer). Ideally  APSA will be able to integrate practical experience with formally accredited education. 

APSA is headed by Grant Lovelock who was previously with the National Careers Institute. Based at old Parliament House in Canberra, there are currently 113 courses listed. Of those listed, 80 courses are facilitated, with 47 of those online (using Zoom), plus another  33 self directed.

The courses are grouped into six categories. Some introductory ones are free, while more advanced course are several hundred dollars. The courses are from hours to several days equivalent. There is no indication who can enroll, but in the past similar programs have been open to state public servants and a limited number of people from the private sector, as well as federal public servants. 

There is no accreditation of courses indicated, credit for vocational or university programs, or alignment with the Australian Qualifications Framework. With the addition of suitable assessment, it would appear feasible to assemble these courses into micro-credentials, and gain credit toward a formal recognized qualification.

APSA Course Categories:

  1. Engagement & Partnership: 9 courses, on building relationships, designing public deliberation, stakeholder engagement. Most interesting sounding is "Influence, Negotiation and Persuasion Skills for Executive Levels".
  2. Implementation & Services: 22 courses, 9 for Comcover on risk management, some "Craft Conversations" general panel discussions, project and financial management, and human centered design
  3. Integrity: Only one course "Integrity in the APS".
  4. Leadership & Management: 24 courses, including "Leading in a Digital Age".
  5. Strategy, Policy & Evaluation: 15 courses, including 5 on data literacy.
  6. Working in Government: 42 courses on decision making and communication skills.

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