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19 Feb, 2019

Challenges to Implementing a Wellbeing Strategy – A National Perspective

2019-02-19T12:37:46+00:00February 19th, 2019|News|Comments Off on Challenges to Implementing a Wellbeing Strategy – A National Perspective

The World Health Organization states that a healthy workplace is one in which workers and managers collaborate to use a continual improvement process to protect and promote the health, safety and well-being of workers and the sustainability of the workplace by considering the following:

  • Physical work environment,
  • Psychosocial work environment,
  • Personal health resources in the workplace, and
  • Participation of the wider community.

Under the auspices of Healthy Ireland, the Department of Health and the Department of Business Enterprise and Innovation are leading on the development of a National Healthy Workplace Framework for public and private organisations in Ireland. This is in response to the growing evidence that workplaces have a key role in promoting health and wellbeing among employees which is critical for the welfare of workers, levels of productivity and economic growth.

A consultation report, literature review and a review of tools and resources to support implementation have been completed. The Post Graduate Workplace Wellness Course is now in its second year in NUIG and a report to inform the development of an awards programme for healthy workplaces was completed in 2018. There are many learnings from the process to date and we will reflect on the evidence available from the research to identify the prerequisites for successful implementation in the workplace.

By Biddy O'Neill

Biddy O'Neill, Department of Health

Biddy is National Project Lead in the Health and Wellbeing Programme Department of Health. She is leading on the development of the National Healthy Workplace Framework in partnership with the Department of Business Enterprise and Innovation under the auspices of Healthy Ireland.Biddy has worked in Health Promotion for over twenty years at both strategic and operational levels within the Health Service and the Department of Health. She has extensive experience in partnership working, policy and programme development and implementation. She is a keen advocate for personal development including reflective practice and believes that facilitative leadership is key to changing workplace culture to promote health and wellbeing.She was appointed as an Assistant National Director in the Health and Wellbeing Division Health Service Executive in 2013 and seconded to the Department of Health in 2015. She has a background in Nursing and Addiction Counselling and holds a Higher Diploma in Adult Education and MA in Health Promotion

Biddy O'Neill will speak at PAI's upcoming Breakfast Briefing: Your Workplace Environment - A Sustainable Approach to Corporate Wellbeing on 27 March.

Click here for more information on this event

8 Feb, 2019

Construction Procurement Masterclass: Getting it Right- Evaluating Tenders, Debrief Letters and Awarding Contracts Report

2019-02-11T09:54:12+00:00February 8th, 2019|News|0 Comments

Breakfast Briefing: Construction Procurement Masterclass

On Friday 8 February 2019, Public Affairs Ireland and Quigg Golden hosted a Procurement breakfast briefing at PAI’s premises on Mountjoy Square. William Brown of Quigg Golden led this Construction Procurement Masterclass which focussed on Evaluating Tenders, Debrief Letters and Awarding Contracts. PAI were delighted to work with Quigg Golden who are leading specialists in Construction Law and Procurement. Delegates from organisations such as the Department of Justice and Equality and the Higher Education Authority arrived early for this Breakfast Briefing, starting the day off with coffee and pastries before William Brown began the masterclass.

The two main focuses of the masterclass were centered on Evaluation and Debriefing. The talk provided delegates with practical information, clear examples and illustrative case studies. Before delving into the more intricate details of the often-challenging Tender Evaluation Process, William first provided an overview of the core principles that must be taken into consideration throughout the evaluation process. The characteristics of a fair tender process are based on the TFEU (Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union).

They include:

  • Transparency
  • Non-Discrimination
  • Equal Treatment
  • Proportionality
  • Mutual Recognition

Taking these points into consideration William Brown placed an emphasis on commencing the evaluation process by clearly setting out the award criteria and scoring rubric. By setting out the award criteria this ensures that the expected standards of the evaluation process will be met. One particular point that William conveyed effectively was the importance of note-taking within the tender process. Note-taking can sometimes be disregarded in this process, yet William highlighted effectively the necessity of it for a successful evaluation.

