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3.4 Human resource management

Our People Branch looks after policy and strategy development in the areas of Workforce Planning and Recruitment, Safety Health and Wellbeing, Learning and Development, Employee and Workplace Relations, and Industrial Relations. Teams in each region have responsibility for the delivery of services, and Centres of Expertise deliver Use of Force policy advice, trainee recruitment and trainee development.

Our workforce

Our workforce spans over 50 locations around Australia and overseas. At 30 June 2009 we employed 5,9221 ongoing and non-ongoing employees under the Public Service Act 1999

An analysis of our workforce demographics shows that compared to last year:

  • the gender profile remained very similar, with women representing about 41 per cent of our workforce
  • the age profile remained steady with the average age of our workforce being 41.

This year we processed:

  • 262 Employee commencements and 145 promotions
  • 2,195 security clearances.

Workforce separations included:

  • 252 resignations
  • 93 transfers to other APS agencies
  • 63 retirements 
  • 14 redundancies
  • four dismissals.


Workforce planning

An agency-wide Workforce Planning Framework was developed to identify a number of critical workforce elements such as workforce mix, size and structure, consistent with the Strategic Outlook 2015. 

A workforce trending reporting tool was developed to provide greater accessibility to workforce metrics and to inform better workforce planning decisions.

Workforce characteristics

Our total workforce on 30 June 2009 was 5,9221 employees. Tables 30 and 31 show the size, location and composition of our workforce, broken down by gender, location and classification. 

1 Includes staff employed under the Public Service Act 1999, staff on leave, higher duties and staff on loan from other agencies. Figures do not include contractors or Customs and Border Protection Flexible Employees (CFEs). Number reflects the actual occupancy (headcount derived from Customs and Border Protection Human Resource Information Systems). Financial statements report on staff numbers by average staffing level (ASL).

 Table 30: Staff numbers by classification and gender as at 30 June 2009*

 Table 31: Staff numbers by location and classification as at 30 June 2009*

Staff attrition and retention

Our attrition rate remained low with a separation rate of seven per cent. Our total recruitment rate was four per cent, a decrease of nearly ten per cent from previous years. 

A redeployment strategy kept staff exits to a minimum while rebalancing workforce allocation to meet business requirements. 


The Customs and Border Protection Collective Agreement 2007–10 has been in place since 4 October 2007 and covers pay and conditions for those employees covered by the Collective Agreement. Table 32 highlights the current salary rates for Customs and Border Protection employees as covered in our Collective Agreement.

Australian Workplace Agreements

In accordance with Government direction and the implementation of the Workplace Relations Amendment (Transition to Forward with Fairness) Act 2008, Australian Workplace Agreements are no longer established. In the meantime, existing Agreements will continue to operate in accordance with the Workplace Relations Act 1996. At 30 June 2009 there were 159 employees covered by an Australian Workplace Agreements, including 33 SES employees. 

The majority of our SES employees have remuneration arrangements agreed through individual Australian Workplace Agreements. The remaining SES employees have their terms and conditions covered through a determination under section 24 of the Public Service Act 1999. Also, determinations under section 24 have been used where there has been a business need to attract or retain certain skills. In these circumstances, the determination is used to provide supplementary terms and conditions for non-SES employees covered by the Collective Agreement. 

At 30 June 2009 there were 84 employees under an individual workplace arrangement provided by a determination under section 24 of the Public Service Act 1999.


Our remuneration policy operates in accordance with government policy parameters which apply across the public sector.

Senior Executive remuneration

Remuneration and conditions for our Chief Executive Officer are set by the Remuneration Tribunal. The Chief Executive Officer sets remuneration and conditions for our senior executives following recommendations from a Remuneration Committee consisting of the Deputy Chief Executive Officers. This year the standard salaries for senior executives were:

  • SES Band One: $125,000 to $169,700
  • SES Band Two: $157,400 to $213,000
  • SES Band Three: $200,200 to $270,900

Other employee remuneration

The remuneration arrangements for the majority of non-senior executive ongoing employees are covered by our Collective Agreement. Base rates of pay are set within the current agreement with provision for salary advancement subject to satisfactory performance. 

Table 32 shows the salary ranges for each classification at 30 June 2009.

 Table 32: Staff classification, Australian Public Service equivalent level and   salary range as at 30 June 2009*


Our performance management policy outlines roles and responsibilities for managers and employees and reinforces the importance of the APS Values and compliance with the Code of Conduct. 

Performance Assessment and Feedback (PAF) supports employees and managers to work together to improve individual and team performance. It defines performance objectives, standards and development needs. A total of 5,275 employees had a PAF agreement in place as at 30 June 2009.

A review of performance management policy and procedures was conducted, and the outcomes of this are expected to be considered during the negotiation of the next Enterprise Agreement.

Performance pay

Performance pay is available to SES staff and may take the form of an annual bonus, bonus payment(s) during the cycle or movement to a higher salary. Such payments recognise outstanding contribution to particular work outcomes.

During the past year, 33 of a possible 50 substantive Senior Executive staff received performance pay for the 2007–08 performance period. The aggregate amount of performance pay for Senior Executives was $303,244. 

Performance pay is also available through the performance management system to non-SES employees who receive a rating of “performed above agreed requirements”. The number and classification of employees who achieved this rating are outlined in Table 33. 

