We've been busy drawing up plans for how this year's Academy will look and it's nearly time for your department to nominate who will attend. Personally, I have - quite literally - been drawing! Our People Development lead, Janice Lea asked me to grab the pens (I didn't need much persuading) and draw rather than write the minutes for our last meeting. It is an excellent example of how the Academy works. We do things a little differently - sometimes creatively, sometimes more strategically but always with a look at the bigger picture and an aim to push you out of your comfort zone.
This will be the third Academy I've been involved with but it's the fourth one to be held by our Civil Service Local team in our area. Do you want to be a part of it?
If you believe you could be a leader of the future and you work up to (and including) first line manager level in the Civil Service, or indeed the wider public sector, please keep an eye out for more information on how to apply for this year's event. The Academy will be held over four days at Chester University, running from 22 to 25 September 2015.
At the Academy, we give you the chance to build your skills individually and as part of a group. It's hard work but there's also a lot of fun along the way - and usually a few surprises. The learning doesn't stop at the Academy - you will continue to work on your development with other like-minded people from different workplaces for another twelve months once we've closed those Academy doors. It's your chance to learn about the Civil Service Reform agenda and join new friends and collegues from across our region as you lead positive change in our wider organisation.
Many of our graduates from previous Academies have since progressed in their careers. That can sometimes mean a promotion or a change of role or department. I asked some of last year's graduates to share their thoughts on how coming to the Academy has impacted their careers:
The Academy helped raise my awareness of Civil Service Reform and the importance of cross departmental collaboration and this was the main reason why I successfully applied for a loan opportunity with another government department. It's been a really challenging time. Not only have I had to get used to a new environment and different ways of working, my project team and I have had to keep the momentum going to deliver our project which is a cross departmental e-magazine called The Network. Despite the pressure and change, it’s been worthwhile. Through both the Academy and my new role, I'm getting new experiences in using project management products and tools, something that has been a goal of mine for quite some time.
Would I recommend the Academy to other Civil Servants? Absolutely!
Glenn Atkins, Department of Health
The academy really opened my eyes to the world outside my department where I had worked for twenty years. Listening to the guest speakers and talking to my fellow delegates from various parts of the civil service and public sector encouraged me to make the move to apply for other jobs outside my own department. I applied for a role on promotion to HM Revenue and Customs - a department I knew very little about! Two members of my academy 'family' worked there so through speaking to them I was able to get a better understanding of the role I had applied for.
My new manager has been very supportive of my continuation with the Academy project and I am sure that the added confidence I gained through attending the Academy has helped me a lot in my new role.
Louise Williams, HM Revenue and Customs
The nomination process will be managed locally by your employer and the deadline for applications is 15 July 2015. Look out for details to make sure you don't miss out on this opportunity.
I hope you'll be joining us at this year's Academy and I look forward to seeing you in Chester this autumn. In the meantime, if you woudl like some more details or have any questions please contact my colleague Janine Clitheroe.
See you in September!