When carrying out the evaluation process it is always necessary to consider this process from a legal standpoint. While William made it clear that the courts do allow for a margin of appreciation there are still set regulations that all procurement professionals should keep in mind as they carry out the evaluation process:

  • Derived Treaty Principles
  • Confidentiality
  • Conflicts of Interest
  • Informing Tenderers
  • Verify Information Provided


Once legal considerations have been taken into account, tenderers can focus on the four key stages of the evaluation process which include: selecting the panel, individual marking, group moderation and drafting. While all of these stages are key to the evaluation process, William focused principally on the moderation stage, highlighting its value in a successful tender process. The moderation process reflects that under TFEU equal treatment must always be a priority. The role of the moderator is a vital one for the procurement process. Moderators are entrusted with the responsibility to oversee the procurement process with duties including chairing meetings, applying procurement rules and reviewing assessment criteria. Considering that the courts are slow to intervene in these cases, the contribution of the moderator is key to the process. Alongside moderation the ability for the award criteria to be understood by the REWIND T is highly important. Rewind T stands for reasonably well informed and normally diligent tenderer. The concept of Rewind T is used in the courts to decipher tender documents, as well as assessment criteria and scoring indicators to ensure transparency.

Debrief Letters:

The second half of this talk focused on what comes after the evaluation period; the Debrief Letter. Once the evaluation process has been followed through and you have a score and reasons why that scored has been granted it is highly important to write the debrief letter for that evaluation process.

Debrief letter requirements include:

  • A state decision must be reached
  • There must be a state standstill period
  • Characteristics and relative advantages must be given

A debrief letter must be clearly outline the reasons behind the award criteria; the information provided should be robust and detailed. The reasons outlined need to be tailored to the specific procurement process and facts/examples must be provided. Lastly William encouraged delegates to organise Debrief Letter meetings and to view these meetings in a positive way, they should be employed as a tool for successful procurement processes.

This breakfast briefing concluded with an open forum for Q&A with delegates in which many interesting and insightful points were raised. This masterclass provided delegates with a close examination of the evaluation process, debrief letters and award criteria, providing them with guidance and useful tips and tricks to apply within their roles.

Public Affairs Ireland also host a range of other Procurement events which include our Eight Day Certificate in Public Procurement (commences 2 April)and our Two Day Overview of Procurement Essentials. (13 & 14 March)

31 Jan, 2019

February Events at Public Affairs Ireland

2019-02-04T10:25:10+00:00January 31st, 2019|News|0 Comments

Here at Public Affairs Ireland January 2019 has been a busy and productive start to the year.  We have welcomed back delegates to our premises at Mountjoy Square for a variety of different training courses such as One-to-One interview coaching sessions, an 8-day Certificate in Public Procurement and the month was rounded off successfully with our Annual HR Conference on Thursday 31 January. This February we have scheduled even more seminars and courses for your learning and development needs. Read on to find out more about what’s happening this February at PAI.

Construction Procurement Masterclass- Getting it Right- Evaluating Tenders, Debrief Letters and Awarding Contracts

On Friday 8 February PAI will run a Procurement Breakfast Briefing with Quigg Golden. This seminar will be led by William Brown who will provide attendees with practical hints and tips on how contracting authorities should approach tender evaluations to ensure that they are efficient and robust. This event will take place from 9:00am-11:00am at PAI, with coffee and pastries on arrival, concluding with the opportunity for Q& A.

Want to know more?

Here’s a snippet of William Brown’s blog piece …

The “REWIND T” Test … in about 300 words

REWIND T stands for the “reasonably well informed and normally diligent tenderer”.  This is how the courts will interpret tender documents, specifically the assessment criteria and scoring indicators set out within those documents.  It is a really useful acronym to remember if you are involved in public procurement… Read More

For more information about our Construction Procurement Masterclass: Click Here


Interview Skills at PAI

The new year is the ideal time to make a change and advance in your career. If you have a public sector interview coming up, Public Affairs Ireland can provide you with training to help you progress on your professional path. We host One-to-One Interview Sessions, with Tina Kinirons, an experienced business psychologist. Tina Kinirons will work with you independently, providing guidance on both the application and interview processes. If you are on the other side of the table we also run Interview Skills for Interview Panel Members.

