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Department of Premier and Cabinet

Chapter 5 - Supporting Leadership and Management Development

The Government's commitment to an effectively-led and efficient State Service is demonstrated by recruiting, developing and retaining a professional leadership cohort of highly skilled senior executives.

The Senior Executive Service (SES) have responsibility for high-level policy advice and a variety of complex organisational and project management challenges across a diverse range of areas. SES are also responsible for providing frank, impartial and timely advice to government and high quality services to the Tasmanian community.

Members of the SES:

  • are appointed to the Tasmanian State Service not to a particular Agency;
  • have a particular accountability for the achievement of agency and Government goals reflected in their statement of duties, instrument of appointment and performance management system;
  • furnish high-level policy advice and undertake high level responsibilities in and across agencies to achieve Government targets;
  • are required to develop and apply a broad range of capabilities (knowledge, skills and abilities) across the State Service; and
  • are required to display high-level leadership and personal attributes that demonstrate the State Service Principles, and shape strategic thinking to achieve results on an agency and on a whole-of-service basis.


Leadership capability and development

Building on the initiatives mentioned in last year’s report, such as the development of a Senior Executive Leadership Capability Framework, and a rotation and mobility program, in 2014-15 work has continued in relation to the ongoing development of a sustainable and effective leadership and management cohort.

A skills audit was undertaken across the whole of the SES this year by Government Skills Australia. The objectives of the SES Workforce Skills Audit and Analysis were to understand the current skill and qualification base of our SES, and to determine SES generic and individual professional learning, training and capability development needs. The online questionnaire was distributed to all SES across our 18 Agencies*. The results are currently being analysed, and will be provided in an aggregate-level report that will outline the key recommendations related to the professional development and learning of the SES. In addition to supporting our understanding of which areas of leadership and senior management capability require further development, it is anticipated that a further benefit of this audit will be that it will support increased mobility across the SES.

Leadership and management capability development has been further improved in 2014-15 with:

  • Two Senior Executive Forums being held during the period:
    1. Leadership – how to create a successful organisational culture: this involved the Head of the State Service hosting a question and answer session following a presentation by Alastair Clarkson and Luke Hodge (Hawthorn Football Club); and
    2. Tasmanian’s relationship with China – Insights and Opportunities: this was presented by the Head of the State Service and involved Heads of Agency to highlight the importance of China to the future of Tasmania’s economy, the key initiatives to develop the relationship with China, the importance of cultural awareness and personal insights from working with China’s business and government representatives.
  • Our continuing involvement with the Australian and New Zealand School of Government (ANZSOG) and participation of State Service employees and officers in its Executive Master of Public Administration, Executive Fellows Program and a series of executive workshops. This has been supported by a scholarship fund administered by SSMO.

TTC has continued to provide senior leaders with relevant courses, seminars and workshops to support their leadership development, including:

  • ANZSOG Masterclasses and Leadership in Action Workshops;
  • Public Sector Management Program;
  • Diploma of Government (Policy);
  • Performance Indicators for Government;
  • Business Planning for Government;
  • Critical Thinking and Problem Solving; and
  • Women in Leadership.

TTC has also continued to undertake a secretariat role for the Tasmanian chapter of the Institute of Public Administration Tasmania (IPAA), and arranged a range of contemporary public sector leadership events, including:

  • Measuring Productivity: Can it guide organisations to better long-run performance?;
  • 2015-16 State Budget Briefing;
  • Reflection on the state of social services in Tasmania;
  • IPAA Vic/Tas Executive Forum 2015 - Re-imaging Government/ Re-imaging Public Administration; and
  • Participation in internal and external committees (consultation/collaboration roles and focus) was also noted as a means to develop leadership capability.

At the agency-level, work continues to build the skills and knowledge required for developing and sustaining leadership capability now and into the future. The majority of agencies have linked their leadership development to their Business Plans and talent management (including succession planning and workforce planning).

