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The (In)Effectiveness of Staff Development in the European Commission
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The (In)Effectiveness of Staff Development in the European Commission


On 14 November 2011, Vice- President Commissioner Maroš ŠEFČOVIČ passed a new decision to modify the General Implementing Provisions of Article 43 of the Staff Regulation concerning the appraisal system to be used each year for Staff.

This was supposed to have improved the old system of Staff evaluations.

But on 22 May 2012, the Court of Auditors adopted a report by its Chamber IV, headed by Mr Louis GALEA, Member of the Court of Auditors that criticizes the Commission on the way it evaluates its Staff.

Key Points raised by Court of Auditors are:

• In 2010, staff attended only 35 % of the courses identified in their training maps. Although Commission staff participated in an average of 6,9 days’ training in 2010, 30 % of staff participated in less than 2 days’ training. Older and higher-grade staff participate in less training than younger staff on lower grades. Moreover, there are high levels of absences and dropout rates from language courses. The Commission does not closely monitor whether staff participate in planned training courses and it no longer monitors the extent of mobility within DGs. The Commission’s own managers and staff deliver some training, but not sufficient to indicate that staff development is valued enough by the organisation.

• The Commission does not evaluate the contribution of training and job moves to achieving organisational results.

• The Commission does not have sufficient consolidated information on staff skills to plan the development of its staff in line with the needs of the organisation.

• The top-down training strategy does not convincingly demonstrate how it will contribute to the achievement of the Commission’s policy objectives.

• The Commission has not created a sufficiently strong learning environment to enable it to capitalise on the extensive learning offer.

The Commission should test and certify the acquisition of new skills where practicable and support their application in the workplace by providing follow-up activities.

THE COMMISSION SHOULD BETTER EVALUATE THE EFFECTIVENESS OF DEVELOPMENT ACTIONS

• The Commission does not analyse why staff do not attend courses identified in their training maps and the real extent of unfulfilled needs.

• The promotion points awarded can be influenced by how close a person is to promotion rather than being an objective assessment of performance. In order to maximise promotions within a DG, individuals may be awarded promotion points which they do not merit.

• The level of staff dissatisfaction with the appraisal and promotion system is indicated by the number of appeals against the promotion points. In 2010, there were some 3400 appeals representing 16 % of 21700 reports.

• The Commission rarely has objective indicators to demonstrate the utility of development actions and their contribution to organisational results. Consequently the Commission lacks the information necessary to inform decisions on where to target learning and development resources.

Link to the Full Report.

Reza Fardoom

Created by: admin last modification: Thursday 04 of October, 2012 [12:43:57 UTC] by admin

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