Management essentials

The Commission is pleased to offer Management essentials, a series of modules delivered as individual workshops, aimed at mid-level managers across the WA public sector.

There are five Management essentials modules:

  • Managing change
  • Managing people
  • Managing risk
  • Managing self 
  • Critical thinking

Developed in 2014, these modules provide managers with skills and tools to equip them to better manage in a time of public sector constraint – within a tough economic environment. Operating within this context presents challenges for the delivery of services while managing community expectations. Mid-level managers at the front line of the sector’s services play a significant role in meeting these challenges.

In response to the demand for more effective service delivery—working smarter with less—the sector is focused on improving performance and productivity. Ethical conduct, good governance, workforce management and workforce planning are all integral to achieving high performance across the sector, and ensuring the ongoing delivery of high quality services to the community.

Management essentials empowers managers at Levels 4 – 6 to make good decisions and lead from where they are, positively impacting the performance of their team, their agency, and the wider public sector.

Management essentials is free for WA public sector employees.


Management essentials is targeted to officers who manage a team of direct reports, providing ample opportunities to apply learnings direct from the workshop to the workplace.

To participate in Management essentials, officers must:

  • be in a management role, PSGOGA levels 4 – 6 (and equivalent)
  • have the support of their line manager to attend
  • attend the workshops with an open mind to adult learning, expecting a combination of theory, practical and interactive learning activities.

Why attend Management essentials?

  • A specially designed initiative which allows leaders to manage their own professional development by choosing and attending the modules relevant to their needs.
  • Intensive one day workshops to suit the busy public servant, encouraging further individual research and development.
  • Case studies, scenarios and activities with a public sector specific focus.
  • Challenges participants to problem solve outside of their normal work environment and broaden their thinking to whole-of-public-sector.
  • Provides tools and techniques which can be immediately applied from the workshop to the workplace.
  • Fosters a strong peer learning experience and encourages participants to form and sustain networks across the sector with the intention of best practice and knowledge sharing.

Overview of modules

Managing change

Change needs to be made and sponsored from the frontline. Managing change provides managers with a greater awareness of the drivers of change and explores practical strategies for becoming a more effective change agent in your own jurisdiction.

During this module, participants will:

  • examine changes in the public sector arising from the policy agenda, economic landscape, machinery of government, technology, demographics, community expectation and accountability
  • discuss the role of the change agent in supporting reform in the public sector environment
  • critically analyse how to best contribute to the change process as a manager or supervisor: lessening the negative and harnessing the positive within their own sphere of influence
  • use case studies and scenarios to better understand leading change from ‘where you are’ to improve problem-solving, foster innovation and manage governance at ‘grassroots’
  • outline a range of effective managerial practices to assist people throughout the change process, including strategies for communicating with, consulting and coaching teams and individuals.

Managing people

For participation in Managing people, it is essential for participants to be in a management role that is responsible for at least one direct report.

It is necessary for managers and supervisors to properly manage and enhance their team’s performance, as well as establish good working relations with team members. This module aims to provide managers and supervisors with practical strategies to initiate performance management confidently at the front line.

During this module, participants will:

  • define the meaning and function of effective performance management in a public sector organisation
  • assess current issues and trends in public sector employee engagement
  • identify the managerial qualities required at the front line to enhance a performance management culture in a public sector organisation
  • use performance management case studies and scenarios from the public sector to examine best practice approaches
  • be familiar with current trends and practical strategies in performance management applicable to the public sector
  • discuss strategies to overcome difficult conversations and practice constructive feedback tactics.

Managing risk

Given that risk is unavoidable, it is necessary for managers to be confident in integrating risk thinking into agency management practices. Managing risk provides a greater awareness of risk management principles, frameworks and processes, and assists participants to understand and apply risk-based decision-making.

During this module, participants will:

  • examine risk perspectives and the factors involved in risk-based decision-making
  • discuss the principles of an integrated risk management approach and its value to an organisation’s service delivery
  • explore tools to qualitatively assess risk exposure and probability
  • examine the roles and responsibilities of managers and other stakeholders in the effective implementation of risk management
  • consider the value of risk management in protecting and creating value within organisations.

Managing self

To effectively manage people, you must first be able to manage yourself; your behaviour, your emotional responses and your actions. Managing self helps managers understand how personal effectiveness and performance can be improved by being self-aware.

During this module, participants will:

  • explore tools which build an attitude of resilience to deal with uncertainty, change and challenge
  • understand the spheres of control and influence which will support you and your team
  • develop a habit of self-reflection and understand its value in being an effective manager
  • discuss strategies to recreate moments of enjoyment and satisfaction
  • appreciate that effective management comes from first being able to recognise and manage your own emotions, behaviours and actions.

Critical thinking

To think critically and make sound decisions, managers need strong networks, support and experience. The aim of this module is to help managers recognise and use different approaches to solve problems and adopt a proactive, reflective mindset.

During this module, participants will:

  • define ‘critical thinking’
  • identify components of critical thinking
  • analyse situations of critical thinking and decision making
  • apply critical thinking models to the public sector and more widely
  • recognise tensions experienced by public servants when making decisions.


To attend a Management essentials workshop, please visit the Event’s page and register your details. There are a number of workshops running in February and March 2017. Where sessions are at capacity, you are encouraged to register your details for the waitlist.

All enquiries may be directed to or on 6552 8562.

Page last updated 15 December 2016