Training and Development


Census and Statistics Department (C&SD)


Induction courses, customized training courses, regular discussion and review sessions, on-the-job coaching and supervision are often used as tools to build up the subject matter knowledge, professional competence and management skills of new staff members. Such tools are also useful channels for conveying the organisational goals, values, standard of practices, regulations and requirements to new comers. Seeing the importance of these tools, the Census and Statistics Department (C&SD) has systematically integrated these elements in the design and planning of its induction and training programmes for new recruits. The department also appreciated that any training, in whatever forms and media, can be made much more effective if the trainees take ownership of their self-improvement. Based on this principle, the department introduced the Programme of Personal Pledges for New Statisticians.


Under the Programme, a specially designed proforma was completed by each newly recruited statistician for every six-month period in the first three years of his/her service. The proforma consisted of two parts, (A) and (B). Part (A) was a structured format guiding statisticians to make specific targets on four aspects viz. (1) reading and self-study programme; (2) participation in various kinds of activities, including departmental and professional activities; (3) improvement to be made in writing and presentational skills; and (4) contributions in preparing articles on professional subjects. In Part (B), the new statisticians were asked to make pledges on any other aspects not mentioned in Part (A), which might relate directly to their current work or to other more general aspects.

When preparing the pledges, the relevant immediate supervisors were required to provide guidance and advice to the new Statisticians. The completed individual pledges would be discussed among the officer concerned, his/her supervisor and the departmental training manager so as to collectively identify together the areas for improvement and aspiration for development of the officer. This can facilitate supervisors and the departmental training manger in drawing up development plans and training requirements for individual officers.


The Programme has provided a structured, systematic and comprehensive facility for the total personal development of new Statisticians. The personal pledges can serve as a guide book for new Statisticians to set up their personal goals for the initial stage of their career within the framework of the corporate mission and help them make progress towards their determined goals. The Programme can foster the spirit of self-improvement in the Government Statistical Service. Through the Programme, new Statisticians were inspired to make commitments for giving their best contributions to their work, leading to the well-being of the entire Service. Furthermore, through regular reviews and discussions of the personal pledges, the existing two-way communication channels between individual officers and supervisors were further strengthened.


Civil Service Training and Development Institute (CSTDI)


Continuous learning and development are the only way to stay competitive and respond effectively to the changing environment. In enhancing the learning culture within CSTDI, a number of measures have been introduced.


A review on the orientation and induction programme for the newly recruited professional staff (at Training Officer II and above or equivalent) was conducted in early 1999. The programme has been enhanced and formalized to last for 5 days in general during which new recruits would be briefed by the Director, CSTDI, other Directorate officers, Unit/Section Heads and staff in the Administration Section. The aim of the revised programme was to help the new recruits get acquainted with the vision, mission, culture, values, structure and operation of CSTDI as well as the Government. The programme has also helped them develop a sense of belonging to CSTDI and the Government, and to settle in their new jobs.

In support of the orientation and induction programme, a mentor system was introduced in early 1999. Under the system, experienced officers assumed the role of mentors and coached the recruitment rank officers in their daily work. The system was an informal one with the following objectives :

For learning, a learning club for the Chief Training Officers was formed and a learning group for the Training Officers I set up with the Assistant Director as the advisor. They regularly met and shared information and ideas on topical issues. Regular after-work experience sharing sessions were also held. Speakers included CSTDI trainers and their counterparts in the private sector.

360  feedback surveys have been conducted for Chief Training Officers and above. The main purpose of the exercise was to elicit multi-dimensional feedback for the staff concerned for developmental purpose. Feedback has been given by supervisors, peers, subordinates and "customers". The composite result would be given to the Training Officers concerned for developmental follow-up.


Learning is a way of life in CSTDI. Staff have become participative in all learning-related activities. Sharing and exchange of information among staff are now one of the main mechanisms for development.


Electrical & Mechanical Services Department (EMSD)


The operation of the Electrical and Mechanical Services Trading Fund (EMSTF) with effect from 1 August 1996 has brought significant change in the service culture in EMSD. The senior management knew that proper training and development programme played an essential role in equipping staff with new skills to cope with the challenges and facilitating managers to achieve their business goals and strategies. The management therefore decided to link training and development with the business strategies, and committed to meeting an ambitious target of providing an average of 3 training days per staff per year for over 4,000 staff.


The Business Development Management worked out a training plan that covered Management, Customer Service, ISO9000, Business Processing Improvement and Vocational Training including Multi-Skill Training. The training plan aimed to support the department to implement its blueprint to achieve various business initiatives.

