4.3 Management of human resources

Effectiveness in managing and developing staff

Workforce planning, staff retention and turnover

During 2017–18, the ARC reviewed its priorities for the year and the need for staff in particular areas to support those priorities. The ARC maximised opportunities to develop a flexible and responsive workforce by:

  • enabling staff rotations to support staff development and encouraging staff to assist with ERA and NCGP processes during peak periods of activity
  • providing targeted training opportunities
  • providing opportunities for staff to work at higher levels during staff absences
  • ensuring relevant knowledge management and sharing processes were in place.

In 2017–18, staff turnover figures were higher than in previous years, with 21 separations recorded compared to 18 in 2016–17. Fifteen of these separations were for career opportunities both inside and outside the APS.

Employment agreements

During 2017–18, the ARC employed non-SES staff under the following arrangements:

  • ARC Enterprise Agreement 2017–2020: Under this agreement ARC employees receive a productivity salary increase of two per cent upon commencement of the agreement, two per cent after 12 months, and two per cent after 24 months service.
  • Australian Workplace Agreements (AWAs): AWAs are formalised individual agreements negotiated by the employer and employee. Changes to the Workplace Relations Act 1996 stipulated that no new AWAs could be entered into on or after 13 February 2008. The ARC has a small number of staff on AWAs that were negotiated before those changes were enacted.
  • Individual Flexibility Arrangements (IFAs): Employees covered by the ARC Enterprise Agreement 2017–2020 may agree to make an IFA to vary the effect of terms of the agreement. IFAs within the ARC generally deal with retention allowances or remuneration, allowing the CEO to remunerate specialised employees based on market forces and experience.

Training and development

ARC training and development activities are conducted within the framework of its Learning and Development Strategy 2014–17. The strategy aims to ensure that all employees have access to appropriate training opportunities to ensure the organisation has the right skills and knowledge to achieve its objectives.

In the 2017 Australian Public Service Employee Census, 78 per cent of ARC staff indicated that they believed the ARC provided access to effective learning and development opportunities compared to 69 per cent for the APS.

In 2017–18, the People and Services Section coordinated access for ARC staff to a range of training opportunities including eLearning, in-house training, as well as external opportunities such as coaching and studies assistance.

In-house training

During the year, all employees were required to undertake mandatory eLearning modules.
The modules included:

  • CORE Cultural Learning: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australia
  • Resilience
  • Beyond Blue—Managing Mental Health Risks at Work
  • Beyond Blue—What Would You Do? Approaching An Employee You’re Concerned About (For Supervisors)
  • Developing Self Awareness
  • Creating Accessible Documents With Microsoft Office
  • Reconciliation Australia’s ‘Share our Pride’
  • Financial Management and Budgeting.

All new staff were required to undertake four eLearning modules: APS Values and Principles, Security, Privacy Awareness and Fraud Awareness.

The ARC also provided in-house training to staff on Bullying and Harassment-Free Workplaces, Organisational Behaviour, Speed Reading and Memory Enhancement, How to Write a Winning Application and Practice Interview Techniques, Professional Representational Skills, and New Supervisor Skills.

Work health and safety performance

The ARC’s workplace health and safety arrangements, provided in accordance with Schedule 2, Part 4 of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011, are reported in Appendix 5.

Productivity gains

During 2017–18 the ARC continued to review its procedures to streamline administrative processes and systems for ARC staff and NCGP and ERA stakeholders. In addition, the ARC:

  • implemented a new application to support ERA 2018 nominations, submissions and assignments
  • automated the input of project outputs into NCGP final reports
  • launched revised online forms to simplify and streamline the submission of NCGP final reports
  • implemented an online College of Experts nomination process
  • adopted standard Australian Government terminology templates for Grant Guidelines and Grant Agreements
  • began publishing all Grant Guidelines on the GrantConnect website—the whole-of-government grants information system. Grants awarded and grant variations were also recorded on this site
  • automated data extraction processes for GrantConnect
  • implemented software to streamline request and issue tracking by the Facilities and Services team
  • utilised the GovCMS hosting arrangements for the ARC internet site, reducing support requirements
  • automated a range of manual processes into the ERA ICT platform (SEER) including:
    • nomination and selection processes for REC members and peer reviewers (for both ERA and EI)
    • preparation processes for the ERA and EI evaluation meetings
  • incorporated manual report generation into the SEER interface.

Staff statistics


Table 4 Employment performance (at 30 June 2017 and 2018)
Indicator 2017 (no.) 2018 (no.)
Total workforce 133 145
Full-time workforce 111 116
Part-time workforce 22 29
Women 97 104
Men 36 41
Identified as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples 0 1

Note: CEO is not included in this table.

