KPMG: helping shape tomorrow’s public sector workforce
With change sweeping through the entire public sector, the availability of high quality learning that can deliver new skills and competencies has fast become a leadership priority.
At KPMG, we’re working with organisations across the public sector on how to develop their workforce, and their L&D function, to keep pace with shifting ambitions. This sees us advising on their learning strategy, creating cutting-edge learning content and delivering it to learners – providing a comprehensive, end-to-end service intended to give the best possible learning experience.
When designing learning, two words we never lose sight of are context and relevance.
The single most important guiding principle within our philosophy is that learning must be relevant. Learning can be granular, delivering a specific new skill for example, or transformational, using learning to change ingrained cultural norms and behaviours. However, regardless of the type of learning, it must always be relevant to the learner and the organisation.
This is why context is so important; understanding the organisation’s strategic ambitions as well as the working environment within which newly acquired skills will be used.
A flagship project
The world of workplace learning has changed significantly in recent years. Today’s best practice L&D thinking tells us that learners want bite-sized, ‘just-in-time’ learning. They want learning content they can consume when and where they want it. And they want that content geared towards helping achieve their career ambitions, not merely boosting their earning potential.
When the Civil Service asked us to deliver a new curriculum, it had to reflect this thinking. It needed to make best use of the latest technology and to deliver exceptional value for money. Most importantly, it needed to equip learners (from prison officers and tax collectors through to border control guards and policy-makers) with the new skills and capabilities required to meet the changing needs of modern day British society.
A collaborative affair
Delivering a programme like this is something that KPMG is well-versed in, having already helped deliver the Government’s World Class Skills programme. Further programmes of learning followed with the Ministry of Defence, transforming the learning offer for military personnel, and senior programmes for the NHS Leadership Academy since 2012.
There have also been other public sector learning programmes, designed with very specific aims in mind. At HMRC for example, a programme was delivered to support managers as the organisation downsized. Activities centred on leadership, management and behavioural change management helped managers keep their teams engaged and performing strongly during what was a challenging time.
Similarly, when the Home Office implemented a new performance management system, we delivered an L&D programme to challenge ingrained perceptions of performance management. This required learning activities that demonstrated how performance management is an ongoing exercise, designed to maximise an individual’s potential, rather than a twice-a-year conversation, focused on pay and reward.
The key difference with the Civil Service programme was scale, as tackling a challenge of this magnitude required us to form a consortium of 30 of the UK’s leading L&D suppliers.
Working hand-in-hand with hundreds of civil servants, the consortium designed and delivered over 130 learning topics, with the government’s key priorities for each curriculum area used to define learners’ objectives and outcomes.
The outcome was that, for the first time ever, the UK Government now owns its own coherent L&D curriculum. It can develop the competencies it needs to equip a more effective, more modern Civil Service, capable of providing high quality public services at this uniquely challenging time.
We have now delivered over one million hours of learning, with 87% of users saying that they’ve changed behaviour or are more effective at work because of what they learned.
With everything that’s happening within the public sector currently, this is a fascinating time to be working in L&D. To learn more about what we’re up to, please visit us at the Public Sector Show (26 June); we’ll be on stand D44 in the workforce and skills zone.
This is a fascinating time to be working in L&D, so if you would like to hear more from KPMG, you can visit their stand D44 at the Public Sector Show, on 26 June at ExCel London.