The Public Sector Trainers’ Forum (PSTF) was established in 1997 as a non-statutory body to advocate Human Resource Development (HRD) within the Public Service. Following a national consultative review process, the then Public Service Trainers Forum was reconfigured in 2008 to become the Public Sector Trainers’ Forum (PSTF). The Forum provides a platform for collaborative interactions towards improved organisational performance and involves government departments at national, provincial and local levels; further and higher education sectors; key stakeholders from the private sector and civil society involved in training and development.
The objectives of the PSTF are to:
- encourage practitioners and stakeholders in Training and Development (T&D) from the public and private sectors as well as civil society, to promote the implementation and improvement of training and development in the public sector;
- share ideas and best practices regarding training by convening workshops, an annual conference and other related activities;
- contribute to the awareness and adoption of quality standards for T&D within the public sector; and
- foster the development and growth of T&D practitioners in the public sector.
The PSTF is managed by the Public Administration Leadership and Management Academy (PALAMA) in the context of its constitutional and legislative mandate to train and develop public service officials. The Director-General of PALAMA is the primary sponsor of the PSTF. An Advisory Committee comprising of representatives from each Province; the National Departments, clusters of government, the Public Service Sector Education and Training Authority (PSETA), the South African Local Government Association (SALGA), and organized labour (through the Public Service Coordinating Bargaining Council) oversees the work of the PSTF.
As part of its functions, the PSTF organizes an annual conference. This event is hosted, on a rotational basis, by each of the nine provinces and this year’s conference is organized by PALAMA.
The theme of this year’s PSTF conference is: Professionalising the Public Service through Human Resource Development
The government has produced a road map to strengthen the country’s developmental path by unveiling the National Development Plan (NDP), Vision 2030. The NDP recognises that a development-oriented and professional Public Service will intensify the delivery of high quality public service to the country.
There are five main focus areas which the NDP identifies as needing attention and these are to:
- Stabilise the political-administrative interface,
- Make the public service and local governments careers of choice,
- Develop technical and specialist skills,
- Improve the relations between the three spheres of government, and
- Balance and reconcile the economic and social mandates of State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs).
These focus areas are some of the means towards the building of a transformational and capable State with a professional public service where the fundamental priority is to address the deficit in skills, poor performance and lack of professionalism currently affecting some areas of the public service.
As the public participation process of the NDP unfolds, Human Resource Development practitioners need to explore the question of what pivotal role they should play towards achieving Vision 2030. It is on this background therefore that the theme and the following sub-themes of the 16th PSTF Conference have been selected.
- HRD as a strategic enabler for a professional Public Service,
- HRD at the centre of Innovation for Service Delivery, and
- Global trends in relation to Human Resource Development
The objectives of this year’s conference are to:
- Provide an opportunity and a forum in which local and international experts and researchers share their experiences and emerging concepts towards making HRD an agent for professionalising the Public Service,
- Bring in international perspectives on various aspects of Human Resources Development that will facilitate improved organisational design and improvement in the Public Sector,
- Provide a platform for networking among trainers and experts, HRD practitioners in order to share practical tools for their everyday life,
- Allow HRD practitioners to influence the future activities of the Forum by adopting the Terms of Reference of the PSTF, and
- Confer PSTF awards for best contributions in HRD to individuals, teams, departments and provinces.
Based on the above mentioned conference objectives, the following streams/focus areas have been proposed to develop papers, presentations and discussion topics for the conference:
Stream A: Theories and Concepts in the field of HRD
- Strategic Human Resources Development? Strategies for HRD.
- Emerging theoretical and conceptual issues in HRD.
- HRD’s role in Construction of a Caring Society.
- HRD’s role in Economic Development.
Stream B: Tools for HRD practitioners
- Challenges facing HRD Practitioners in the Public Sector
- Methods and Technologies in HRD
- Innovative approaches for supporting Learning and Development in the Public Sector.
Stream C: Leadership and organisational performance
- Value-based leadership and management development in the Public Sector.
