Mon 16 Nov 2020
Client: The Government of The Turks and Caicos Islands
Programme: Public Service Administration
Delivered: Providenciales and Grand Turk (2019 and 2020).
The challenge: ‘To strengthen and develop the skills, knowledge and performance of Public Service Professionals working to deliver excellent services, effective business and public relations and efficient government operations.’
The Public Service Administration provides civil service support across seven ministries and three statutory bodies, as well as The House of Assembly, Ministers, The Governor and Deputy Governor. Challenges included service quality and impact, stakeholder relationships, inter-departmental collaboration, project management, professional communications and Protocol.
Much of the service’s work includes a public-facing element which also presented relationship management challenges in a country with a small closely-knit population. The stakes were high for this government-wide initiative and this was reflected in the Executive-level sponsorship of the programme in the country.
Stage One: Design. Dods’ designated trainer worked closely with the Turks and Caicos Human Resources Directorate during the design stage. Training needs analyses undertaken locally crystalised through discussion into five themes: Managing a Professional Office and Organisational Communications, Office Information Handling and Data Systems, Financial Integrity and Institutional Processes, Event and Project Management and Professional Communications and Protocol.
The trainer undertook extensive research, including listening in to local radio, in order to integrate cultural perspectives and topical issues into materials and activities. So, for example, the re-development of Salt Cay Airport featured in Project Management, Public Consultations on Road Safety were used to explore Stakeholder Engagement and publicly available government documents were integrated into Professional Communications and Protocol. This created a programme which was not only relevant in terms of learning but which had immediate familiarity with the current work of the delegates.
Stage Two - Delivery: The intensive programme was interactive, iterative and engaging with no sign of traditional ‘lectures’ anywhere. Part One comprised a five-day, full-time workshop which required additional out of hours activities in order to ensure success. Part two was a combination of guided professional reflection and personal action planning designed to encourage personal responsibility and development. This followed the workshop and was an integral part of the programme designed to translate workshop learning into specific action and improvements. The programme had three compulsory assessments and was accredited for CPD.
Impact: Over 100 civil servants successfully completed the programme in six cohorts. Group learning as an effective means of achieving individual development was evidenced by new relationships, mutual trust and collaboration to deliver success. Cohort Learning Sets have continued following the programme providing support and networking opportunities. Delegates’ Final Written Assessments demonstrated significant commitment to individual development and personal responsibility for service quality and improvement with many examples of action taken. All evidence was verified by line-managers, many of whom recorded significant changes in staff attitudes and behaviour.
"The week was well structured and each day I looked forward for a new learning and experience from colleagues and lead speaker. Well put together, with deep insights about the organisation and how we as individuals can improve as a person and organizations to achieve one goal. I was very happy that I have had the opportunity to be part."
"It gives me an eye-opening of more ways of how to improve my work and communication on the job."
"This course gave me better understanding of my role and what is expected ass a Public Servant. It reinforced something I knew and made me to rethink the way I will do things going forth."
"This training has provided a wealth of knowledge that I will use to develop myself and the organisation."
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