1. Management Training

An intensive 10-day training course was designed to refresh staff's management skill and supply them with contemporary commercial management theories and skills. The target trainees included managers, middle managers and senior supervisors.

2. Experiential Training on Change Management & Team Building

Experiential training was provided to senior managers to enhance the spirit of teamwork, communication, innovation and leadership skills. This has set a momentum for enhancement as some division managers took the initiative to provide experiential training for their subordinates on specific areas.

3. Customer Service Training

The establishment of a customer service culture within EMSD was an imperative step in transforming the organisation from an "authority" into a "service-providing department". Several classes of Train-the-trainer course on customer service skills were conducted with the course content including revisiting the performance pledges, importance of quality service and keys to quality customer service in EMSD. The purpose of the course was to train up selected groups of EMSD staff for conducting in-house customer service debriefing sessions with a view to training EMSD staff to deliver high quality customer services.

4. ISO9000 Training

With the goal of acquiring an international recognition, EMSD has committed to obtaining the Quality Assurance (QA) certification for all trading fund divisions by November 1999. As part of the departmental QA systems development programme, staff were provided with training on ISO9000 awareness, auditing and other QA skills.

5. Business Process Improvement Facilitator Training

To facilitate the establishment of Business Process Improvement (BPI) teams, which was another initiative implemented following the launch of EMSTF, BPI Facilitators training courses were conducted.

6. Departmental Training Plan

With the aim to lay down managerial and technical skills training requirements for staff, the formulation of a Departmental Training Plan (DTP) commenced in April 1997. In the course of developing the course structure and syllabuses, all front-line managers were consulted and were invited to define their training requirements. The DTP was then approved by the senior management, the Trading Services Management Committee (TSMC).

After the implementation of the DTP for more than 9 months, a series of meetings were held with the front-line divisions to obtain feedback on the quality and quantity of the training courses conducted, evaluate the effectiveness of the training courses and invite suggestion on training matters.

In April 1999, a revised DTP that was both 'dynamic' and 'customer focused' was published. This document was 'dynamic' because both training courses organized by Training Sub-Division and the front-line divisions would be incorporated and shared by all divisions of EMSD through EMSD Local Area Network. The layout was structured to assist readers in their search for suitable training courses. The document covered vocational topics, management, safety, information technology, multi-skill and all other training activities, as well as information relevant to training matters such as training bookshelf, computerized training record system, training aids register and overseas training reports.

7. Multi-Skill Training

With the need to enhance the productivity, response time and competitiveness, multi-skilled workforce was considered a must for a service organisation. A working group chaired by a senior manager at Assistant Director level was set up to develop a systematic multi-skill training scheme for electrical, mechanical and air-conditioning artisans. In the development of the course contents, front-line managers were consulted to ensure the training would be relevant and meet the operational needs.

The multi-skill training scheme covered electrical, mechanical and air-conditioning engineering trades, each of which comprising several training modules that were designed to equip staff to acquire secondary knowledge and skills in addition to their principal trades. Each module lasted less than four days to minimize the inconvenience on the business operation. The training courses were conducted by department's experienced workshop instructors and technical staff who knew the real needs of the trainees.

8. Training Circulars

Training circulars were issued to facilitate front-line divisions to outsource suitable training courses to equip their staff. This empowered the front-line managers to plan their training programme to meet their business plan and day-to-day operation.


Before the implementation of the Training and Development plan, the average training statistics of EMSD was 1.3 training days per staff per year. By March 1999, the statistics reached 2.9 training days per staff per year that was very close to the departmental target of 3 training days per staff per year.

Staff and managers are now aware that learning is an indispensable part of their business to survive, grow and succeed in the commercial world. Front-line managers take initiative to organize training to form part of their business development. Staff are in general aware of the need to enhance their skill and are willing to invest personal time to study.


Housing Department (HD)


Faced with many external and internal challenges, HD felt the need of strengthening staff's capability for change as part of the HRM plan.


Strengthening the training structure and directing focus on human resource management

The starting point was to strengthen the department's training function by creating a human resource development structure staffed by a multi-discipline team of departmental staff, training managers seconded from the CSTDI and recruited from the private sector. The whole approach was shifted from a menu-driven course approach, with heavy concentration on training administration, to an internal customer-centred advisory and consultancy service. The HRD function was complete with vision and mission statements, operating principles and performance pledges, and annual departmental Training & Development (T&D) plan. Emphasis was also placed on developing managers' role in staff communication, coaching and performance enhancement. Staff were encouraged to take a more active role in self development and continuous training.