Development of leadership capability is undertaken at the agency level, where their senior leaders have participated in:

  • specific programs within the organisation (27 SES across seven Agencies);
  • specific programs external to the organisation (four SES across five Agencies);
  • planned rotation and mobility (eight SES across three Agencies);
  • on-the-job assignments (42 SES across four Agencies); and
  • relationship/stakeholder learning (18 SES in one Agency).

Leadership development activities are regularly reported to the agency senior executive groups, and the majority of these activities are formally evaluated. In addition, responses to the Agency Survey indicate that more than 180 senior people had attended an ANZSOG course or workshop, or an IPAA event, during the reporting period.


Manager/management capability development

Managers participate in TTC or other provider-run activities with larger agencies supporting their managers through participation in specific management development programs, delivered in-house, by external providers, or in partnership arrangements. In 2014-15, agencies used Higher Duties Allowances, More Responsible Duties Allowances, rotation and project opportunities to provide capability development opportunities for managers and potential managers.

A number of management/manager capability development focus areas were identified across the State Service such as frontline manager development training, compulsory training in areas including managing people, legislation, recruitment and workplace health and safety. Ethics and integrity, performance management, mental health awareness, resilience, transparency and accountability were other training areas identified.

SSMO continues to support this priority area through the promotion of a range of resources and templates for the Senior Executive Leadership Capability Framework (SELCF), which was established in 2013-14. Agency support for managers to develop or improve their capability was also provided by coaching or HR direct one-on-one support or relationship case management. Training manuals, e-learning tools, templates, toolkits were other supports reportedly available to managers.


Leadership and management

A major initiative in 2014-15 to build capability in the leadership and management area has been the development of the State Service Strategic Management Program (S3MP). The program is a good demonstration of working collaboratively as the program was developed by SSMO, the Department of Police and Emergency Management and the University of Tasmania. A pilot course will take place in August and September 2015 and involves a three week residential school at the Tasmania Police Academy. This program builds upon the existing Police Inspectors Program and covers a range of contemporary management areas including decision-making, stakeholder engagement, ethics, strategic financial management, equity and diversity, workplace health and safety, human resource management, and media/communication management. The program is accredited through the University of Tasmania.

Leadership and management capability areas that will be the focus for agencies in the next reporting period include: change management, ethics and integrity, stakeholder relationships, financial management, performance management and managing people and teams. Other areas, including understanding and using data, policy/program evaluation, project management and organisational planning/strategy development were also listed as priority areas for some agencies. The activities will either be provided in-house, via the TTC, or an external provider.  

To ensure that activities are relevant and contemporary, agencies and SSMO continue to build or enhance current collaborative networks and relationships with agency and whole-of-service links to external organisations including the University of Tasmania, WorkSafe Tasmania, Queensland University (School of Business), the Australian College of Health Service Management and the CPA Australia. A State Service Workforce Development Network commenced during the reporting period. The purpose of the network is to provide a platform to discuss and support workforce development through the sharing of information and collaboration.

At agency levels and at a whole-of-service level there is a clear commitment to and demonstration of building leadership and management capability to have the State Service workforce led well and managed productively.

* As at 30 June 2015, there were 148 Senior Executive Service officers and 16 equivalent specialists, compared with 160 Senior Executive Service officers and 18 equivalent specialists as at 30 June 2014 (paid headcount).

Section 15 (1)(g) of the State Service Act 2000 (the Act) states that the function of the Employer (the Minister administering the Act) is to develop and coordinate training, education and development programs for the State Service. In addition, the Head of the State Service, as per Section 20(2) of the Act, is required to perform and exercise the functions and powers of the Employer and in addressing Section 15(1)(g) is required to take such steps as to further develop high quality leadership.

There is also the requirement that performance management is undertaken well. Section 34(l)(ga) of the Act requires Heads of Agencies to develop and implement performance management and development arrangements for SES and Section 51 of the Act requires officers to manage their performance. Employment Direction No. 26 – Managing Performance in the State Service provides for the principles and practices of performance management of employees.

Continue reading: Chapter 6 –Increasing Human Resources & Industrial Relations Capability