Public Service and Administration Minister, Ms Noxolo Kiviet issued a circular on the implementation of the Directive on Compulsory Training Programmes aimed at creating a competent and professionalised public service space.

The circular that has been sent to all Heads of Departments, and Provincial Departments seeks to ensure that departments prioritise the training of employees in the areas outlined as compulsory as well as to outline the training modalities and payment processes for the compulsory programmes.

On the circular also sent to government components, Minister Kiviet said the objectives of the Directive is to support efforts to create a highly competent and professionalised public service, which includes the attainment of priority 1, outlined in the Medium-Term Strategic Framework, (2019-2024) and reflected as the creation of a Capable, Ethical and Developmental State.

“Priority 1 underpins all seven priorities and is a vision of strong leadership, a focus on people and improved implementation capability).

“To transition to a more functional and integrated government, which is capacitated with professional, responsive, and meritocratic public servants to strengthen relations and efficiency.

“To prioritise and concentrate training, effort and spending in those areas that will achieve the largest and rapid turnaround of noncompliance by departments resulting in improved governance and accountability (achieving critical mass to drive the change agenda); and to provide for transitional measures,” she said.

Compulsory training programmes

Public servants in the categories as specified next to each programme need to attend and complete the following courses of the Compulsory Training Programmes for the Public Service.

  • Compulsory Induction Programme (salary levels 1 – 14).
  • Executive Induction Programme (salary levels 15 – 16).
  • Khaedu training and deployment to service delivery sites (salary levels 13 – 16).
  • Ethics in the Public Service (salary levels 1 – 16).
  • Managing Performance in the Public Service (salary levels 6 – 12).
  • Supply Chain Management for the Public Service (salary levels 6 – 16).
  • Financial Management Delegations of Authority (salary levels 9 – 16).
  • Re-orientation in the Public Service (salary levels 1 – 16).
  • Basic Project Management for the Public Service (salary levels 6-12).
  • and Advanced Project Management for the Public Service (salary levels 6-12).

Roles and responsibilities

According to Minister Kiviet, all Heads of Departments must identify the developmental areas within their respective departments in line with the Directive; identify employees to be trained and developed.

She further said that they should also ensure that all relevant employees that have been enrolled and registered on the relevant courses complete such training within the timeframe specified for the applicable courses by the National School of Government (NSG).

“Heads of Departments must also ensure that newly appointed employees are enrolled on the Compulsory Induction Programme within six (6) months from their date of appointment; they should put in place departmental mechanisms to hold nominated employees accountable should they fail to attend, or fully complete identified training contemplated in this Directives.

“They should monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of training and development interventions contemplated in this Directive against departmental skills gaps and identified challenges,” she said.

The National School of Government

The NSG will design, develop, deliver, and maintain the compulsory training programmes. Minister Kiviet said: “the NSG will ensure that the cost associated with each of the compulsory training programmes are communicated to departments timeously (in line with the planning process timeframes) so that costs can be calculated and budgeted for purposes of attendance by employees.

“Ensure that where costs are subjected to inflation, that this be kept to the absolute minimum and try to achieve economies of scale to drive lower prices of training.

“Ensure that the training methodology used for rollout of the compulsory training meets with the infrastructural, accessibility, literacy, language, and competence requirements of departmental employees, due to the diversity of the Public Service workforce, departmentally, nationally and provincially.”

Financial implications

Departments are also urged to ensure that funding is made available for the implementation of Directive.

However, the Minister said the NSG may, at its discretion and where feasible, subsidise the continuous rollout of the Compulsory Training Programmes subject to the availability of funds.

Ms Kiviet said departments may also apply to any applicable sector education and training authority established in terms of the Skills Development Act for additional funds to support the requirements of the Directive.

The DPSA will monitor and evaluate the implementation of the Directive by departments on annual basis.