Business Acumen for the Public Sector

Business Acumen for the Public Sector



In-house Enquiry


This course is only available for in-house delivery. For more information please contact the Learning team on 02 8066 1900 or email [email protected] for a quote.

Course Overview


This course targets staff and managers in government organisations to build a deeper understanding of the business environment, its contributions, and the risks and role in the broader community. Introducing learners to the essential information necessary to understand what makes organisations succeed or fail, the course increases learners’ knowledge and awareness of the key financial, economic and operational principles that impact all organisations. The critical relationship between business operations and organisational wide performance is explored aligning key performance indicators to the organisation’s overarching goals and objectives.

Learning Outcomes


  • Understand how businesses operate.
  • Learn how to read business financial reports.
  • Recognise the way in which businesses develop and evolve strategy.
  • Apply techniques to enhance business efficiency and effectiveness.
  • Make informed decisions by assessing economic and market factors impacting the organisation.
  • Gain a sound understanding of business language, key concepts and jargon.
  • Understand the competencies necessary to build and sustain business growth.
  • Understand business and industry trends to evaluate commercial sustainability of business decisions.

NSW Public Sector Framework Capabilities


This course is targeted at Intermediate to Adept level. The following behaviours from the framework are covered:

Business Enablers: Finance

  • Understand that government service budgets are limited and must only be used for intended purposes.
  • Appreciate the importance of accuracy and completeness in estimating costs as well as calculating and recording financial data and transactions.
  • Be aware of financial delegation principles and processes.
  • Understand compliance obligations related to using resources and recording financial transactions.
  • Understand basic financial terminology, policies and processes, including the difference between recurrent and capital spending.
  • Take account of financial and budget implications, including value for money in planning decisions.
  • Display an awareness of financial risk and exposure and solutions to address these.

People Management: Optimise business outcomes

  • Keep team members informed of the reasons for decisions so that this may inform their work.
  • Ensure that team members make effective use of resources to maximise business outcomes.
  • Ensure team members understand business principles to achieve work tasks effectively.
  • Develop team/unit plans that take into account team capability and strengths.
  • Participate in wider organisational workforce planning to ensure the availability of capable resources.

Enquiries: For more information on our learning programs, please contact the IPAA NSW Learning Team on 02 8066 1900 or email [email protected].