Looking for some tips now?

Read Tina’s blog piece:  Interview Tips for Civil Service and Public Sector Interviews

Interview Training Dates:

14 February: Interview Skills for Interview Panel Members: Click Here

For further information on Interview training dates, please visit our website by Clicking Here 


Writing Skills at PAI

For many professionals writing is a key workplace skill. Our course leader Sarah Marriott, a highly experienced trainer and former journalist leads a variety of writing skills seminars, providing you with the tools you need to improve your writing. No matter what organisation you belong to, having these soft skills as part of your credentials will be extremely beneficial.

As Sarah Marriott, our course leader describes: "Transferable skills, such as being able to communicate effectively with colleagues and customers, are essential in today's workplace"

Take a look at our upcoming writing skills courses

Business Writing


Writing for the Web

Leadership Courses

It is important that those within a leadership role continue to develop their skills and rethink the effectiveness of their leadership style. Formal leadership training allows leaders to examine how they manage their team. In February, PAI will run two different courses which allow leaders to grow within their roles. We will run a Change Management course, which provides delegates with guidance and information on how to handle a transition period successfully for the benefit of their team and organisation. Our Certificate in HR Management is an essential course for HR managers, equipping attendees with knowledge of best HR practices.

Legislative Courses

Public Affairs Ireland offer a number of legislative courses and seminars throughout the year, enabling people in regulatory positions to stay updated and informed to successfully carry out their roles. This month our legislative courses will include our Certificate in Corporate Governance and also our course in Policy Development, Legislative Drafting and Delivery.

What did our past attendees think?

Corporate Governance:

Fantastic, a must do for people working in Corporate GovernanceSharon, Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government, September 2018

Policy Development, Legislative Drafting and Delivery:

Interesting and Informative Annette, Health and Safety Authority, April 2017


Do you want to keep updated on our upcoming training?

Sign up to our mailing list today to stay informed: Click Here to Sign Up today


25 Jan, 2019

The “REWIND T” Test … in about 300 words

2019-01-28T09:57:22+00:00January 25th, 2019|News|0 Comments

William Brown

REWIND T stands for the “reasonably well informed and normally diligent tenderer”.  This is how the courts will interpret tender documents, specifically the assessment criteria and scoring indicators set out within those documents.  It is a really useful acronym to remember if you are involved in public procurement.

The test comes from the European Court of Justice case of SIAC Construction v Mayo County Council (2001).  I will not bore you with the details – but in essence – the REWIND T test is all about ensuring transparency.  Tenderers need to know exactly what they are being asked and how they will ultimately be scored.

To apply the REWIND T test, go get a cup of coffee, sit down at your desk, and put yourself into the shoes of the REWIND T.  How would it read your assessment criteria?  How would it answer them?  Alternatively, give your tender documents to a colleague who is not involved in the competition and get them to answer these questions.

By periodically “zooming out” like this, any ambiguities in your documents will quickly become apparent, allowing them to be resolved.  You will then end up with a set of procurement documents that are objectively clear and easy to mark in a fair and transparent way.

For a recent example of the courts application of the REWIND T test, have a look at Word Perfect v Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (No. 3) [2018].  This case looked at a number of issues regarding manifest errors during a tender evaluation.  One issue concerned the meaning of the word “narrative”.    One tenderer interpreted this as meaning “charts and graphs”.  Another thought it meant “written words”.  What do you think the REWIND T would say?  Have a look at the judgement to find out!


 This blog was written by William Brown, a Senior Associate at Quigg Golden.  William writes a regular blog that focuses on explaining construction and procurement law concepts… in about 300 words.  Follow him on LinkedIn to read more.


William Brown will led a seminar at PAI on Friday 8 February: Construction Procurement Masterclass- Getting it Right- Evaluating Tenders, Debrief Letters and Awarding Contracts. For more information, or to book: click here 

15 Jan, 2019

2018 Deloitte Human Capital Trends Impacting the Public Sector

2019-01-15T13:19:53+00:00January 15th, 2019|News|0 Comments

Alison McIntyre

The workforce, the workplace and the technologies used in Irish organisations are changing rapidly.  There is an increased focus on relationships with workers, customers and communities as businesses evolve into social enterprises. This article complements the Deloitte 2018 Global Human Capital Trends Report, which surveyed over 11,000 businesses and highlights the data results from three trends that are of particular importance to Irish public sector organisations.

