Putting people first

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Putting people first

Duration: 2 weeks
Dates: 27 Mar – 7 Apr 2017
Tuition fees: £3,350 (exc. VAT)

About the programmes
Governments must change as the world around them changes. New priorities, advances in information technology, the media and electronic communications, the impact of globalisation and public pressure for higher quality services all demand that governments constantly improve their standards of customer care.

In particular, citizens increasingly expect public services to be more transparent, accessible and accountable, and more responsive to their needs. In the UK there have been major changes in the way public services operate. Initiatives such as Customer Service Excellence and new benchmarking techniques have all been aimed at improving the quality of service delivery to the public. As in many countries, health services, local government and education have all undergone major reform with an emphasis on treating citizens as customers. A key feature of these reforms has been the development of effective procedures for complaint-handling and redress of grievances.

In the 1990s the UK government embarked upon a comprehensive programme of public service modernisation, including a drive towards “joined-up” government. This involved closer collaboration and co-ordination between different providers of public services, including the private sector, and better-integrated, more accessible services for citizens, making greater use of information and communication technology and “one-stop shops”. More recently, the continuing impact of the global economic crisis has led to vigorous political debates about how to cut the cost of public services while protecting the most vulnerable members of society.

These two one-week study programmes explore the key elements needed to develop a culture of customer focus and to lead and manage changes in the provision of public services. By drawing on UK and international experience and examining some of the techniques available, you will increase your knowledge and understanding of how your organisation can achieve sustainable institutional and cultural change to the benefit of the public, along with a more cost-effective use of resources.

You can attend each one-week programme as a separate module or you may prefer to attend both weeks so as to gain a more comprehensive understanding of customer service and its potential for improving service delivery.

Who are the programmes for?
The programmes are designed for senior managers responsible for delivering public services, in particular those in direct contact with the public. They will be very relevant if you work in central or local government, health or welfare services, education, the administration of justice or complaints adjudication. All participants will have a special interest in improving organisational performance and service delivery.

How participants will benefit
Week One – “Leading and managing change” will:

  • Assist you to develop your leadership skills and capacity to manage public service improvement initiatives at strategic and operational levels
  • Increase understanding of the process of culture change needed to see citizens as customers
  • Compare techniques for organisational assessment and review (customer surveys and feedback, benchmarking, the Business Excellence Model, continuous improvement programmes)
  • Consider lessons learned by the public sector from the private/non-government sectors and vice-versa
  • Give you the opportunity to exchange experiences and make international comparisons, identifying areas for development and improvement in your own organisation.

Week Two – “Quality public services in a digital age” will:

  • Examine citizens’ rights to good public services
  • Look at the roles of central and local government in improving public services
  • Explore the ways in which a focus on the citizen as customer – for example, the use of consultation procedures – can improve public services
  • Consider the advantages and disadvantages of using information technology in managing service delivery
  • Give you the opportunity to exchange experiences and make international comparisons, identifying areas for development and improvement in your own organisation.

Please view our Brochure 2016 (opens in a PDF document)

“It has given me confidence on leadership and on how to develop action plans to transform our organisation so as to provide better services to the public.”
Mr Bious Segole, Deputy Land Board Secretary, Ghantsi Land Board, Ministry of Lands and Housing, Botswana

“Exceptional programme – worth every rand; good value for money. Speakers well versed with the African context, very experienced.”
Mrs Marie Van Blerk, Chief Director, Integrated Access, Department of Public Service and Administration, South Africa

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