A peer-to-peer study visit of senior Arab HR officials on the Belgian experience with reforming the federal job classification system took place in Brussels, Belgium, from 20-24 November 2006. This peer-to-peer visit has been initiated and organised by the Belgian Federal Public Service Personnel & Organisation with support from the OECD in the framework of the GfD Working Group 1 on Civil Service and Integrity.
The study visit took place in response to the strong interest several Arab countries expressed in getting in-depth insight in the Belgian experience with reforming the federal job classification system. The Belgian delegation presented its reform experience at the regional capacity building seminar on “Pay and Grading Reform in Arab Countries: Pay Strategies for Better Public Sector Performance”, which was hosted by the Jordanian Minister of Public Sector Development on 20 and 21 September in Amman, Jordan.
The peer-to-peer visit gave participating delegations from Arab countries the opportunity to learn from the recent Belgian reform experience, to engage in an intensive exchange with senior civil servants from Belgium and to identify lessons-learnt for designing their own approaches towards pay and grading reform. Responding to key challenges that Arab countries face in this policy field, the peer-to-peer visit offered a series of focused workshops on the following themes:
1) General Introduction: The Belgian reform program
2) New career system
3) New evaluation system
4) New approach towards training and development
5) Methodology used in conducting the financial analysis and methodology used to determine salary scales
6) Job description and classification system: criteria and structure
7) Job classification process
8) Final classification results and maintenance
9) Reform program of the Flemish Community
10) Link of the job classification system to the different HR processes (promotion, succession planning etc.)
The lessons-learnt from the study visit will be shared with HR policy makers from other Arab countries at the next meeting of GfD Working Group 1, which will be held at the OECD Headquarters in Paris on 6-7 December 2006.