The Senior Public Service, SPS, was established with the aim of strengthening senior management and leadership, initially across the Civil Service. Membership of the SPS comprises all Secretaries General, deputy secretaries, assistant secretaries, directors and related grades in the Civil Service. Over time, the SPS will be extended to senior levels of the wider public service. The SPS is overseen by the SPS management committee, chaired by the Secretary General of my Department. A secretariat was established within the Department to provide support to the committee and to support the drawing up and implementation of SPS initiatives.
A leadership development strategy for the SPS will be published shortly. It sets out a number of programmes for supporting leadership development. In this context, executive coaching has been identified as a means of improving leadership capacity and individual performance at senior management level. It is widely used in the private sector as an effective leadership development tool. A successful pilot coaching programme, which had a beneficial impact on participants, was run last year at assistant secretary level. Following the programme's evaluation, the management committee decided that the proposal to extend a further coaching programme to all SPS grades had merit.
A tender process to enlist a panel of experienced coaches to service the programme is under way. The intention is that the coaching panel will remain in place until the end of 2015. An invitation to members of the SPS to apply to participate in the programme will issue in the coming days. It is envisaged that contracts will be awarded in May and that the programme will commence shortly thereafter.