Professional development opportunities

What development opportunities are available at Finance?

Finance supports individuals pursuing learning and development by offering a selection of on-the-job opportunities and programs and courses designed to meet the professional needs of both the organisation and the individual. These include leadership programs, coaching and mentoring, study assistance, professional skills training,seminars, a guest speaker series, a Graduate program, and a Career Starter program.

Learning and development at Finance supports staff within the department to deliver on the Corporate Plan, and is an integral part of the Performance Management Framework.

Opportunities for all staff

Leadership programs

Finance offers a broad range of leadership programs, through a variety of providers, which are designed to enhance leadership skills through experiential and reflective learning. The leadership courses provide opportunities to develop through interaction with peers and are targeted at leadership development from the APS3 to the SES Band 3 level.

When designing and developing leadership programs, Finance ensures alignment with the Australian Public Service Commission’s (APSC) five key components of the Senior Executive Leadership Capability Framework as set out in the relevant profile of the Integrated Leadership System.

Programs for APS3 – EL2 staff range from short internal programs to residential programs running over several days.  Some programs are offered exclusively to Finance staff and others provide an opportunity for staff to network with participants from the public and private sectors. 

Programs for SES staff range from SES Orientation through to residential programs run by the APSC and other organisations such as the Leadership Consortium. Some programs include travelling overseas, and SES officers can also discuss their individual development needs with their manager.

Coaching and mentoring

Executive coaching services are available through a panel of external professional coaches. These services are highly tailored for individuals and/or small groups.

Coaching can help staff and managers build their confidence, develop specific skills, and become more effective leaders. Topics for coaching vary and may include but are not limited to:

  • performance management
  • leadership skills
  • management skills
  • mentoring and coaching your staff
  • managing underperformance
  • awareness of own management style and behaviours
  • appropriate behaviours in the workplace
  • delegation skills
  • resource planning
  • business planning
  • skill specific (e.g. financial management, project management, women in ICT, etc)
  • Senior Executive Leadership Capability (SELC) skills required to be developed for the next level
  • staff seeking promotion/advancement, career planning or career change, and interview and CV skills.

The Finance Mentor Program facilitates mentor/protégé relationships across the department. The program enables mentors from EL1 to SES level, who have relevant skills and extensive work experience to undertake this role, to provide professional development, career advice and extra support to staff.

Professional skills training

Finance provides a Professional Skills Training (PST) calendar, which has a strong focus on developing and enhancing the core skills of our staff at all levels.  PST offers learning and development opportunities across four key streams. These are:

  • Professional Capability (such as communication skills, writing skills, policy development skills, etc).
  • Leadership and Management.
  • Professional Qualifications (such as a Certificate IV).
  • Career Development.

CPA Australia Recognised Employer Partner

Finance is accredited as a CPA (Certified Practicing Accountant) Australia Recognised Employer to the Knowledge Level.  Finance was the first Commonwealth department or employer in the ACT to gain accreditation.             

What does this mean for CPA members employed within the Department?

CPA members are provided with ‘continuing professional development (CPD) recognition’ – a simple alternative method to demonstrate adherence to CPA Australia’s minimum CPD requirement (members must, every three years, undertake at least 120 hours CPD). The method recognises that CPD activities are appropriately recorded in the Department’s learning and development records and allows CPA members to claim CPD hours for the duration of their employment with the Department in the online CPA Australia CPD member diary.

Note: CPA Australia members with a CPA Australia public practice certificate and/or statutory registration (such as company auditor, company liquidator, tax agent, trustee in bankruptcy, financial service licensee or representatives) must continue to meet their specific CPD obligations associated with the certificate and/or statutory registration.

What does this mean for CPA Australia Associate members employed with the Department?

Associates are provided with ‘practical experience requirement (PER) recognition’ – a simple alternative method to demonstrate adherence to CPA Australia’s three year PER in the CPA Program. You will be recognised as currently meeting the CPA Program PER and are not required to work with a nominated mentor to record the attainment of your skill sets in a CPA Australia practical experience logbook for the duration of your employment with the Department (this information will instead be recorded using the department’s internal learning and development systems).

Associates are also provided with 'continuing professional development (CPD) recognition' - a simple alternative method to demonstrate adherence to CPA Australia's minimum CPD requirement (members must, every three years, undertake at least 120 hours of CPD).

Further study

Finance has generous provisions for financial and leave assistance for officers undertaking further study relevant to the Department's operational needs.

Other programs

Graduate Development Program

Finance graduates participate in a mandatory 12-month program consisting of training, networking events, a leadership offsite, and a Mentor Program. The program is designed to provide them with generic skills and knowledge to become productive Finance staff members and underpin their future careers within the department and the Australian Public Service. It also provides the opportunity for advancement to the APS4, then APS5 level.

Career Starter Program

Finance provides a structured 12-month program for Career Starters, with a training calendar aimed at providing them with learning and development opportunities to acquire generic skills and knowledge to become productive Finance and Australian Public Service officers. Career Starters also have the opportunity to enroll in an Undergraduate Study Program where they can continue to work full time and receive financial and leave assistance to gain a bachelor qualification.

Can I enhance my learning and development without going to training courses?

On-the-job training is a legitimate development activity, and can often be more valuable than formal training programs for the development of particular skills. Staff and managers are encouraged to discuss opportunities that may be available on the job to compliment formal training activities.

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