E.1 Human Resources Management

In 2013-14, the People Strategy and Services (PSS) Branch in ACT Health continued to develop and achieve a wide range of specific initiatives against the major themes of:

  • delivering for the future
  • strengthening organisational resilience
  • sustaining community confidence
  • working collaboratively.

Delivering for the future

  • The implementation of the ACT Health Workforce Plan 2013-2018 saw the establishment of the tier 1 committee, the Workforce Innovation and Reform Committee (WIRC), to oversee the ongoing development of implementation strategies and measures. A reporting matrix has been developed and transparency within ACT Health has been increased through the development of a specific SharePoint WIRC site.
  • The development of compendium documents for workforce planning at division level has progressed.
  • Specific workforce plans have been developed or are under development to support the Health Infrastructure Program (HIP). This directly addresses the identified greatest level of workforce risk for HIP as being the organisation's capacity to attract, train and retain sufficient employees with the appropriate capabilities to operate the new facilities as they are developed. This has included establishing and delivering a project to develop workforce design options for the new sub-acute University of Canberra Public Hospital (UCPH). The project used workforce innovation and reform approaches and consultation with ACT Health staff and stakeholders to inform UCPH workforce design and development, supporting the implementation of new models of care and service delivery. The project also positioned the ACT Health Workforce Plan 2013-2018 as the key strategic framework informing workforce planning for HIP projects and across ACT Health more broadly.
  • Discussions have commenced on the involvement of ACT Health in the Department of Health Corporate Champions Program, which supports strategies to recruit and retain mature and ageing workers.
  • A trial of Linked In, targeting recruitment for 'difficult to fill' positions, is in the planning stages.
  • Health Workforce Australia (HWA) initiatives and projects have supported the national health workforce agenda of building capacity, boosting productivity and improving distribution, and are coordinated by an HWA-funded team embedded within People Strategy and Services (PSS). Within this team are the ACT Region Integrated Clinical Training Network (ICTN) lead and secretariat and the simulated learning environment (SLE) lead and project staff.

Major achievements in 2013-14 include:
- redevelopment of the ACT Region ICTN website to meet the needs of the network members
- two whole-of-network meetings where
- achievements and simulation learning programs were showcased and planning for future network clinical training events was undertaken
- enhancement of the web-based SLE lending library and related booking procedures
- management of the simulation learning equipment and resources
- onsite support to senior clinicians providing quality simulation learning activities
- increasing clinical training placements across the region.

  • In March 2014, a new enterprise agreement came into effect for nursing and midwifery staff. This established conditions of employment until mid-2017 and set in place a framework for achieving rostering efficiencies during that period. A new enterprise agreement was also concluded for administrative staff in May 2014, with negotiations on agreements covering all other ACT Health staff nearing completion at the end of June.
  • A new set of core conditions for visiting medical officers (VMOs) came into force in September 2013. These will bring a new level of consistency to the indexing of VMO payments over the next three years.
  • Leadership capability development continues to be a key area of focus in delivering organisational sustainability. The Leadership Network provided opportunities for over 100 leaders at different levels to further develop their leadership practice and form collaborative working relationships and networks with colleagues from across the organisation. The Canberra Hospital and Health Services (CHHS) Leadership Program provided targeted leadership development to executives and senior nursing, medical and allied health leaders from CHHS. Evaluations highlighted the positive value of these programs in enhancing individual and collaborative leadership.
  • Procurement and completion of a new contract for the learning management (Capabiliti) and Student Placement Online (SPO) systems ensure these foundations are in place for the future.

Strengthening organisational resilience

  • Staff, managers and executives were supported in the management of complex and growing health services by the Employment Services group. During the year, this group made improvements to service delivery in key areas such as recruitment, conditions management and entitlements advice, enhanced the policy framework for a broad range of staffing matters and guided decision making in line with whole-of-government directions and the enterprise agreement frameworks.
  • ACT Health has progressed development of an HR reporting process which enables cost centre managers to access HR data and scorecard details specific to their accountability in this area. The program, which is available on SharePoint, will be transitioned to the Performance Innovation Portal (PIP) in the next year. The suite of HR reports has been expanded to ensure user-friendly and organisation-specific reports are available at cost centre level - for example, leave balance reports to enable managers to keep leave balances for employees below the enterprise-agreed two years of accrued leave.
  • Reporting profiles include the following key performance indicators:
    - full-time equivalents (FTE), paid FTE, overtime FTE, productive FTE, non-productive FTE
    - commencement and separation rates
    - employment diversity statistics, including retention rates for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees and people with a disability
    - the use of agency employees in nursing
    - the percentage of employees by employment category (casual, temporary, permanent)
    - traineeship and apprenticeship rates, which are reported twice yearly
    - exit survey data to monitor employees' reasons for leaving the organisation and implement contingency plans as required.
  • The first annual equity and diversity audit occurred in March 2014 to strengthen data to inform statistical reporting and provide evidence to support equity and diversity programs in ACT Health. Discussion and investigation are underway regarding identified positions for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
  • The running of the People Manager Program, which aims to build management capability at frontline supervisor and middle management levels, was a significant achievement, with over 800 attendances and high demand for its five modules. The program includes a focus on management resilience, and its broader objectives in building management capability have contributed to organisational resilience.

Sustaining community confidence

  • Workforce planning for the new hospital buildings is underway, with planning based on projected service demand, expected models of care and new technologies. The focus is on ensuring that the right person with the right skills can deliver the right services at the right time to the right person, within budget, to enable a sustainable health workforce for the future.
  • Consumer-focused staff education included e-learning on writing consumer publications, and face-to-face training for staff on consumer partnerships has also been implemented.
  • ACT Health continued to meet its responsibilities under the working with vulnerable people legislation to ensure that, where services are provided to identified vulnerable groups, ACT Health does this in the safest manner possible.

Working collaboratively

  • PSS staff represent ACT Health to work collaboratively with other states and territories and the Commonwealth through the Health Workforce Principal Committee and the Practitioner Regulation Subcommittee. These committees support national workforce policy development and strategy, including regulation, development of new and expanded roles, and national health workforce reform and planning activities.
  • ACT Health continued to progress towards the targets in the ACT Public Service Employment Strategies 2012-2015. While ACT Health has not met the targets, it continues to build on the numbers from the previous years and is exploring different avenues to increase employment numbers. The current achievement sits at 1.04 per cent for Indigenous employment against a target of 2 per cent, and at 2.09 per cent for people with a disability against a target of 3.4 per cent. In addition, the Employment Inclusion Officer continued to explore opportunities for specific employment programs to help meet the targets that ACT Health is striving to achieve. This included the development of the Indigenous Youth Careers Pathway (IYCP) program. ACT Health was able to place secondary students in the workplace to achieve competencies under this program.
  • The ACTPS Performance Framework was supported by the development and delivery of information sessions and workshops to over 1300 staff and managers. The workshops focused on the practical skills of having performance conversations and providing feedback, including feedback in relation to conduct and behaviour, ensuring performance is values-based and includes an emphasis on collaboration.
  • Respect, Equity and Diversity (RED) and improving organisational culture continue to be a focus. The RED contact officer network has expanded to 101 officers, who play an important role in providing support and information to staff members who may be experiencing bullying and harassment.
  • Targeted team-based strategies for improving organisational culture continued to support managers and teams to achieve enhanced collaboration and performance.