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Outcomes Based Budgeting Course

The Outcomes Based Budgeting Course will explore how government budgeting has evolved from controlling agency spending based on the cost of inputs (line-items, such as salary, travel, stationery and utility expenses) to the cost of outputs (programs, such as preventative health, primary health, acute health and mental health) and the achievement of desired outcomes.

About this course

The NSW Treasury says:

“Outcome Budgeting puts the needs of the people at the centre of investment decision-making across the sector. It is an approach to decision making that recognises that the allocation of public resources should be based on the outcomes achieved for people, not the amount spent.”

This course will explore how government budgeting has developed from purely a cost control tool to one that can be used to disclose the full range of public services provided by a government and how well each is delivered against its expected outcomes. It will demonstrate how whole-of-government and individual agency strategic plans should inform budget policy priorities and resource allocations.

The course will show how to develop key performance indicators to gauge the effectiveness and efficiency of both budget outputs (agency activities) and public outcomes (service results). In doing so, it will explain how to use an “outcomes hierarchy” methodology to translate an agency’s budget program goal into specific activity outputs, intermediate results, desired final outcomes and relevant performance indicators and targets. Finally, it will illustrate how to use a “One Page Management” system to make reporting against performance targets for activity spending, output and outcomes easy to monitor at each level of management (unit, divisional, group and corporate) without being drowned in statistical data.

Course structure

The following content will be covered during this course:

  • The difference between budgeting and statutory accounting
  • The difference between cash budgeting and accrual budgeting
  • The difference between operational budgets and capital budgets
  • How budgets are developed, decided on, reported and monitored
  • How budgeting evolved from being input, to output, to outcomes based
  • Using appropriateness, effectiveness and efficiency to gauge performance
  • How to devise performance indicators for program outputs and outcomes
  • How to develop an agency, divisional or unit strategic plan
  • How to integrate strategic planning and outcomes-based budgeting
  • How to monitor and report on spending, output and outcome targets
  • How to apply outcome-based strategic budgeting to any agency.


Learning outcomes

At the completion of this course you will:

  • Understand what a budget is, who decides on it, how it works, how it affects them and how to have meaningful input.
  • Be equipped with the basic concepts and tools of modern program and outcomes-based budgeting.
  • Be introduced to key budgeting texts, guidebooks and working examples of modern program and outcomes-based budget documents.
  • Be able to demystify government budgeting by simplifying the jargon and structure of budget statements both at a whole of government level and at an agency program and activity level.
  • Be able to assist public officials to understand the close relationship between their agencies strategic plan and its budget document.
  • Understand the fundamentals of outcomes-based budget management.


Delivery style

This course will be delivered via an interactive workshop comprising an instructor-led lecture, group and individual activities. This training approach allows participants to work through concepts introduced by the trainer in an application-focused teaching environment. Participants will challenge their understanding of the concepts and consider their application once back in their individual workplace.


In-house training solutions

This course can also be customised and/or delivered in-house. Find out more.


Course prerequisites

This course has no prerequisites and is open to all members of the public.


Who is this course for?

This course is designed for employees of general government agencies and not-for-profit organisations who hold or seek management positions requiring a basic understanding of modern public-interest budgeting.

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