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Training Administration Division (TAD) enters a new era of public service training



TAD logo2With the adoption of Internet-based learning technologies, Training Administration Division (TAD) has taken the bold step of giving thousands of public officers and indeed Barbadians the opportunity to access their course offerings anytime, anywhere.

The agency recently celebrated its 50th anniversary with its entry into the E-environment with the creation of a new website virtual classroom, and mobile application, all designed to provide the Public Service with timely, relevant, and cost effective training and training-related services.

The website will allow public officers to view, access services and conduct business with the Division. Facilitating the application process for training courses and study and training leave requests.

The virtual classroom is expected to not only widen the Division’s reach in terms of public officers accessing learning but it presents an alternative mode for the delivery of learning that will cater to all learning needs. TAD has collaborated with the Higher Education Development Unit, Ministry of Education, Science Technology and Innovation to utilise that Unit’s MOODLE online platform ‘TRIDENT Learning,’ to host the Division’s online learning courses.

The mobile application will facilitate greater and easier access to the Division’s training products, both local in-service and overseas offers. The application will undoubtedly increase access and allow digitally connected officers to access training services, information and eventually mobile learning without being constrained by organisational hierarchies within their respective ministries/departments.

This new era also heralds in course accreditation. TAD will be working closely with the Barbados Accreditation Council to ensure that courses will be accredited and linked to the National Qualifications Framework. Public officers will be able to obtain either a National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) or a Caribbean Vocational Qualification (CVQ) when successfully completing a TAD programme.

The Office of Public Sector Reform Congratulates the Management and Staff of the Training Administration Division on the achievement of their 50th anniversary and their entry into the internet- based training arena.

For more information on these and other TAD initiatives click the link below http://training.gov.bb/

The Public Service Qualification Order 2016 - The Facts

rules and regs

Why the change?

 

 

Fifteen years have passed since the introduction of the Qualification Order in 2001 and like all things, change is necessary to ensure a modern and results-oriented Public Service.

One of the most obvious reasons for the changes in the 2016 Qualification Order is that there are some qualifications referred to in the previous order that are no longer offered due to changes within examination boards, and the growth of approved Caribbean examination bodies, like the Caribbean Examination Council. For example, the new Order no longer speaks to ‘A’ levels or Certificates, today we generally refer to “CAPE” (Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination) or an Associate Degree (although the equivalency of two ‘A’ Levels is still recognized).

The current educational environment also supports qualifications that measure occupational standards. This recognition is embraced in the 2016 Order with the inclusion of the Caribbean Vocational Qualifications (CVQ’s) and the National Vocational Qualifications (NVQ’s). These qualifications give credence to the measurement of occupational standards that may be more relevant than traditional academic qualifications, in some posts.  

Individuals should note, however, that just because a qualification is not included in the Order it does not mean that it has no status. Once the Accreditation Council and the Ministry of the Education recognizes that qualification, the issue arising is one of equivalency. 

Section 3.2 of the Order states that ‘the Minister shall determine any question as to whether or not a qualification is equivalent to a qualification specified in the Schedule.’  

Where there is a query concerning equivalency, a review is undertaken by the Ministry of the Civil Service to compare the required qualification with the qualification given with input from a relevant professional body/ educational institution and/ or the Barbados Accreditation Council. A determination is made, if it is deemed equivalent the Minister ratifies it. 

During the period 2001 to 2016, there have been countless requests by agencies to update qualifications. These ad-hoc changes were undertaken and the relevant ministry /department notified via memorandum; however, these changes were not legislated, the 2016 Order now captures those changes. Thus giving clarity to recruitment, appointments, and promotions throughout the Public Service.

In addition, the 2016 Order also sought to rectify some anomalies that were present in previous Orders. For example, the ‘CXC’ as a qualification has never existed, ‘CXC’ Caribbean Examination Council is an examining body. The qualification often referred to as ‘CXC’ is actually the “CSEC,” that is, the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate. Additionally, the laws of Barbados make mandatory that all children must attend school until the age of sixteen (16), thus including a primary school education as a job requirement ran contrary to the laws of the land. This standard has been corrected to run in congruence with our laws.

The Expected Outcomes

With the gazetting of the 2016 Order, Public Officers now have greater clarity in regard to building a solid career path in the public service as the updated Order contains all the relevant information required to make informed decisions on their career paths.  It should also result in a calmer industrial relations climate - as Unions and their representatives can now be guided by the Order for long-awaited appointments and promotions. Indeed, it is envisioned that the Personnel Administration Division’s task will be made a lot easier in regard to recruitment in the public service.

How the Order was Developed

From 2012 to 2016, Ministries and Departments were given the opportunity to respond to the Ministry of the Civil Service (MCS) request (via memorandum) to review and comment on the qualification requirements on all posts for which they are responsible (those in the 2001 Qualification Order and those changed under memoranda). All agencies responded. During the review period, some agencies recognized that some qualification requirements needed to be revisited to reflect changes in job responsibility and job relevancy.

Subsequently, consultations were held with the Unions on the draft Order for their comments and input. After the Unions were satisfied with the draft, it was sent to the Minister and ratified in Parliament in December 2016.