- Organizational Culture, Values, Ethics and HRD.
- Leadership development in support of Innovative approaches to Learning and Development in the Public Sector.
- Learning for Performance: Designing the learning and development environment for improved service delivery.
Stream D: Engendered issues
- Gender and Inclusivity issues in HRD.
- The Role of HRD in the National Youth Development and Entrepreneurship.
Stream E: International issues
- Global and Cross-cultural HRD.
- HRD in Developing Countries.
Stream F: Policy Implementation Discussions
Departments earmarked to discuss implementation and best practices of policies, among others, include:
- The National Treasury (NT)
- Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET)
- Department of Planning Monitoring and Evaluation (DPME)
- Department of Public Service and Administration (DPSA)
- Department of Corporative Governance (DCoG), and
- Other departments
Call for Papers
The Secretariat hereby invites papers for the 16th PSTF Conference from HRD/ETD practitioners, managers, academics, business and researchers to be submitted on or before 30 September 2012. Abstracts for papers or presentations must be submitted in MSWord (± 500 words) to the Head of the Secretariat, Dr GST Shezi, on email@example.com. Further guidance can be obtained from the Secretariat regarding the length and format of all presentations.
During this conference, a selected number of organisations and individuals shall be conferred with the PSTF Awards by the Patron of the PSTF in recognition of their outstanding contributions to the promotion of HRD in their organisations. The Awards shall be determined by a committee of senior experts based on data collected, research, enquiry and site visits. The Awards are categorised as follows:
Name of award
Who is eligible?
Minister’s Award for Excellent Service to Public Service Training
This award is for individuals who provided an excellent service in Public Service training.
Director-General’s Award for Excellence in PALAMA Training Programmes
This award is for individuals that provided excellent service in delivering PALAMA training courses locally and/or in the continent.
This award is based on the Khaedu programme. It is awarded to a team that excelled in the exercises and implementation which resulted in improved service delivery in a unit or department.
Training Excellence Service Medallion
Any eligible public servant
The Training Excellence Service Medallion is presented to public servants who have provided dedicated and meritorious service to Public Service Training and in support of Public Service Training over a period of time.
Induction Training Award
Provinces and national departments
To be awarded for induction training facilitation/management in different categories.
Training Delivery Award
Best business unit or branch from a national or provincial department
This award is for the best business unit/ organisation within the sub-categories for administration, leadership and management.
Award For Excellence in Inclusivity Training
All trainers, training providers or training units
This award is for trainers/organisations showing exceptional standard of professionalism and vision in the provision of inclusivity training.
National or provincial departments
This award is for the department that has shown exceptional vision in the implementation of the internship policies.
This conference would be of immense value and learning to:
- HRD Practitioners (trainers, independent training contractors, co-ordinators, and administrators)
- Members of organised labour
- Industry Leaders from different sectors
- HRD Managers
- Academics and researchers in HRD
- Students in the field of HRD/ETD
- University lecturers with an interest in public administration and training
Delegates are advised to make bookings at the earliest through the PALAMA Contact Centre on 012 441 6777 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Conference Fee Structure
- Each delegate will pay an amount of R3 275.00.
- Exhibition stands are available. For price quotations please contact Ms Sanelisiwe Mbhele, at email@example.com
Registration Forms may be obtained by:
- Downloading from the website www.palama.gov.za or
- From the Secretariat at PALAMA or
- HRD Coordinator from the department/province
Delegates are encouraged to pay on or before 30 September 2012.
- Conference Delegates: No refund on cancellation will be made. Instead, delegates are to be substitution by another delegate from the same department/organization will be accepted.
- Exhibitions: Information will be given at registration with specific Terms and Conditions.
The PALAMA website provides all the details regarding hotels, rates with contact details. Delegates have to make their reservations directly to the hotels.
Management of the Public Sector Trainer’s Forum (PSTF) Conference
The conference is managed by the Advisory Committee whose members are from:
1. PALAMA, Acting Branch Head Training Delivery, Mr Sipho Manana(Chair)