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The AIHW's staffing profile and information about how the AIHW supports its staff can be found in this chapter.
Reconciliation action plan
Learning and development
Ecologically sustainable development
Occupational health and safety
Commonwealth Disability Strategy
The AIHW's fifth strategic direction (SD5) recognises that valued, expert and versatile people are critical to the achievement of its corporate objectives. The AIHW aims to:
The AIHW's People Unit plays an important role in achieving this strategic direction. It provides human resource services such as workforce management, recruitment, learning and development, information about conditions of service and advice to managers on performance management. It also provides facilities services including management of office accommodation and supplies, and occupational health and safety.
Staff numbers at 30 June 2011 were 360.5 full-time equivalent staff (393 total staff) (Table 8). This was a 4.3% increase on the 345.8 full-time equivalent staff (372 total staff) employed as at 30 June 2010. There was a 5.6% increase in total staff numbers during 2010–11.
About two-thirds (67%) of the AIHW's staff are female (263) and nearly 86% of staff (337) are ongoing employees. The proportion of ongoing employees decreased over the year from 91% at 30 June 2010.
The AIHW has a high level of part-time employment, with 22% of staff—74 ongoing and 14 non-ongoing—employed part-time. This proportion remains similar to that at 30 June 2010.
Notes: 1. 'Ongoing staff' refers to staff employed on an ongoing basis by the AIHW. 2. 'Non-ongoing staff' refers to staff employed by the AIHW on contracts or temporary transfer for specified terms and specified tasks, including staff on transfer from other Australian Public Service agencies.
More women are employed part-time at the AIHW than men (69 women compared with 19 men, or 26% of female staff compared with 15% of male staff at 30 June 2011). Sixteen women and four men were on long-term leave at 30 June 2011.
The most common levels of staff employment at the AIHW are Executive Level (EL) 1 with 130 staff (33% of total staff numbers) and Australian Public Service (APS) 6 level with 92 staff (23%) (Table 9).
(a) One female officer was on long-term leave. (b) Two officers, one male and one female, were serving in short-term acting arrangements while Senior Executive Service (SES) Band 1 officers were on annual leave. Note: Staff on higher duties are included at the level at which they are acting.
Over the year, staff numbers increased at the EL 2, EL 1, APS 6 and APS 4 levels with the largest percentage increases being for the APS 4 level—an increase of 30%, from 31 to 40 staff—and the APS 6 level—an increase of 12%, from 82 to 92. At other levels staff numbers remained steady or dropped.
The relatively high proportion of females at the AIHW is less prominent at the EL 2 level. More than half the staff employed at each level (except CEO level) are female.
The AIHW recently conducted a skills and qualifications survey of all staff. Nearly three-quarters of all employees (288) responded. Of these, 262 reported having a bachelor degree or higher qualification (Figure 7). The most common fields of study identified were sciences (15%), health or public health (13%), mathematics or statistics (13%) and psychology (12%).
The AIHW continues to attract and retain talented staff by offering challenging and fulfilling work, competitive salaries, excellent learning and development opportunities, good work–life balance and a friendly and inclusive work environment.
Video clips on the AIHW's website promote the attractions of working at the Institute. They feature staff and graduates discussing the benefits of the Graduate Program, the range of career opportunities offered by the Institute and the general advantages of AIHW employment.
The videos are available for public viewing and are frequently the subject of positive feedback from AIHW job applicants.
AIHW representatives attended several Australian Public Service Commission Career Fairs during the year to promote the career opportunities available at the AIHW and to encourage applications for the Indigenous Graduate and Cadet Programs.
Although staff turnover has increased slightly over the past 12 months, the separation rate of 4.4%—which excludes staff transferring to other Australian Public Service agencies—remains well below the rate for the wider Australian Public Service (6.4%).
The AIHW continues to offer excellent employment opportunities for graduates and postgraduates seeking to apply their qualifications in the field of health and welfare information (see the 'snapshot' below). Fourteen new graduates were employed by the AIHW in the 2010–11 intake, eight of whom relocated from interstate. All took up APS 4 positions. They were given the opportunity to participate in training organised by the Australian Public Service Commission and in strategic project work in many areas of the AIHW. They were also offered a variety of learning and development opportunities specifically tailored for APS graduates. This year the AIHW is trialling a developmental toolkit that provides advice for graduates on making the transition to a professional career. The kit contains a handbook, a workbook, a journal and CDs through which graduates can work independently at their own pace or with their supervisor as a means of assessing and enhancing their skills and capabilities.
Of the 21 graduates in the 2009–10 intake, 17 remain at the AIHW. Ten have been promoted to the APS 5 level and one to the APS 6 level.
Graduates are highly valued and well catered for at the AIHW. Employment opportunities are available for graduates and postgraduates interested in applying their skills and knowledge in the field of health and welfare information.
