Publication - FOI/EIR release

Scottish Government and external training spend: FOI release

Published: 7 Dec 2020

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

Published:
7 Dec 2020
Scottish Government and external training spend: FOI release
FOI reference: FOI/202000092556
Date received: 29 Sep 2020
Date responded: 27 Oct 2020
Information requested

You asked for:

1. External training spend in the previous 3 fiscal years (2017/18, 2018/19, 2019/20) in the Scottish Government, broken down by:

  • Amount spent through the Civil Service Learning contract and amount spent to deliver external training through other contracts
  • Under the Civil Service Learning Contract
  • Amount spent on online/digital delivery versus amount spent on in-person delivery
  • Amount of spend allocated for bespoke courses specifically developed for your needs and amount of spend allocated for ‘off-the-shelf’ training material

2. Breakdown of the 2019/20 external training spend through the CSL contract in the Scottish Government by course, including:

  • Total amount spent per course
  • Total number of learners per course
  • Training provider that delivered the course
  • Course delivery method – i.e. online/digital or in-person
  • Name of course
  • Subject area of course

3. External training budget for 2020/21 fiscal year in the Scottish Government, broken down by:

  • Budget to spend through the Civil Service Learning contract and budget to spend on the delivery of external training through other contracts

4. Any analysis undertaken on how your department’s training needs have shifted this year compared to previous years

For example, are you planning greater emphasis on Leadership & Management courses or training delivered through digital/online courses?

5. Total number of civil service employees working in the Scottish Government (please provide latest available data)

Response

Some of the information you have requested is available from https://www.gov.scot/publications/workforce-information/.

The Scottish Government learning operating model sees learning provided to colleagues through a number of routes, primarily: the UK Civil Service, the SG’s central L&D Team and learning teams within specific directorates. While we can therefore generally provide information for the UKCS and SG’s central L&D team it is more challenging for learning delivered locally as this information is not held or managed centrally. This response therefore details information held centrally by the Scottish Government Learning and Development function.

While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance the costs of locating, retrieving and providing the information requested would exceed the upper cost limit of £600. The reason for this is that to locate and retrieve that information we would need to conduct a search of all of the records of the Scottish Government. It may help if I explain that we file our information according to the subject matter. Under Section 12 of FOISA public authorities are not required to comply with a request for information if the authority estimates that the cost of complying would exceed the upper cost limit, which is currently set at £600 by Regulations made under section 12.

You may, however, wish to consider reducing the scope of your request in order that the costs can be brought below £600. For example, you could specify the subject matter(s) you are interested in or restrict your request to a specific business area of the Scottish Government, as this would allow us to limit the searches that would require to be conducted. You may also find it helpful to look at the Scottish Information Commissioner's 'Tips for requesting information under FOI and the EIRs' on his website at: http://www.itspublicknowledge.info/YourRights/Tipsforrequesters.aspx.

The contract with Civil Service Learning (CSL) includes access to the CSL digital platform for all SG users, and all digital products which are free at point of use to the user. Spend on products that are not free at point of use are paid locally by business units and are excluded from the response under section 12 (time and cost exceeded).

The Scottish Government are responding based on the CIPD definition of training: ‘Training is an instructor-led, content-based intervention designed to lead to skills or behaviour change’.

1. External training spend in the previous 3 fiscal years (2017/18, 2018/19, 2019/20) in the Scottish Government, broken down by:

Year - Scottish Government membership of CSL - Scottish Government training spend through other contracts
2017/18 - £73,194.64 - £92,589.20
2018/19 - £80,135.88 - £106,293.10
2019/20 - £79,877.93 - £47,291.36

2. Breakdown of the 2019/20 external training spend through the CSL contract in the Scottish Government by course, including:

As explained above, any SG spend on CSL products not free at point of use is paid locally by directorates and divisions, and is excluded under section 12. Hence the attached shows online/digital only. All products are delivered to SG by CSL. Breakdown is attached.

3. External training budget for 2020/21 fiscal year in the Scottish Government, broken down by:

The Scottish Government have not been invoiced and therefore have not spent any amount for CSL membership in 2020/21. The budget allocated to SG membership of CSL is £85,000. The budget allocated for the delivery of external training through other contracts is £100,000.

4. Any analysis undertaken on how your department’s training needs have shifted this year compared to previous years

Our learning and development focus remain based on Scottish Government wide Strategies and priorities. This year we have re-shaped both the content and delivery method of our in-house offering to address the many impacts of Covid-19 as well as the related capability needs arising from this. We have and will continue to evolve both the offering and our delivery methods in-line with changes in the external environment, the feedback we receive from participants and other sources of data we receive from the broader HR agenda.

5. Total number of civil service employees working in the Scottish Government (please provide latest available data)

Published directly-employed (Civil Service) staffing figures for the Core SG are in our publication here: https://www.gov.scot/publications/workforce-information/

About FOI
The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at http://www.gov.scot/foi-responses.

Contact

Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Email: ceu@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road
Edinburgh
EH1 3DG