Course Title: Apply government systems

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term2 2015

Course Code: POLI5019C

Course Title: Apply government systems

School: 650T Vocational Business Education

Campus: City Campus

Program: C6140 - Advanced Diploma of Business (Public Relations)

Course Contact: Julia Makin

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 5175

Course Contact Email:

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Alain Grossbard


 This course is co-delivered and co-assessed with Persuade and Influence Opinion (MKTG7880C)

Nominal Hours: 60

Regardless of the mode of delivery, represent a guide to the relative teaching time and student effort required to successfully achieve a particular competency/module. This may include not only scheduled classes or workplace visits but also the amount of effort required to undertake, evaluate and complete all assessment requirements, including any non-classroom activities.

Pre-requisites and Co-requisites


Course Description

This unit covers the effective application of government systems to work in the public sector. It includes applying knowledge of linkages between government/other organisations and between governments, and applying knowledge of the broader political context.

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

PSPGOV601B Apply government systems


1 . Apply knowledge of organisational linkages

Performance Criteria:

1.1 Organisational linkages between government organisations and with quasi-government organisations and non-government organisations are identified and regularly reassessed to maintain currency of information.
1.2 Decisions, advice and actions are taken making effective use of a comprehensive and up-to-date knowledge of these organisational linkages.


2 . Apply knowledge of inter-governmental linkages

Performance Criteria:

2.1 Linkages between governments are identified and regularly reassessed to maintain currency of information.
2.2 A comprehensive and up-to-date knowledge of the linkages between governments is used in taking decisions, advice and actions.


3 . Apply knowledge of political context

Performance Criteria:

3.1 Information is sourced from inside and outside the organisation, and its authenticity and reliability confirmed.
3.2 An analysis of the political , social and economic environment is undertaken that takes into account emerging trends, and current and possible future goals of the organisation.
3.3 A comprehensive and up-to-date knowledge of the current political environment is reflected in decisions, advice and actions taken.

Learning Outcomes

Details of Learning Activities

This unit covers the effective application of government systems to work in the public sector. It includes applying knowledge of linkages between government/other organisations and between governments, and applying knowledge of the broader political context.

In practice, knowledge of government systems is applied in the context of other generalist and specialist work activities such as managing client services, managing financial resources, providing strategic HR services, managing regulatory compliance, managing contracts etc.

Teaching Schedule

 6 July - Course Induction

13 July  - Course introduction – Overview on Government systems

 20 July -  Current knowledge of government systems: Why is the knowledge of government systems important to public relations practitioners? Why do we need government relations? What are the three tiers of government and are they related? Who are our political parties?

 27 July -  The structure of the Federal Government, the role of federal parliamentarians, the judiciary and the public service; lobbyists and how they work.3 August Lobbyists and how they work. Persuade and influence opinions

10 August -  The structure of the State Government, the role of state parliamentarians, the judiciary and the public service; lobbyists and how they work. Persuade and Influence Opinion. 

17 August - Role of PR in the delivery of a government service

24 August -  Major assignment

Mid Semester Break

31August – 4 September inclusive

7 September -  Elections and campaigning; political parties, their images and the role of public relations within them.

Guest speaker – Political campaigner

14 September - Visit to State Parliament.

Guest speaker – State Member of Parliament

21 September - Pressure groups; who are they, how do you deal with them; what influences are exerted on governments, why and how?

Guest speaker – Pressure group leader

28 September - The structure of Local Government in Victoria; the roles and responsibilities of Councils and Council Officers; how do these differ from other forms of government?

Guest speaker – Local Councillor or PR Manager from Local Council 5 October Excursion/visit to Melbourne Town Hall Council Chambers

Guest speaker on local government; the role of communications and its importance in a large metropolitan council; dealing with the extensive number of stakeholders.

6 October - Guest speaker – Lord Mayor

12 October - Test

19 October - Return final assessment and schedule any resubmission for next week

 26 October - Interviews/Assessment feedback/resubmissions 


Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts


Other Resources


Overview of Assessment

Assessment may incorporate a variety of methods including technical requirements documentation, homework, assignments, group and/or individual projects, in class exercises, written and practical assessments, problem solving exercises, presentations, direct observation of actual and simulated work practice, presentation of a portfolio of evidence which may comprise documents, and/or photographs and/or video and audio files, review of products produced through work-based or course activities.

Students are advised that they are likely to be asked to personally demonstrate their assessment work to their teacher to ensure that the relevant competency standards are being met. Students will be provided with feedback throughout the course to check their progress.

Assessment Tasks

This course id co-delivered and co-assessed with Persuade and Influence Opinion (MKTG 7880C)


Assessment 1           Assignment – Develop a Communication Plan for a Member of Parliament                                                      

Group-based - Work individually or in groups of 2 or 3 and develop a written Communication Plan for the Member of Parliament.                    

Length: 1800 – 2000 words                                                                                                                                   

Aim: This assignment requires you to develop a Communication Plan for a Member of Parliament to assist the politician respond to one or more particular issue(s) confronting the politician.

Students must meet the Member of Parliament and provide Meeting Minutes outlining items discussed and action agreed for preparation of a Report.  Class time will be used for meetings if time permits.  Student must also complete a peer review form and give it to the teacher.

Details of the assignment will be provided in Week 2. The final Report must be submitted by Week 10.

This assignment is worth 40% of the total marks.

 Assessment 2: Activities dealing with persuade and influence opinion and apply government systems     



 Individual activities. These three reports are worth 30% of the total course submission.                                                                                             



 Length: 200 to 500 word each activity .


1. Analyse and describe current techniques to persuade and influence opinion using government system concepts and tools.
2.  Suggest ways the issue could have been reduced or resolved, in hindsight.
3.  Apply skills in finding information using real life situations, online resources, books, journals and newspapers.

Identify a current or past story in the news which portrays a political issue. The lectures will list categories of issues to assist you think of a news story.

Describe and comment on the event, with the benefit of hindsight, using political risk management concepts and tools. Briefly describe the event (attach a copy of the article if convenient).  From the point of view of a public relations practitioner, describe the context of the issue or event, the actual risks associated with the issue or event, who the issue affected and how it affected them. 
What political reduction strategies were already in place or likely to have been in place before the event? What other issue reduction strategies could have been used or have been used since?

 Assessment criteria:
§ Application of persuasion and influence opinion and government systems concepts and tools to answer the questions                                             
§  Good use made of a variety of resources                                                                                                              





Assessment 3           Test covering lectures and activities/workshops                 

Individual activity                                                                                                                 

Students complete number of activities and workshops that will be assessed via a final test in class. There will be a number of short answer questions that will cover all the lectures covered in both “Apply Government Systems’ and ‘Persuade and Influence Opinion’. The Test will be conducted in Week 14 and will take one hour to complete. Each question will be allocated a mark and the total mark will add up to 100%.

This assessment is worth 30% of the total marks

Assessment Matrix

To be presented in the course guide on RMIT Learning Hub.

Other Information


Course Overview: Access Course Overview