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Growing Your Digital Skills

4 min read

COVID-19 restrictions have certainly disrupted our lives. It has also triggered an interest in gardening, sourdough, and DIY. While you’re tending to your personal life, you also need to remember to tend your professional skills.

Our time working remotely has highlighted the importance of digital skills. Regardless of the type of work you do, this is a great chance to brush up and improve your digital capability.

APS staffs are only a few weeks away from end-of-cycle performance conversations. Now is the time to start planning the development options you have to share with your managers

Self-assessing your needs

You have likely learned a lot about yourself during this change in working style. You can assess yourself about what can help you maximize your productivity, determine your hidden skills, aptitudes, and preferences as well as work on the areas where you need to improve.

It is important to take the time to review where you are, where you want to go  and the gap between those two places. You can assess yourself using the profiles in the Work Level Standards.

This is suitable for those individuals who have the skills or capabilities for your current level. Additionally, for those individuals who need to develop your skills to move to a higher level.

Professionals Australia also has a blog that is useful in the assessment of your development needs with some helpful questions that can help you identify your own gaps.

Start learning now

Once you know what you want to develop, there are plenty of no-cost learning and development options available. Discuss options and time commitments with your manager, so they can support you.

The APSC’s Centre for Leadership and Learning has translated a lot of their face-to-face courses into online courses and launched the APS Online Learning Catalogue. The catalogue contains courses that will take you across core skills and also leadership capability.

Courses you can take through the catalogue that directly relate to digital capability include; data literacy, creative thinking at work, dealing with change, managing remote teams, planning and managing change, SFIA (Skills Framework for the Information Age), and transitioning to remote work.

The Leading in the Digital Age program is designed for SES to develop their knowledge and understanding of digital and increase their leadership capability to guide the development of better digital services. The program is run as part of the Building Digital Capability program. You can book via the catalogue.

There is also a GovTeams section of the catalogue where you can access resources so you can learn at your own pace and in your own way, rather than sign up for the courses.

The APSC website has a range of information about L&D (Learning and Development) opportunities, including how to access amazing development such as the JAWUN APS Secondment Program. They have developed a guide to learning on the job, to help you consider your development needs.

Developing digital skills

DTA offers many ways to develop your digital skills. The recommendations may include Digital Professional Stream which is a recently launched one meant for digital practitioners in the APS. Sign up to the professional stream, get involved in its development, and access opportunities such as helping test our new career pathways tool.

Have you read the Digital Service Standard? Educate yourself on the Standard, what it means, and how to assess your services. The Standard team is ready to answer any questions you have.

The Little Book of Digital is your digital transformation 101 guide. It aligns our language around digital transformation and ways of working. And gives practical tips and tricks on how to think and work digitally.

Several digital disciplines have developed Communities of Practice to share ideas, ask questions, and get solutions. If your discipline isn’t there, contact us for advice about setting up your own.

We are planning the 2020 Digital Summit. This year it will be a virtual event so it will be even easier to attend, develop your digital knowledge and skills, learn from experts, and connect with your fellow practitioners. Email summit@dta.gov.au if you want to be added to the list to be notified when we are announcing the summit.

We publish news items and blog posts to inform you about how we do the digital transformation. We run events and workshops. This involves developing digital skills such as user research, content design, service design, data analysis, and more. We publish updates and links to information on social media.


Learnhub is the Australian Government’s online learning and development platform for the APS. The resources available on Learnhub help you develop your knowledge and skills. Check your agency intranet or contact your HR team to find out how to access Learnhub in your agency.

LinkedIn Learning

LinkedIn Learning, has an external library of video tutorials you can access through Learnhub.

Through LinkedIn Learning you are given access to courses in business, tech, and creative; develop your own list of recommended courses. Plus, you can access and watch at your own pace.

Commit to 30 minutes a week and get started on a range of learning opportunities.

The LinkedIn Learning Mobile App is also free to download from the Apple Store and Google Play Store.

External learning

Some face-to-face external courses are now delivered online. Take some time to look at what is available and find out if there is an opportunity in the next financial year to meet your identified skills gap.

Conferences are another way to learn and develop new skills, with many now online. That dream conference you could never attend might now be an option.

Don’t forget to put your name down for information about Digital Summit 2020. If you attended last year, we will be in touch to let you know.

Contact your manager to find out how to access these opportunities in your agency.

Plan for your future

Your performance agreement is a perfect opportunity to highlight the skills and capabilities you know you need. The world is increasingly digital, so developing your digital skills helps you make the most of your career at every stage.

Make a plan and go into your performance meeting with a clear idea of what you want to develop and how you plan to develop in that area.


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