The Department of Justice is committed to promoting a culture of continuous learning and professional development with a view to enhancing organisational and individual capability.
The Department invests in a range of courses and programmes designed to address any gaps in knowledge and expertise.
Staff also attend conferences and seminars to ensure that they are keeping up to date with recent developments and improvements related to their specific areas such as European policy, IT, and human resources.
At the Department of Justice, learning and development expenditure for 2019, including in-service training and leadership development, for the Department of Justice amounted to €932,666.35 from the non-pay expenditure. This equates to 0.6528% of the salary expenditure for the 2019 Justice Vote.
I have sought the most recent information available from the agencies under the remit of my Department with their own vote and the information received is provided below.
An Garda Síochána
With regard to An Garda Síochána, from 1 January 2020 to 30 November 2020, the total Learning & Development expenditure designated for training is €1.73million.
The cost of staff salaries and allowances excluding overtime for An Garda Síochána from 1 January 2020 to 30 November 2020 is €1,041,367,000 (€1.041 billion). This payroll total includes all Garda Members, Garda Staff and the Garda College. Therefore the training spend as a percentage of payroll is 0.2%.
I understand from An Garda Síochána that it is not possible for the Garda College to provide a breakdown of expenditure in the specific areas of in-service training and leadership development as systems are not in place organisationally to capture such data.
The Courts Service
I am informed that, in 2019, Learning & Development expenditure by the Courts Service on training events was €610,732 while the projected spend in 2020 is circa €670,000. The costs of the staff salaries working in Learning & Development for both years was circa €460,000.
I understand that this equates to approximately 1.14% of payroll over the two years.
The out-turn for the Courts Service’s pay budget in 2019 was €54.543 million while the projected outturn for 2020 is €57.383 million.
Irish Prison Service
I am informed by my officials in the Irish Prison Service that, in 2019, the sum of €130,670 was spent on in-service staff training and leadership-development - exclusive of salary costs.
The Irish Prison Service College also expended an additional €898,908 on the training of new Recruit Prison Officers with Waterford Institute of Technology in 2019. Combined, this equates to approximately 0.46% of the salaries budget for the Irish Prison Service.
The Probation Service
Training costs relating to Probation Service Learning and Development for 2020 included online training and seminars, which all relate to Probation practice. Costs also include Annual subscription to Padlet (on-line notice board to post practice resources for staff).
The average annual cost of the Learning and Development Unit Staff including Employers PRSI is €538,488 in respect of 5 training unit staff. Learning and Development (staff and expenses) equate to approx. just under 2.5% of salaries budget.
The cost of training courses in 2019 was €29,440.61. In 2020 (up to November) this figure was €16,479.13. Seminars and conferences in 2019 came in at a total cost of €15,074.83 and to date we have no expenditure for 2020 due to Covid-19 restrictions.
The Probation Service also pay membership fees for Professional bodies. In 2019, these fees were €7,525.54 and for 2020 they were €8,288.84.
Probation staff have access to One Learning through the Department of Justice and these costs would be incorporated into the Department spend.
In addition, a number of senior managers have participated in the IPA Leadership Development course, which is facilitated through the Department.