'We are always looking for super thinkers, writers and talkers who also want to be part of a team. And you do not have to be a statistician,' says David Kalisch, AIHW Director.
During the 2010-11 intake, 14 new graduates began their employment with the AIHW. With backgrounds ranging from practical statistics, public health, community development and communication management, AIHW's graduates are a diverse range of individuals with a wide variety of skills.
Working with experts in their field, AIHW graduates have gained experience in subject areas, such as population health, health and community services, housing, Indigenous health and welfare, information management, corporate services, publishing and media.
Graduates have the opportunity to participate in a number of learning and development programs throughout the year, including:
Meet some of our graduates at www.aihw.gov.au/graduate-program-video/.
Figure 7: Highest level of staff qualifications, 2011
In March 2010, the AIHW invited the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) to nominate staff for temporary engagement with the AIHW, as approved under Department of Immigration and Citizenship sponsorship arrangements (see the 'snapshot'). Three Canadian staff have made a very valuable contribution to the AIHW. One AIHW manager is currently on a temporary transfer with CIHI for 12–24 months.
The AIHW places a strong emphasis on two-way communication between managers and staff and conducts formal staff performance feedback and communication twice a year. The practice aims to improve formal communication between managers and staff on work priorities, workload, performance, learning and development and other matters. Staff also receive feedback on their performance against the five standard Australian Public Service Commission Integrated Leadership System selection criteria and against relevant technical and professional skills. In August 2010, more than 98% of staff participated in formal performance discussions. This is the highest level of participation to date across the AIHW and was repeated in February 2011.
To support staff in managing teams, a number of performance management workshops were offered to managers during the year. The programs included Giving and Receiving Feedback, Managing for Performance, and Difficult Conversations.
The AIHW recognises that a positive work environment encourages workplace diversity, innovation and creativity and helps reduce absenteeism and employee turnover. All new employees are provided with training and information on behaviour in the workplace, and existing staff have been given the opportunity to attend courses on workplace practices with the objective of ensuring that the AIHW will be free of bullying and harassment.
The AIHW has four fully trained Harassment Contact Officers. They represent varying classification levels and AIHW locations, and include staff from both genders. They are available to provide confidential support to managers and staff on bullying and harassment issues.
The AIHW continues to recognise and celebrate the diverse talents and experiences brought to the workplace by its staff.
The AIHW conducts a range of activities that increase awareness and appreciation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures. This year it has celebrated several significant Indigenous events, including NAIDOC Week, Close the Gap Day and Reconciliation Week, by inviting guest speakers and artists to share their experiences with staff on these occasions.
The AIHW has also presented a number of new staff programs and seminars to raise awareness of mental health issues in the workplace. The AIHW currently has seven staff with a reported disability. Over the coming year the Institute will investigate recruitment strategies, programs and Australian Public Service Commission initiatives to increase the employment of staff with disabilities.
The opportunities provided by the Institute for flexible working arrangements also encourage workplace diversity.
In early 2011, the AIHW welcomed three staff members from the Canadian Institute of Health Information (CIHI) as part of its professional exchange program.
The Institute's Canadian visitors are employed at a variety of levels: SES Band 1, EL 1 and APS 6. They bring to the AIHW a diversity of knowledge and experience in various health-related issues.
The professional exchange program is a reflection of the AIHW's commitment to building a diverse, highly skilled workforce, drawing on a broad range of professional experience, both nationally and globally.
The CIHI placements offer a unique opportunity to share international expertise and best practice. The AIHW is continuing discussions with CIHI to facilitate other international AIHW staff placements.
The AIHW's Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) working group reports annually to the AIHW Board and Reconciliation Australia on the AIHW's progress in meeting the plan's objectives. The plan's objectives are to:
A number of measurable targets were identified to achieve these objectives. All targets were achieved and several exceeded. The AIHW RAP working group met regularly during 2010–11 to ensure the implementation across the AIHW of actions outlined in the plan. The group focused on increasing and retaining Indigenous staff numbers at the AIHW and continuing to raise awareness of Indigenous issues (see the 'snapshot').
The AIHW participates in the APS Indigenous Cadetship Program. During the year, the Institute sponsored two cadets who gained valuable experience through working on projects such as Closing the Gap Clearinghouse and Healthy for Life. The program, subsidised by the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, provides financial assistance for cadets while they are completing their tertiary studies and offers them a 12-week work placement each year with the AIHW. At the end of their studies, the cadets are guaranteed ongoing employment with the AIHW.
