5.3 Management of human resources

Effectiveness in managing and developing staff

Workforce planning and staff retention and turnover

During 2016–17, 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 both inside and outside the ARC to support staff development. Inside the ARC, staff were encouraged to help with the Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) and National Competitive Grants Program (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 2016–17, staff turnover figures were lower than in previous years, with 18 separations recorded compared to 20 in 2015–16. Seven of these separations were for career opportunities both inside and outside the Australian Public Service (APS).

Employment arrangements

During 2016–17, the ARC employed non-Senior Executive Service staff under the following arrangements:

  • the ARC Enterprise Agreement 2011–14, until April 2017, when the ARC Enterprise Agreement 2017–20 came into effect. Under the new Agreement ARC employees will receive a productivity salary increase of two per cent on commencement, two per cent 12 months after commencement, and two per cent 24 months after commencement
  • Australian Workplace Agreements (AWAs). AWAs were formalised individual agreements negotiated by the employer and employee. Changes to the Workplace Relations Act 1996 stipulated that no new AWA 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 (IFA). 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 Chief Executive Officer (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 2016 State of the Service Census, 85 per cent of ARC staff indicated that they believed the ARC provided access to effective learning and development opportunities compared to 63 per cent for the APS.

In 2016–17, the People and Services Section coordinated access for ARC staff to a range of training opportunities including 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:

  • Difficult Conversations in the Workplace (for employees)
  • Difficult Conversations in the Workplace (for managers)
  • Public Interest Disclosures
  • Public Interest Disclosures (for managers)
  • Respectful Workplaces
  • Keep the Knowledge
  • Legal Requirements: Managing Digital Information and Records
  • What is Open Data?
  • Compelling Communication
  • Introduction to Digital Records
  • CORE Cultural Learning: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australia.

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 ARC Staff Induction, Improving Analytical and Critical Thinking, Engaging Stakeholders, and Creative Thinking at Work.

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 2016–17, the ARC continued to review its procedures with a view to streamlining administrative processes and systems for ARC staff as well as for clients of the ARC’s NCGP and ERA. In addition the ARC:

  • implemented a new intranet
  • enabled additional reporting under the agency’s online governance enterprise system
  • implemented a number of initiatives arising from Innovation Month suggestions including a streamlining of internal communication mechanisms.

As a result of Innovation Month the ARC’s Senior Management Group also agreed that staff conflict of interest disclosures should be collected online in the future. This change will be implemented in 2017–18.

Staff statistics


Table 6: Employment performance (at 30 June 2016 and 2017)
Indicator 2016 (no.) 2017 (no.)
Total workforce 127 133
Full-time workforce 109 110
Part-time workforce 18 22
Women 90 97
Men 37 36
Identified as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples 0 0

Classification level

Table 7: Number of staff by substantive classification level (at 30 June 2016 and 2017)
Classification Ongoing 2016 Ongoing 2017 Non-ongoing 2016 Non-ongoing 2017
SES 3 2 3 2
Executive Level 2 19 17 0 0
Executive Level 1 41 42 1 1
APS6 (ARC Level 3) 25 29 1 2
APS4-5 (ARC Level 2) 27 35 5 1
APS1-3 (ARC Level 1) 1 1 0 1
Total 116 126 10 7

Full-time/part-time employment arrangements

Table 8: Number of staff by full-time/part-time employment arrangements (at 30 June 2016 and 2017)
Classification Ongoing 2016 Ongoing 2017 Non-ongoing 2016 Non-ongoing 2017
SES 3 2 2 1
Executive Level 2 17 16 0 0
Executive Level 1 33 36 1 1
APS6 (ARC Level 3) 21 23 1 2
APS4-5 (ARC Level 2) 23 28 5 1
APS1-3 (ARC Level 1) 1 0 0 1
Total 98 105 9 6
SES 0 0 1 1
Executive Level 2 2 1 0 0
Executive Level 1 8 6 0 0
APS6 (ARC Level 3) 4 6 0 0
APS4-5 (ARC Level 2) 4 7 0 0
APS1-3 (ARC Level 1) 0 1 0 0
Total 18 21 1 1


