The rise of ‘public service professions’: information managers to lead the way

A new cadre of information managers are needed in the federal government as it looks to the creation of public service professions, inspired by the UK. To get the ball rolling, the National Archives of Australia has released a new online capability matrix.

Specific public service professions could begin to emerge in coming years as organisations raise professional standards in areas like digital information management and human resources that have traditionally been seen as jobs for generalists, according to the Australian Public Service Commission’s human capital chief Ian Fitzgerald.

Speaking yesterday afternoon at the launch of a new interactive, online capability matrix developed by the National Archives to guide the improvement of digital information and records management, Fitzgerald said the APSC was keen to copy the UK Government’s move to create 22 official “civil service professions”.

He is particularly interested in the UK’s “government knowledge and information management” profession as well as his own area, human resources, which had traditionally lacked professional standards and credibility in the same way as information and records management.

“Too often in my view, and particularly in the five years I’ve been in the public sector, too often we’ve seen some roles as roles that anyone can do,” Fitzgerald said. “And I find that really surprising, and that is different to my experience in the private sector.”

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