Chapter 4Business Management and Accountability

Human Resource Management

People policies

A review was conducted of all people policies to capture government reforms and legislative amendments during the period. The APVMA took the opportunity to enhance useability for managers and employees while embedding the strategic direction. The 2010 external surveillance audit of the APVMA’s Quality Management System, which is accredited against the ISO Standard 9001:2008, recommended an annual review. The APVMA has commenced development of a ‘manager’s assist’ tool, which will provide practical operational guidance on people management practices to assist in the continual development of management capabilities.

Performance management system

The APVMA recognises that its people and their knowledge, skills and dedication are the most important assets of the organisation. To ensure a high performance culture the organisation supports, develops and motivates its people to grow and adapt to assist with meeting the APVMA’s corporate objectives.

The APVMA introduced ‘calibration’ meetings into executive level staff performance assessments. Calibration meetings allow for additional perspectives of an employee’s performance to be incorporated into employee assessments and identify areas for continuous improvement. This technique assists with fostering a positive and comprehensive approach that ensures better consistency of assessment that will enhance overall performance management practices throughout the organisation.

During the reporting period, 100 per cent of staff participated in the performance management system (MAAP).

Staff

The following tables provide details of Australian Public Service (APS) employees (ongoing and non-ongoing) who were employed under the Public Service Act 1999 in 2010–11.

The APVMA had 162 staff at 30 June 2011, including full-time and part-time officers. Table 15 shows a detailed breakdown by position level. Staff movements, including recruitments, resignations, terminations and retirements (excluding internal transfers and promotions), are shown in Table 16.

Table 15: APVMA staffing at 30 June 2011

CLASSIFICATION

FULL TIME (ONGOING)

PART-TIME (ONGOING)

NON-ONGOING AND CASUAL

TOTAL

CEO

1

 

 

1

Senior Executive Officer

5

 

 

5

Principal Scientist

2

 

 

2

Executive Level 2

19

 

1

20

Executive Level 1

27

3

3

33

APS Level 6

42

4

8

54

APS Level 5

14

4

2

20

APS Level 4

7

 

4

11

APS Level 3

9

1

6

16

APS Level 2

 

 

 

0

Trainee

 

 

 

0

Total

126

12

24

162

Table 16: Staff movements at APVMA 2010–11

CLASSIFICATION

ON GOING SEPARATED

NON ONGOING SEPARATED

ON GOING RECRUITED

NON ONGOING RECRUITED

CEO

0

0

0

0

Senior Executive Officer

1

0

0

0

Principal Scientist

0

0

0

0

Executive Level 2

1

0

0

1

Executive Level 1

2

0

2

1

APS Level 6

4

1

2

7

APS Level 5

1

1

0

3

APS Level 4

0

2

0

3

APS Level 3

4

8

6

9

APS Level 2

 

 

 

 

Trainee

 

 

 

 

Total

13

12

10

24

In 2010–11, the separation rate for ongoing staff was 12.75 per cent, which is an increase on the 9.62 per cent separation rate in 2009–10.

Australian workplace agreements (AWA), common law agreements (CLA) and collective agreements (CA)

Table 17: Number of staff employed under AWAs, CLAs, CA as at 30 June 2011

 

AWA

CLA

CA

TOTAL

Senior executive service

1

4

0

5

Non-executive

0

 

156

156

Table 18: Salary range by classification as at 30 June 2011

CLASSIFICATION

MINIMUM

MAXIMUM

Executive Level 2

$108,923.00

$124,959.00

Executive Level 1

$92,811.00

$104,514.00

APS Level 6

$76,701.00

$85,624.00

APS Level 5

$67,470.00

$74,123.00

APS Level 4

$59,413.00

$65,456.00

APS Level 3

$52,362.00

$58,997.00

APS Level 2

$47,337.00

$51,902.00

Trainee

$ -

$ -

AWA/CLA

$158,392.00

$175,561.00

Note: Senior executive remuneration is located in the financial statements at Note 9A.

Table 19: Aggregate performance-linked bonus payments to staff during 30 June 2011

NUMBER OF STAFF: APS2–EL2

AMOUNT

136

$250,688.00

Workplace diversity

The APVMA has maintained the Workplace Diversity Plan during the reporting period. The plan builds on themes from previous plans in ‘valuing difference and eliminating barriers’. The current plan introduces the APVMA Respect Charter and four broad strategies:

  • model and support shared behaviours
  • maintain a safe work environment
  • provide equal opportunities to all
  • collaboration for a results orientated workplace.

