Go to top of page

Strategy initiatives and progress updates

Since 14 May 2012, the Australian Public Service Commission has been working to implement the As One: APS Disability Employment Strategy. The Strategy includes 19 initiatives, under four main themes. Information on progress against each of these initiatives is provided below.

The four main themes of the strategy are:

  1. Fostering inclusive cultures
  2. Increasing agency demand
  3. Improving recruitment processes
  4. Improving leadership

Theme: Fostering inclusive cultures

Initiative name Progress on this initiative Current status
1: Mental health guidelines

The Australian Public Service Commission has partnered with Comcare to produce practical guidelines to support managers and employees in the effective day-to-day management of employees with a mental health condition.

It can be challenging for managers to understand mental health conditions, how mental illness can affect an employee, and how to respond. However, creating a healthy and engaged workforce can lead to significant benefits, not least the ability to deliver better policy and service for the Australian community.

The guidelines are available in the Publications and media section of the APSC website.

Queries about the mental health guidelines can be directed to the Disability Employment team at the Commission by emailing abilityatwork [at] apsc.gov.au

2: Diversity messages in training and human resource processes and procedures

As One commits the Australian Public Service Commission to encouraging agencies to incorporate diversity message training and human resources processes and procedures. The Commission has partnered with the Department of Human Services and the Departments of Education and Training and Employment to provide agencies with two e-learning packages, one on Disability Awareness and the other on Disability Confidence. The packages will be available shortly.

3: Flexible working arrangements within agencies

The Australian Public Service Commission, through As One, has committed to ask agencies to encourage the take-up of flexible working arrangements.

In 2012, the Diversity Council has endorsed APS reasonable adjustments best practice principles that could assist with requests for flexible work arrangements as part of a request for reasonable adjustments.

The ICT Accessibility Roundtable, established by the Diversity Council and chaired by the Department of Human Services, will consider technology to support telework as part of its terms of reference.

4: My Career, My APS

My Career, My APS is an online career tool that provides information and practical exercises for people from diverse backgrounds, particularly those with a disability, who want to know more about a career in the APS or are already employed in the APS and looking to further their career.

5: Network of networks

As One seeks to establish a network of representatives from agencies' disability networks.

The Commission is consulting and researching the scope and mandate of a network that will bring these networks together to identify and progress best practice in the APS .

Theme: Increasing agency demand

Initiative name Progress on this initiative Current status
6: Value proposition and business case promotion

As One commits the Australian Public Service Commission to promote the value proposition and business case regarding the employment of people with disability.

Find out more about the APS business case for disability employment.

7: Plain English guide to the Commissioner's Direction 4.3

As One commits the Australian Public Service Commission to publish a plain English guide to the Commissioner's Directions' special measures on employing people with disability using disability employment service providers.

8: Work design As One commits the Australian Public Service Commission to promote the use of work design is a tool to improve the work options for employees with disability, and those people with disability considering work in the APS.

Theme: Improving recruitment processes

Initiative name Progress on this initiative Current status
9: Recruitability

As One commits the Australian Public Service Commission to implementing a scheme where job applicants with disability who opt in to the scheme and meet the minimum requirements of a vacancy advertised under the scheme are advanced to a further stage in the selection process (usually an interview).

Find out more information about RecruitAbility

10: Pathway program into the APS

As One commits the Australian Public Service Commission to establishing an APS employment pathway for people with disability so that the APS can further strengthen and develop its workforce.

11: Education on how to apply flexibility to the merit selection process

As One commits the Australian Public Service Commission to providing greater education to agency human resources personnel and hiring managers on how to apply flexibility to merit selection processes to meet the needs of people with disability and create level playing field.

This initiative aims, in part, to address some of the myths surrounding merit based recruitment, for example that each candidate must be given the exact same time and must be asked the exact same questions.

12: Procurement procedures to include disability employment providers

As One seeks to improve the APS procurement of services from businesses that have a good track record of employing people with disability such as Australian Disability Enterprises.

APS procurers should consider using suppliers such as Australian Disability Enterprises, under existing provisions in the Commonwealth Procurement Rules that make procurement easier, more socially inclusive, and provide value for money.

13: APS Disability Employment Working Group

The APS Disability Employment Working Group arises out of an acknowledgement of the under-representation of people with disability in the APS . The Working Group's focus is the relationships between APS agencies and disability employment services.

Theme: Improving leadership

Initiative name Progress on this initiative Current status
14: Diversity awards

As One commits the Australian Public Service Commission to hold annual diversity awards to celebrate and recognise APS good practice.

15: Disability related data in internal reporting

As One commits the Australian Public Service Commission to encourage agencies to include disability-related data in their internal reporting arrangements, such as scorecards and metrics.

16: Assigning disability champions

As One commits the Australian Public Service Commission to ask and encourage agencies to assign champions to help strengthen and progress the disability agenda.

Find out about the Disability Champions Network

17: Support and guidance for disability champions As One commits the Australian Public Service Commission to provide greater support and guidance to disability champions.
See the video series Leading the Way for information about the role of the Disability Champion in an APS agency.
18: Expectations for managers and senior staff to build and foster a diverse workforce

As One commits the Australian Public Service Commission to asking agencies to set clear expectations of managers and senior executive staff to build and foster a diverse workforce.
See the video series Leading the Way for information about the expectations for managers and leaders in building diverse workforces.

19: The Diversity Council

The Secretaries Board established the APS -wide Diversity Council in early 2012. The Council provides visible, strategic leadership on diversity issues, and aims to motivate improvements in diversity outcomes, including employment outcomes for Indigenous Australians and people with disability, in the APS .

The Diversity Council is the governing body overseeing the implementation of initiatives as outlined in As One–APS Disability Employment Strategy.