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Civil service mobility scheme, David Cagney, Ireland, SIGMA webinar, 15 December 2020

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Civil service mobility scheme, David Cagney, Chief Human Resources Officer for the Civil Service, Ireland, SIGMA webinar, 15 December 2020

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Civil service mobility scheme, David Cagney, Ireland, SIGMA webinar, 15 December 2020

  1. 1. 2 Rue André Pascal 75775 Paris Cedex 16 France mailto:sigmaweb@oecd.org Tel: +33 (0) 1 45 24 82 00 www.sigmaweb.org This document has been produced with the financial assistance of the European Union (EU). It should not be reported as representing the official views of the EU, the OECD or its member countries, or of partners participating in the SIGMA Programme. The opinions expressed and arguments employed are those of the authors. This document, as well as any data and any map included herein, are without prejudice to the status of or sovereignty over any territory, to the delimitation of international frontiers and boundaries and to the name of any territory, city or area. © OECD 2020 – The use of this material, whether digital or print, is governed by the Terms and Conditions to be found on the OECD website page http://www.oecd.org/termsandconditions. CIVIL SERVICE MOBILITY SCHEME David Cagney, Chief Human Resources Officer for the Civil Service, Ireland WHY? What was the problem, what did not work? Why there was a need for such a solution? Purpose of scheme is to expand career and mobility opportunities for staff across geographic, organisational and sectoral boundaries. To improve how the civil service matches skills with roles by introducing a practical system to enable greater mobility and flexibility across the workforce. The main challenges related to integration of legacy inter-department lateral transfer mechanisms into the Mobility scheme: • Central Transfer List (CTL) – these lists were operated by individual organisations for staff in the grades of Clerical Officer who were looking to transfer from Dublin to regional locations. • Central Application Facility (CAF) – this scheme was put in place under a former decentralisation programme and although the programme was closed in 2011 the panels were still in place. The Mobility scheme also replaced: • head-to-head transfer arrangements which were dealt with on a case by case basis and agreed between relevant HR Managers; and • secondments unless the position was aligned to a strategic project or coterminous placement. How: How were the solutions developed? On-line Portal An on-line portal was developed for the Mobility scheme and this is administered centrally. This development ensures that the scheme remains open and transparent, and statistics can be reported on for all stages of the process. The former schemes that it replaced did not have robust central reporting mechanisms. Integrated Mobility Map In developing the scheme the Mobility policy team in collaboration with a select HR Working Group, reviewed the locations of all civil service buildings across the Republic of Ireland. A heat map was used to determine zones with high density civil service activity. 46 zones were established and an integrated map was designed to assist staff in their application choice. The map gives details of the number of positions in
  2. 2. 2 each grade (including vacancies), whether the building is wheelchair accessible, security vetting required, 24/7 shifts etc. What? Description of a tool/solution Phased Introduction of Scheme Working collaboratively with the HR community across the civil service, the scheme is being introduced on phased basis as follows: Phase 1 – for the grades of Clerical Officer (CO) and Executive Officer (EO) went live over 2017 and 2018. Over 5,000 staff have registered (25% of the participating c. 20,000 staff members) for a move through the scheme. It is a waitlist-based system and staff can apply through an on-line portal for a move to up to 5 organisations in a max of 2 out of 46 location zones. Priority on a waitlist is based on the date of application in the first instance, and the length of reckonable service in the second. A sequencing arrangement applies where 1 in 2 CO posts and 3 in 20 EO posts are filled through the scheme. To date over 550 staff have successfully moved through the scheme in the grades of CO and EO. Phase 2 – for the grades of Higher Executive Officer (HEO) (c. 5 000 staff), Administrative Officer (AO) (c.700 staff), and Assistant Principal (AP) (c.2 000 staff) will be introduced in the following sub-phases: • 2A – list-based scheme for AO and HEO positions similar to that for COs and EOs – on target to go live January 2021. • 2B - advertisement-based scheme for AO and HEO positions that require qualifications or more specialist expertise – on target to go live in March 2021. Staff members interested in a move to a specialised areas e.g. ICT, HR can register their interest on the Mobility portal and will be notified by email in the event that a position is advertised in their chosen category. • 2C - advertisement-based scheme for AP positions end live on 2nd November 2020. This includes the Third Secretary grade, Department of