Jump to Content

Management of Human Resources

Staffing Overview
Training and Development
Certified Agreement
Senior Executive Service
Occupational Health and Safety
Workplace Diversity

Staffing Overview

The Department considers its people to be its most valuable resource in delivering results to Government. It encourages a philosophy of achieving Results through Peopleand directly links staff development policies and programs to organisational goals.

Investors in People

The Department is committed to ensuring that its people have the right skills to do their job well, and to helping them achieve future career goals. Investors in People (IiP) is a mechanism to help meet that commitment.

IiP is a framework, with a set of indicators, enabling the Department to align its corporate, business and individual goals, and development activities.

IiP provides a framework for the development of a number of strategic initiatives to integrate the results and people elements of the Department.

As part of IiP the Secretarys Statement of Skills outlines the necessary skills and knowledge to achieve current and future goals. The Statement is reviewed each year to ensure it accurately captures the priority, departmental and divisional skills needed to achieve business objectives. It is made available to each employee.

The Department gained IiP accreditation in March 1999 and was acknowledged as the largest and most complex organisation in Australia to achieve the prestigious international standard. In April 2000 auditors confirmed that the Department continues to meet the high standards of an IiP organisation. The auditors identified two soft spots:

  • that there was, at that time, no documented plan setting out the Departments goals and targets. It was noted, however, that a new plan was, at that time, being developed by the Secretary for release on 30 June 2000 timed to match the commencement of the planning and budget year; and
  • that while there was evidence of evaluation of the impact of training and development, it was unclear how managers analyse the data to determine the effects on organisation and staff performance.

Staffing statistics

The Department employed 879 staff at 30 June 2000 (see Table 4). This was an increase of 50 from the previous year. The table provides a breakdown of employees into ongoing and non-ongoing, full-time and part-time, and men and women. There were 58 non-ongoing employees at 30 June 2000, a fall of eight from the previous year. Representation of women in the Department increased from 40.4 per cent in 199899 to 44.0 per cent in 19992000.

Table 4 Ongoing and non-ongoing full-time and part-time employees by gender.

Gender Ongoing
full-time
Ongoing
part-time
Non-ongoing
full-time
Non-ongoing
part-time
Total
Men 453 7 28 4 492
Women 337 24 22 4 387
Total 790 31 50 8 879

The employment of ongoing employees was relatively stable over the year with a turnover of only 9.1 per cent, substantially lower than the previous years figure of 21.1 per cent.

Table 5 Employees by salary equivalent classification group and location.

Location APS1-4 APS5-6 EL1 EL2 SES SEC Total
ACT 223 237 182 161 42 1 846
NSW 2 3 5
Qld 1 2 2 4 9
SA 1 1 2
Vic. 1 1 2
WA 5 5 3 2 15
Total 229 248 189 170 42* 1 879

Key
APS14: Australian Public Service Levels 1 to 4, and graduates
APS56: Australian Public Service Levels 5 to 6 and Transport Safety Investigators Level 1
EL1: Executive Level 1 including Legal and Public Affairs equivalents
EL2: Executive Level 2 including Transport Safety Investigators Level 2 and above, and Legal and Public Affairs equivalents
SES: Senior Executive Service
* includes nominal and long term acting SES officers

Staff by classification and location

Of the Public Service Act employees (ongoing and non-ongoing, excluding Indian Ocean Territory, employees) 96 per cent were located in the Australian Capital Territory. Table 5 provides a breakdown of the Departments employees by classification group and location. Employees in State offices generally worked in aviation security, air safety investigation or administering the Indian Ocean Territories. There were no major changes to employee numbers in State offices.

Since 199899 the largest increase was of 31 people in the Executive Level 1 group. The Australian Public Service (APS) 14 (including graduate recruits) rose by 12, and APS 56 group rose by 13.

Back to Top   

Training and Development

Human Resource Strategy

Linking People with Business through people development strategies helps achieve and sustain effective performance. The Department is implementing a Human Resources Strategy that aims to ensure it attracts and retains a capable, productive and satisfied workforce. The new strategy will also ensure that its people continue to maintain high levels of skills and knowledge.

Senior Officer Leadership Program

Three hundred and seventy people virtually all Senior Executive Service, Executive Level 2 and Executive Level 1 staff have undertaken the Senior Officer Leadership Program. The program provides a framework of people-management behaviours that create an environment in which others can perform and reach their full potential. The objective is to review and challenge the assumptions and practices of senior executives, and to engage them in positioning the Department for effective policy and service delivery in the 21st century.

Pathways to Leadership

Forty-two people have graduated from the APS 4-6 level leadership development program, Pathways to Leadership, and 55 people are partway through. The program was originally developed for non-graduates, nominated by division heads, who showed the potential to move into executive-level ranks.

