The benefits of working with the Good Practice Exchange

Sophie Knott talks about her experience of working with the Good Practice Exchange on a forthcoming webinar.

Here at the Wales Audit Office we’re encouraged to work together across different areas of the organisation to share knowledge and provide a better service to clients and the public. However, sometimes time and resource pressures mean we can overlook aspects such as utilising the Good Practice Exchange team during our routine audit work.

As well as sharing good practice guidance and case studies online through their website and blog, the Good Practice Exchange team run shared learning seminars and webinars. I’ve always known about these events but didn’t realise that the team run on average more than one a month, and on such a broad range of key themes for the Welsh public sector. The Good Practice Exchange recognise that sharing information is not a one size fits all approach, so webinars and seminars can be useful as a different approach for people to take information on board.

My experience

Sophie Knott

Sophie Knott of the Wales Audit Office

Recently, I’ve had the opportunity to work with the Good Practice Exchange on a forthcoming webinar on developing the public service workforce. The webinar came about on the back of our national study on Managing early departures across Welsh public bodies, published in February 2015. While the initial thought was to link directly to the report’s key themes, I undertook more research into what other conferences and seminars were talking about, any other news articles or blogs, and the webinar content evolved from there.

I’ve subsequently been involved in identifying potential speakers for the webinar, and the key questions that we will pose; and discussions about the webinar with the Auditor General, which led to him wanting to be one of the speakers! I’ve also developed material to brief speakers and created the diary marker for delegates to be emailed and placed on our website.

Future tasks include some Twitter training so I can schedule tweets for the day; pulling together slides for the webinar presentation; not to mention actually attending the webinar to coordinate asking speakers the additional questions sent in by delegates on the day, and live tweeting from the event. This engagement on the day is really important and allows delegates to share their thoughts directly to the panel and other delegates, but the webinar is also recorded to allow people to listen at a time convenient to them.

Benefits for all

It’s been really interesting to get involved in something a bit different and learn some new skills along the way. It’s giving me the opportunity to speak to people I wouldn’t normally, like a local authority Chief Exec. It’s also potentially extended the impact and readership of one of our national reports, having included details of it in the webinar diary marker. I would recommend that all staff consider the opportunities for a webinar or seminar within your own work, even if you are only at the planning stage. I’m sure the GPX team would love to hear from you!

The webinar ‘Developing a workforce to meet the challenges of public service reform’ is taking place on Thursday 14 January from 10.30 to 11.45. You can sign up here or Wales Audit Office staff can listen on the day in Room 14, Cardiff office or Room 1, Ewloe office.

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