Our vision ‘Making a difference through audit excellence’ is supported by the professional development of our staff and managers. In 2015–16, we:
- commissioned a Learning Management System as part of the MiCareer Project
- developed a suite of online technical learning modules and information security modules
- developed individual online learning modules such as ‘Behaving Ethically’, ‘Diversity and Inclusion’ and ‘Retain Resource Scheduling’
- established a training event calendar
- implemented an internal mentoring program.
We continued to help staff gain their professional accounting qualifications in 2015–16 by reimbursing 100 per cent of fees. Seven staff qualified as Chartered Accountants, one as a Certified Practising Accountant and five as members of the Institute of Public Accountants. We also support non-audit staff with their further education by paying a percentage of their fees for relevant study. Study leave is granted for all those completing approved studies.
Training days per staff member in 2015–16 averaged nine days and included a combination of online training, on-the-job coaching and face-to-face sessions. The use of internal coaching, and training delivered by internal subject matter experts, remains a focus to ensure we continue to offer cost-effective learning solutions.
In 2016–17, our learning and development initiatives will include:
- launching the ‘Connect’ collaboration tool to enable knowledge sharing
- launching the ‘Certification’ tool to capture Continuing Professional Development (CPD) points
- ensuring learning and development budget owners have transparent expenditure reporting
- implementing a client skills program using senior managers as facilitators
- implementing a new manager program for ‘first time’ managers
- extending secondment opportunities to other accounting firms
- developing a range of online learning.
Technical and leadership development
Leadership development in 2015–16 focused on developing the coaching skills of our new managers, as well as performance conversation training as part of the performance framework rollout. Additionally, each newly promoted manager was given an induction that enabled them to develop a plan for the first 90 days in their new role, and all unsuccessful candidates for manager roles were given development plans to address capability gaps.
We also held an offsite ‘Business Simulation’ in 2015–16 where participants were put in teams to run the Audit Office over a three-year period. Participants could see the impact of their business decisions on Audit Office performance. Following the simulation, team members were provided with one-on-one coaching by external business coaches.
Financial Audit staff this year were trained across a variety of subject areas, including plain English, audit methodology, accounting standards, on-the-job coaching and government. Corporate Services staff received relevant industry specific training and continued to develop through attendance at seminars, training sessions and conferences. Performance Audit staff attended industry conferences, and developed advanced report writing skills through face-to-face training and coaching.
Throughout 2015–16, we continued to offer our staff a variety of work and development opportunities. Staff are given the opportunity for internal movement including acting at higher levels. We have a new mentoring program that enables collaborative discussions around career development and knowledge building. Mentors and mentees have included staff from every level through to the Auditor-General.
There were many opportunities for staff to work on strategic initiatives in 2015–16, including the chance to be involved in the ‘100 Day Leaders’ program. As part of our commitment to offer staff experiences in other organisations, we seconded ten staff to PwC Australia. We also arranged two secondments to other government departments, and numerous internal secondments between branches.