Graduate recruitment

Twenty-five graduates completed their training program at the end of 1999 and a further 24 are participating in the year 2000 training program. All graduates participate in a comprehensive development program, Departmental work placements, an industry tour, and a Graduate Certificate in Public Administration.

The Department attracts highly motivated graduates from a wide range of disciplines. Its online information and application facilities attracted a strong applicant response for the 2001 graduate year.

Mobility Program

The Mobility Program is an important aspect of the Departments people development philosophy. Its primary purpose is to provide staff with the opportunity to develop new skills and knowledge.

Serving two groups of clients, the program provides opportunities for those seeking temporary placement in new areas and those looking to temporarily fill a vacant position.

The knowledge and skills gained through a mobility placement provide both new ideas and a fresh approach to issues, and can often lead to new career directions.

As for many of its development programs, the Department is in the process of developing a more accessible online approach to the Mobility Program.

Strategies for evaluating development and performance

The Department involves people at all levels in regular, systemic evaluative activity through a range of processes including staff surveys, leadership surveys and performance exchanges.

Staff survey

The Department conducted its first staff-wide survey in 1996. The survey is an effective tool in identifying strengths and weaknesses, and is now conducted every two years. It:

  • assesses whether aspects of the current work environment are working effectively;
  • assesses the quality of leadership at all levels;
  • measures whether staff believe they produce quality outputs and services; and
  • measures the extent of staff motivation and satisfaction.

The Department has introduced, in response to survey results, several of the initiatives mentioned, including Plan on a Page, Performance Exchanges, Leadership Programs, and the Recognition and Reward Scheme.

The most recent staff survey was held in mid-May 2000, and achieved a very high response rate of 96 per cent. Results have been made available to staff and action plans are being developed to respond to its major outcomes.

Leadership Checklinks Survey

Leadership Checklinks is an evaluation tool for regularly checking and improving leadership performance in terms of providing the best people-systems throughout the employee work-cycle of entry, performance, development and exit.

Performance Exchange

Performance Exchanges are conducted six-monthly and are a one-to-one exchange between manager and team member to review the past business cycle and plan for the coming six months. The end result of the process is the Plan on a Page.

The Performance Exchange and Plan on a Page link individual and team performance at all levels with the Corporate Plan and the business outputs of the Department.

People +

The Departments new human resource management information system, People +, provides greater access to online information to its staff, payroll processing, staff development scheduling, evaluation and workforce planning. User satisfaction is low, however, and the system requires modification to achieve acceptable performance.

Back to Top   

Certified Agreement

The Commonwealth Department of Transport and Regional Services Certified Agreement 19992001 (the CA) was certified by the Australian Industrial Relations Commission on 23 March 2000 and is a comprehensive agreement that covers non-SES employees only.

The CA was made with the Community and Public Sector Union and the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance of Australia under section 170LJ of the Workplace Relations Act 1996. It developed largely as a result of extensive negotiations with those unions. As part of the consultative process, all staff were given the opportunity to express views and provide input.

The incoming Secretary asked staff to consider an agreement made directly with them under section 170LK of the Workplace Relations Act 1996. However, following extensive consultations, the Executive Group chose instead to continue the previous approach under section 170LJ.

The CA features a two per cent pay rise in each of the financial years covered by it, plus an average 1.4 per cent adjustment to the base salary of staff to compensate for a significant simplification of the classification structure. A one per cent pay rise, payable on 1 July 2001, is conditional on meeting certain productivity targets. A copy of the CA is available at www.DOTARS.gov.au/department/dotars/agreement.aspx.

Back to Top   

Senior Executive Service

The number of Senior Executive Service (SES) officers is shown in Table 6, and includes those who joined and left the Department during the year and those promoted between SES levels. The numbers are nominal and differ from those in other tables which include acting SES officers.

Table 6 Nominal operative Senior Executive Service Officers and mobility.

Gains

Losses

BAND

Men

Women

Total

Men

Women

Men

Women

SEB1

17

8

24

2

1

1

SEB2

7

2

9

1

1

SEB3

2

2

Total

26

10

35

2

1

2

1

The salary and conditions of SES employees are determined under Australian Workplace Agreements (AWAs) negotiated between the Secretary and employees concerned. All SES employees in the Department are covered by AWAs. The current round of SES AWAs nominally expired on 31 December 1999, and drafting commenced mid-year on the development of a second round. The process was largely complete by the end of June 2000. A few non-SES employees are also employed under AWAs.

Back to Top   

Occupational Health and Safety

The Department maintains an occupational health and safety (OH&S) agreement with relevant unions in accordance with the Occupational Health and Safety (Commonwealth Employment) Act 1991.

Under the agreement the Health and Safety Committee is the key consultative forum between the Department and unions on OH&S issues. It meets quarterly, and in 19992000 considered matters including:

  • statistics of the Departments performance in relation to injury prevention, incident reports and compensation and rehabilitation;
  • OH&S inspections and activities; and
  • new and ongoing OH&S policies and programs.

