IPAA Victoria

Course and Event Calendar

Professional Development

IPAA Victoria runs a variety of professional development courses and special events that provide opportunities to learn, be inspired and network with your peers across the wider public sector.

Course and Event Calendar

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Writing Briefs for Decision Makers

  • VHA Meeting room Level 6, 136 Exhibition Street Melbourne VIC 3000 Australia (map)

Writing decision briefs in the public sector is a unique communications skill, which requires a special understanding of how our leaders make decisions.

Writing a clear and persuasive brief or memorandum for a senior executive can be one of the most daunting tasks facing a policy advisor or communications officer. In this highly acclaimed half-day course, presenter Anne McCaig scales one of the steepest learning curves in public sector communications with a set of practical tools to convey messages eloquently and concisely – and help ministers and executives cut to the chase of an argument.

What will you learn?

One of IPAA Victoria’s most popular courses, Writing briefs for decision-makers tackles the issues that matter most to our leaders – public value, authority and capability – using a unique framework specially developed for the public sector. Understanding the importance of these issues will help writers capture the right content, cut through complex detail, and present briefs in language that leaders can understand.

By the end of the course, you’ll be better equipped to:

  • write concise decision briefs that meet the needs of busy ministers and executives

  • identify the most critical content and present it in a logically structured manner

  • use a public sector decision-making framework to identify the ‘right’ content for your brief-writing assignments.

What should you expect?

Over many years of training, Anne McCaig has fine-tuned a public sector decision-making framework to help public sector employees identify the type of content expected in a decision brief by busy ministers and executives. Her workshop uses guided discussions and small group analytical work based upon real-life case studies. Participants are also encouraged to share insights and challenges from their own brief-writing work.

Writing briefs for decision-makers is often requested to be run as an in-house workshop – over a half or a full day – and Anne will adapt the course content to suit specific audiences and brief-writing needs.

Who is the facilitator?

Anne McCaig is a strategic communications specialist and an accredited facilitator who has delivered hundreds of successful workshops to public sector audiences in Australia. Over the past 20 years, she has worked for many agencies across the Victorian public service, in roles that have required clear writing about complex issues for decision-makers.

Anne began her career as a broadcast journalist in Melbourne, and has worked as a political correspondent for several ABC radio programs, including AM, PM and The World Today. She has also worked as an advisor to two Federal Cabinet ministers in Canberra.



  • Non-Member $758.00

  • Personal Member $606.40

  • Fellow $454.80


  • Bronze $606.40

  • Silver $568.50

  • Gold $530.60

  • Platinum $454.80

All prices are GST inclusive

Who Should Attend?

This workshop is suitable for anyone who writes or contributes to formal briefs for decision-making by government ministers or executives in local, state and federal government. It is also suitable for people who write briefs or memos for decisions in the not-for-profit sector.


Please email profdev@vic.ipaa.org.au to be added to our waitlist.


Earlier Event: 21 May
Project Management
Later Event: 22 May
How Modern Government Works