Certificate ceremony for Saba civil servants

A ceremony was held at the Government Administration Building on Tuesday, September 15 during which the certificates of the management development program PEP and the emergency response team BHV course were handed out to a large group of civil servants of the Public Entity Saba. During a short ceremony, Island Governor Jonathan Johnson and Island Secretary Tim Muller handed out the certificates to the participants of the BHV and Management Development.

Some of the recipients of the training certificates and the Managers Toolkit with at left, front HR Manager Miguela Gumbs and at right, front Island Secretary Tim Muller.
Photo GIS Saba

As an employer, the Public Entity Saba has a responsibility to provide a safe and healthy workplace. On Tuesday, some 25 civil servants from all levels within the organization received their First Responder (BHV) certification. During the BVH course, participants learned how to identify and resolve safety issues within buildings and at the job site, and how to act during emergency situations. For example, how to deal with a medical emergency at the workplace, how to extinguish a fire and how to carry out a building evacuation.

Last year managers and department heads participated in the extensive Management Development (PEP) trajectory that lasted almost a year. Participants learned, among other things, to develop insight into leadership qualities, develop skills for effective communication, gain insight into how leaders inspire others, and how to achieve management goals. Due to some seasonal issues and COVID-19, the certificate ceremony was postponed until Tuesday.

The third part of Tuesday’s ceremony consisted of the handing over of the ‘Managers Toolkit’ to the department heads within government. Human Resource (HR) Manager Miguela Gumbs, who compiled the comprehensive manual, will be departing the island shortly, and wanted to leave the managers with something tangible that they can use in the daily managing of personnel. “The Managers Toolkit contains everything that you need to know as a manager when you work for the Public Entity Saba. This toolkit, which is the first of its kind, will contribute to a transparent and efficient work practice concerning personnel management.  It is a practical ‘go to manual’ that will assist managers in leadership and managing their department more effectively,” said Gumbs. The Managers Toolkit includes information on, among other things, HR policies such as sick leave management, onboarding and offboarding (from hire to retire), as well as documentation of the various trainings such as project management, time management, leadership and integrity, effective communication, etc. The Manager Toolkit is also available in digital form.

Island Governor Jonathan Johnson hands over a certificate of the PEP program to HR Manager Miguela Gumbs.
Photo GIS Saba

Despite the COVID-19 crisis, the Public Entity Saba continues developing its personnel. In an effort to continue in promoting professional development for its government apparatus, and because more and more is done digitally, the Public Entity Saba has launched an incentive for its civil servants to purchase an ‘all-inclusive laptop package’ which will consist of a brand new Dell laptop with the newest specifications, MS Office Pro 2019, extra external storage and a carrying case. Civil servants are given the opportunity to purchase this laptop on the basis of an interest-free loan which will be paid back in 12 monthly installments.

Since February 2020, it was not possible to hold any trainings where participants and the trainer are physically present. Government has since then decided to  continue with developing its civil servants by organizing online workshops and trainings via Zoom and Microsoft Teams. As a pilot the Public Entity Saba has also entered into a contract with a renown online education provider from the Netherlands. Coordinated through the HR department, civil servants can sign up for unlimited amount (200+) of online courses. The online courses are available in various languages.  “Civil servants from all levels within the Public Entity Saba have the unique opportunity to take part in courses to further develop themselves on various levels of expertise,” said Gumbs. With a new laptop and access to an unlimited number of online courses the Public Entity is on their way to further excelling to a new level in professionalization.

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