25 Aug 2004

What is it?
The website of the Institute of Public Administration (IPA), one of Ireland’s largest public management organisations, training more than 14,000 civil servants a year.

Who is it for?
Career-minded civil servants.

What information does it contain?
Full details about training courses, from finance and IT to local government. There are also sections on educational opportunities (part-time courses accredited by the National University of Ireland), recent publishing and research material from the IPA and various consultancy services offered. A comprehensive About Us section summarises the role of the IPA and includes profiles of staff and board members as well as membership information.

How does it look?
It has a slightly unusual layout in that the menu bar is displayed across the top rather than down the left-hand side. This allows a larger space for a central image or text and creates a less boxy feel, even with the inclusion of a news panel to the right. The blue and yellow colour scheme is consistently applied throughout the site, eliminating any distracting colour clashes. Another good decision was to put the text against a white background, making the content clean and legible.

Any quibbles?
The site has an excellent search facility but it is limited to the training section. It might be useful to extend this to the site as a whole, especially as the amount of content grows.

The verdict?
A well-organised, professionally produced site that gives a comprehensive introduction to the institute – hard to fault.

By Brian Skelly