Foreign Affairs. A sequencing arrangement applies under this phase where 1 in 6 posts are filled through the scheme. Principal Officer (PO) Mobility is an advertisement based scheme and was introduced in 2015. It includes the Counsellor grade, Department of Foreign Affairs. Over 60 roles have been filled to date. A sequencing arrangement applies under this phase where 1 in 6 posts are filled through the scheme. Process for Advertisement-based scheme (all AP and PO positions & specialised categories for the HEO and AO grade) Staff interested in a move under the scheme are required to register their interest on the online portal in order to receive automated notifications. When a vacancy arises that is to be filled through Mobility the Advertising/Receiving Local HR are responsible for completing the advertisement template (sample at Appendix 1) on the online portal. When a position is input by the advertising Local HR the registered staff members will automatically receive the advertisement by email to both their work and home email address. Where a staff member wishes to apply for the advertised position they must complete the application form (sample at Appendix 2), and apply directly to the advertising organisation – contact details will be included on the advertisement. This includes a declaration that they have read the terms and conditions which include the following eligibility requirements to apply for a mobility position: a) 2 years’ service, or more, in the current grade; (b) 2 years’ service, or more, in the current organisation; (c) 2 years’ service, or more, in the current geographical location;
  3. 3. 3 (d) a PMDS/performance rating of ‘Satisfactory’ for the previous working year; and (e) successfully completed their probation period in a permanent capacity. When the closing date has passed the advertising organisation will undertake a selection process. This may include an initial shortlisting of applications to ascertain the applicants who best meet the requirements of the advertised position. Applicant(s) may then be invited to a meeting to discuss and explore their skills and potential to meet the requirements of the advertised position. When the advertising Local HR progress with the selection process they will contact the Sending Local HRs of the applicants being considered who are required to complete a Suitability Report of the applicant’s current suitability and/or ability to be progressed for Mobility under the following criteria: a) Performance Improvement Plan (PIP) under Circular 24/2016 or subsequent amended circular; b) Disciplinary warnings and/or sanctions under Circular 19/2016 or subsequent amended circular; c) Formal investigations under the Civil Service Disciplinary Code which may lead to disciplinary action; and d) Attendance Record. Where an applicant is selected, or where there is no suitable applicant, the Advertising Local HR should inform all applicants of the outcome of the process. Where there is no suitable applicant, the position remains to be filled through normal recruitment arrangements. Upon completion of the process, Local HR of the advertising organisation will complete an on-line outcome report (Appendix 3). This will be used for reporting and reviewing purposes. What results: what were the benefits of the solution, how does it work in practice, lessons learnt Benefits The scheme increases organisational capability, diversity and skills transfer/matching. It is open and transparent and aids in developing staff members skills/expertise and learning through the sharing of good practice, ideas and experience across the service regardless of grade of geographical location. The scheme also strengthens the concept of a ‘One Civil Service’. Mobility also supports the development of senior staff members in line with the criteria for Assistant Secretary posts advertised since 1 January 2018 which include the following: Ideally, applicants will meet at least two of the following criteria at a senior level: • Experience in more than one organisation; • International experience (e.g. working abroad or significant engagement with international organisations and processes); • Experience outside the Civil Service; • A variety of experience (e.g. policy and operational). Lessons Learned Learnings from a one year review of the list-based scheme for Clerical and Executive officers are that: • 97% of respondents surveyed would recommend the scheme to colleagues • 80% of movers have not ‘reapplied’ for a further move • 88% of moves took place within the guiding four week timeframe following acceptance of offer • Only 25% of moves take place following an offer of Mobility. While the reported data on list-based mobility indicates that only 1 in 4 moves take place following advancement of offer, there is a reasonable expectation that there will be an improvement in this given the reducing number of applicants with former transfer legacy dates (62% reduction from 1339 to 521
