Minister of State with responsibility for Public Procurement, Ossian Smyth TD, has announced on 23 October the appointment of a consortium of the Royal Institute of Architects of Ireland (RIAI) and the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland (SCSI) to provide specialist training to public servants engaged in the delivery of the National Development Plan.
The training will be provided through the Office of Government Procurement’s Commercial Skills Academy and is the latest in a range of measures that Government is introducing to support the work of the public service in delivering publicly-funded projects.
Commenting on the appointment, Minister Smyth said: “the Commercial Skills Academy will be instrumental in driving the successful delivery of the National Development Plan and Project Ireland 2040. The training provided will greatly assist in raising standards across the public sector in the delivery of public assets and will support our Programme for Government commitment of transforming our approach to infrastructure investment.”
The overall aim of the Commercial Skills Academy is to provide public servants an understanding of key issues, commercial skills, and best practice approaches for effective project delivery throughout the entire lifecycle of the project.
Kathryn Meghen, CEO of the RIAI, said commercial training was now more important than ever, especially in a time of crisis: “Public capital investment projects are complex and even the best planned projects will be impacted by unforeseen circumstances. Covid-19 is an extreme example of that and given the impact of the pandemic, it’s clear commercial skills training will be more important than ever in helping public officials to address complex issues in a timely and effective fashion. We’re confident these training programmes will address that need and advance standards while also promoting the value of the architect and surveying professions.”
Shirley Coulter, CEO of the SCSI said the Society and the RIAI were delighted to be awarded the contract: “This is the first time the SCSI and RIAI have collaborated on a training programme like this and we are confident that the collaborative approach will ensure the best outcome for learners. This is an excellent initiative from the Commercial Skills Academy group within the Office of Government Procurement and we look forward to providing public servants with the commercial skills training they need to deliver key public capital investment projects such as those set out in the National Development Plan.”
This appointment forms part of a larger group of training options being developed by the Commercial Skills Academy in conjunction with advice from Government departments and delivery agencies. The overall programme will see the annual roll out of tiered training including self-directed learning, classroom-based learning, and masterclass and conference events.
The RIAI/SCSI appointment follows a competitive process and will deliver the entry-level training aimed at providing a comprehensive overview of the delivery process and contract management.
This appointment will see the delivery of interactive classroom style training and will consist of three intensive training modules, each module being delivered over two full consecutive days. The contract allows for a number of iterations of the programme to be delivered each year.
Fiona O’Connor, Drury PN, Fiona.OConnor@drurypn.ie
Claire Godkin – Press Officer, Department of Public Expenditure and Reform – 085 806 3969