LAHORE:  The federal government by amending promotion policy has withdrawn all kinds of exemptions from mandatory trainings.

The government has also amended promotion-related Administrative Staff Course (ACS) and Mid-Carreer Management Course.

The Establishment Division has issued a notification in this regard directing all schools of management in all the provinces, Gilgit-Baltistan and AJK to follow the amended policy.

The government withdrew all kinds of exemption from mandatory trainings on the basis of age with effect from 31st July, 2016. However, the exemptions extended already to professional and technical cadres will continue as the technocrats undertake their specialised trainings separately.

Earlier, the officers reaching age of 58 were exempted of such training. The reason behind such exemption was quoted as “senior officer with huge experience need no more training for promotion”. The policy makers might have thought that the officers reaching age of superannuation need no training and the government instead of wasting their time and its resources should focus on the young lot of officers.

Interestingly there is no training for Pakistan Administrative Service (PAS) formerly District Management Group (DMG) officers for promotion to grade 18. They have to complete about 20 weeks Mid-Career Management Course (MCMC) for grade 19, 27 weeks training for grade 20 and 30 weeks training for promotion to grade 21.

A secretary said that the duration should be like pyramid i.e maximum for initial level and minimum for higher level.

Under the umbrella of National School of Public Policy, training for federal officers at various levels is imparted at its integral and constituent units from initial induction of BPS 17 level to strategic policy level for Grade-20. Initial Common Training Programme (CTP) is conducted at Civil Services Academy (CSA), which is followed by a Special Training Programme (STP) at respective departments’ training institutions. Next is the Mid-Career Management Course (MCMC) for Grade-18 level, which is of tactical level and is held at National Institutes of Management (NIMs). Grade 19 officers are put through Senior Management Course (SMC), focusing primarily on the operational level, at Senior Management Wing of the National Management College (NMC). Finally, Grade-20 officers attend the strategic policy level course, National Management Course (NMC), at National Management Wing of the National Management College. This progressive training structure affords opportunity to trainees to gradually develop their capabilities from tactical to strategic levels.

An officer said that the PMS Officers from BS-18 to BS-19 undergo 10 weeks course Public Policy and Governance, from BS-17 to BS-18 they complete only 8 weeks training, ministerial staff from BS-16 for promotion to PMS/BS-17 have to do only 06 weeks training.

He said that there was no need of such training for senior officer crossing age of 58 years. He said that the need was to give more training to young officers working in grade 17 and above. The PCS officers in grade 17 undergo eight weeks of training while officers from BP 18 to BP 19 have to complete 10 weeks course. An NMC instructor also confirmed that the higher officers pay least attention to the courses offered for promotion while the junior officers were more interested.

When contacted a federal secretary said the mandatory trainings for senior positions was loss of time and money. There is no much difference in courses being taught on different levels like MCMC, SMC and NMC. He said that there is no concept of failure in the trainings so officers take them for granted. Once you join the course you pass it successfully, said that officer.