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Graduate Development Program (GDP) & Graduate Leadership Program (GLP). UNECE HRMT Conference Budapest 5 – 7 September 2012. Background. Graduate Development Program (GDP) ABS employs between 80 and 170 graduates each year from over 2000 applications

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graduate development program gdp graduate leadership program glp

Graduate Development Program (GDP)&Graduate Leadership Program (GLP)


HRMT Conference

Budapest 5 – 7 September 2012


Graduate Development Program (GDP)

  • ABS employs between 80 and 170 graduates each year from over 2000 applications
  • In 2012 there were 144 ABS graduates, the largest single entry intake at any level
  • ABS has a great retention rate for graduates, 94% of the 2011 cohort (154/164)

The aims of the Graduate Development Program are to:

  • transition graduates into the workforce (ABS & APS)
  • rapidly build professional capacity and workplace capability
  • familiarise graduates with ABS structure and culture
  • enhance statistical capability
  • articulate graduate roles and responsibilities
gdp curriculum
GDP Curriculum

The curriculum is mandatory and all graduates undertake:

  • a range of ABS induction material (face to face & welcome videos)
  • compulsory e-learning modules
  • core business programs

Graduates also take on programs relevant to their area of employment

  • professional specialist programs

Three workshops are held to focus on leadership and management skills:

  • Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is used to explore

a range of ‘soft skills’ in two workshops

  • Workshop 3 is career planning, image and goal setting
successful completion of the gdp
Successful completion of the GDP
  • Satisfactory completion of probation (3 reports over 6 months)
  • Absence of performance management issues
  • Final review of Development & Performance Agreement (June)
  • Completion of the mandatory GDP components

Advancement Process

  • graduates are advanced to a higher pay and employment level following successful completion of the program and a separate performance review (October)
gdp evaluation outcomes
GDP Evaluation & Outcomes


  • 90% of graduates found the program a useful and important introduction to the ABS
  • Feedback on the quality and relevance of the curriculum training programs was very high (most around 80% – 90%)
  • 94% reported that supervisors contributed to their development


  • over 90% of graduands understand the business, the role of the ABS and its strategic goals
  • over 80% reported a good fit with the ABS and 70% that
  • the ABS was the right employer for them
  • 94% retention rate in 2011 (95% in 2010, 87% in 2009)

Graduate Leadership Program (GLP)

  • ABS People Plan vision is to maximise leadership and management capability, and to nurture high potentials
  • GLP was designed to identify and accelerate the development of the top 10% of the graduate intake
  • the program requires a significant level of support and commitment from senior ABS leaders

The aims of the Graduate Leadership Program are:

  • to provide these future leaders with opportunities to rapidly grow their careers within the ABS
  • expose them to a wide range of experiences across the business and use them to find solutions to real ABS issues
  • allow the ABS to respond to workforce challenges facing the wider APS and starting succession planning at entry level
  • to strategically position the ABS for future sustainability
graduate leadership program glp1
Graduate Leadership Program (GLP)
  • 19 graduates selected for the GLP following a competitive process

(covering letter, application, referee report, inductive reasoning test)

  • GLP conducted 29 August 2011 to 30 June 2012
  • First time trialled in the ABS, first program of its type across government
  • Needed to develop a GLP to meet a business need and align it with the goals of the ABS People & Capability Plans
features of the glp
Features of the GLP
  • Orientation Day
  • 3-day residential for leadership and personal development
  • 7 formal training programs
  • 2 rotations in corporate areas
  • 9-month major ABS Work Project, working in teams of 5
  • project assessment meetings
  • 3 coaching sessions with an Executive Coach
  • Assessed over 15 competencies leading to a formal qualification (Adv. Dip. of Govt.)
  • Senior Executive Service (SES) advocacy, support, participation & involvement
  • The GLP will be formally assessed by an independent reviewer in October 2012

Anecdotal evidence to date:

  • The quality of the presentations and papers on all four corporate projects was of a very high standard and the recommendations from each group will be progressed
  • The GLP group are noticeably more confident and self assured and they report that engagement with the SES over the program has been very beneficial
  • The rotations across the ABS were very valuable and

this widened their understanding across the ABS and also

contributed to them building strong internal networks