The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) and the Civil Service College are launching a new professional development programme aimed at new Government Ministers. The ‘From Backbencher to Minister’ programme is designed to equip new Ministers with the skills and tools to perform their roles more effectively.
The new five-day programme, to be hosted in London, UK from 12-16 July 2021, combines classroom engagements with experiential learning and will walk new Ministers through their responsibilities, identifying the skills necessary for effective leadership of government departments. Topics covered by the programme will include ‘Communicating a Minister’s Priorities’, ‘Managing a Minister’s Private Office’ and ‘The Role of Special Advisers’. Attendees will have the opportunity to visit the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), the UK Parliament’s House of Lords and the Office of the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards, with an evening dinner held at the Palace of Westminster on the opening night.
The CPA is a network of over 17,000 Commonwealth Parliamentarians and parliamentary staff with a well-established reputation for delivering high-quality professional development programmes for its members. The CPA Secretary-General, Stephen Twigg said:
“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.”
The Civil Service College is a leading provider of high quality, bespoke training for those working in the public sector and civil service. Sonny Leong CBE, Civil Service College Chief Executive and Chair of the Council for Education in the Commonwealth, said:
“The job of a Minister is a strange one - there is no job description, no application, no interview: you are appointed to be a chief decision-maker of a large and complex department that you may know absolutely nothing about. Isn’t it strange that there is no training provided to new Ministers on how to do their job? We are pleased to be partnering with the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association on this programme for new Ministers from across the Commonwealth to share their experiences and gain insights from current and past Ministers.”
The new 'From Backbencher to Minister' course will draw upon the knowledge of industry experts with extensive experience working in government. Led by ex-Ministers, parliamentarians and civil servants, the comprehensive introduction to the role of Government Minster provided by this programme will provide new Ministers with the best possible foundation to ensure a smooth and fast transition into their position.