Microcredentials, innovation and strategic partnerships at the Academy
By Kristen Risby, Adam Le Nevez, Zack Burton, APS Academy
The APS Academy is joining forces with universities and a range of APS agencies to co-design innovative learning solutions that provide relevant, job-ready learning and lead to a valuable post-graduate microcredential.
Funded through the Capability Reinvestment Fund, the Developing capability through microcredentials project is targeting:
- gender impact analysis in policy design,
- futures and foresight techniques, and
- Pacific cultural capability.
These three cutting-edge courses developed in partnership with the University of New South Wales and Flinders University, will offer 48-50 hours of learning and assessment. With a blend of self-directed and synchronous components, they will be piloted in April/May before being made available to APS staff later in 2024.
What are microcredentials?
At the heart of this initiative are microcredentials, which are short, stackable courses that have undergone an academic approval process and meet university quality standards. They can provide credit towards, and open up pathways into, post-graduate university qualifications. Microcredentials provide learners with high-quality academic learning that is more accessible than a full qualification. Our design enables learners to seamlessly integrate learning into their daily APS work, fostering practical and immediate application of learning, and therefore increasing the overall effectiveness of the learning experience.
For a course to qualify as a microcredential, it must adhere to the standards set by the National Microcredentials Framework including ensuring learning or competency is assessed. The Framework encourages microcredentials to be outcome-based, responsive to industry-need, supportive of lifelong learning, and transparent and accessible. These guiding principles shape the Academy’s work in microcredential development, incorporating a co-design process.
What is the benefit of co-design?
Our co-design process involves facilitating connection between leading researchers, academic experts, and experienced APS practitioners. We have established co-design groups of interested parties and relevant expertise to shape each microcredential. These co-design groups are making decisions not only on learning outcomes and course content, but also on the most effective ways to engage APS learners for desired outcomes. The hands-on process is fostering genuine partnerships beyond transactional and commercial interests. University partners appreciate the practical focus of experienced practitioners, translating research into actionable learning. Practitioners, in turn, benefit by elevating their expertise and expanding their networks.
APS employees stand to gain significantly from these initiatives. If successful, the Academy could collaborate with universities to create a range of microcredentials, stackable to earn substantial credit toward a formal post-graduate qualification. Imagine, building your APS career with a series of short university courses articulating into a post-graduate qualification in public policy, public administration, international relationships or business administration.
How can you get involved?
The Academy is seeking expressions of interest for a small number of suitable candidates to participate in the pilot of these microcredentials. As this is a pilot, the usual fee for the course enrolment will be waived. Expressions of interest close 15 February 2024. Access the information below to find out more.