 Table 33: Performance assessment and feedback scheme ratings for staff that performed above agreed requirements

Not all staff who performed above agreed requirements received a bonus; 142 officers received an adjustment in salary. The number, classification and average amount for those who received a bonus is outlined in Table 34.

 table 34: 2008–09 Performance pay outcomes (Collective Agreement)*

 Table 35: 2008–09 Performance pay outcomes (AWA holders)

Non-salary benefits

We provide a range of non-salary benefits available to Senior Executive and Director level staff. These benefits include, but are not limited to: motor vehicle allowance; on-site car parking (or, where no car parks are available, an allowance in lieu of parking); home garaging; allowance in lieu of home telephone; limited personal use of mobile phone; airline lounge membership; and additional leave for the Christmas/New Year period.

In addition, all ongoing employees have access to salary packaging for:

  • motor vehicles
  • airline lounge membership
  • superannuation.

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Workplace Diversity

We continue to promote awareness of our policies around workplace diversity and harassment. We ensure all employees are aware of their roles and responsibilities through mandatory on-line training, other communication channels, and participation in diversity events such as the National Aboriginal and Islander Day Observance Committee (NAIDOC) Week activities. 

Online courses on performance management and diversity and cultural awareness are also available to staff.

In addition, we:

  • recruited six Indigenous Cadets under the National Indigenous Cadetship Program in 2009
  • recruited six Indigenous Graduates under the 2009 APS Indigenous Graduate Program
  • supported Indigenous officers’ participation in the APSC’s Indigenous Conference and Indigenous Recruitment Program.

Table 36 shows the representation of equity and diversity groups in the agency. 

 Table 36: Representation of equity and diversity groups by staff classification as at 30 June 2009*

Training and development undertaken

This year we delivered a range of initiatives to build workforce capability and sustainability at all levels within the agency. These included:

  • delivery of the Leading People at the Frontline course
  • development of our Graduate Trainees program
  • establishment of a National Trainee Training Centre, which included a program to improve and standardise training practices
  • delivery of the Senior Executive Service Development programs
  • delivery of High Talent Directors (Customs and Border Protection Level 5) programs
  • implementation of a Learning Management System.


We undertake a wide variety of operational tasks in a diverse range of environments, presenting significant and specific challenges in the area of Occupational Health & Safety (OHS). We have adopted strategic initiatives to increase organisational agility through improved OHS and Injury Management performance including:

  • the creation of the Safety, Health and Wellbeing section to coordinate national OHS and Injury Management priorities
  • the identification of key result areas based on Divisional structures
  • the development of a robust systematic process to ensure Customs and Border Protection is strategically positioned to meet OHS compliance and capacity gap challenges.

Our Occupational Health and Safety management arrangements

Our Health & Safety Management Arrangements (HSMA) deliver a comprehensive risk management system to assist work areas in identifying OHS hazards, assessing the risks, developing and implementing risk mitigation strategies, monitoring and evaluating OHS performance; and also provides for regular self-assessment audits.

Health and safety initiatives

We have implemented a number of initiatives aimed at ensuring the health and safety at work of employees and contractors including:

  • a mandatory OHS on-line learning module
  • OHS support and advice and assistance with rehabilitation management
  • health seminars, conferences, health and fitness testing, exercise programs and influenza vaccinations
  • Injury Management policy and guidelines
  • OHS Case Management to improve the rehabilitation process and return-to-work outcomes.

 Table 37: Occupational Health and Safety performance

Notifications under Section 68 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act 1991 (OHS Act)

We made 59 mandatory notifications to Comcare under section 68 of the OHS Act. Where appropriate, investigations into the circumstances were conducted at the local level with measures implemented to prevent recurrence.

Comcare initiated four investigations in response to notifications made under section 68 of the OHS Act. Three of these were closed after we completed remediation activity. One investigation is not yet resolved.

Directions under sections 29, 46 and 47 of the OHS Act

There was one notification issued under section 29 of the OHS Act. The Provisional Improvement Notice issued related to the air quality at Sydney International Airport. The regulator undertook to investigate the circumstances and subsequently cancelled the notice.

No notifications were made under section 46.

One notification was made under section 47 of the OHS Act. An Improvement Notice was issued in November 2008 that related to an investigation conducted in 2005, however all corrective action and recommendations were addressed and the notice was subsequently revoked.


Productivity gains have focused on maximising the level of resources operating on the frontline through natural attrition, reassignment and redeployment to alternative positions within the agency.


Security clearances

We granted 2,195 security clearances for ongoing and non-ongoing employees and contractors, an increase of 162 over last year. Streamlined processing of security clearances meant that the use of external service providers was kept to a minimum and used only for contractors. A centralised vetting structure has been established to ensure a common standard. 

Physical security

Security initiatives to enhance the physical security and integrity of our premises, information and assets have included enhancement to the alarm and CCTV monitoring capabilities. They ensure compliance with the Australian Government Protective Security Manual and our compliance is reported in the Commonwealth Protective Security Survey.

The implementation of new secure communications equipment was undertaken as a part of a larger Australian Government secure communications replacement program. 

We continue to provide the Aviation and Maritime Security Identification Card (ASIC / MSIC) issuing service to Australian Government agencies, in accordance with the requirements of the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development & Local Government.

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