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Establishing a decentralised system of managing learning in the Cyprus Civil Service

From EPSA - European Public Sector Award

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Short description of the project

This project, which was undertaken on the initiative, encouragement and overall coordination of CAPA aims at assisting Cyprus civil service organisations to manage their own learning and development systematically. To that effect, each organisation sets up, on a voluntary basis, a Learning Unit whose task is to conduct Learning Needs Analyses and plan, implement and evaluate learning/training activities that satisfy the needs diagnosed. Members (who are ordinary organisation members, non-specialists in the management of learning, and who, as a rule, spend only part of their working time on this task) are trained and given on-the-job support by CAPA. CAPA also provides, on request, part of the training planned by Learning Units, especially in the field of management. For the rest of their planned learning activities Learning Units are allocated by the Ministry of Finance an annual learning budget. Learning Units (and CAPA) will soon be linked in an electronically-supported network, for information exchange and cooperation.

Current status and future steps for the project

Significant progress has been made so far in implementing the project. Almost half of the Cyprus civil service organisations are now managing their learning quite systematically, through Learning Units, though there is in all cases ample scope for improving quality. CAPA is now facing the challenge of finding ways to bring on board organisations which have so far not shown sufficient interest in the project. Also, we shall

  • Further encourage and facilitate the use of on-the-job methods (e.g. coaching) by Learning Units and the improvement of the quality of the overall work of Learning Units, and
  • proceed with setting up the electronical network of Learning Units and CAPA.

Lessons learned

  1. Securing the right composition of Learning Units. Members of Learning Units should be highly motivated and widely accepted in the organisation, represent different hierarchical levels and sections of the organisation, and have excellent interpersonal skills.
  2. Providing Learning Units with the right training, and continuous on-the-job support.
  3. Securing the commitment of the leader of organisations involved: They must provide Learning Units with the necessary empowerment, time and constant and visible support.
  4. Avoiding the use of administrative power by CAPA, and relying more on building a trusting, supportive relationship with Learning Units and their organisations.
  5. Empowering Learning Units to secure and manage their own learning budget.
Award info
Award category: collaborative governance
Award type: submission
Award year: 2007
Project type
Sector: Public administration, modernisation, institutional affairs, reform
Type of activity: human resource management
Keywords: knowledge management, education
Short English description: establishment of a decentralised system for managing learning in the civil service
Further information
Organisation: Cyprus Academy of Public Administration (CAPA)
Other applicants:
Homepage: mof.gov.cy/capa
Level of government: national level
Size of organisation:
Number of people involved:
Country: Cyprus
EU membership: EU member
Language code: en
Start date: 2001/10/01
End date:


Establishing a decentralised system of managing learning in the Cyprus Civil Service (35.167604° N, 33.373621° E)
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