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Seminars for public servants

2020 Seminar Program

We offer two introductory seminars. The About Parliament seminar provides a general overview of the Australian parliamentary system of government from both a House of Representatives and Senate perspective. The Senate at work seminar provides an introduction to the work of the Senate only. 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.

Please note that some content may be duplicate between About Parliament and The Senate at Work. It is recommended that officers new to the Public Service enrol in one of these introductory seminars before other seminars in the series.


About Parliament

9.30am–12.30pm

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.

Sample program

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

Dates: 8 April and 26 August (to register for the 26 August, please contact the Department of the House Representatives
Cost: $330 per person*

The Senate at work

9.30am–12.30pm

This seminar provides an introduction to the work of the Senate, detailing its role and functions, examines the legislative process, including how bills are progressed through both Houses of Parliament and provides an understanding of the powers and operation of the Senate committee system, including its accountability function through the estimates process. This seminar includes a tour of the Senate chamber. 

Sample program

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

Dates: 11 March and 27 October
Cost: $330 per person*

Consideration of bills by the parliamentary scrutiny committees

9.30am–12.30pm

This seminar is designed to provide participants with a detailed understanding of the technical scrutiny of bills undertaken by the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights and the Senate Scrutiny of Bills Committee. It is particularly aimed at those involved in developing primary legislation and accompanying explanatory materials. Topics include the scrutiny principles and laws by which the committees’ assess legislation, the committees’ expectations in relation to explanatory materials accompanying bills, the committees’ reporting processes, and the main sources of guidance and support for negotiating the passage of legislation through the legislative scrutiny process.

Sample program

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

Dates: 5 August
Cost: $330.00 per person*

Parliamentary scrutiny of delegated legislation

9.30am–12.30pm

This seminar is designed to provide participants with a detailed understanding of the tabling, consideration and disallowance of delegated legislation, and practical guidance for working with the Senate Regulations and Ordinances Committee and the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights. It is aimed at those involved in drafting delegated legislation and explanatory statements. Topics include the disallowance timetable, consequences of disallowance, and the expectations and work practices of the scrutiny committees, including case studies and examples of best practice.

Sample program 

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

Dates: 20 May 
Cost: $330.00 per person*

Getting bills through the Senate

9.30am–12.30pm

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.

Sample program

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: 30 June
Cost: $330.00 per person*

Senate committees and the estimates process

9.30am–12.30pm

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.

Sample program 

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

Dates: 19 February, 6 May and 23 September
Cost: $330.00 per person*

Engaging with the Senate - Senior Executive Service training

9.30am–12.00pm

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.

Sample program 

Target audience: Senior Executive Service officers

Dates: 18 February, 5 May and 22 September
Cost: $330.00 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.

Registrations

Each seminar is restricted to 30 participants and registrations close one week before the seminar date. An email confirming your placement will be sent once a completed registration form has been received. Please note the person making the booking is responsible for managing the booking, which includes notifying participants of seminar arrangements and settlement of accounts. If the person making the booking changes, please advise as soon as possible. 

Customised courses

We can arrange courses to meet your specified needs. Customised courses can be held at Parliament House or at your office and a reduced rate may be negotiated subject to the number of participants. For further information on customised courses, contact the Seminar Co-ordinator.

Parking

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.

Payment, cancellation and refund policy 

Tax invoices will be sent once registrations have closed, one week prior to the seminar date. The seminar fee will be waived only if a cancellation is notified in writing to senate.seminars@aph.gov.au, five or more working days prior to the seminar. If a participant is unable to attend, a substitute from the same organisation may attend but the course co-ordinator must be informed of this as early as possible. No refund will be given for non-attendance.

Due to unforeseen circumstances a seminar may be cancelled. In this event, participants will be advised of this cancellation and no fee will be charged.

For further information contact the Seminar Co-ordinator:

Email: senate.seminars@aph.gov.au
Phone (02) 6277 3072 or (02) 6277 3074

* Prices as at 21 November 2019

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