Australian Public Service Craft
By Australian Public Service Commissioner, Peter Woolcott AO
As Australian Public Service Commissioner, I have the privilege of engaging with colleagues from across the breadth of the public service. I am always struck by the sheer diversity of roles and responsibilities that the APS undertakes.
There are currently more than 150,000 APS employees, located across Australia and around the world. Some of you work in ‘traditional’ settings – at desks, in office buildings, in city centres. Many of you do not: veterinarians informing agriculture policy, rangers protecting our national parks, scientists leading expeditions in Antarctica and project managers ensuring the delivery of life saving medicine, to name just a few.
Even within these more traditional settings there is huge variety and diversity across the APS workforce. From economic analysis to speechwriting, from tobacco regulation to designing income support programs, the nature and scope of the work you do varies tremendously between sections, branches, divisions and agencies.
At the same time, right across the APS there is a strong sense of one, unified institution. In part, this is fostered by the APS Values that underpin what we do, and the APS Code of Conduct that we abide by. And APS Census data shows that at our core, is a strong spirit of service, a mindset that each of us bring to work irrespective of our role or location. Of equal importance, however, there are also key capabilities that set the public service apart from other employers – core skills that are common to all APS employees.
These foundational public service capabilities have been defined as ‘APS Craft’. They are the skills that each and every APS employee requires in order for the APS to work as one enterprise and deliver for the Australian people.
With a focus on building capability in APS craft, the establishment of the APS Academy signals a shift in APS workforce learning and development. Through the Academy, all APS employees can access high quality APS craft learning and development resources. The Academy has been designed to connect the workforce with the best of internal and external public service knowledge and experience.
As public servants, the work we do intersects and impacts almost every aspect of the lives of Australians. We are here to deliver for the Australian community. This ability to deliver is dependent upon the capability of our people in a constantly evolving workplace.
We should be proud of our craft capability. It is a unique skillset that we develop and hone during our APS career. This is what unites us as public servants and helps the Australian people stay safe and prosper.