Annual Report

Management of human resources, work health and safety

Our people

As at 30 June 2013 we had a total of 587 employees engaged in ongoing functions, down from 602 employees as at 30 June 2012. A further 131 staff were employed in associated functions, most notably the G20 Taskforce. There were also 80 inoperative staff, up from 68 in the previous year. These figures are based on headcount and include part-time and non-ongoing employees. Further information is provided at Figure 3.2.

We continue to have a diverse workforce, and of the 587 staff employed in ongoing functions, approximately 62.3 per cent are female and 77 per cent are under 45 years. Further information is provided in the human resources workforce profile at Figure 3.3.

The Australian Public Service Commission’s (APSC) Capability Review recommended that the Department take a strategic approach to recruitment and people development in order to build the workforce of the future. We have worked collaboratively across business areas to integrate workforce planning into the Department’s broader strategic business and financial planning. This work will continue into 2013–14 and include the finalisation of an agency Workforce Plan.

To ensure that we continue to attract and retain high-calibre candidates in a very competitive environment we:

  • provide competitive salaries
  • have a comprehensive capability development framework
  • offer the experience of working in a central agency and an ability to enhance understanding and experience in a whole of government environment
  • have flexible working conditions to enable employees to balance their work and personal/caring commitments
  • conduct employee surveys to gain essential feedback and identify issues that are of significant value to employees.

Figure 3.2 Staff distribution figures (based on headcount)

PM&C functions Number of staff at 30 June 2012 Number of staff at 30 June 2013
Ongoing functions 602 587
Associated functions 501 1312
Inoperatives3 68 80
Total 720 798


1 This figure for 2011–12 includes three staff from the Australia in the Asian Century Taskforce; three staff from the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) 2011 Taskforce; nine staff from the NDIS Taskforce; 28 staff from the COAG Reform Council and seven staff employed for the support of former Governors-General.

2 This figure for 2012–13 includes three staff from the Australia in the Asian Century Taskforce; 86 staff from the G20 Taskforce; 11 staff from the NDIS Taskforce; 24 staff from the COAG Reform Council; and seven staff employed for the support of former Governors-General.

3 Includes staff on paid leave greater than three months (maternity leave, long service leave, annual leave) and staff on leave without pay (external temporary transfers, overseas travel or study) and other temporary employment in the interests of the APS.

Figure 3.3 Workforce profile (based on headcount)

At June 2012 At June 2013
Workforce profile1 Ongoing Non-ongoing Total Ongoing Non-ongoing Total
Job classification
Secretary 1 0 1 1 0 1
Special Adviser 1 0 1 0 0 0
SES Band 3 8 0 8 7 0 7
SES Band 2 16 0 16 17 0 17
SES Band 1 40 0 40 42 0 42
EL2 114 1 115 113 6 119
EL1 184 2 186 216 18 234
APS4–6 272 18 290 316 22 338
APS1–3 15 3 18 15 1 16
Graduate 45 0 45 24 0 24
Total 696 24 720 751 47 798
ACT 664 21 685 718 28 746
NSW 28 2 30 25 1 26
QLD 1 0 1 6 17 23
VIC 3 1 4 2 1 3
Other jurisdictions 0 0 0 0 0 0
Overseas 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 696 24 720 751 47 798
Staff age profile
Age < 25 37 6 43 44 5 49
Age 25 – 34 315 10 325 333 16 349
Age 35 – 44 189 2 191 212 14 226
Age 45 – 54 114 4 118 113 6 119
Age 55 – 64 36 2 38 43 5 48
Age 65 + 5 0 5 6 1 7
Total 696 24 720 751 47 798
Equal employment opportunity group participation and workplace arrangements
Female 429 19 448 474 26 500
Non-English speaking background 40 0 40 22 0 22
Indigenous 6 0 6 6 0 6
People with a disability 15 0 15 15 0 15
Working part time 45 2 47 67 2 69
Employees volunteering personal data 80% 85%


1 Figures include staff employed in ongoing and associated functions and staff who are inoperative.

Developing our staff

In 2012–13 we made a significant investment in developing the capability and capacity of our employees by:

  • continuing to target and tailor recruitment to attract outstanding candidates at all levels from the public, private and not-for-profit sectors and academia
  • improving the Department’s Performance Culture Framework
  • aligning our learning and development to core competencies for our Department to ensure we have highly qualified and capable employees
  • developing targeted, customised in-house capability development modules to enhance the proficiency of employees
  • embedding the PM&C ‘Craft’ into the Department’s Capability Development Framework
  • providing a range of health and wellbeing programs and a school holiday program to provide employees with a balance between work and personal life.