People data

People data came in as the top trend for the Irish public sector.  Advances in technology have created opportunities unimaginable only a few years ago and today’s tools track many aspects of the employee experience and provide insights that can assist in strategic and tactical business decisions.  The arrival of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) early in 2018 has influenced Irish citizens to become increasingly mindful about their personal data being requested, retained and used for the right reasons.  Public sector organisations can take action by involving both IT and HR stakeholders to develop a comprehensive people strategy and to ultimately respond appropriately by handling data in a respectful and transparent manner.

The symphonic C-Suite

As the business environment becomes more competitive and digital disruption continues, organisations have become more team-centric, networked and agile.  Rather than behave as independent C-level functional experts, the C-suites must now operate as a team.  This approach – “the symphonic C-Suite” would enable leaders to understand the many impacts that external forces have not just on their own functions but on the wider organisation.  At a time of increased digital disruption and emerging multi-faceted challenges, there needs to be even greater levels of collaboration in public sector leadership teams to facilitate the agility, coordination, and cross-functional project environment to respond effectively to these complexities.

From careers to experiences

The days of having a job for life with set roles and responsibilities are fading - fast. Rapid advancements in technologies and team-centred business models are challenging organisations to create new career models and experiences for their employees.  This is about creating true experiences beyond the traditional career path.  Companies leading in this space are finding ways for employees to learn from others as well as providing learning programmes and on the job trainings.  In Ireland, there is room for public sector organisations to explore new career models and understanding future skills requirements will be critical when planning attractive experience-oriented career offerings for top talent.

It is evident that top trends impacting the Irish public sector are of a social topic.  Public sector organisations can take action now and look to realign the way they work to match the needs of employees and society.

Alison McIntyre

Alison McIntyre is a Senior Consultant with Deloitte’s Human Capital Management team, specifically aligned to the Organisational Transformation & Talent service area.  Alison has over 4 years’ experience with the firm and began her career as a business technology analyst supporting Federal Health clients in Washington, D.C.  Alison moved to Dublin last May and is currently leading a change program for a global finance transformation program.

Alison McIntyre will further discuss this topic at PAI's Annual HR Conference, taking place on Thursday 31 January at the Radisson Blu Royal Hotel, Dublin 8.

Click here for more information, or to reserve a place at the conference.

Deloitte are the key sponsors of this conference:


14 Jan, 2019

Proposed Changes to Civil Service Disciplinary Code, following a Regulatory Impact Analysis (RIA)

2019-01-14T14:31:13+00:00January 14th, 2019|News|0 Comments

Tom Ferris

Civil servants are soon to be given greater powers when new legislation, currently being considered by our legislators, is enacted. The legislation is the Civil Service Regulation (Amendment) Bill 2018  https://hr.per.gov.ie/wp-content/uploads/Draft-General-Scheme-of-the-Bill-2018.pdf  . As a prelude to the Bill, a Regulatory Impact Analysis (RIA) was produced by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform. The RIA is published on the Department’s website https://hr.per.gov.ie/wp-content/uploads/Regulatory-Impact-Analysis-2018.pdf which makes for interesting reading.

Why the new legislation?

Mr. Pascal Donohue, T.D., Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, explained why the new legislation is being proposed, in a reply to a Dáil Question on 4 December 2018. He said that – “The primary purpose of the Civil Service Regulation (Amendment) Bill 2018 is to allow management decisions around serious disciplinary sanctions, up to and including dismissal, to be devolved in the civil service. The changes in the Act will enable the civil service to improve and modernise disciplinary and dismissal processes and bring them in line with good practice elsewhere.” https://www.oireachtas.ie/en/debates/question/2018-12-04/179/#pq-answers-179

The new legislation will amend the Civil Service Regulation Acts 1956-2005 and the Public Service Management Act 1997. Box 1 summarises the key objectives of the new legislation. These changes will contribute to help a commitment in the Civil Service Renewal Plan to “strengthen the disciplinary code to enable managers to take more effective and decisive action as required to tackle underperformance, including exits.” Furthermore, one of the strategic priorities of the People Strategy for the Civil Service 2017-2020 is to “Build, Support and Value Managers as People Developers”. The key provisions of the proposed legislative amendments will contribute to the achievement of this priority by empowering managers to manage their staff effectively rather than having all serious sanctions determined at the very top of an organisation.