The APVMA Workplace Diversity Plan outlines 10 specific areas for action:

  • integrate workplace diversity with organisational goals
  • raise awareness of diversity in the APVMA
  • attract, develop and retain people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds
  • attract, develop and retain people with disabilities
  • attract, develop and retain Indigenous Australians
  • provide a discrimination-free workplace
  • encourage flexible working arrangements
  • manage and evaluate diversity outcomes
  • include diversity into the APVMA’s performance management framework
  • encourage leadership development to diversity / harassment contact officers.

Staff profiles are in Tables 20 and 21.

Table 20: APVMA staffing at 30 June 2011 by gender

CLASSIFICATION

MALE

FEMALE

TOTAL

CEO

 

1

1

Senior Executive Officer

4

1

5

Principal Scientist

2

0

2

Executive Level 2

13

7

20

Executive Level 1

17

16

33

APS Level 6

29

25

54

APS Level 5

2

18

20

APS Level 4

1

10

11

APS Level 3

0

16

16

APS Level 2

 

 

0

Trainee

 

 

0

Total

68

94

162

Table 21: Profile of the APVMA’s staff at 30 June 2011—non-English speaking background and disability

CLASSIFICATION

PEOPLE OF NON-ENGLISH SPEAKING BACKGROUND

PEOPLE WITH A DISABILITY

CEO

1

0

Senior Executive Officer

1

0

Principal Scientist

0

0

Executive Level 2

3

0

Executive Level 1

5

0

APS Level 6

14

1

APS Level 5

5

0

APS Level 4

3

0

APS Level 3

0

0

APS Level 2

0

0

Trainee

0

0

Total

32

1

Attraction and retention

The APVMA places great emphasis on enhancing its profile as an employer of choice, including the attraction of new employees through innovative recruitment practices. The APVMA has streamlined recruitment processes to help attract and engage the best candidates. The APVMA has an ongoing commitment to learning and development to support staff.

Recruitment processes

The APVMA continued to apply bulk recruitment practices during the 2010–11 period. The aim of these processes is to get the right people into the right jobs by creating merit lists that are drawn upon for the subsequent 12 months. The bulk rounds attracted a considerable number of applications, which have provided the APVMA with a rich source of potential talent to draw upon to fill certain vacancies. Nineteen engagements have been actioned from these two bulk processes, resulting in comprehensive financial and resource savings (Table 22).

Table 22: Recruitment data

Number of external recruitment advertisements

23

Total number of applications received

261

Average time from gazette close to offer date

29 days

Number of recruitment campaigns cancelled

Nil

Number of recruitment decisions

20 gazetted notifications

Percentage of process completed within 45 days

85%

Number of internal recruitment advertisements

34

Total recruitment rounds

74

Graduate program

The APVMA’s graduate development program is an initiative that the APVMA values and looks to continue into the future. The program was maintained with the current graduate intake and the organisation will reassess operational requirements annually to determine the need for future programs.

Statistics to managers

Senior management were provided detailed information throughout the reporting period. The ‘APVMA workforce availability report’ provides access to data relating to leave trends and associated productivity losses. This information is provided to the senior executive to facilitate meaningful conversations with staff relating to workplace unscheduled absenteeism. Senior managers were also provided data gathered from ‘exit surveys’. This information is provided to assist the senior management team to diagnose potential organisational weaknesses and confirm our strengths.

Balanced and complete representation of internal committees

Corporate committee membership rates were maintained at 100 per cent occupancy during this period, which provided a broad representation of staff in committee membership. Corporate citizenship within the APVMA assists with enhancing internal relationships as well as focusing on the wider community and environment.

Work-related incident absences

The APVMA has an active occupational health and safety (OH&S) committee that has adopted a preventative approach to OH&S management. One result of the committee’s initiatives is that fewer than five days were lost in 2010–11 due to injuries in the workplace. Such positive health and safety outcomes contribute to reduced costs and increased productivity. There were no compensation claims made during 2010–11.

Remuneration service

Accurate remuneration services were provided throughout the year within all timeframes. The employee self-service system was upgraded during this period; this has enhanced useability for all staff and streamlined some payroll services. Training of other staff has commenced this cycle to ensure effective succession management.

Enterprise bargaining

The APVMA’s formal enterprise bargaining negotiations commenced on 12 April 2011 and continued until 16 May 2011.

The parties involved in the process included management representatives, seven employee bargaining representatives, two Community and Public Sector Union workplace delegates, and two Community and Public Sector Union officials.

Workforce plan

The APVMA commenced development of a workforce plan, which has been suspended due to the considerable reform agenda being undertaken across the APVMA’s program areas.

Learning and development

During 2010–11 the APVMA continued its strong commitment to learning and development. The APVMA has begun to implement a holistic learning and development framework with a comprehensive, blended learning approach. The framework incorporates targeted evaluator training as well as strategies to assist with succession management, career progression, knowledge management and skills transfer practices. The first stage of the framework will be implemented during the coming 12 months, and other stages will be implemented progressively.