  4. 4. 4 applicants @ 01/2020) and policy improvements that have now taken place (streamlined communications and reduction in application choices). Reported reasons for the high decline rate are:- change in personal circumstances; upcoming promotion; office address unsuitable; terms of position unsuitable. It is too early to tell if the improvements that were made have reduced the number of declined offers as the scheme was paused for six months this year due to COVID-19. New ways of working (Hybrid Working) is also anticipated to have an impact on the scheme with less staff requiring a geographical move. A two year review of the advertisement-based scheme for Principal Officers provided key learnings a high volume (c.40%) of advertised positions required specialist/technical skills. Although this had some impact on the number of applications, the scheme is meeting its seqencing target of filling 1 in 6 positions. The objective to support the business while providing opportunities for staff members has been met, and stakeholders of the scheme have reported the following: - Organisations: increased recruitment pool of suitable experienced staff. - HR Managers: reduced time spend dealing with queries compared to legacy transfer processes; a welcomed single steamlined process. - Line Managers: although training is required, the quality of staff is satisfactory. - Applicants: positive impact on work life balance and career development/paths; reduced commute - environmental and economical friendly; transparent efficient process. - Staff Unions: members are in general very happy with the scheme, and feel that their mobility/career development/work life balance requirements have been taken into consideration. Local HR and Line Managers also identified the need for skills matching for the junior grades. While not the considered view of Senior Management at the development stage, this will be further reviewed for particular skill sets e.g. ICT. Learnings from the above schemes have been carried into the development of the other phases for the HEO, AO and AP grades. Challenges The scheme has also highlighted some challenges for any move or hire that are not unique to mobility and are widespread across the following HR policies: recruitment; redeployment; interdepartmental and internal promotion; internal mobility; PMDS and One Learning. The main challenges are: difficulty in transitioning into new role/organisation; poor induction/in-house training; elective work arrangements not carrying as personal-to-holder; fear of declaring disability/reasonable accommodation requirement; lengthy process for Garda vetting; variance of pay and leave arrangements across the service; different HR systems with no on-line access to scheme (14% of representative grades).
  5. 5. 5 Appendix 1 CIVIL SERVICE MOBILITY SCHEME ASSISTANT PRINCIPAL ORGANISATION AND POSITION DETAILS ROLE DESCRIPTION Description of Division/Unit work: Key Role Responsibilities: Essential Role Requirements: Desirable Role Requirements: APPLICATION E-mail contact details: Closing Date: Click or tap to enter a date. Organisation: Choose an item. Division/Unit: Address: Current Location Zone: [see list of zones here] Choose an item. Position Title: No of reporting staff:
  6. 6. 6 Appendix 2 CIVIL SERVICE MOBILITY SCHEME - ASSISTANT PRINCIPAL APPLICATION FORM PERSONAL DETAILS Name: Choose an item. Current Position and Division: Organisation: Email address: Current Location Zone: [see list of zones here] Choose an item. Mobile number: Work number: I have read the T&Cs, and am a permanent civil servant in a general service grade: Please select CAREER HISTORY Please present your career in reverse chronological order (last three or four roles – repeat as required) so that the most recent role appears first. Position: Organisation: Dates from – to: No. and grade of reporting staff: Main responsibilities and achievements: 0-300 words
  7. 7. 7 EDUCATIONAL DETAILS Please specify in each case: • Title of qualification (e.g. Commerce, Law etc.) • Level of qualification (e.g. certificate, diploma, B.A., BSc, M.A. MSc, PhD ) • Key subjects (up to 3) or in the case of a Masters by thesis or PhD indicate title of thesis • Year in which qualification was awarded • Institution and (if different) Awarding Authority. Please expand table as necessary. TRAINING DETAILS Please specify training you have received in the last ten years: Course Name Year Institution 1 2 3 4 Please expand table as necessary. PERSONAL STATEMENT TO SUPPORT YOUR APPLICATION: 0-300 words Signature: Date: Click or tap to enter a date. DATA PROTECTION AND CONFIDENTIALITY All personal information submitted by you in completing this document will be held and used solely for the purposes of the Assistant Principal Officer Mobility scheme. Local HR will treat this information as confidential and access will be restricted and controlled in accordance with Data Protection Acts and the General Data Protection Regulation. Title Level Key Subjects Year Awarded Institution/Awarding Authority 1 2 3 4
  8. 8. 8 Appendix 3 CIVIL SERVICE MOBILITY SCHEME ASSISTANT PRINCIPAL Report to be completed by Advertising Local HR ORGANISATION AND POSITION DETAILS Signature: Grade (HEO or above): Date: Click or tap to enter a date. Organisation: Choose an item. Number of applicants: Position filled: Please select Time taken from Advertisement to Selection: Time taken from offer to Mobility move: Outline any challenges encountered: Suggestions for improvements to the process:

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