Strategy Twelve (August 2012 update)

Provide enhanced learning opportunities for all our staff

As a community of engaged enquiry, we will provide all staff with a rich variety of opportunities for learning, opportunities intended both for professional development and for their intrinsic educational value.

Our existing performance management and development system has been redesigned and new versions are being rolled out with staff, more staff have benefited from professional development, and work continues to review the University’s policies in relation to performance progression and bonuses.

12(a) Continue the review of the University’s Performance Management and Development system to simplify and better support the University’s performance and development needs.

The existing performance management and development (PM&D) system has been redesigned to ensure it focuses on personal and professional development and mentoring. It will also be the primary tool for all staff in planning and goal setting as well as for career and succession planning. The first phase, for academic staff, is scheduled for launch in September 2012, while the second phase, for professional staff, will be implemented towards the end of 2012.

12(b) Develop and implement processes for succession planning for the University, ensuring growth opportunities and career development for all staff.

In September 2010 the University received an Australian Taxation Office ruling which enables staff to salary sacrifice a portion of the course fees they or their immediate family incur in studying here. This arrangement makes academic study at the University more affordable and accessible for staff members, and contributes to their personal and professional development. In turn, the University will benefit as staff members increase their capability. In the Fringe Benefits Tax year ended March 2012, 30 staff members took advantage of this benefit.

12(c) Systematically review current learning programs and initiatives with a view to meeting identified capability development needs.

A restructure of the University’s internal training and development providers is underway to achieve greater coordination and cost-effectiveness of resources. These first stages will include the Learning Solutions group, currently within the Human Resources division, and the Centre for Continuing Education and SydneyLearning Pty Ltd, within the portfolio of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Strategic Management). A change management plan is underway within the latter and implementation with Learning Solutions has been delayed while deploying the University’s Academic Change Plan as well as the reviews to performance development discussed under 12(a).

12(d) Facilitate participation by staff in formal academic programs, and also as both teachers and students in non-award and public programs of education.

We have encouraged staff to participate in a broad range of learning programs through favourable conditions for study (salary sacrifice), streamlining of non-award program provision and refinement of product offerings (review of current learning programs). In the period from August 2011 to date, the University’s Learning Solutions department has conducted 130 programs for University staff. These programs have been tailored to meet the specific needs identified for each faculty and professional service unit, and fall within the broad themes of research and leadership development and change management. Similarly, the PM&D revisions concentrate on building capability through professional development and mentoring. These initiatives together serve to embed ongoing and in-service learning in the culture of the University.

12(e) Review arrangements for performance progression.

A review of the University’s performance progression payments processes under the current Enterprise Agreement was completed in May 2012. The review identified the incidence and nature of these payments. Proposed amendments will be considered among the options for the next Enterprise Agreement negotiations. Additionally, the University is currently reviewing its performance bonus policy. Recommendations in relation to this will be available for consideration by 30 September 2012.

The University has also commenced a consultation process as part of a review of its policy in relation to salary loadings and allowances. The objective of the review is to reduce the complexity of the current policy to ensure it acts as a transparent and equitable means to recognise and reward the contribution an individual staff member makes to the University. The policy is expected to be finalised by September 2012.