Hr Project for Training and Development

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					                          REVIEW OF PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION


                              HR PROJECT BOARD MEETING
                              THURSDAY, 14 DECEMBER 2006

Attendees: Matthew Alford, DE                      Maura McCusker, DE (Chairperson)
           John Curran, Interbd. Serv. Manager     Robin Harper, NEELB
           Wendy Eager, DE                         Helen Duffy, WELB
           David Guilfoyle, YCNI                   La’Verne Montgomery, CCMS
           Bumper Graham, NICICTU                  Hilary McVitty, SEELB
           Pol O’Mordha, C Na G                    Lisa Johnston, CCEA
           Patricia Weir, Staff Commission for ELBs

            Emer Palmer and Suzette Bracken attended to provide an update on
            the approach to Training and Development.

Apologies: Julie Mapstone, DCAL                       Alison Millar, NICICTU
           Terry Heron, SELB                          Neil Anderson, CCEA
           Patricia Mellon, BELB                      Lorna McAlpine, NICIE
           Lily Kerr, NICICTU

No.                               Description                                  Action

 1.   Approach to Training and Development

      Maura thanked Emer and Suzette for the work undertaken in
      developing the approach paper. Emer and Suzette provided an
      overview of the paper and advised that there was not enough time
      to produce a training needs analysis and that the sub group was
      representative of training officers across the organisations. The
      need to bid for resources was also raised and Maura confirmed
      that she had already raised the finance issue in DE and that some
      money is available this year. The exclusion of DE staff and bursars
      was also raised and Maura stated that she was aware that there
      were some equality issues and the need to ensure that all staff are
      treated equally. The paper would be forwarded to Central            Matthew
      Personnel Group (CPG) and the NICS RPA Central Committee.

      The following issues were raised:

       There was strong opposition to the use of the NICS competency
        framework for filling posts which would be both inappropriate to
        the Education sector and unfair as the vast bulk of applicants will
        be outside the NICS.

       The ELBs have a common approach to the process, shortlisting
        followed by presentation and structured interview based on job
        related criteria. There is sometimes a first filter interview for
        senior posts.

       In ELBs assessment centres are only rarely used

                                                1
No.                                 Description                                  Action

1.    Approach to Training and Development (continued)

       Issues need to be resolved and decisions taken on which
        recruitment process will be used before any training is
        undertaken.

       Realistically can training happen within such a short timescale?

       Need a commitment that no advertisements will be placed until
        training takes place.

       Equality issues. If a Competence framework is used, could
        argue that Health staff who have had training and DP/G7 civil
        servants who are familiar with the competence framework would
        be at an advantage.

       Concerns raised re the use of consultants.

       Employers would welcome training as many senior managers
        would not have been through an interview in a long time.

       There is no time to develop a competency framework that is
        appropriate for the Education Sector.

       The NICS competency framework is not an appropriate
        framework for education organisations.

       There are more specialist fields and the NICS competency
        framework would not do.

       Existing processes in the majority of the organisations
        represented are based on assessing each candidate against the
        specific criteria required for the post. This is normally done
        through an interview process, which may include other methods
        of assessment (e.g. unseen presentations, scenario questions).
        Introduction of a different process would advantage staff familiar
        with that process.

       Must appoint on merit, not on advantage.

       In light of the above, the HR Project board should make a
        recommendation to ESAIT that the selection process should be
        based on one that is relevant for the new organisation and that it
        is fair and seen to be fair to all potential candidates.

       RTU will be the facilitator for training, but it is essential that the
        process be determined prior to the appointment of trainers.

       Perception is that if staff are being brought in as civil servants
        then NICS competency framework must be used, but as noted
        above, this may not produce the best appointments.
                                                  2
 Concerns were expressed re group four (staff leaving the
  Education Sector) and the reference to redundancy.

 Timing is crucial for parity of treatment and consistency of
  approach.

 There should be limited use of competitions and maximum
  application of slotting in.




                                          3
No.                                Description                                      Action

1.    Approach to Training and Development (continued)

       Recognise Library Authority needs – flag up in paper.                   Emer
                                                                                Suzette
       Some staff would be reluctant to move location – possible re-
        training issue to facilitate location aspirations. It was agreed that   Emer
        a line would be added to the paper to reflect that the paper is         Suzette
        focusing on the early training issues/recognise the need to
        address further training issues.
                                                                                Matthew, Emer
       Approach needs to be made to RTU.                                       Suzette

       Education Training Working Group needs to be widened to
        include more than the ELBs and should take direction from the
        HR Project Board.

