How is Build on You delivered?


Build on You is 100% online and is made up of:

  • 5-15 minutes - bite-sized to snack sized learning accessible anywhere, anytime  
  • 45-60 minutes learning labs - live, interactive facilitated discussions focused on any of the 8 Future Focussed topics 
  • 45-60 minutes webinars – a pre-recorded lecture or panel discussion by leading experts from MBS, Defence, CSIRO, University of Melbourne, business executives and elite sportspeople

What are the 8 Future Focused Capabilities and where did they come from?


In 2018 the Enterprise Business Committee endorsed the approach of the APS Future Learning Strategy, emphasising the critical importance of providing learning and capability development opportunities that respond to the future of work. Defence has identified 8 skill groups to be focussed on moving into the future work environment. These are Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM); Parliamentary and Media Acumen; Partnerships; Human Skills; Policy Development in Complex and Rapidly Changing Environments; Critical Thinking; Service Orientation; and Digital and Data Literacy and Cyber Literacy. Build on you integrates the 8 Future Focussed Capabilities into training initiatives, providing easily accessible bite size learning opportunities to increase your knowledge in strategically relevant areas to prepare you for future work requirements.

How are they updated?


Defence Learning Branch have a team who reviews the 8 Future Focused Capabilities regularly to align with strategic direction of Defence, APSC, Industry and Academia. It is essential the capabilities are aligned with the skill trends that are required now and in the future for Defence personnel.

What are the 8 Future Focused Capabilities as defined by Defence? 

  • STEM
  • Parliamentary and Media Acumen
  • Partnerships
  • Human Skills
  • Critical Thinking
  • Service Orientation
  • Digital, Data and Cyber Literacy
  • Policy Making

I took part in the 2020 Build on You Program – what's changed? 


We've worked closely with Defence to co-design a new tailored program incorporating your feedback.

The new program includes exciting features such as the Future Skills Builder, the Learning Concierge and an opportunity to earn recognition through digital badges. We also continue to make available more and more self-paced content for you to enjoy in your own time.

How much time do I need to commit to learning?


The Build on You Program is flexibly designed to be tailored to your own needs. We have an option for time poor learners who may be unable to attend multiple live sessions. We also have a fundamentals course for those starting out. The amount of time to commit is ultimately your choice, but can be as little as one hour a week.

Is my participation reflected in My Learning Record?


Your participation is not reflected on the PMKeyS learning record. However, on the APS Performance Agreement- Start Cycle there is a section for learning which is aligned to the 8 Future Focused Capabilities. The Build on You sessions are a great opportunity to showcase the learning you have accomplished in these areas

Does my supervisor need to approve my attendance?


You do not need your supervisor to approve each attendance. Defence encourages autonomous learning and provides continuous learning opportunities to support an agile, proactive effective workforce. However, as part of your self-managed development plan your supervisor should have an oversight of your learning pathway within the PFAD cycle. To start the conversation with your supervisor the APS Performance Cycle has a range of resources to help set expectations. If you have a scheduling conflict due to other commitments, there is a suite of recorded sessions available on the MBS Canvas learning platform at any time.

What are the program fees?


There are no program fees for Defence APS staff or ADF personnel. The Build on You courses are centrally funded by Defence Learning Branch.

I’ve got an idea on how we can improve Build on You, how can I provide feedback.


We’d love to hear your feedback! Please contact us at