Box 1: Key objectives of Civil Service Regulation (Amendment) Bill 2018

§  Give full effect to the legislative intent behind the Public Service Management Act 1997, i.e. to devolve responsibility for disciplinary matters below the level of Secretary General/Head of Scheduled Office.

§  Allow for the function of dismissal to be assigned below the head of the organisation.

§  Enable the introduction of a binding internal appeal for civil servants.

§  Facilitate a two-stage appeals process for the most serious disciplinary sanctions, i.e. an internal and external appeal.

§  Reduce delays related to the current structure of disciplinary and appeals processes.

§  Bring the civil service disciplinary and appeals process in line with external practice.

§  Empower civil service managers to manage their staff effectively by providing access to a fuller range of discipline management tools.

§  Allow for more flexibility in the management and reform of the civil service disciplinary process and related appeals process.


Why do a Regulatory Impact Analysis?

In April 2018, the Government approved the drafting of the Civil Service Regulation (Amendment) Bill 2018.  The Regulatory Impact Analysis (RIA) examined how best to implement the Government decision. Before examining the specific features of this RIA, it is useful to recall why RIAs are undertaken - see Box 2.

Box 2: What is the point of doing Regulatory Impact Analysis?


Regulatory Impact Analyses are needed to underpin good laws and regulations that help to protect citizens' rights, promote a safer society and ensure more confidence in goods and services. Before laws and regulations are drafted there is need to establish what the best course of action is.  This requires an assessment of alternative solutions; measuring the costs and benefits of different options, undertaking consultation with interested parties and recommending a "best option". Taken together, these elements provide a best practice approach to regulation.


Three options were considered in relation to the implementation of the legislation:-

  1. Do nothing.
  2. Consolidate, restate and amend legislation: Create a new consolidated Act to replace the Civil Service Regulation Acts 1956 – 2005 and the Public Service Management Act 1997 to modernise and simplify the current legislative framework.
  3. Amend existing legislation: an Act to amend the Civil Service Regulation Acts 1956 – 2005 and the Public Service Management Act 1997 which will change the specific sections necessary to effect the Government Decision, revise some of the outdated provisions and provide for related matters.

Box 3 summarises the costs and benefits of the three options

Following analysis, the RIA concluded that the preferred option was Option 3. This option was considered best placed to achieve the policy objectives within the desired timeframe. Amending the existing legislation would allow for the Government’s  decision, to devolve disciplinary powers within the Civil Service, to be fully realised within the shortest timeframe and with less resources than a full consolidation, restatement and amendment of the legislation would demand.

Was there consultation?

A key requirement of Regulatory Impact Analysis is consultation. Considerable consultation and analysis was undertaken for this RIA. ByrneWallace, a firm of solicitors specialising in Employment Law, was appointed to review the Civil Service Disciplinary Code, relevant legislation and policies from a legal point of view. A further strand of analysis of the previous Code took the form of a Business Process Reengineering review (BPR), carried out by Clarion Consultants. Existing documentation was analysed and a number of interviews and workshops were conducted:

  • Structured interviews: Chief Medical Officer; Chair of Appeals Board and a representative of LGMA, and
  • Workshops: HR Managers workshop (one); Line Managers workshops (three) and a Union Representative workshop.

The Office of the Attorney General was consulted in relation to proposals contained in the draft General Scheme. A workshop was held with a working group of HR Managers to discuss the practicalities of further amending the disciplinary decision-making and appeals process. In addition, consultation was carried out with Departments and Offices as to how the proposed new definition of Appropriate Authority should apply to them.

