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Staffing and recruitment

Museum staff are employed under the Public Service Act 1999 and employment conditions are established under legislation applying to the Australian Public Service and, in particular, the Museum's workplace agreement.

At 30 June 2005, the Museum employed 263* staff consisting of 212 ongoing and 51 non-ongoing employees, which represent a full-time equivalent number of 232.6. A full breakdown is shown in Table 1. Tables 2 and 3 provide additional breakdown,
by division and employment category as at 30 June 2005 and by level respectively.

*Includes staff on extended leave and on temporary transfer to other agencies

Table 1: Staffing by employment status
Status Male Female Total
Ongoing full-time PEO 0 0 0
Non-ongoing full-time PEO 1 0 1
Ongoing full-time SES 0 3 3
Ongoing full-time non-SES 66 93 159
Ongoing part-time SES 0 0 0
Ongoing part-time non-SES 8 42 50
Non-ongoing full-time SES 0 0 0
Non-ongoing full-time non-SES 6 24 30
Non-ongoing part-time SES 0 0 0
Non-ongoing part-time non-SES 6 14 20
Total 87 176 263
Table 2: Staffing by division
Division Ongoing Non-ongoing Total
Directorate 19 4 23
Operations 88 16 104
Collections, Content and Technology 84 26 110
Public Programs and Audience Development 21 5 26
Total 212 51 263
Table 3: Staffing by APS level
Staff spread across levels Male Female Total
PEO 1 0 1
SESB2 0 0 0
SESB1 0 3 3
EL2 10 14 24
EL1 11 12 23
APS6 14 32 46
APS5 12 20 32
APS4 15 23 38
APS3 5 23 28
APS2 19 49 68
APS1 0 0 0
Total 87 176 263

Individual performance management

The Museum's staff performance management framework, Workplace Conversations, a key productivity initiative in the National Museum of Australia (Productivity and Performance) Workplace Agreement 2002 to 2005, was successfully implemented during the life of the agreement.

Workplace Conversations uses a 'guided conversation' approach and continues to be well received by managers and staff. It uses Museum-specific work level standards to clarify job roles and expectations. It also uses an associated Museum-specific capability profile to identify and reinforce work behaviours that support the Museum's objectives.

Workplace Conversations requires staff to have regular performance discussions with their manager. The formal guided discussions cover the scope and deliverables of the position, the support required to deliver, and a documented agreement on relevant learning and development opportunities. Clear links are made between a staff member's work and the overall strategic priorities of the Museum as well as the specific capabilities the person will concentrate on in the conduct of their position.

Continual evaluation of Workplace Conversations has been integral to its successful implementation. A formal staff survey conducted just prior to the start of 2004-2005 and feedback received through other avenues provided information valuable to the redesign the Workplace Conversations training and process for 2004-2005.

Development of the Museum's people

Through Workplace Conversations, Museum staff are encouraged to identify individual learning and development needs and to further their skills through external development activities relevant to their field. As in previous years, a number of staff presented papers at conferences and seminars, undertook research and attended technical and professional workshops. Staff professional activities are listed in Appendix 8. In addition, four staff took part in cultural management programs and three staff attended advanced workplace skills training within collaborative development programs with other cultural institutions in Canberra.

The National Museum of Australia (Productive and Performance) Workplace Agreement 2002 to 2005 also enabled staff to access Museum-sponsored study leave, with special provisions for staff to learn languages other than English.

Other staff training included:

  • Workplace Conversations training for all staff. This provided an introduction to the new staff performance management framework and helped staff improve their communication, negotiation, conciliation, work planning and knowledge building capabilities
  • awareness sessions on the Australian Public Service Code of Conduct and Values
  • seminars on occupational health and safety for all managers and supervisors
  • refresher courses for first aid officers, fire wardens and section health and safety representatives
  • regular and comprehensive orientation programs for all new Museum employees.
Consultative arrangements and employee relations

During the year the Museum continued to implement collaborative, staff consultation arrangements in accordance with the National Museum of Australia (Productivity and Performance) Workplace Agreement 2002 to 2005. In addition to direct staff consultation at the workgroup level, the Museum established the Museum Consultative Forum (MCF) and Workplace Development Committee (WDC) to facilitate consultation on broad issues for staff across the Museum. The MCF is designed to enable staff to have input into high-level strategic issues while the WDC focuses on operational issues across the Museum. The two bodies met regularly during the year and considered a range of issues.

Workplace diversity

The Museum values the skills and knowledge of all staff, and the contributions they bring through their different backgrounds, experiences and perspectives. By promoting an inclusive environment, the Museum demonstrates its commitment to workplace diversity and equity.

During the year the Museum continued to encourage a staffing profile reflecting modern Australia's cultural diversity. This was done through recruitment strategies and through initiatives such as the Indigenous Support and Interest Group for current employees.

The Museum continued to successfully implement the Government's Charter of Public Service in a Culturally Diverse Society. In its 2004 report to Parliament, the Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs again acknowledged that the Museum had achieved 100 per cent of key performance indicators relevant to its roles as a purchaser and a provider of services, and cited Museum practices as examples of better practice.

Significant work was undertaken in 2004-2005 to review the Museum's Workplace Diversity Plan with implementation of a new plan expected for early 2005-2006. As at 30 June 2005, the Museum staff who identified themselves from target groups were:

Staffing by diversity groups
Group Number of Staff
Number of Staff
Person of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent 7 6
Person with a disability 5 5
Person from a culturally and linguistically diverse background 30 32
Females 170 176
Total 212 219
Better service delivery

The Museum continued to strengthen its human resource management and workplace relations operations during the year. Human resource processes, including those previously noted by the Museum's auditors, were significantly improved.

The Museum finalised the review of its human resource information system (HRIS), a key business priority for the human resources area during 2004-2005, to ensure best performance for the future. The Museum undertook an open tender process in November 2004 with detailed functional requirements for a replacement system. This process incorporated recommended practices of the Australian National Audit Office in its Audit Report No. 49: 'The Use and Management of HRIS in the Australian Public Service'. Implementation of a new HRIS, incorporating self-service functionality and improved administration and reporting functionality, will realise significant efficiencies across the Museum and is a key productivity identified in the Museum's replacement certified agreement.

Critical to the successful implementation of the new HRIS is the review of human resources business processes within the Museum, which commenced in early 2005. This work will continue into 2005-2006 and includes critical and objective analysis of the Museum's current processes.

Post-separation employment

There were no applications for post-separation employment during the year.

Educational and developmental placements

The Museum continued to be a highly sought after venue for secondary and tertiary students seeking work experience. More than 50 high school students from the Australian Capital Territory and surrounding country New South Wales enquired about placement with the Museum. Of these, 15 were placed and worked across most areas of the Museum.