Seminar program 2017

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Seminars for public servants

2017 Seminar Program

Two introductory seminars, About Parliament and The Senate at work, provide a general overview of the Australian parliamentary system of government. Developed with graduates and new public servants in mind, they provide a valuable overview of the work of the Parliament and lay the groundwork for other seminars in the series which examine in detail the Senate’s legislative work, the Senate committee system and the estimates process.

It is recommended that officers new to the Public Service enrol in these introductory seminars before other seminars in the series.

About Parliament


This seminar provides an introduction to Australia’s parliamentary system of government and what the Parliament does. It offers a solid understanding of the parliamentary system, including the constitutional provisions for the federal system of government and the functions of the parliament. This seminar includes a tour of the House of Representatives and the Senate chambers.

Target audience: APS Graduates and those new to the public service

Dates: 5 April and 23 August
Cost: $350 per person*

The Senate at work


This seminar provides an introduction to the work of the Senate, featuring the legislative process and the Senate committee system. It shows how to keep track of Senate business and how to access key chamber documents online. The seminar may also include a presentation by a senator about his or her work as a parliamentarian.

Target audience: APS Graduates and those new to the public service

Dates: 15 March and 26 July
Cost: $250 per person*

Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights


This seminar covers the work of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights in scrutinising bills and legislative instruments for compatibility with Australia’s human rights obligations under seven treaties to which Australia is a party. Topics include the content of the specific human rights assessed by the committee; the committee’s analytical framework for assessing legislation; the requirements for preparing statements of compatibility; the committee’s reporting processes; and the main sources of guidance and support for negotiating the passage of legislation through the scrutiny process.

Target audience: APS officers engaged in preparing legislation or those who may perform this role in the future

Dates: 12 July 
Cost: $160.00 per person*

Delegated Legislation and the Senate


This seminar covers the tabling, consideration and disallowance of delegated legislation in the Senate, including the work of the Senate Regulations and Ordinances Committee. It is aimed at those involved in preparing delegated legislation and explanatory statements. Topics include requirements for making and tabling delegated legislation, the work of the Regulations and Ordinances Committee, the disallowance timetable and consequences of disallowance.

Target audience: APS officers engaged in preparing delegated legislation or those who may perform this role in the future

Dates: 17 May 
Cost: $160.00 per person*

Getting bills through the Senate


This seminar is designed to give participants a detailed understanding of the legislative process and the skills needed to monitor and facilitate the progress of bills through the Parliament. It provides an overview of the legislative process including the passage of bills through Parliament, the amendment of bills, the role of Senate committees, disagreements between the two houses, and royal assent and commencement.

Target audience: APS officers involved in advising ministers or their officers in the Senate chamber on the passage of bills or those who may perform this role in the future

Dates: 7 June and 1 November
Cost: $250.00 per person*

Senate committees and the estimates process


This seminar provides a detailed examination of the powers and operation of Senate committees and the estimates process. It is designed for public servants who prepare submissions for Senate committees, monitor the estimates process or provide information to Senate committees considering the estimates of expenditure contained in the Budget.

Target audience: APS officers involved in preparing submissions for Senate committees or who monitor or attend Senate estimates

Dates: 22 February, 3 May and 11 October
Cost: $250.00 per person*

Engaging with the Senate - Senior Executive Service training


This seminar for SES officers focuses on the accountability of public servants to Parliament. Topics covered include the relationship between the public service, ministers and the Parliament; the role of the Senate in the accountability process; the law and practice of parliamentary privilege, particularly as it relates to the operation of Senate committees; and the rights and obligations of public servants who appear before them as witnesses.

Target audience: Senior Executive Service officers

Dates: 21 February, 2 May and 20 September
Cost: $250.00 per person*

Further information

Getting the most out of your seminar

From our experience, the most effective seminars are those with the most interaction among participants. And naturally, interaction is easiest among groups of people who know each other. So while we are very happy to have individual particpants, we encourage organisations to send groups of participants where possible.

Customised courses
We can arrange courses to meet your specified needs. Customised courses can be held at Parliament House or at your office. We can also schedule additional seminars on demand.

For further information on customised courses, contact the Seminar Co-ordinator on 6277 3072.


New paid parking arrangements are now in effect in the underground public carpark. Under the new arrangements, parking is free for the first two hours on weekdays. Paid parking machines are prominently located at the southern end of the carpark, close to the main entrance.

Cancellation policy

The seminar fee will be waived only if a cancellation is notified in writing (or by email) five or more working days prior to the seminar. If a participant is unable to attend, a substitute from the same organisation may attend.

Seminar Cancellation

Due to unforeseen circumstances a seminar may need to be cancelled. In this event, participants will be advised of this cancellation at least five working days in advance and no fee will be charged.

For bookings and registration please contact the seminar coordinator:

Phone (02) 6277 3072 or (02) 6277 3074

* Prices as at 18 November 2015