The Department has an ongoing Health Awareness Program that promotes good health to all staff.

The Department also continued its strategy of prevention and rehabilitation to reduce the incidence and cost of higher impact injuries. Key elements include:

  • continuing budget commitment to promote a safe and healthy work environment;
  • promoting the Departments Employee Assistance Program to managers and staff to assist with personal and work-related problems; and
  • early intervention to prevent injury and minimise the cost impact of injury.

Twelve claims for compensation were accepted for staff injuries during 19992000. No incidents required a report to Comcare under the incident-reporting regulations of the Occupational Health and Safety (Commonwealth Employment Act 1991).

Back to Top   

Workplace Diversity

The Department continued to implement its Workplace Diversity Program, Encouraging WISDOM, during 19992000. The program supports a diverse range of individuals in the Department to achieve the best possible results. It aims to:

  • attract a diverse range of people to work in the Department;
  • encourage employees to develop their diverse skills in order to realise and contribute to their maximum potential;
  • recognise and make use of the diverse skills, cultural values and backgrounds of its people; and
  • ensure workplace structures, systems and procedures recognise the diverse circumstances of employees and assist them to balance work and personal lives.

At its meeting in April 2000, the Departments Executive Group agreed to priorities for 2000 under the current Workplace Diversity Program. The program includes a review of selection processes, increased emphasis on cross-cultural and gender issues, establishment and use of a skills register, investigation of opportunities for home-based work, and the identification of the scope for providing greater opportunities for people with disabilities.

Achievements for the year include:

  • support for the Departments Womens Network;
  • home-based work guidelines and application agreement pro forma;
  • an exit survey to gather feedback on the reasons people move within and/or leave the organisation;
  • a pamphlet promoting the organisation as a good place to work, included with all selection documentation;
  • draft guidance material encouraging an harassment-free workplace;
  • a successful debate on whether it is possible to balance work and private lives in times of changing working conditions and structures (December 1999); and
  • promotion of cultural activities and development opportunities.

Equal Employment Opportunity information

Table 7 presents information on Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) groups in the Department by APS-equivalent classification. The information is for ongoing employees and includes inoperatives, so results are not comparable with earlier tables. However, they are comparable with information from the Public Service and Merit Protection Commission.

Table 7 EEO groups by classification for permanent positions, including inoperative employees.

All employees

Employees who have volunteered EEO information

Level

Men

Women

Total

NESB 1

NESB 2

ATSI

PWD

Total (1)

APS1

2

2

1

2

100%

50%

100%

APS2

32

26

58

8

3

1

54

55.2%

44.8%

14.8%

5.6%

1.9%

93.1%

APS3

15

34

49

5

7

45

30.6%

69.4%

11.1%

15.6%

91.8%

APS4

22

61

83

4

10

1

1

78

26.5%

73.5%

5.1%

12.8%

1.3%

1.3%

94.0%

APS5

39

51

90

5

8

89

43.3%

56.7%

5.6%

9.0%

98.9%

APS6

80

65

145

6

12

5

130

55.2%

44.8%

4.6%

9.2%

3.8%

89.7%

EL1

106

78

184

9

14

1

4

169

57.6%

42.4%

5.3%

8.3%

0.6%

2.4%

91.8%

EL2

135

33

168

4

15

5

162

80.4%

19.6%

2.5%

9.3%

3.1%

96.4%

SES

29

13

42

1

5

2

40

69.0%

31.0%

2.5%

12.5%

5.0%

95.2%

Total

460

361

821

42

75

2

18

769

56.0%

44.0%

5.5

9.8

0.3%

2.3%

93.7%

Key
NESB 1Non-English-speaking background, first generation
NESB 2Non-English-speaking background, second generation
ATSIAboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
PWDPeople with a disability
(1) Percentage is of total permanent employees in the Department

At 30 June 2000, the Department had EEO information on 93.7 per cent of its employees, around two per cent higher than for the previous year. Of those who volunteered information, there was a small decrease in the representation of people with a disability (0.6 per cent) and an increase of one Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person. The number of people with a non-English-speaking background decreased from around 18 per cent to 15.3 per cent. The most notable feature of the balance of men and women in the Department was the increase in representation of women at APS6 to SES levels.

Equal opportunity in board appointments

The Department maintains the APPOINT database on the membership of boards of its portfolio agencies to monitor participation by equal opportunity target groups, and to report to the Office of the Status of Women on board membership (see Table 8).

Table 8 EEO and board appointments.

Target group 199798 199899 19992000
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders 0 0 0
Non-English-speaking background 3 0 0
People with a disability 0 0 0
Women 10 12 10
Other 47 42 36
Total appointments 60 54 46

The provision of information on a persons equal opportunity status is voluntary. The statistics reflect, except where women are identified, only the information volunteered by board appointees.