David Oliver, Flight Operations Inspector and Nicky Wilton, ICT Coordinator receive their G-REG certificate.

Objectives

Position CAA as an example of a successful implementation of G-REG
Give other organisations tips on how to start their G-REG journey
Give CAA recognition for its G-REG success

Key statistics

205 (77%) CAA staff have registered their interest since April 2018
168 (82%) CAA staff that were interested have started the qualification
112 CAA staff have completed the qualification
7 G-REG Workshop One sessions run (May 2018 – March 2019)
146 CAA staff attended (May 2018 – March 2019)
6 G-REG Workshop Two sessions run (Sept 2018 – March 2019)
118 CAA staff attended (Sept 2018 – March 2019)

How CAA implemented G-REG

A case study

As at February 2019, 112 employees (or 42% of our staff) have completed the G-REG (Core Knowledge) (Level 3) qualification, with a further 53 due to complete before the end of 2019. That’s an impressive achievement considering most of the organisation were only officially introduced to the G-REG qualifications in April 2018.

How it all started

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) first became involved in the development of a suite of new NZQA approved regulatory compliance qualifications back in 2015 as part of a cross-agency working group, back before the Government Regulatory Practice Initiative (G-REG) even existed.

When CAA Chief Executive Graeme Harris joined the G-REG Chief Executives Group in 2015, it was obvious to Graeme that the new qualifications would be an excellent way to improve regulatory knowledge and practice of the organisation.  “Our role at CAA is to keep New Zealand skies safe and secure. G-REG fits in perfectly with our Regulatory Craft Programme (RCP), which aims to help us all become better regulators,” said Graeme.

Graeme and his Executive Leadership Team (ELT) led from the top as part of the pilot group for the G-REG Core Knowledge Programme, alongside the newly formed Learning & Development team and other subject matter experts.  He also commissioned the initiative as part of the organisation’s Regulatory Craft Programme (RCP).

In March 2018 the ELT approved the recommendation from the Learning and Development team to promote the programme to existing staff and to make it compulsory for all new staff as part of orientation.

The pilot group were awarded their certificates at an internal RCP event in April 2018, which laid the foundations for them to support the wider organisation. The prominence given to the initiative generated a great response from a wide range of staff and managers and a total of 110 employees (of approximately 265) signed up at the end of the event!

Since then staff continue to enrol and a further two graduation ceremonies have been held to recognise their achievements and demonstrate the ongoing commitment of the organisation to this important initiative.

Customising the CAA approach

Another unique factor about the CAA approach was how the organisation went beyond the online training modules to give their employees the CAA context along the way.

Two workshops were developed to provide CAA learners with the opportunity to explore the CAA context of the online learning. The workshops were facilitated by a member of the Executive Leadership Team and the Learning and Development team. The interactive discussion at the workshop gave the participants the unique perspective of the regulatory environment CAA operates in, within the wider NZ government. Facilitated discussions were designed to challenge and test current thinking, to explore specific challenges CAA face to understand the relevance and importance of what we do and why we do it that way. A mixture of small group activities, games, case studies and media clips were used to illustrate points, generate discussion and encourage participation.
CAA have seen many benefits occur as a result of the hands-on workshops. Each workshop has a mix of new and experienced regulators, frontline regulatory staff and back office support employees and managers. The interaction has been invaluable in raising understanding and awareness of the challenges and importance of the work CAA does and how individual roles contribute to that.

Feedback from employees

The surveys done have shown that the online course and the workshops were a hit with both regulatory and non-regulatory staff. 100% of the participants said that they would recommend the qualification to their fellow colleagues. They were also keen to continue their learning with the (Operational Knowledge) and (Operational Practice) (Level 4) qualifications.

David Oliver, Flight Operations Inspector, said “I have a better understanding of the basic structure of government, how laws are made and the impact of this on my role. It reassured me that I know more about the context I work in. I learnt more about the idea of natural justice and the importance of being impartial.”
“I think it’s really important for support employees to understand why we do what we do to support the organisation and how our work contributes to the overall business objectives. We don’t see the day-to-day frontline activity – this learning helps us to understand what we do and the overall challenges of our core regulatory function,” said Nicky Wilton, ICT Coordinator.

Kate Madden, Aeronautical Services Officer, added, “It’s important to know and understand the wider implications of the decisions we make. Plus, CAA is paying for us to get a NZQA recognised qualification – one that is recognised outside the organisation, across the wider government sector. So why wouldn’t you do it?”

What’s next?

CAA is aiming to have a large majority of its staff undertake the training. The Learning and Development Team is also working with Skills New Zealand to align its regulatory operational training programme with the two G-REG level 4 qualifications to enable its regulatory staff to be awarded with the qualifications on completing the training requirements. This is likely to be rolled out near the end of 2019.