Developing strategy to meet business needs

A T&D strategy was established as part of the department's strategic HRM plan. Within the strategy, the emphasis was on strategic alignment of training to support business and operational changes, and on providing development & learning opportunities for staff in multi-prong ways. The T&D strategy was strategic in focus and emphasized leadership development for change, developing culture of service in staff, and providing strategic just-in-time training to meet business needs.

The department has reviewed the competencies of staff required in their changing roles and the preferred staff behaviours associated with HD's core values. The competency profiles for Directorate officers, Housing Class and Works professional grades have since been completed to provide common language for staff and direct their focus on key areas of performance effectiveness.

A new range of training programmes were planned for different levels of staff to develop staff's key competencies. Management/supervisory development, leadership for change and team building have been the emphasis of training to enable managers to be better leaders of change and to develop their role in team building, staff communication, coaching and performance enhancement.

The department had a belief that staff are in the forefront of determining the quality of HD's services. Training was therefore extended to junior staff and those who had direct interaction with customers.

Developing role of managers and extending training beyond the classroom

With the belief that continuous improvement was essential to building a highly competent and dynamic workforce, HD placed emphasis on a decentralized HRM role in managers. The department has produced a number of guides and tool kits for mangers to support them in this role.

HD has built an intranet-based information and learning system (T&D iNTRANET) as a resource for promoting learning beyond the classroom. The system provided user access to T&D information, on-line registration for selected in-house courses, and direct access to HD's learning resources for self-paced continuous development.


There were increasing staff interest in the T&D iNTRANET, and commitment of business units and involvement of mangers in staff training. The team building programme was being recognized to have contributed to the successful merger of the estate management and maintenance functions. The customer service training also contributed directly to developing a culture of service in the target staff groups and facilitated the successful launch of the estate service improvement activities.


Land Registry (LR)


To inculcate and sustain a customer-based and performance-focused service culture that was conducive to the Land Registry's pledge for quality customer service, cost-effectiveness, commitment and teamwork, a number of management initiatives have been introduced since its establishment as a Trading Fund department in 1993.

Substantial effort has been put into human resource development. Strategic approach on staff training and development which linked with departmental goals and objectives has been adopted. To ensure support to the new competency-based performance appraisal system for the Land Registration Officer (LRO) grade and to equip staff with skills to meet organisational changes, a survey on the Training Needs Analysis (TNA) has been conducted in early 1999 to collect views for the formulation of the 1999-2000 Training Plan.

To tie in with the latest organisational development of LR, a survey on re-prioritization of training needs has also been conducted in early 2000 before the formulation of the 2000-01 Training Plan. Its main objective was to re-allot the priorities of training needs of competencies which have not been addressed in the 1999-2000 Training Plan.


The TNA survey was conducted in January 1999. The methodology of the analysis was based on a full population and self-administered questionnaire. The target survey group included all the LROs. The target skills and abilities to be surveyed included twelve core competencies required for the LRO grade. A 'two-tier' assessment was adopted i.e. assessment from both supervisor and self perspectives. A 4-point rating scale was used to measure the following two main criteria -

The 'two-tier' assessment was also adopted for the Re-prioritization Survey. Training needs of each rank of officer were re-prioritized by all their supervisors. At the same time, officers of each rank were requested to re-prioritize their training needs from their own perspectives.


The TNA survey and Re-prioritization survey were completed in March 1999 and February 2000 respectively. Based on the result of the two surveys, the identified training needs were incorporated into the 1999-2000 Training Plan and priorities for training were worked out for the 2000-01 Training Plan. As a result, a strategic step in human resource management can be made by integrating functions of training and development with that of performance management.


Social Welfare Department (SWD)


Aiming at cultivating a self-learning culture among staff members, the Staff Training and Development Committee of the SWD endorsed in April 1998 the granting of training subsidy to its five Regions to encourage staff members to conduct training programmes on their own. The objectives of this new initiative were -


A fixed amount of subsidy was allocated to each Region of the department for them to organize training programmes on areas of social work practice or management issues. The Regions had the flexibility to organize training programmes which would best meet the training needs of their staff. While the Training Section of the department would provide support when necessary, the Region was expected to manage the whole training process, starting from planning to evaluation. Regions were required to submit the training programme to the Training Section before the training began and reported on its implementation after its completion.


The programmes organized met the specific needs of the staff and were highly regarded by them as reflected from their feedback. They enjoyed the organizing process and were more motivated to attend regional training programmes than the courses organized centrally by the Training Section. They have also developed a higher team spirit.


Television and Entertainment Licensing Authority (TELA)


The Film Section of TELA undertook a HRM Study in 1997 to develop strategies for its HR activities. The objective was to identify areas of its operations which could be improved to meet the rapidly changing business needs.