The Study Encouragement Scheme has continued to support staff to gain relevant tertiary qualifications to assist in individual and organisational capability growth. During the financial year, 11 employees were sponsored to undertake tertiary study.

At the organisational level, a number of training programs, workshops, seminars and all staff briefs have been provided throughout the year to ensure continued growth in the APVMA’s organisational capability.

Occupational health and safety (OH&S)

The APVMA values the health, safety and wellbeing of our employees and recognises the importance of investing in a healthy and diverse workforce. The APVMA’s Health and Safety Management Arrangements (HSMA) is the key document for managing the promotion and development of measures to ensure the health, safety and welfare of APVMA employees. That document also:

  • enables effective cooperation between the APVMA and its employees on health related matters
  • promotes and develops arrangements to ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of employees while they are at work
  • provides operational guidelines for the operation of the Health and Safety Committee
  • provides mechanisms for review, varying and informing APVMA employees about arrangements, and for dealing with disputes during consultation.

The overall and ongoing coordination for the development and implementation of the HSMA is managed by the Program Manager, Corporate Services and implemented by the Human Resources team. Employees may raise any OH&S concern directly with the Health and Safety Committee or through their health and safety representative.

The health and safety committee meets officially four times per year, and it can also deal with OH&S matters out-of-session. The committee is chaired by the Program Manager, Corporate Services. Other committee members are:

  • two health and safety representatives
  • a workplace delegate as nominated by staff
  • a member from the Finance and Administration team
  • a member from the Human Resources team
  • representatives from each of the subcommittee and groups.

The two health and safety representatives play a vital role in ensuring their designated work groups are consulted and informed regarding OH&S matters. They also conduct regular workplace inspections of their areas. The term of office for health and safety representatives is two years. In this reporting cycle, two new health and safety representatives were nominated, appointed and completed the required accredited training.

Health and wellbeing initiatives

The APVMA demonstrates its commitment to health and wellbeing by promoting the activities of the Health and Wellbeing Committee. This committee facilitates a range of activities, seminars and events throughout the year to assist staff with social interaction, sharing ideas and information on various topics. In November 2010, ‘Health Week’ activities focused on the theme ‘Step into life’, with the aim of contributing to greater organisational cohesion and morale.

The APVMA further demonstrates its commitment to the health and wellbeing of staff by ensuring all staff are aware of the support services provided by the Employee Assistance Program and the availability of comprehensive workstation assessments:

During 2010–11, the APVMA reimbursed 10 staff members for eyesight testing expenses.

The APVMA occasionally receives samples of chemical products in the mail, even though applicants are asked not to send any samples. To help manage these events, the APVMA installed a ‘Contaminated Mail Isolation System’ into the mailroom, which provides an additional safety mechanism for APVMA staff members when chemicals are received. Frontline staff were trained in ‘hazard mail handling’ during this cycle to minimise the individual and organisational risk in this area.

Blood donors

The APVMA entered the 2010–11 Canberra Times Corporate and Community Challenge. This challenge involves individual blood donations to be made to the Australian Red Cross Blood Service. APVMA employees successfully donated on 75 occasions, and the organisation is now placed fourth highest in the Public Sector participation category. The APVMA would like to congratulate all APVMA employees who participated.

Positive performance indicators

As part of the APVMA induction program, all new staff members participated in an online training course that was designed to inform them of OH&S matters.

Four routine OH&S inspections were performed by the health and safety representatives, and none reported a high-risk potential hazard. This indicates that concerns are addressed in a timely manner.

There were no formal notifications to Comcare during the period and no Comcare investigations. However, the APVMA received 11 internal accident and incident reports. None of the 11 incidents reported resulted in incapacity.

No compensation claims were received during the period and there were no reportable accidents or dangerous occurrences during 2010–11.

National Disability Strategy

The APVMA has five actions to implement the principles of the National Disability Strategy in the Workplace Diversity Plan:

  • ensure information about employment opportunities are in accessible formats
  • provide a single point of contact for people with disabilities and provide support with induction and special equipment
  • provide support for people with disabilities in the workplace to encourage information mentoring and support
  • encourage employees to seek access to flexible working arrangements
  • consult employees with disabilities about changes to security arrangements, accommodation and technology.

The APVMA is working towards meeting the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2.0 (WCAG 2.0) by the end of 2012 and has a plan in place to meet this target. Areas of the APVMA website that do not meet WCAG2.0 are currently being reviewed and will be converted into an accessible format. Further information on the accessibility standards applied to the APVMA website can be found at http://www.apvma.gov.au/accessibility.php.

back to top of page