Table 9: Number of staff by gender (at 30 June 2016 and 2017)
Classification Ongoing 2016 Ongoing 2017 Non-ongoing 2016 Non-ongoing 2017
SES 3 2 2 1
Executive Level 2 12 11 0 0
Executive Level 1 24 27 1 1
APS6 (ARC Level 3) 22 23 0 1
APS4-5 (ARC Level 2) 20 28 5 1
APS1-3 (ARC Level 1) 1 1 0 1
Total 82 92 8 5
SES ٠ 0 1 1
Executive Level 2 7 6 0 0
Executive Level 1 17 15 ٠ 0
APS6 (ARC Level 3) 7 6 1 1
APS4-5 (ARC Level 2) 3 7 ٠ 0
APS1-3 (ARC Level 1) 0 0 ٠ 0
Total 34 34 2 2

By physical location

All ARC staff are located in Canberra.

Identify as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander

The ARC has no staff members who identify as being Aboriginal and 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.

In 2016–17:

  • all ARC staff completed eLearning modules on Cultural Awareness
  • the ARC Diversity Working Group met to discuss diversity ideas and progress against commitments in the Diversity Program. The Diversity Working Group brings together a diverse range of ARC employees including but not limited to: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as well as an Indigenous Champion and Diversity Champion.
  • It represents different styles, viewpoints and jobs to achieve a common goal­—improving the work culture at the ARC
  • the ARC released its Multicultural Access and Equity Plan 2017–2019
  • the ARC participated in NAIDOC week activities. A number of staff represented the agency in the NAIDOC Touch Football Carnival
  • the ARC celebrated Harmony Day, a day celebrated around Australia on 21 March each year to help all Australians celebrate cultural diversity. At an all staff lunch event held on that day, staff brought share plates of food representing their culture, family background, or country they love to visit
  • the ARC continued to publicise the annual R U OK? Day celebrations. This is a dedicated day to remind people to ask family, friends and colleagues the question, “R U OK?”, in a meaningful way
  • the ARC continued to promote the use of the Employee Assistance Program, including to new employees.

Employment arrangements

Number of staff

The number of ARC staff covered by the different employment arrangements are outlined in Table 10 below. At 30 June 2017 all non-SES staff were covered by the ARC Enterprise Agreement.

Note that the figures in Table 10 exclude the CEO and will result in double counting if added because non-SES employees with an IFA are also covered by the ARC Enterprise Agreement. As a result, the total number of agreements is higher than the total number of staff by the number of IFAs.

Table 10: Number of staff by employment arrangement (at 30 June 2016 and 2017)
Employment arrangement Staff 2016 (no.) 2017 (no.)
ARC Enterprise Agreement SES n/a n/a
ARC Enterprise Agreement Non-SES 121 129
Australian Workplace Agreements SES 0 0
Australian Workplace Agreements Non-SES 3 3
Individual Flexibility Arrangements SES 0 0
Individual Flexibility Arrangements Non-SES 14 16

Salary ranges

The salary ranges for non-SES staff are provided in Table 11 below. The ranges reflect the full span of salaries available under the ARC Enterprise Agreement, AWAs, and IFAs.

Table 11: Salary ranges of non-SES staff by classification level (at 30 June 2017)
Classification level Salary range ($)
Executive Level 2 116,702–181,305
Executive Level 1 97,262–140,000
APS6 76,150–88,197
APS5 68,780–72,685
APS4 63,310–66,904
APS3 56,316–59,512
APS2 50,426–54,780
APS1 46,645–47,838

Section 5.1 provides information on SES remuneration (page 89).

Non-salary benefits

The ARC offered a range of non-salary benefits to employees in 2016–17 including:

  • flu vaccinations
  • a health 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.