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Professional Skills for Government [PSG]

Skills for a High Performing Civil/Public Service


The conception, design and delivery of public value have become more complex, requiring competences and skills which traditional training programmes are ill-positioned to support. In consideration of this, Answerbank’s Professional Skills for Government [PSG] programme covers  the traditional level, the strategic level and the innovation level in the following sets of skills relevant to the new normal:

Skills for Policy advice and analysis: Civil servants work with elected officials to inform policy development. However, new technologies, a growing body of policy-relevant information, and a diversity of citizen perspectives, demand new skills for effective and timely policy advice.

Skills for service delivery and citizen engagement: Civil servants work directly with citizens and users of government services. New skills are required for civil servants to effectively engage citizens, crowdsource ideas and co-create better services.

Skills for commissioning and contracting: Not all public services are delivered directly by public servants. Governments  are increasingly engaging third parties for the delivery of services. This requires skills in designing, overseeing and managing contractual arrangements with other organizations.


Skills for managing networks: Civil servants and governments are required to work across organisational boundaries to address complex challenges. This demands skills to convene, collaborate and develop shared understanding through communication, trust and mutual commitment.

Answerbank assesses and trains for the forgoing skill sets at the traditional level, the strategic level and the innovation level:

Traditional: Basic qualifications; good work attitude; ability to read, write, analyze and report; personal development; soft skills; ethics and values; etc


Strategic level: A civil service composed of qualified professionals will not automatically address today’s challenges. Hence professional civil servants also need to be future-oriented and evidence-based. This requires the acquisition of strategic skills, particularly at management levels, to encourage collaboration between areas of expertise. This includes skills related to risk management, foresight and resilience.


Innovation level: Sometimes professional and strategic skills reach their limits due to legacy structures and systems of public sector organisations. In these cases, civil servants need to be innovative to redesign the tools of governance and develop novel solutions to persistent and emergent policy challenges.

Sell by design, not by chance.

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