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Entry and Exit Survey Process

Australian Public Service (APS) agencies have a wealth of workforce information available to them in their human resources databases that describe the workforce in great detail. For workforce planning purposes it is critical to understand the ‘flow’ of the workforce. That is, how employees enter, leave or move through the APS. One of the tools for understanding this available to the APS is the APS Entry-Exit survey process which was developed by the Australian Public Service Commission.

Agencies are free to choose to participate in either the Entry or Exit survey, or both. When combined with data from the APS employee census, the Entry-Exit survey process allows the APS to understand the factors influencing an employee’s decision to join or leave their agency. It also allows individual agencies to understand why people choose to work for them. This enables agencies to leverage these factors in order to compete more effectively for talented employees.

The Commission produces an annual whole-of-APS report from the APS Entry-Exit surveys that incorporates APS employee census data, as well as agency-specific reports for those agencies with enough respondents to the Entry-Exit survey.[1] These data are analysed using the lens of the APS Employment Value Proposition which looks at five attributes that employees perceive as the value they gain from their employment in the APS:

  • the conditions under which they work
  • the opportunities their work provides them
  • the nature of the agency in which they work
  • the nature of the work (or job) that they do
  • the people with whom they work.

This applies to factors that attract employees into the APS, those that are important in retaining employees and those factors that contribute to an employee leaving.

At June 30 2015, 31 separate agencies were using the using the APS Entry-Exit Surveys. Overall, 1,380 employees had completed the Entry Survey upon taking up employment in an APS agency.[2] This includes employees who had been transferred or promoted from one APS agency to another as well as those being engaged from outside the APS. The Exit survey was completed by 2,436 respondents which includes employees moving to another APS agency as well as those leaving the APS completely. The APS employee census was administered online between 11 May and 12 June 2015 and 91,937 APS employees took part. Together this data provides a reliable data source to assist the APS better understand the flow of its workforce.

[1] A minimum of 30 respondents were required for analysis purposes and the production of an agency-specific report.

[2] Neither the Entry or Exit survey is mandatory so these numbers will under-represent the number of employees joining or leaving these agencies.

Last reviewed: 
4 July 2018