Classification level

Table 5 Number of staff by substantive classification level (at 30 June 2017 and 2018)
Classification Ongoing 2017 Ongoing 2018 Non-ongoing 2017 Non-ongoing 2018
SES 2 2 2 0
Executive Level 2 17 21 0 1
Executive Level 1 42 43 1 1
APS6 (ARC Level 3) 29 31 2 1
APS4–5 (ARC Level 2) 35 35 1 6
APS1–3 (ARC Level 1) 1 1 1 3
Total 126 133 7 12

Note: CEO is not included in this table.

Full-time/part-time employment arrangements

Table 6 Number of staff by full-time/part-time employment arrangements (at 30 June 2017 and 2018)
Classification Ongoing 2017 Ongoing 2018 Non-ongoing 2017 Non-ongoing 2018
SES 2 2 1 0
Executive Level 2 16 20 0 0
Executive Level 1 36 35 1 1
APS6 (ARC Level 3) 23 21 2 0
APS4–5 (ARC Level 2) 28 29 1 5
APS1–3 (ARC Level 1) 0 1 1 2
Total 105 108 6 8
SES 0 0 1 0
Executive Level 2 1 1 0 1
Executive Level 1 6 8 0 0
APS6 (ARC Level 3) 6 10 0 1
APS4–5 (ARC Level 2) 7 6 0 1
APS1–3 (ARC Level 1) 1 0 0 1
Total 21 25 1 4


Table 7 Number of staff by gender (at 30 June 2017 and 2018)
Classification Ongoing 2017 Ongoing 2018 Non-ongoing 2017 Non-ongoing 2018
SES 2 2 1 0
Executive Level 2 11 12 0 0
Executive Level 1 27 29 1 1
APS6 (ARC Level 3) 23 24 1 1
APS4–5 (ARC Level 2) 28 28 1 4
APS1–3 (ARC Level 1) 1 1 1 2
Total 92 96 5 8
SES 0 0 1 0
Executive Level 2 6 9 0 1
Executive Level 1 15 14 0 0
APS6 (ARC Level 3) 6 7 1 0
APS4–5 (ARC Level 2) 7 7 0 2
APS1–3 (ARC Level 1) 0 0 0 1
Total 34 37 2 4

Physical location

All ARC staff are located in Canberra.

Identify as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander

The ARC has one staff member who identifies as being Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander.


The ARC Workforce Diversity Program 2015–19 provides the framework for a number of diversity plans and policies including the Multicultural Access and Equity Plan, Discrimination and Harassment-Free Workplace Policy, and Reconciliation Action Plan April 2018–March 2019.

In 2017–18 the ARC:

  • required all staff to complete Bullying and Harassment-Free Workplace training
  • required all staff to complete eLearning modules on Cultural Awareness
  • discussed diversity ideas and progress against commitments in the Diversity Program through the ARC Diversity Working Group
  • launched the Reconciliation Action Plan April 2018–March 2019
  • hosted National Reconciliation Week activities
  • participated in National Aboriginal and Islander Day Observance Committee (NAIDOC) week activities
  • celebrated Harmony Day on 21 March to recognise Australian cultural diversity
  • continued to publicise R U OK? Day to raise awareness of the importance of meaningful conversations with colleagues to promote mental health
  • continued to promote the use of the Employee Assistance Program.

Employment arrangements

Number of staff

The number of ARC staff covered by the different employment arrangements are outlined in Table 8. At 30 June 2018 all non-SES staff were covered by the ARC Enterprise Agreement.

The total number of agreements is higher than the total workforce (see Table 8) as staff covered
by AWAs and IFAs are also covered by the ARC Enterprise Agreement.

Table 8 Number of staff by employment arrangement (at 30 June 2017 and 2018)
Staff 2017 (no.) 2018 (no.)
ARC Enterprise Agreement SES n/a n/a
ARC Enterprise Agreement Non-SES 129 145
Australian Workplace Agreements SES 0 0
Australian Workplace Agreements Non-SES 3 2
Individual Flexibility Arrangements SES 0 0
Individual Flexibility Arrangements Non-SES 16 11

Note: CEO is not included in this table.

Salary ranges

The salary ranges for non-SES staff are provided in Table 9. The ranges reflect the full span of salaries available under the ARC Enterprise Agreement, AWAs and IFAs.

Table 9 Salary ranges of non-SES staff by classification level (at 30 June 2018)
Classification Salary range
Executive Level 2 119,036–163,200
Executive Level 1 99,207–142,800
APS6 77,673–92,210
APS5 70,155–74,139
APS4 64,577–68,242
APS3 57,443–60,702
APS2 51,434–55,876
APS1 47,577–48,795

Section 4.1 provides information on SES remuneration.

Non-salary benefits

The ARC offered a range of non-salary benefits to employees in 2017–18 including:

  • flu vaccinations
  • a healthy lifestyle allowance
  • superannuation advice
  • access to salary packaging arrangements
  • access to the Employee Assistance Program.

Performance pay

The ARC does not provide performance pay or performance-based bonuses.