To position the APS workforce for the future.
The Australian Public Service Commission is a non-corporate Commonwealth agency within the Prime Minister and Cabinet portfolio.
Our Statutory responsibilities are detailed in the Public Service Act 1999 and include to:
- Develop, promote, review and evaluate APS employment policies and practices
- Contribute to learning and development and career management
- Contribute to and foster leadership in the APS
- Provide advice and assistance on public service matters to agencies
- Promote high standards of integrity and conduct in the APS
The APSC also provides policy and secretariat support to the Remuneration Tribunal and the Defence Force Remuneration Tribunal.
Our performance information is presented through four strategic priorities. We present our planned activities to address those priorities.
- Modernise the employment framework
- Shape the APS workforce
- Build workforce capability
- Promote integrity
The APSC operates under the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013.
We employ around 200 staff. Most of these are located in our Canberra office. We have a small office in Sydney that employs around 10 staff.
We provide resources to support the Merit Protection Commissioner.
We operate in a tight fiscal environment. The APSC receives approximately 50% of its resources through government appropriation. The remaining 50% is provided by government agencies—either on a fee for service basis or through subscriptions supported by a memorandum of understanding.
Our internal priorities
The APSC is committed to a culture of excellence and innovation. During 2017-18 we will demonstrate this through:
- Continuing to develop and implement strategic HR management approaches that mirror contemporary best practice
- Introducing a more flexible approach to managing and resourcing projects
- Improving business outcomes through ICT strategies that maximise the benefits of digital technology
Risk oversight and management
The Commission's approach to risk management is designed to assist in the management of our financial, environmental and social responsibilities. It ensures the oversight, management and control of risks, and is integrated into all business activities and systems. It meets our obligations under the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013. The Commission's overall risk appetite is moderate, which reflects the importance of being able to engage with risk to pursue opportunity.
The Commission has a low risk appetite in relation to dishonest, deceptive and fraudulent conduct, the unauthorised disclosure of official information, and the health, safety and wellbeing of our employees.
Regular monitoring and reporting is provided to the Audit and Risk Management Committee and the Commission's Executive Committee.
Risks are detailed in business plans and are summarised in the Commission's risk register.
- Meeting client needs—bringing people and ideas together to generate better solutions.
- Staff capability—developing internal capability and managing succession through workforce planning
- Reduction in current funding levels—making best use of resources and demonstrating good value to clients
To deliver on our purpose our people will be.
- Strategically focussed
- Engaged with risk
- Opportunity seekers
- Actively engaged with technology
- User centered
- Open to change
- Data Literate
- Driven by evidence
- Solution focussed
Engaged with others
- Adaptable to diversity
- Effective communicators
- Actively looking to partner
Our guiding principles
our client experience
Three principles will guide the way we work with others to position the APS workforce for the future.
In working with clients and partners, we will:
Principle 1: Add Value
- We contribute expertise, contemporary thinking and whole of APS insights to shape the agenda for the future.
- We identify opportunities for making progress in areas of importance for the APS and try new approaches.
Principle 2: Stay the Distance
- We go beyond ideas to design practical initiatives and solutions.
- We actively support implementation, knowing this is critical to achieving real outcomes for the APS.
- We adapt and adopt as we go, learning from our experiences and using this to improve the way things are done.
Principle 3: Partner Effectively
- We bring people and ideas together to generate better solutions.
- We co-create and co-design for optimum quality.
- We look for ways to tailor common solutions so that they are fit-for-purpose and suitable for a client's context.
Strategic priorities and deliverables
Modernising the employment framework
- Develop and implement workplace relations policies to support the workforce of the future.
- Implement changes to the employment framework to reflect the future of work.
- Promote contemporary termination practices.
Shaping the APS workforce
- Drive strategic workforce planning.
- Embed talent management.
- Build diversity and promote inclusive workplaces.
- Improve recruitment outcomes.
- Foster contemporary approaches to work.
- Promote modern approaches to performance and attendance management.
Building workforce capability
- Grow and support future leaders.
- Transform middle management capability.
- Strengthen digital and data capability.
- Build HR and WR capability.
- Evaluate agency approaches to embedding the APS values.
- Ensure approaches to integrity issues align with future workplace arrangements.
Ensuring data informs and shapes the structure and management of the APS workforce.