A draft RIA was then circulated to all HR Managers and Staff. Concerns were raised by the different stakeholders. And the RIA does point out  that – “We intend to continue consultations with the staff side to address their concerns. As the legislation is enabling in the first instance, any practical changes in relation to who carries out disciplinary actions, up to and including dismissal, will be dealt with in consultation with the staff side through amendment to the Disciplinary Code”. https://hr.per.gov.ie/wp-content/uploads/Regulatory-Impact-Analysis-2018.pdf


The proposed legislation should allow for the streamlining and strengthening of the disciplinary and associated appeals process, in the Civil Service, through the devolution of authority for disciplinary decision making and appeals further down the line. Moreover, the reform should help to address the elaborate structure that exists at present. Finally, the wide-ranging consultation and analysis undertaken for these Regulatory Impact Analysis augers well for legislative change that will produce positive and workable results.

Tom Ferris 

Tom Ferris is a Consultant Economist specialising in Better Regulation. He lectures on a number of PAI courses and contributes blogs regularly to PAI.

He was formerly the Senior Economist at the Department of Transport.



On Friday 22 March Tom Ferris will lead an update seminar on Regulatory Impact Assessments. Click here for more information, or to reserve your place.

11 Jan, 2019

Connecting culture, strategy & people, to bring both Public Sector performance and Talent Management to next-level

2019-01-11T11:22:57+00:00January 11th, 2019|News|0 Comments

Dave A.Barry

Within the Public Sector, is there validating-data, clarity and alignment as to sub-sector organizational priorities for 2019 e.g.

  • Talent attraction and development?
  • High-engagement culture, operational excellence and/or people-centric leadership?
  • Something else?

If not, there must be. Amid War for Talent 2.0, competition is rife, everybody wants everything yesterday, plus data to go along with that. For leadership and HR, not having clarity and alignment as to this year’s organizational priorities can often feel overwhelming, particularly when the not-just-millennials desired ‘connection’ is also thrown into the mix. Theoretically, connection is defined as: a relationship in which a person or thing is linked or associated with something else…the action of linking one thing with another. In today’s world, this has both individual purpose and big-picture considerations for the Public Sector.

Before we start connecting anything in 2019 though, how clearly-defined are each of the following from an overall public service perspective:

  • Culture i.e. HOW we operate?
  • Strategy i.e. WHAT’s our plan?
  • People i.e. WHO we value?

At the Public Affairs Ireland Annual HR Conference in Dublin on January 31st, drawing on both my HR and other experience from Eli Lilly, Trend Micro etc., plus recent Public Sector data-points too, I will speak about the defining and connecting of culture, strategy & people to bring both Public Sector performance and Talent Management to next-level via:

  • Three purposeful focuses
  • One productive plan
  • One engaging story

This is Connection. On January 31st, I look forward to sharing further detailed thoughts with you regarding the above, and to answering some of your most-pertinent questions.

Please feel free to share this post. I can be followed on @daveabarry and @ConexionIE.

Dave A. Barry, January 2019

Dave A Barry is a graduate of UCC in HR and French & Economics. Dave joined Eli Lilly in February1999 for thirteen years
across HR, Lean Six Sigma/Organization Development and Finance at three Cork locations with close US and European
links. Keen to lead in other sectors, Dave left Lilly in October 2011 and after an interim HR Self-Service project role with
Telefonica in Dublin, he joined global cybersecurity organization Trend Micro in Cork in March 2013 as Head of HR –
Ireland and interim Southern Europe. Dave moved on from Trend in October 2016 to actively-pursue management
consulting opportunities specifically-focused on these areas, initially as Director Talent & Transformation at Fastnet
– The Talent Group prior to establishing Conexion.ie in October 2018.

Dave A Barry will speak at PAI's Annual HR Conference. For more information, about this conference or to book,click here 


2 Jan, 2019

PAI’s Annual HR Conference

2019-01-09T12:30:32+00:00January 2nd, 2019|News|0 Comments

"Talent management deserves as much focus as financial capital management in corporations"   (Jack Welsh) former CEO, General Electric.

Attracting, developing and retaining talent continues to be the biggest challenge and theme in HR. Because public sector organisations cannot use financial rewards to attract and retain talent many HR managers and leaders struggle to understand how they can develop inclusive talent management strategies.

