Information management professionals in the Australian Government need to ensure their skills and capabilities keep pace with relevant legislation and the changing landscape around records, information and data.
Supporting your information management specialists to undertake professional development will ensure the Australian Government has the necessary expertise to manage, develop and advance agency practices concurrent with shifts in the information management environment.
Professional development and Building trust in the public record policy
The Building trust in the public record policy recommends that agencies identify and address capability gaps in information management, particularly for staff in specialist information management roles (action 6).
Supporting capability and professional development advice will be progressively released over the policy period. The National Archives also has training resources for information management professionals that can help your agency meet its requirements under the policy.
Identifying capabilities for information management professionals
The Information management and data capabilities guide outlines skills and knowledge that employees and their organisations need to create and manage information assets effectively.
Information management professionals and agencies can use the guide to:
- address known issues with capability, capacity and general work standards
- ensure current work capabilities and skills meet agency needs
- identify areas that could benefit from improvement. This can enable staff to move between streams of information and data management practice.
Building capabilities for information management professionals
Wherever possible, development opportunities should be included in an employee’s performance management agreement and corporate workforce planning.
The following capability-building strategies can be used by information practitioners in all stages of their career, including:
- early-career practitioners
- information management professionals
- senior management with responsibility for information management functions.
Professional bodies and events
Professional associations provide opportunities for learning, accreditation and expanding professional networks through:
- training courses
- conferences and industry events
- exposure to the latest industry developments
- contributing to communities of practice
- participating in online forums and working groups.
Some of the professional associations and programs the National Archives consults and affiliates with are:
- APS Data Professional Stream
- Australian Computer Society (ACS)
- Australian Government Linked Data Working Group (AGLDWG)
- Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA)
- Australian Research Data Commons (ARDC)
- Australian Society of Archivists (ASA)
- Council of Australasian Archives and Records Authorities (CAARA)
- Data Management Association (DAMA)
- Information Governance ANZ
- National and State Libraries of Australasia (NSLA)
- Records and Information Management Professionals Australasia (RIMPA)
- Research Data Alliance (RDA)
- The Digital Preservation Coalition (DPC)
Working in different areas of an agency, cross-agency projects, and other wide ranging experiences
Agencies can support the ongoing professional development of information practitioners by providing opportunities to:
- research and contribute to various information management projects. This might include developing policy, standards, new programs or services, training or other products
- be involved in high-level projects or whole-of-government initiatives
- use a range of information asset management tools and technologies
- manage increasingly diverse and complex projects
- build relationships at senior levels of the public sector
- mentor others and share expertise
- work across the public sector, within state bodies or internationally.
Agencies can support employees’ personal development by:
- providing time to keep up to date with developments in the information management sector through reading, research and developing professional networks
- building awareness of new technologies and systems and how they might support the agency’s information management requirements
- providing opportunities to develop relationships with record, information and data management practitioners outside the Australian public sector, including internationally
- encouraging attendance at professional development events such as conferences, workshops, seminars and webinars.
Qualifications and training
Information management qualifications range from competency-based certificates to postgraduate awards. Training may be delivered face-to-face or online.
Many professional organisations endorse specific courses as high-quality preparation to work in the field. These accredited courses are a good place to start researching training options:
- Australian Society of Archivists accredited courses
- Data Management Association training and events
- Digital Preservation Coalition recommended external training and education opportunities
- Institute of Information Management recommended training
- Records and Information Management Professionals Australasia accredited courses
National Archives professional development resources
Australian Government agencies can use these training resources to help build their staff’s records, information and data management skills and capabilities.