      The conclusion was that all were in agreement that people need to
      be skilled up and that there is a need to know quickly the structure
      and timeframe for filling posts. Maura agreed to write formally to
      Mark Browne (and copy to Gavin Boyd) to express concerns,                 Maura
      including the strong opposition to the use of NICS competency
      framework for filling posts and pass on the recommendation of the
      HR Project Board in regard to the method of recruitment.

      The revised paper should be available for the meeting of the
      Education Sector Joint Forum for HR Issues on 9 January 07.


2.    Minutes of Previous Meeting (21 November 06)

      The minutes were agreed and updates provided/issues raised as
      follows:

       Admin support for CE – posts should be filled from staff within
        the RPA Affected Group. Maura agreed to reflect this to Mark            Maura
        Browne.

       Appointments should be made on NJC rather than NICS scales.
        Maura will raise with Mark Browne again in the context of the           Maura
        training paper.

       Maura advised that the HR Cross Sector Forum minutes should
        be available on the RPA website from today.

       RPA Affected Group – Bumper advised that a letter had issued
        from NICICTU on 22 November which confirmed the Congress
        position which is that school based staff are not part of the RPA
        Affected Group. Maura advised it was not 100% clear from the
        letter that this decision had been made.



                                                 4
No.                              Description                                    Action

2.    Minutes of Previous Meeting (21 November 06) (continued)

       Vacancy Control – an issue was raised re the application of the
        vacancy control policy to the ELB Psychologists. Permanent
        posts are available in the UK and Republic of Ireland and there
        is a fundamental recruitment issue to justify permanent
        appointments. It was agreed that permanent status should be
        appropriate at basic entry level only and there is a need to attach
        justification to monitoring returns. John agreed to amend his       John
        draft paper and bring to the Forum.

       Impact of new Pension Legislation on Early Retirement – A
        meeting has been arranged for 15 December and Deane
        Morrice will attend.

       QA Group – Matthew hopes to arrange a meeting in the New            Matthew
        Year.

       Communication – the view was expressed that the FAQs were a
        useful start however the wording of the FAQ on ‘what about my
        pension’ requires amending as does the same FAQ in the draft
        Newsletter. Wendy to take forward.                                  Wendy

       HR Framework – A meeting is scheduled for Monday and a
        member of ESAIT will be involved. The HR Project Board will be
        kept informed of developments.

3.    Project Report

      Matthew provided an overview and confirmed the following:

       Staff Transfers – the Code of Practice will be shared with the HR   Matthew
        Team.

       Deirdre Vaugh had prepared a summary of feedback received re
        the information to consultees. Deirdre will prepare a paper on      Deirdre
        how issues in HR policies will be addressed and the HR Team
        will advise PMO of issues for other workstreams.                    Wendy

       Matthew agreed to provide a brief summary in future project         Matthew
        reports on project deliverables.                                    Wendy

4.    Resource Planning Database

      Matthew advised that a meeting had been held on 24 November
      and the ESAIT were now taking this work forward with assistance
      from the HR Project Team. ESAIT and DCAL have provided a list
      of the information which would be required and this will be
      discussed at the ELB HR Managers meeting next week. A sub
      group of HR/IT staff from all the education organisations will be
      held in mid January with data provided early to mid February.
                                               5
No.                              Description                                 Action

 5.   Update on PSC Guiding Principles (GPs)

      Matthew provided an update on the GPs.

       Vacancy Control – The issue remains re the RPA Affected
        Group and school based staff and Matthew thanked Bumper for
        clarification on this. He also confirmed that Chris Stewart is in
        discussion with the GBA re the bursars and staff working on
        procurement etc.

       Staff Transfers – The view was expressed that the Code of
        Practice will not deal with the legislative dimension of what goes
        into each of the Orders. Maura confirmed that legislation will
        include what has been agreed with the PSC. She also agreed to
        have the draft Libraries Order copied to the Project Board.        Matthew

       Voluntary Severance Arrangements – It was suggested that a
        message should go from the Project Board that arrangements
        must be fair and equitable for all. When schools are
        amalgamated teachers are protected for two years from
        compulsory redundancy and the same should apply for those
        staff affected by RPA.

       Location – this latest guiding principle has just been released in
        the last couple of days and is proposing a co-ordinated approach
        with regard to RPA and other ongoing initiatives.


The next meeting will take place at SIGNAL Centre of Business Excellence, 2 Innotec Drive,
Balloo Road, Bangor on 22 January 2007. Lunch will be available from 12 noon with the
meeting commencing at 12.30pm.




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