Department of Justice & Constitutional Development Project
This project was a joint contract between Guarantee Trust Corporate Support Services (GTCSS) and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) for Department: Justice and Constitutional Development (DOJ & CD) to deliver skills assessments to over 300 staff and to train over 200 staff on accounting and financial management.
The DOJ & CD staff involved in the training project was managing the departments Third Party Funds (TPF) countrywide. These funds flow through the department from bail, fines, maintenance and related sources.
The purposes of the DOJ&CD Training Project were as follows:
- To reach the situation where all trainees achieve the same level of knowledge and full understanding how the TPF processes work.
- Going forward, TPF generates no audit qualifications.
- The training once completed can be delivered to other staff in the same way. The result being, all staff involved in TPF being fully trained so that they can do their jobs properly.
Phases of the project:
The project went through several phases. It started in November 2010 and completed on 31 March 2012.
The first phase was a skills assessment of DOJ&CD staff, which was done in the first half of 2011. Approximately 300 staff was assessed. From this assessment, a skills gap was identified. About 200 of the staff assessed were then chosen to participate in the training which started in September 2011 and ended on 31 January 2012. The training phase was the second phase. The final phase of the project consisted of collecting student files from facilitators around the country, doing quality control checks on them to make sure the required results were obtained, finalizing statistics, writing reports and concluding the entire project.
Training Method and Materials
The training materials used on this project consisted of 7 separate modules compiled by (Mr. Podriac Doyle, Ms Lee-Hazel De Bruin and Mr. Christo Fourie from DOJ&CD). The modules were presented in a simple format. They covered 7 main TPF sections: Bail, Maintenance, Admission of Guilt, Court and Deferred Fines, Civil Cases, Compensation Fines and Reconciliations. (see modules below.)
Each module had a control document called a checksheet which is a detailed list of study steps to do in an exact sequence, including reading, doing essays, demonstrations and practical assignments. These are done step by step, at the student’s own pace. The purpose is to enable the trainee to gain full conceptual understanding of his study materials and gain the ability to apply what he learned. Once all the items on the checksheet are fully completed, the module is considered completed. Facilitators had to also do a quality assurance process on the trainees. When all 7 modules were done, the trainee received a certificate of completion.
About 40 Facilitator firms and approximately 70 facilitators from all 9 provinces, even in remote areas of the country, were used for this project. The facilitators were mainly accountants qualified in accounting and financial management matters, from reputable accounting firms around the country. The accountants were not TPF experts but had gone through the TPF modules themselves. Their role was to provide a safe environment in their practice for trainees to get through their training and receive coaching and verification of the trainees understanding and ability to apply what they had learned.
Launching of the Training Project
One-day briefing seminars were done throughout September 2011 in each of the 9 provinces. The purpose of these seminars was to launch the training project, to orient the trainees and facilitators on what was needed and wanted, to introduce the trainees to their facilitators and supply them with their training materials so they could get started right away.
Administration and project management of training
At head office, a Training Manager with her team were posted to monitor the training progress of each student via the facilitators. Reports of trainee progress on the modules, number of modules completed and success stories and any other relevant information were sent to head office each week by the facilitators.
Two Categories of Training
This training project was divided into two categories. Level 1 and Level 2 Training. The training mentioned above (studying all 7 TPF modules over a period of 16 weeks) was known as Level 2 Training. This particular type of training was for the Deputy Directors and Assistant Directors for regional offices, Directors of Court Operations, Area Court Managers and Financial Operations Managers and selected secretaries and PA’s.
In February 2012 a three-day seminar was conducted for 31 Level 1 staff. This training was specifically for senior management staff. It was based on similar material to the level 2 training but in a condensed form and delivered workshop style. It was delivered to the Chief Director of TPF, National office directors, TPF staff from National Office and Regional Directors.
Results and Statistics
The project turned out to be very successful on the whole. Guarantee Trust completed 982 modules out of 1183. 79% of the trainees completed 6 modules out of 7 modules and we graduated 69% of the trainees on all 7 modules. This result was well beyond our expectations seeing that this was the first time such a extraordinary project was embarked upon in the timeline available.
A few challenges were met along the way with some DOJ staff writing exams at that time of the year or other work pressures that were required of them at that particular time of the year. However, numerous success stories and positive feedback from the majority of trainees and facilitators kept pouring in each week, commenting on how valuable and important this training had been for them, and how it has benefited them greatly and will benefit the junior staff in the DOJ departments that they will now train using these modules.
Many facilitators from around the country have kept in touch with us asking when the next training project will be as they definitely want to be part of it again – they really enjoyed this method of training and definitely saw the value of it for the future of this country.
2015 and Beyond
In 2015 we are delivering a similar project via PwC to DOJ&CD for a new systems replacing their previous model. This project is scheduled to complete by March 2016 and involves us developing training manuals and courses for the new system and delivering train-the-trainer skills to specified staff.