Our forthcoming annual HR conference 2019 will provide you with invaluable data and insights to help you attract, develop and retain talent – and a rich opportunity for learning through our expert speakers and panel discussions. We look forward to seeing you on 31st January!

Sile O'Donnell will chair PAI's annual HR Conference which will take place on Thursday 31st January at the Radisson Blu Royal Hotel.

For more information on this conference, click here 

 Sile O’Donnell, Conference Chair

Sile O’Donnell  MBS(HRM) FCIPD is a HR consultant, Training Associate with PAI and an Adjunct Assistant Professor in Trinity College Dublin. She has over 26 years experience of designing and delivering best practice HR programmes and policies across the public sector. She is currently working with a number of large public sector organisations in designing and implementing talent management strategies with a particular focus on workforce planning, recruitment, wellbeing, equality and diversity. She has over 25 years’ experience of designing and implementing best practice HRM, change management and training strategies, initiatives and policies in the public sector. She was Director of HR in the Eastern Regional Health Authority for five years and an Assistant National Director



14 Dec, 2018

PAI 2018 Review and Upcoming 2019 Events

2018-12-19T14:43:33+00:00December 14th, 2018|News|0 Comments

Throughout 2018, Public Affairs Ireland have a had a successful year delivering our specialised training courses to the public sector. Here at PAI, with the help of our expert speakers and trainers, we have been hosting courses, seminars, update series and conferences to reflect the needs and interests of public sector professionals. Our courses always align with current legislative changes and developments to ensure that our clients receive up to date information. We strive to place the professional requirements of our delegates first, matching our training to their learning needs.

2018 Highlights

2018 has been an excellent year for Public Affairs Ireland, we were delighted to receive The Public Sector Times Excellence in Business Award 2018 for Excellence in Training Service for the second year in a row. We have hosted a number of different events, responding to legislative changes such as GDPR and topical issues including the Housing Crisis while also running our annual HR and Public Procurement Conferences. We also successfully launched a new series of CPD Compliance Conferences, aimed at professionals in the public sector and legal professions to provide mandatory CPD hours on subjects matters of direct relevance to these positions. All of our CPD certified training is available as an in-house option and we have experienced a great increase in popularity in this style of training. For more information, see our page on In-House Training.

2019 Schedule and Highlights  

Following on from 2018’s accomplishments, PAI have planned another year of training in response to current demands, including some new courses.  Our courses will be in the following subject areas: Human Resources, Leadership and Management, Legal, Regulatory and Public Policy, Personal and Interpersonal Effectiveness and, Public Financial Management and Procurement. Collectively our events allow public sector professionals from a variety of different positions and organisations to attend the training they require to continue their life long learning and progress within their careers.

Some of the events which Public Affairs Ireland have organised for 2019 include:


On Thursday 31 January Public Affairs Ireland will host their Annual HR Conference. This conference is always an excellent opportunity for HR professionals to receive updates on topical HR issues and developments. This event will also provide attendees with an excellent platform for networking with other industry professionals.

To find out more about our Annual HR Conference, you can visit our dedicated webspace:

PAI’s Annual HR Conference


Seminars are the ideal style of training for an overview and introduction to a subject. PAI run a variety of seminars throughout the year and they are a perfect for those that wish to learn practical workplace methods and strengthen their skills. The seminars that we host focus not only on receiving new information but also provide guidance on workplace performance and wellbeing.

Some of our most popular seminars that we will be running in 2019 include:

Resilience and Well-Being Springboard: Wednesday 16 January

Workplace wellness is being recognised as something that is increasingly important for both the employee and the organisation as a whole. This course will provide attendees with guidance on how to become resilient to the everyday stresses and strains of the workplace. It will also discuss how you can personally contribute to creating a positive workplace culture within your own organisation. This course will be a great kick start to 2019, ensuring a positive and productive beginning.

For more information, or to book, click here: Resilience and Well-Being Springboard

Construction Procurement Masterclass- Getting it Right- Evaluating Tenders, Debrief Letters and Awarding Contracts: Friday 8 February  

Alongside our Annual Public Procurement Conferences, PAI regularly run procurement training. This breakfast briefing will be a practical information session focusing on evaluating tenders, drafting debrief letters and awarding contracts.

