Case Study: Department of Social Services: Facilitation of independent consultation process and customised eLearning solutions

“A consultative approach to training development in a complex stakeholder environment”

A project to help a government department conduct stakeholder consultation and deploy customised eLearning.

The Challenge

Following an application from the Federal Government, the Fair Work Commission agreed to amend the Supported Employment Services Award 2010 (SESA) in 2017 and vary the way the Supported Wage System (SWS) is used to assess wages for employees covered by the SESA. This new wage case would affect 174 Australian Disability Enterprises (ADE) and a panel of assessors numbering some 2,000 people. Currently, 20,000 employees are eligible to be covered under the SESA and employed in the ADEs operating nationally. Approximately 14% of these employees, engaged in about 43 ADEs, have current SWS assessments.

The Department of Social Services (DSS) wished to provide suitable training for SWS assessors and ADEs using the SWS under SESA. With the industrial relations sensitivities involved, DSS engaged us to undertake an independent consultation process with representatives of these parties around Australia to recommend appropriate training and support materials.

Public sector{Agile development{Custom eLearning

Our Approach

We provided a multi-disciplinary team of consultants and training design and development specialists. The initial consultation process (Discovery phase) began in early November 2017 with Face-to-Face meetings around Australia with ten representative assessors undertaking independent SESA SWS assessments and 15-20 ADE representatives who are or would be responsible for collecting workplace data from their employees. The consultation phase finished in November, and the findings, contained within a Project Definition Document, identified critical considerations for the scope, design and implementation of training and supported the learning solution hypothesis.

The training solution is adaptable to the target audience’s range of needs and capabilities by providing online modules subdivided into discrete units to facilitate refresher training as required. Additionally, job aids support employers and assessors on the job.

In an iterative, agile approach, post the initial consultation, the stakeholders and DSS signed off on the proposed training solution in early January 2018, reviewed interface designs and prototypes (Alpha Phase), storyboards and content (Design phase), and focus tested versions of the online products (beta phase) leading to revisions before implementation (30th June 2018), in time for the start of the new award.


The final solution delivered ten interactive eLearning modules (five modules each for ADE staff and Assessors) containing seven video animations modelling ‘best-practice’ and 40 checklists and process maps as job aids.

The modules addressed the key themes arising from the consultation process – i.e. applicable to a range of work contexts; striking a balance between knowledge acquisition and application; adaptable to learner’s needs; aspirational in modelling best practice, unambiguous in the use of terminology and explanation of complex concepts, flexible with access for review, and freely available to the target audiences.

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