Career Progression in the Irish Civil Service

O’Riordan, Joanna ; Humphreys, Peter C.


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Dokumentart: Bericht / Forschungsbericht / Abhandlung
Institut: CPMR- Committee for Public Management Research
Schriftenreihe: CPMR discussion paper
Bandnummer: 20
Sprache: Englisch
Erstellungsjahr: 2002
Publikationsdatum: 30.03.2009
Originalveröffentlichung: (2002)
DDC-Sachgruppe: Öffentliche Verwaltung
BK - Basisklassifikation: 88.20 (Organisation staatlicher Einrichtungen, Management staatlicher Einrichtungen)
Sondersammelgebiete: 3.7 Verwaltungswissenschaften

Kurzfassung auf Englisch:

Human Resource Management (HRM) reform is central to the current public service modernisation programme or Strategic Management Initiative (SMI). A new approach to HRM is a priority in the Irish civil service due to difficulties in recruiting and retaining the best staff. In particular there is evidence that the civil service is failing to meet the aspirations of its staff in a number of key areas: including earnings, career progression, responsibility, reward and recognition. The need to address staff concerns in these areas is highlighted in the Programme for Prosperity and Fairness (2000) which argues that ‘the civil service has to respond better to the aspirations of staff for more fulfilling work and improved career paths and create workplace conditions and relations which are conducive to increasing job satisfaction,motivation and commitment of staff’ (p. 19). Even with the recent downturn in the economic cycle and the decreased demand for labour in certain areas of the private sector, there is little room for complacency among public service employers. Regardless of the prevailing economic conditions, it is critical that the aspirations of civil servants with respect to career progression and development are met. It is within this context that this paper provides a critical overview of career progression arrangements in the Irish civil service. Throughout the report, career progression is discussed in its broadest sense. Rather than simply describing an individual’s progress up the ranks of an organisation, career progression and development is argued as being relevant to all staff. This approach is consistent with that found in the literature, where career development is described as focusing on the individual and the skills, training and experience they acquire, through their own effort and with the assistance of their employer in the course of their working life. Therefore, while promotion arrangements are of course important, the report also considers other developments essential for effective career progression including induction procedures, performance management, transfer/mobility, training and development. A review of current HRM arrangements indicates that in practice there is a considerable degree of diversity across departments with regard to the range of approaches adopted in relation to career progression. While some of this divergence is due to the size and nature of work of departments, there is also variation in the degree of progress made to date in modernisation. However, consultations with a range of key informants indicate a general consensus that the civil service needs to do more to be perceived as an ‘employer of choice’ by potential quality employees. In addition, it is clear that opportunities for career progression and development play a critical role in this regard. In order to gain an appreciation of how career progression arrangements might be improved, this paper examines the international public sector experience. Most OECD countries are currently pursuing strategies and policies to enhance the professional quality of HRM in the public service. In many countries this is coupled with concerns in relation to recruitment and retention as well as the public service’s competitiveness as an employer compared to the private sector. In response to this situation, public service employers have sought to benchmark salaries against those available in the private sector and increase performance pay, particularly for staff with highly sought after skills. ...

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