Under the cross-agency skills placement program, eligible staff with relevant skills can work temporarily with procurement teams across government to help deliver projects and programs that require additional skills and resources.
Placements seek to:
- build procurement and contract management expertise
- support career advancement goals
- address identified individual skill gaps
- meet succession planning needs in the home agency
- develop expertise across a broad range of category contexts
- develop expertise across the spectrum of procurement value, risk and complexity.
This approach is different to other mobility or exchange programs because:
- it is task-oriented rather than time oriented
- it provides access to applied experience and expertise
The cross-agency task placement program is an initiative under the Procurement Capability and Workforce Development Strategy 2018-2022. The Office of the Chief Advisor-Procurement (OCA-P) maintains the framework and the supporting tools.
How it works
The placement program focuses on the 70-component of the 70:20:10 learning and development methodology, which emphasises building news skills through practical experience on the job.
Placements require collaboration between 3 stakeholders:
- participant who is seeking activities to meet identified skills gaps and progress their professional career
- the home agency supervisor
- host agency supervisor with experience in a specialist area, who is keen to mentor.
1 Identifying an opportunity
If a staff member is interested in finding a placement:
- Talk to your supervisor about your interest in participating in cross-agency task placement, and how this would benefit your professional development
- Complete the cross-agency task placement EOI form
- Work with your supervisor to identify a suitable host agency.
If an agency has an opportunity that could be filled using the placement program:
- Complete the cross-agency task placement EOI form
- Assess the applications
- Identify and notify the successful participant
2 Confirming the placement arrangements
The participant, home supervisor and host supervisor participate in an initial meeting to:
- define scope of opportunity: expected outcomes, support mechanisms, reporting hierarchies, etc
- confirm and agree the skill development that can be targeted in the placement
- agree to structural supports needed, e.g. time commitment needed, routine work hours
- plan access to building and IT at host agency
- review the implementation process
There is no set timeline for placements; they can range from couple of hours each week to a full-time multi-week placement over a specified period. Once the details have been finalised, the applicant completes the cross-agency task placement agreement confirmation form to create a record of what’s been decided.
3 During the placement
Once the placement is in progress, the host supervisor and the participant should aim to check in at least monthly, to review progress and discuss any concerns.
The home agency needs to adjust workload of the participant to accommodate task placement upskilling demands and requirements from host agency, including time spent ‘on the job’ with the host agency
4 At the end of the placement
Once the placement finishes, the participant returns to the home agency, ready to share their new knowledge and skills with their team.
The participant, home supervisor and host supervisor hold a final meeting to:
- Capture the benefits gained
- Celebrate success with host agency team
- Capture lessons learned
If the placement needs to end earlier than planned
At any time, all three parties can choose to stop the placement if it ceases to be fit-for-purpose for any reason. This can be because circumstances change, the project finishes early, or the scope of the work changes.
Key features of the program
- Aligns to a development plan objective/succession planning requirement
- Adopts a practical task-focus rather than a timeline
- Participant, home supervisor and host supervisor formally commit to the arrangement
- Objectives are agreed and commitments are documented
- All reasonable avenues are explored to overcome emerging challenges
Fair and inclusive
- The host agency has ’good intentions’ aligned to a willingness to contribute to the build of sector-wide procurement and contract management capability
- It is not motivated by a desire to simply augment limited agency resourcing or to use the placement as a ‘trial secondment to assess future job fit’
- Maintains compliance agency Codes of Conduct, ensuring principles of fairness and the behaviours of inclusivity are adhered to by stakeholders
All parties benefit
- Outcomes are beneficial to all parties
- Participant commits to return to the home agency for a reasonable time to embed the new skills
Simple to implement
- Placement does not require any official HR system-related changes
- Participant works inside the host agency for agreed periods of time to experience effective, hands-on learning
- Host agency provides functional IT connectivity services for the participant
- Activity is ‘organic’ – it arises from a genuine identified skills gap that is met by an agency willing and able to offer authentic skills growth through applied experience
- Home agency maintains a flexible approach to workload expectations and actively commits to accommodating the participant’s absences at the host agency for the agreed periods
- Any of the three primary stakeholders can choose to end the arrangement if it ceases to be fit-for-purpose
- No budget is needed, as the framework requires only the release of the participant for the agreed periods.