For more information, or to book, click here: Construction Procurement Masterclass

Writing for the Web: Friday 8 March

Do you have to write content online? More than likely you do! However, people read differently online, they scan for information and have shorter attention spans. As a result of this it has become highly important to be able to write for the web and online users. This seminar will give you the tips and tricks you need to make sure you can write content which will keep your readers attention, while quickly and clearly getting your organisation’s message across.

For more information, or to book, click here: Writing for the Web


As well as seminars, PAI also run a variety of courses. Our courses are designed for those that wish to gain skills that they can apply to their roles within their organisation. Courses allow delegates to increase their knowledge on a certain subject; this could be necessary for a new position or you may just want to strengthen your skill set. Some of the courses that PAI will host this year include:

Expenditure Management: 25 January, 1 & 8 February

Our three- day course in Expenditure Management is the perfect course for those that are tasked with handling financial procedures within the public sector. This practical based workshop will provide attendees with confidence to accurately complete core financial procedures that apply to the public sector.

For more information, or to book, click here:  Expenditure Management and Financial Management

Leadership: 30 January, 6 & 7 February

The role of a leader within the public sector is vital; leaders motivate staff and generate success for an organisation. Formal leadership training provides delegates with the opportunity to strengthen their managerial skills, while identifying their leadership style and qualities. It will enable leaders to discover their managerial strengths and also the areas they need to improve upon. This course is also excellent for anyone entering a new leadership role who wants to explore the qualities that make an excellent leader.

For more information, or to book, click here: Leadership

Freedom of Information Training: 24 & 25 January

As all government departments and offices must comply with the regulations of the Freedom of Information Act, it is highly important to both understand this Act and to know how to apply these regulations correctly. This course will provide an introduction to the main aspects of this legislation, providing attendees with informed knowledge which they can successfully apply within their roles.

For more information, or to book, click here: Freedom of Information


6 Dec, 2018

November Sectorial Review: Updates Series at PAI

2018-12-06T16:12:14+00:00December 6th, 2018|News|0 Comments

Public Affairs Ireland have an ethos of life long learning. The training that we provide focuses in particular on the needs of the public sector. It is highly important that public sector professionals keep informed on legislative changes. The constantly changing nature of legislation and regulations  is something which our clientele must follow while working in the public sector. To address this, Public Affairs Ireland host once-off sessions on legislative updates. PAI cover a range of different topics in their update series, ensuring that no matter what your position within the public sector or what area of legislation interests you, they will be a seminar that meets your needs. The two update seminars that took place at PAI this November were based on two particularly topical issues; data protection and digitization, and gender equality.

Update Series: Gender Equality in Ireland: A Progress Report on the Gender Pay Gap Information Bill 2017

On Friday 23rd of November, PAI hosted an update seminar on The Human Rights and Equality Commission (Gender Pay Gap Information) Bill 2017. This update seminar was led by Sharon Dillon-Lyons BL. Sharon discussed what the introduction of this Bill will mean for companies and organisations. The Bill will ensure that organisations of a certain size will be obliged to publish information on their male and female employees salaries. This bill is a positive step towards closing up the gender pay gap in Ireland, which currently exists at roughly 14%.

You read this Bill by clicking here 

Update Series: The Data Sharing and Governance Bill 2018

On Thursday 29th of November Dr Dennis Jennings and Dr Katherine O’Keefe led an update seminar on the Data Sharing and Governance Bill 2018. This bill has been introduced in order to allow for the sharing of data between public bodies. The speakers discussed the bill, detailing the main components while also examining and critiquing the possible consequences of this bill. With GDPR having come into effect in May 2018, public sector bodies must be more aware than ever of how they use the public's data and what regulations surround this.

If you would like to find out more on the subject matter you can do so by reading Dr Dennis Jennings articles on the subject:

The Data Sharing and Governance Bill

The Data Sharing and Governance Bill #2

You can keep posted on PAI's upcoming 2019 Update Seminars by joining our mailing list on our website.