Attachment A: Key activities and measures
|Activities||Key Performance Indicators||Measures||Reporting period|
|Modernising the employment framework|
|Develop and implement workplace relations policies to support the workforce of the future.||Advice provided to Government on future policy options.Agencies bargaining new agreements consistent with Government policies.||Satisfaction of Government with policy advice.||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Satisfaction of agencies with policy and bargaining advice.||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Number of new agreements made consistent with Government policy.||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Implement changes to the employment framework to reflect the future of work.||Agencies are satisfied that the framework is sufficiently flexible to enable the future needs of the APS.||Feedback from key stakeholders indicates increased confidence in the framework.||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Promote contemporary termination practices.||Managers and agencies review and adapt termination practices to be more streamlined and effective.||Feedback from agencies that the process of hiring and firing employees is more efficient and effective.||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Feedback from key stakeholders indicates increased knowledge of and confidence in termination practices.||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Data from agencies indicates increased use of probation and termination to manage underperformance.||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Shaping the APS workforce|
|Drive strategic workforce planning.||Agencies have increased capability to undertake strategic workforce planning.||Assessment of the workforce planning capability across the APS, using surveys and focus groups.||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|HR metrics are provided to APS agencies within agreed timeframes that assist in strategic workforce planning.||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Feedback from key stakeholders demonstrates a high level of satisfaction with the accessibility, quality and timeliness of advice and data provided.||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Results from the Annual Agency Survey shows improved agency self-assessment of capability.||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Embed talent management.||Talent management is aligned with workforce planning and succession management, and informs decisions about the leadership pipeline.||Secretaries and Deputy Secretaries Talent Councils operating effectively.||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Tool for measuring potential in the EL2 cohort piloted and rolled out.||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Feedback from key stakeholders indicates they are using talent management to shape the workforce for the future.||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Results from the Annual Agency Survey shows improved agency self-assessment of talent management maturity.||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Build diversity and promote inclusive workplaces.||APS workforce more closely reflects the diversity of the Australian community.
APS workplaces are inclusive, with employees' experience of work reflecting an inclusive culture.
|APSED diversity data.||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Census results reflect a positive effect in the perceptions of all employees, and employees from specific diversity groups.||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Improve recruitment outcomes.||Right people are recruited and transition successfully to the APS: productive, aligned with values, contributing strengths.||Feedback from users indicates that the new Induction portal supported an effective Induction process.||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Feedback from agencies indicates greater satisfaction with recruitment outcomes and processes.||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|New APSC guidance about better practice recruitment is published and used by agencies and employees.||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Foster contemporary approaches to work.||All levels of the APS are engaged in discussion around contemporary approaches to work.||Feedback from key stakeholders indicates that strategic workforce planning and implementation is geared towards contemporary approaches to work.||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Promote modern approaches to performance and attendance management.||APS agencies have implemented more effective attendance management approaches.||Reduced rates of unscheduled absence.||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|APS agencies have implemented more effective performance management approaches.||Results from the annual agency survey show increased use of modern attendance management approaches.||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Results from the annual agency survey show increased use of modern performance management approaches.||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Census results show improved employee perceptions of performance management.||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Building workforce capability|
|Grow and support future leaders.||Leadership development is contemporary and builds confidence in the practice of leadership.||Evaluation and assessment data indicates a positive shift in capability.||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Transform middle management capability.||Managers are more confident and skilful in performing their role, including exercising their authority.||Management Action Program is released and implemented across the APS.||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Managers are more capable and confident, particularly in relation to diversity and inclusion.||Evaluation and assessment data indicates a positive shift in capability||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Evaluation and assessment data indicates a positive shift in capability.||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Strengthen digital and data capability.||Staff in agencies have appropriate digital and data capability.||Digital and data capability initiatives delivered on time.||✔||✔||✔|
|Evaluation data shows capability shifts.||✔||✔||✔|
|Build HR capability.||Workplace Relations Capability Programme implemented.||Satisfaction of participants in the Workplace Relations Capability Programme.||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Satisfaction of agency management with their workplace relations capability.||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|HR Boost project implemented.||Participating agencies report improved HR capability.||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Evaluate agency approaches to embedding the APS values.||APS agencies have measures in place to embed the APS values effectively.||By 30 June 2018, develop and scope an evaluation of agency approaches.||✔|
|Census data indicates that managers and employees understand their professional obligations as APS employees.||
By 30 June 2019:
Continue publication of timely, relevant, accessible guidance on integrity issues in the APS.
|Ensure approaches to integrity issues align with future workplace arrangements.||Feedback from agencies indicates a reduction in the average time to complete inquiries.||Conduct inquiry arrangements are revised to make them simpler and more flexible.||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Proportion of completed misconduct cases referred for review to the MPC declines.||New arrangements are released and implemented by agencies.||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Ensure data informs and shapes the structure and management of the APS workforce.||Workforce data is accessible, timely, and accurate.||Timely and accurate workforce data collection and reporting.||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Workforce data is used to inform the management of the APS workforce.||Feedback from agencies indicates an acceptable usage of data to facilitate workforce planning.||✔||✔||✔||✔|