Discussion paper
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Towards a profession of public regulation: lessons from the New Zealand G-REG Initiative

Professional development Public service Public servants Service delivery Regulator strategy Sector regulation New Zealand
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For many years, governments around the globe have been called on to increase the professionalism of their public services. In response, governments around the globe have begun to professionalise the public service, including the development of professions of public service delivery. The New Zealand Government Regulatory Practice Initiative (G-REG) is an illustrative example of a network of government agencies responding to this call by providing a programme of standardised training for public servants. This research paper maps, explores, and interrogates this example to obtain a better understanding of whether a standardised programme can help to nurture and increase the professionalism of a community of public servants. It finds that the main challenge of such an undertaking is finding a balance between narrow professionalism (technical expertise and knowledge) and broad professionalism (acting proficiently and ethically). Lessons are presented on the opportunities and constraints of developing a profession of public service delivery (here the delivery of public regulation).

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