Focus areas in competence development

The National Audit Office of Finland has overhauled its strategy and management system. The changes aim at a wider societal impact. Achieving this requires diverse competence development. Accordingly, competence development is one of the focus areas of the strategy period. Through competence development, we aim at obtaining abilities to do things in a new way and thereby create a new kind of organizational culture according to our strategy.

In the new organization, the personnel have been placed in four competence centres: Financial and Economic Governance, Digitalization, Methods, and Customer-Centric Approach. The competence centres are responsible for generating an overall view and picture of the development targets and needs of the competence areas falling within the scope of their responsibility, as well as for planning competence development.

The heads of the competence centres are responsible for the personnel’s competence development to promote the achievement of the impact targets confirmed in the strategy and to strengthen the personnel’s competence, careers, and ability to reform themselves. The competence centres offer the entire personnel services related to competence development, such as training and diverse learning events. The competence centres manage the personnel’s potential in a sustainable manner.

Our most important resource is the people we employ. We invest in continuous learning and in offering diverse learning opportunities. We draw up development plans to support our employees and the NAOF in achieving their targets and to develop the skills and expertise we will need in the future, such as customer insight, teamwork skills, project management skills, and ability to serve as a sparring partner. The focus in competence development continues to be on maintaining the NAOF’s audit expertise and ensuring that our auditors can obtain qualifications and maintain their professional degrees.

New skills to support project work

The NAOF is becoming a project organization, where all work is done in projects. The importance of following the common rules of play and utilizing each other’s strengths will be highlighted as collaboration increases. Accordingly, competence development will focus on teamwork and project management skills.

The development of the operating practices emphasizes on-the-job learning, feedback, learning from others, and cooperation. Learning from others and sharing of professional competence will also support competence development in the teamwork environment. Teams with diverse competences will enable a more efficient approach to broader subjects, as expertise will benefit the entire team. The team organization will also offer better opportunities to acquire management competence and experience.

The transfer from a hierarchical model to a project organization that gives responsibility requires the adoption of new ways of working. Dismantling hierarchies increases freedom at work and experimenting, which will open opportunities for the organization. Our competence development will focus on skills and competences that support and promote working in the new organization model. Strengthening self-management and shared management in teams promotes the transition to a genuinely learning, responsible and creative organization. Teamwork and the project organization also enable efficient utilization of the NAOF’s potential and the creation of a culture where the entire organization operates according to the shared goals and is able to manage continuous change.

A new model for the development of strategic competence

The development model of strategic competence will be revamped to conform to the NAOF’s new structure and strategy. Competence development will focus on supporting competence and development based on the strategy, and development investments will be targeted at strategically critical areas. Competence will be developed systematically over a long term, based on the strategy, and the personnel’s potential and development will be managed and supported in a sustainable manner.

Changes in the operating environment set requirements for the development of the National Audit Office. The changing operating environment and the requirements set by the audit sector will shift the focus of competence development towards broader and more versatile competence paths. The skills, abilities and competences that are critical to the NAOF’s operations will be identified based on the strategic competence development model to support broader and more versatile development paths. Individual development plans will be drawn up to contribute to the personnel’s motivation and wellbeing at work.

We will continue to focus on ensuring that we have good customer insight based on interaction. We will develop our cooperation and interaction with the actors and partners that are the most important for our operations. This means that we will improve our competence through networks and communities of experts. To be able to do this, we must have the ability to have a dialogue, to listen, and to hear.