Each year, Indigenous students from Macquarie University are invited to visit the AIHW. These annual visitors are second-year, mature-age students undertaking a Bachelor in Community Management through the Warawara Department of Indigenous Studies. They work in various government and community-based organisations in New South Wales, Queensland and the Northern Territory. The students gain an understanding of how Indigenous programs are coordinated at the national level and an awareness of AIHW publications that can assist them with their community work. The annual visits raise the profile of the AIHW and enhance Indigenous community access to health and welfare information.
The number of AIHW Indigenous employees has increased from five to six over the year, and now represent 1.5% of the AIHW workforce.
During 2010–11, the AIHW recognised six staff for their long service with the AIHW (Table 10). This brings to 41 the number of existing staff members who, as at 30 June 2011, have celebrated 10 years or more service with the AIHW—just over 10% of the AIHW's total workforce.
The Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) working group was very busy in 2010-11, holding 10 meetings during the year. In line with the RAP objectives, the working group focused on developing policies that will help to increase the AIHW's Indigenous staff numbers and raise awareness of Indigenous issues.
Key activities for 2010-11 included:
Dr Penny Allbon, the former AIHW Director, Mr James Baban, a traditional Aboriginal healer, and Dr Lisa Jackson Pulver, an Indigenous epidemiologist, at an event held for staff during NAIDOC week (July 2010) that showcased the AIHW's Indigenous publications and offered some 'bush tucker' refreshments
During 2010–11, Director's awards were presented to 12 staff members in recognition of their outstanding contribution to the AIHW (Table 11).
The AIHW's Learning and Development Strategy 2008–2010, developed in consultation with the Institute's Learning and Development Advisory Committee, focuses on continually building staff capabilities in:
The strategy is currently being reviewed.
In 2010–11, the AIHW continued to focus on the development of leadership skills among middle managers and supervisors by providing access to several of the in-house courses linked to the Australian Public Service Commission's Integrated Leadership System.
Part of the 1 July 2011 pay rise to AIHW staff was conditional on at least 92% of the staff who had worked at the AIHW for more than four months participating in five learning and development activities (pro rata for part-time staff and staff with less than 12 months tenure). This target, which was set by the AIHW Consultative Committee (established under the AIHW's Collective Agreement), was achieved, with 96% of eligible staff completing the required number of activities.
The AIHW offered in-house courses to staff during the year in the broad skill areas of communication, management and leadership, and computing and other technical skills. In addition, a formal induction program was offered for new staff (Table 12).
Note: Some staff attended more than one course.
Individual courses offered within these broad subject areas included strategic thinking, stakeholder engagement, essentials for new team leaders, assessing leadership capability, medical terminology and coding, giving and receiving feedback, media and presentations, minute taking, project management, risk management, negotiation skills, selection criteria and interview skills, career directions, occupational health and safety, bullying and harassment awareness, and Indigenous cultural appreciation. Statistical and IT training—in SAS Enterprise Guide, SAS additional topics and advanced programming, METeOR and Microsoft Excel—and statistical writing, writing for the web and AIHW-specific writing workshops continued (see 'Strengthening communication'). SAS training is now being provided by an AIHW employee who is a SAS specialist with facilitation skills.
Induction courses for new staff were held three times during the year, each comprising three half-day programs. In addition to information about the AIHW itself, they now incorporate greater detail than previously on APS practices as a whole (for example, code of conduct, values and ethics) than previously.
Through its Studybank Program, the AIHW continues to provide assistance for staff members who wish to undertake external study to further develop their knowledge and skills. Thirteen staff received Studybank assistance during 2010–11. These staff were each studying for a postgraduate degree or certificate, most commonly in epidemiology, biostatistics, psychology, public health or management.
Internal staff seminars about statistical, research and other issues are held on a regular basis (see for example the 'snapshot' below). Informal lunchtime seminars are offered to staff every 6–8 weeks on health and wellbeing related topics.
AIHW staff continue to rely on the expertise of the statistical consultancy panel established to provide them with advice and support in statistical methodology, and how to work as part of a multidisciplinary team and to participate in the development of new research projects. The AIHW also employs a part-time statistician to advise staff in relation to their statistical work. The AIHW statistical manual provides a ready source of information to staff on the AIHW's statistical practices. The manual is updated on an as-needed basis by the AIHW's Statistical and Analytical Methods Advisory Committee.
Privacy matters at the AIHW, and the Institute is committed to protecting the privacy of the information entrusted to it. The AIHW can only carry out its responsibilities if it has the full confidence of our stakeholders and data providers. In addition, legal obligations related to privacy are an important part of the AIHW Act and the Privacy Act 1988.
During Privacy Awareness Week in May 2011, conducted under the auspices of the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner, the AIHW reinforced its ongoing commitment to honouring its privacy-related obligations. A staff seminar titled 'Privacy Fundamentals' focused on the need to recognise and apply privacy considerations in the Institute's day-to-day work, and on potential reforms to Australia's privacy laws.