These initiatives are helping our staff to continue to deliver high-quality policy advice and government administration to support the Prime Minister, the Cabinet and our Portfolio Ministers, including the Cabinet Secretary and the Parliamentary Secretary.


In 2012–13 there was an increase in recruitment by PM&C (compared to 2011–12) due to the establishment of a Taskforce to support the G20 meeting in November 2014.

We also implemented our first Recruitment and Retention Strategy in early 2013. The Strategy has been developed to position the Department as an employer of choice, to help attract and retain quality staff and to help ensure we are appropriately resourced to respond to the needs of the Government. The purpose of the strategy is to deliver transparent, merit based selection processes (that include a high level of candidate care) and to reduce turnover while retaining quality staff, thereby reducing the number of recruitment processes required.

The continuation of targeted recruitment programs such as the Graduate Program, Vacation Employment Program and the APSC Indigenous Pathways Graduate Program has also assisted us in ensuring we have a more diverse workforce.

Performance culture

The Performance Management Development Scheme (PMDS), underpinned by a new Performance Culture Framework and specified core competencies, outlines our approach to managing and enhancing the performance of our employees. The PMDS allows us to understand and achieve our business outcomes and manage performance to align our role to support our key stakeholders.

Following an extensive review of performance management, the Performance Culture Framework and PMDS were changed to include a new performance indicator, ‘behaviours’. This ensures a strong focus on not only what we do but how we do it. Both indicators are rated with equal importance when assessing an employee’s overall performance.

Capability development

We continue to maintain our commitment to building and enhancing the capability of our employees in order to meet the strategic needs of the Department and the broader APS. In 2012–13 our capability development activities were guided by the results of the Capability Review. Key action items were implemented throughout the year, including a revised induction program, mentoring, coaching, an increased focus on developing people management skills and building the PM&C ‘Craft’ into the Capability Development Framework.

The capability development initiatives addressed a number of development areas: leadership and management; core and foundation skills development; mandatory training; and graduate development. Our employees attended a range of development opportunities throughout the year, including:

  • formal training and structured learning
  • secondment, taskforce and cross-agency project work
  • on-the-job learning, mentoring and coaching
  • a series of seminars addressing key issues.

Eligible employees in PM&C can apply for the Department’s Study Assistance Scheme. A total of 119 employees accessed this scheme this year, enabling them to undertake formal courses of study relevant to their work and the work of the broader APS. A total of 70 employees (SES and non-SES) also accessed the Career Advisory Service throughout the financial year, a service that provides employees with advice on leadership, team management and career development planning.

To address core and professional capability requirements, we continued to foster our relationship with the Australian National University through participation in leadership programs facilitated by the National Security College and through the Crawford School at the Australian National Institute of Public Policy, HC Coombs Policy Forum and the Australia and New Zealand School of Government (ANZSOG), as well as offering a range of other programs. We also participate in programs to enhance public sector governance through our relationships with the ANZSOG Institute of Governance at the University of Canberra and the Institute of Public Administration Australia.

Customised in-house writing and policy programs were also developed to enhance the capability of our staff. These programs were well attended and provided valuable insight through co-facilitation by senior departmental officers and external facilitators. Additionally, an in-house program to develop coaching capability to enhance on the job learning was initiated, with sessions being held in May and June 2013.

Selected high potential employees from the Department were given the opportunity to participate in a range of leadership events and programs. These benefit the Department through the development of individual knowledge and skills as well as the creation of professional networks and the insight gained into new ideas and concepts being generated across government and the private sector.

Many of our employees also attended the Secretary’s Seminar Series to gain insight from national and international experts on a range of current issues, including leadership, gender equity and government integrity.