The Australian Public Service Commission plans to deliver more virtual courses in the future after successfully launching an online learning catalogue.
The platform was created to allow employees to develop their skills while working from home, an APSC spokesperson told The Mandarin.
“In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, restrictions were put in place which meant many APS staff were required to work remotely and face-to-face development was no longer possible,” they said.
“The APSC wanted to continue to provide APS employees with the opportunity to develop capability whilst working remotely, and we saw this as an opportunity to step forward during this uncertain time. With the support of the executive the decision was made to start transitioning to online learning.”
Through the catalogue, APS employees can access a range of materials — many of them free — including articles, podcasts, webinars, and eLearning modules.
Staff can also register for interactive virtual sessions offering facilitated content via a virtual classroom.
The APSC has built an online learning community on GovTeams with a range of self-help resources, while the APSLearn system offers a library of eLearning, according to the spokesperson.
“We’ve also adapted our existing programs so they can be delivered virtually – initially focussing on a small number of programs that were in current demand, had some relevance to the context, and could be adapted quickly,” they said.
The first programs to be delivered virtually, on May 5, were focused on editing and proofreading. The APSC has since delivered other virtual programs on dealing with change, working in teams, understanding government, building relationships and engagement, APS ethics and values, planning and managing change, structuring work, and building and leading high performing teams.
Work is currently underway to adapt the next tranche of programs, including converting leadership programs to a blended delivery model, and moving the APS graduate program online.
The process has been challenging but rewarding, the spokesperson noted.
“There has been goodwill and a willingness to work with us on this transition – from APS agencies, our partner suppliers, our guest presenters, and our participants,” they said.
“One of the pleasing aspects of this shift has been increased opportunities for our regional colleagues to participate in learning.”
The commission plans on adapting more programs to support virtual and blended delivery of learning in the future.