The recent ratification of this new Qualification Order is just one aspect of on-going change within the public service. This change like many others is necessary to maintain a workforce that is effective, responsive and relevant to the needs of a nation that is constantly changing in a world of change.

Leaders discuss Draft Charter for Caribbean Public Service



Caribbean CharterSenior public servants recently had the opportunity to discuss and share their views on the draft Charter for Caribbean Public Services at a meeting organised by the Office of Public Sector Reform (OPSR).

The discussions were led by Assistant Director of Corporate Services at the Caribbean Centre for Development Administration (CARICAD) Andre Griffith.

Emphasising the importance of the Charter, Mr. Griffith said effective institutions were indispensable for social and economic development so the public service needed to continuously improve what it was doing in search of effectiveness. He added that Caribbean countries could learn a lot from each other and suggested that having a common Charter would facilitate such.

Work on the Charter started in 2015. A draft was completed in February 2016 and a number of consultations have been held to garner comments on the document.

Griffith indicated that after the consultations the next step would be to seek to secure ministerial level endorsement at a meeting in March and support later from the CARICOM Heads of Government.

 

During a brief opening ceremony, Director of OPSR, Charley Browne, described the Charter as an initiative that sought to identify critical components for professional and effective public services across the region.    

“It establishes a general framework of guiding principles, policies and management mechanisms, reflecting a common commitment of the public services of the Caribbean region. It is intended to serve as a catalyst for the reform, modernisation and transformation of national public sector entities within the context of the country’s realities and priorities,” Mr. Browne explained.    

He pointed out that the Charter discussed a number of areas, including accountability, fairness and equity, service delivery, openness and transparency, competence and capacity, as well as innovation and continual improvement. 

He added that if successfully implemented, the Charter would provide a framework for a harmonised approach to public sector modernisation and transformation across the Caribbean.

“This means in its simplest form that citizens accessing services in one island can expect and receive the same level of service in another,” he noted.

Mr. Browne expressed the view that in this year where productivity is the focus in Barbados, and Caribbean islands were dealing with various challenges, the Charter could be the instrument for meaningful transformation in this region.

BCP launches Electronic Single Window

 

chris sinckler webOn February 15, 2017, the Honourable Christopher Sinckler, Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs,   officially launched the Barbados Electronic Single Window. The journey to the electronic single window dates back to October 2010, when the Government of Barbados embarked on an ambitious project entitled “The Barbados Competitiveness Programme” or BCP. This project, valued at US$11.8 million, was jointly funded by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

The BCP was designed to improve Barbados’ competitiveness by addressing key bottlenecks that affect efficiency of the movement of goods in Barbados; and to support other trade and investment promotion activities to promote export development and increase private investment.

 

The electronic single window operates in an environment that facilitates the electronic submission of standardised international trade and transport-related documents to a single point for processing and approval.

 

In this regard, the Barbados Electronic Single Window (BESW) provides a single online interface for the exchange of trade-related documents between the trading community and relevant government agencies. Within this environment, all transacting parties will be able to fulfil their obligations online from anywhere, using any form of internet-enabled communication device. Duplication of entry will be eliminated, as entries need only to be submitted once.

 

The single submission of documents to the BESW is facilitated by a built-in Trade Document Management System (TDMS). The Barbados TDMS will track, manage and store the digital version of all paper-based documents that were previously submitted manually by traders. The system will therefore function as a repository for more than 190 different forms, certificates and licences, which traders expect to eventually retrieve from the electronic single window (ESW).

 

Expected results include a move towards a paperless trading environment, reduced duplication, shorter application and processing times, and a lower incidence of human error. At present the BESW is more than 90% complete – there are some additional forms that need to be integrated into the system. However, 100% of the system’s basic functionalities are completed. The full integration of remaining forms should be completed by the end of March 2017.

So what are the expected benefits of the Barbados Electronic Single Window? Who stands to gain?

 

The anticipated benefits from creating a single window environment may be seen from two perspectives – government and the private sector (non-government). Government is expected to gain from:

•     an improved e-government and e-governance infrastructure;
•    enhanced collection of taxes, duties and penalties;
•    higher levels of efficiency and transparency;
•    increased conformity to regulations, including international trade treaties, and improvements in regulatory enforcement;
•    improved relations with the private-sector community;
•    reduced incidence of corruption; and
•    more accurate and timely trade-related statistics.

Similarly, the private or non-government sector should benefit from:
•    enhanced levels of predictability;
•    faster clearance of goods.
•    improved transparency in the operations of regulatory agencies;
•    less time spent travelling between government regulatory agencies to fulfil their trade-related obligations;
•    lower trade-related transaction costs, including demurrage; and
•    improved ability to classify goods and satisfy regulatory filings.

Presently, resources are being mobilised to ensure that the BESW will communicate effectively with the recently implemented Customs software, ASYCUDA World. This communication will be operationalised through eight interfaces, which, in essence, allows both systems to send to, and pull information from, each other regarding the issue and status of documents submitted by traders.

The future appears exciting! I must remind those of you who haven’t yet registered with the BESW to do so as soon as possible. The sooner the system is used, the quicker any bugs or problems encountered by traders can be detected and fixed.  You may visit https://esw.gov.bb to complete your registration.

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