As part of the HRM study, the competencies required by the service providers in the Film Section of the department were examined. Through a series of interviews, focus group meetings, discussion with the public advisers and observation at the service counter, a list of competencies required for excellent service delivery was identified.

A comprehensive training programme was developed based on the competency requirements of the Section. Service attitude, service standard, building customer relations, uncovering customer needs, handling enquiries and complaints, closing a service call, telephone manner and some real life case studies especially developed for the service counter staff and Entertainment Standards Control Officers were the key ingredients of the programme. To demonstrate support to staff, senior managers also participated in the training sessions.

In addition to training programmes, a service guide book has been compiled based on participants' ideas collected during the training sessions.


As a result of the project, the service skills of the existing staff have been improved and the consistency of service standards maintained. The guide was not only useful and more systematic to handle various situations, but also served as a tool to train up new comers. Since clear instructions and service standard were communicated through the service guide, the staff knew exactly what performance standard was expected of them.

Encouraged by the training, staff of the Film Section proactively designed new enquiry forms and placed them at the service counter. These have facilitated the department to collect customers' opinions and take action promptly. The response time was shortened and number of complaints reduced.

A customer survey was conducted two months after the training. The general rating of the public advisers and the walk-in customers was "very satisfied" .


Urban Services Department (USD)

(A) Training Video


Since 1995, the Training School of the then USD has been organizing HRM training programmes for Municipal Services grades staff on or above MPS Pt 16 of the then USD and RSD. Following a review conducted in mid 1996, the department considered that staff below MPS Pt. 16 would also benefit from HRM training. Having regard to the fact that the target trainees were large in number and generally with a lower educational standard, and there would be operational constraint in releasing a large number of staff for classroom training at the same time, the Training School was tasked with the production of a custom-made training video to cascade to these staff the concepts of HRM and messages on discipline and personal conduct.


A Joint Working Group with representatives from the then USD, RSD and the Training School was formed to develop the story outlines, the script and the delivery approach of the video. Three HRM core-values including service culture, staff management and personal integrity and ten core principles, namely customer focus, courtesy, efficiency, quality, commitment, supervisory accountability, teamwork, responsiveness, conduct and discipline, were adopted and illustrated through nine selected stories. All actors were volunteers from venues where the stories took place.

The Training School also embarked on the training of some 300 facilitators who would conduct viewing sessions in venues either at or close to the staff's workplaces. As a supplement, a "Serving the Community" booklet which highlighted the key messages of the video was also produced for distribution to staff viewing the video.


The video has become an effective training tool to disseminate HRM concepts and messages on customer service to a large number of junior staff within a short time frame. The facilitators, on their own volition, have shown the video to other interested staff such as general grades staff and contract staff who were not the original target trainees.


(B) Production of Guide Books


Having regard to the nature and scope of the staff's duties and responsibilities, the then USD also decided to provide guidance in the form of a HRM Guide to Practice to the staff. Apart from corruption prevention, the Guide included topics such as integrity and personal conduct, avoidance of conflict of interest, punctuality, staff relations, etc.


The department has published two HRM Guides to Practice and a Pictorial Guide covering a variety of subjects by phases for different types of staff as follows -

(a) Phase I

A HRM Guide to Practice (No. 1) on Staff Relations and Welfare covering topics on departmental consultation and communication machinery, welfare assistance and facilities, counselling service, complaint procedures, recognition schemes and awards, etc. was issued in February 1997.

(b) Phase II

A HRM Guide to Practice (No. 2) on Personal Conduct and Ethics was issued in March 1997. It provided guidelines on corruption prevention, avoidance of conflict of interest, personal conduct and integrity as a civil servant, etc.

(c) Phase III

Since the MOD Scale staff constituted a large percentage of the establishment, the department considered it also important to deliver to them the messages of the HRM Guides as well. A Pictorial Guide on Personal Conduct and Ethics was also produced and issued in October 1998. This Pictorial Guide adopted a concise and simple language supplemented by interesting and colourful cartoons.

To enable wider circulation and to achieve a greater impact, the department also produced the Chinese version of the two HRM Guides which were issued in December 1997.


The HRM Guides and Pictorial Guide have become useful reference material in promoting staff relations and reminding staff of the requirements on conduct and discipline.


Human Resource Management Good Practices

Articulation of Vision, Mission and Values

Human Resource Management Plan

Manpower Planning

Performance Management

Training and Development

Service Quality Enhancement

Contact Persons for the Cases Listed in this Publication


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