NewFrom Backbencher to Minister
This new programme, that the CPA is supporting in partnership with the Civil Service College, will provide a unique opportunity for professional development for Government Ministers and bring new skills and tools to the role. As a former UK Government Minister myself, I know the effectiveness of individual Ministers can depend on their skills and so this programme is likely to have a significant impact on their effectiveness.
Stephen Twigg, CPA Secretary-General
The skills required to perform at a high standard as a Minister of State are unique and complex. Some will be taking on a government post for the first time. Others, with previous ministerial experience, will be taking on new briefs and responsibilities. The effectiveness of these individual Ministers is likely to
have a significant impact on the standing of the government.
It is difficult to prepare for the realities of office – the sheer weight of responsibility, the round-the-clock media scrutiny, and the competing demands on a minister’s time. Typically, new ministers receive little to no support in their new role. There is also a desire to prioritise ‘getting stuck in’ rather than focus
on personal development. Induction and professional development are rare in the political system and the support structures around Ministers owe more to historic precedent than conscious planning.
The first few months in office are critical for any new Minister – setting the tone, forging relationships, and establishing their credibility. They can be supported in the challenges ahead. A five-day programme developed jointly by the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association and the Civil Service College aims to equip new ministers with a skill set and tools in managing a department comprising of hundreds of public servants and a budget of billions.
The programme will cover a combination of classroom engagements and experiential learning through study/field visits.
Newly appointed Ministers and aspiring parliamentarians.
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