The seminar emphasised the importance of the AIHW balancing its confidentiality obligations with the need to facilitate access to information.
The Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 identifies the following principles of ecologically sustainable development:
Under this Act the AIHW is required to report on the matters included in the list below.
As of June 2011, there were 13 bins in AIHW kitchens for the collection of organic waste such as food scraps, coffee grounds, tea bags, bread and paper towels. The waste is fed to worms and recycled into an organic fertiliser in a process called vermicomposting. Over five tonnes of organic waste has been collected since collection began in 2008 (Figure 8).
Figure 8: Organic waste collected, 2008–09 to 2010–11
The AIHW is committed to maintaining an environment where all levels of management and staff cooperate to ensure a safe and healthy workplace. The Health and Safety Management Arrangements, developed in consultation with staff, are the primary vehicle for developing and implementing strategies to achieve this aim. The AIHW Director is assisted in occupational health and safety matters by the Occupational Health and Safety Committee which comprises management and staff representatives.
The AIHW's Health and Safety Management Arrangements were revised in 2010–11 in consultation with all levels of management and staff. The arrangements provide the framework within which the AIHW meets its legislative health and safety requirements and integrates occupational health and safety systems into its business activities. The arrangements specify the respective responsibilities of the employer (the Director), senior managers, supervisors, other key roles (for example, health and safety representatives) and staff.
The arrangements outline the functions of the Occupational Health and Safety Committee. The committee, which meets four times a year, monitors incidents in the workplace, ensuring that any issues are dealt with effectively and efficiently, and reviews occupational health and safety related policies.
During 2010–11, the AIHW continued to provide workstation assessments for all new staff. This is aimed at ensuring employee comfort and identifying any individual needs to maintain the low incidence of body-stressing injuries at the AIHW. The AIHW has also purchased several lecterns to allow staff who need it the option of working in a standing position.
The People Unit undertook four workplace safety inspections during 2010–11 covering all AIHW office buildings (see 'Accommodation'). The Institute's occupational health and safety practices and procedures were also explained in corporate induction sessions. Targeted training sessions were held throughout the year (two sessions for managers and two sessions for staff during 2010–11) as part of an ongoing program to reinforce the importance of occupational health and safety for new and existing staff, and contractors.
The AIHW continues to offer free vaccinations to all staff leading into the influenza season.
In 2010–11, the AIHW supported two new health and wellbeing initiatives, a corporate gym membership and the Global Corporate Challenge. The corporate gym membership provides staff with access to a range of gyms across Canberra at a substantially reduced rate. The membership is paid for by staff and administered by the social club. The Global Corporate Challenge is a worldwide corporate health initiative that encourages participants to increase their daily physical activity over a three-month period. Participants are also encouraged to review their eating habits and adopt a healthier diet through access to daily information and weekly eating plans provided by a nutrition coach. There are 91 staff currently participating in 13 teams of seven.
The AIHW continued to use Davidson Trahaire Corpsych to provide short-term counselling services under its Employee Assistance Program. The purpose of the program is to help managers, staff and their immediate families whose lives and work may be adversely affected by personal or work-related problems.
There were no incidents requiring notice to be given under s. 68 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act 1991. The AIHW was not subject to any investigations during the year, and no directions were given under s. 45 or notices provided under ss. 29, 46 or 47 of this Act.
The AIHW operated from four separate office buildings in Canberra in 2010–11:
The leases for three of these buildings are due to expire in 2014. The lease for Block D expires in September 2011.
In May 2011, the AIHW conducted a staff accommodation survey as part of the process of planning the AIHW's future accommodation requirements.
AIHW makes every effort to ensure that all its policies and procedures comply with the principles of the Commonwealth Disability Strategy. The AIHW is both an 'employer' (see 'Workplace diversity') and a 'service provider' under the Commonwealth Disability Strategy Performance Reporting Framework. The AIHW is not a 'policy advisor', 'regulator' or 'purchaser' under the framework.
The major focus of the AIHW is to provide information to other government departments and statutory agencies to help them in their development of policies and programs. Information is also available to the community on the AIHW website and in printed publications.
During 2010–11 all new publications were released simultaneously on the AIHW's website in both Portable Document Format and Rich Text Format, the latter format being more accessible for those with vision impairments. The AIHW invites its website visitors who have difficulty accessing information to seek individual assistance. Facilities and conferences managed by the AIHW comply with accessibility standards for people with disability, including those for wheelchair access, toilets and disabled parking.
During the year the Commonwealth Disability Strategy was overtaken by a new National Disability Strategy which sets out a ten year national policy framework for improving life for Australians with disability, their families and carers. Disability reporting now occurs though a number of mechanisms. For example, the APS Commission's State of the Service Report and the APS Statistical Bulletin, to which the AIHW contributes, provide information on the 'employer' role.