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Foundational, 2017–18

[Source of criteria: APSC Corporate Plan 2017–18, page 15.]

Activity: Ensure data informs and shapes the structure and management of the APS workforce

Key performance indicator: Workforce data is accessible, timely and accurate

Measure: Timely and accurate workforce data collection and reporting

2017–18 results: 

  • In 2017–18 the APSC collected a variety of workforce data from agencies and APS employees.
  • The data is released publicly and to agencies through a range of reports and the provision of online datasets.
  • Demographic data on the APS workforce is updated twice a year. Remuneration data, employee opinion data and data on unscheduled absences are released annually with accompanying analysis.
  • To ensure accuracy, all data collections received directly from agencies undergo a checking, cleansing and validation process. Data collected by a third-party on behalf of the APSC are subject to contractual requirements for checking and validation.

Key performance indicator: Workforce data is used to inform the management of the APS workforce

Measure: Feedback from agencies indicates an acceptable use of data to facilitate workforce planning

2017–18 results:

Feedback received through the 2018 Agency Survey showed that 94 per cent of APS agencies used APSC information products to support workforce planning. The most frequently used products were:

  • the State of the Service Report and website (84 per cent of agencies)
  • the APS Workforce Planning Guide (73 per cent of agencies)
  • the APS Remuneration Report (71 per cent of agencies).

Through the Workforce Planning Community of Practice, a number of case studies about data use were shared:

  • One agency provided an example of using job family data to explore the agency’s capability gaps. The agency used job families as an input to its capability assessment framework, allowing it to assess the capability requirements of various job roles at different classifications.
  • Many agencies used APS Employee Census results to improve the work environment for employees and their own management practices.
  • Many agencies also used data from the APS Employment Database to benchmark a range of workforce statistics against other APS agencies—for example, representation of various diversity groups, length of service and turnover rates.

Performance analysis: foundational

The Commission invests significant effort in ensuring that APS workforce data is accessible, timely, accurate and used. During the reporting year we worked with agencies across the APS to ensure the APSC data collections are useful in informing and shaping the structure and management of the APS workforce. We also produced the following:

  • two data releases covering APS workforce data as at 30 June 2017 and 31 December 2017 
  • an annual report on remuneration data and trends across the APS, as well as individual reports for each agency as at 31 December 2017 
  • over 20,000 reports to agencies covering results of the 2017 APS Employee Census 
  • data on unscheduled absence rates for each APS agency 
  • the 2016–17 State of the Service Report, tabled in late November 2017 and supported by a number of online posts and presentations to APS staff around the country. 

Additionally, data was released in response to 181 requests, and 24 research reports were produced. Data collected by the APSC supported work conducted by the Select Committee on Regional Development and Decentralisation and contributed to the Australian National Audit Office’s report Australian Government Procurement Contract Reporting. It has also supported senior departmental committees and networks such as the Secretaries Board, the Secretaries Equality and Diversity Council, the Secretaries APS Reform Committee, the Deputy Secretaries Reform Group, the Deputy Secretaries Data Group, and the Senior Executive Service Indigenous Network.

The Commission continues to evaluate and improve its data and analysis products.

During 2017–18 the APSC also improved access to APS workforce data through updating APSEDii (the APS Employment Database interactive interface), available on the APSC website. Protection of individual privacy was an important consideration when improving access.

The Commission held extensive consultations with agencies on the content and structure of the 2018 Employee Census. The census was improved through:

  • refinement of engagement measures 
  • strengthening measurement of performance management, risk management, innovation and discrimination 
  • introducing measures to assess the cultural and linguistic diversity of the APS. 

The response rate for the 2018 Employee Census was 74 per cent, up from 71 per cent in 2017. Over 100,000 employees participate in the census.

Last reviewed: 
18 October 2018