Human resources

ARPANSA’s People and Culture section is responsible for the delivery of a wide range of people services including workforce planning, recruitment, pay and conditions, performance management, learning and development and workplace diversity.
During 2016–17, the section:

  • developed the ARPANSA Workforce Plan 2017–2021 to enable ARPANSA to achieve its purpose through its people
  • launched the ARPANSA Workplace Diversity & Inclusion Plan 2017–19, with themes around respect, inclusion and commitment.

Workforce planning

Workforce Plan 2017–2021

The agency has developed the ARPANSA Workforce Plan 2017–2021 (the Plan) to enable ARPANSA achieve its objectives through its people. In developing the Plan, the agency considered global workforce management trends, Australian Public Service (APS) change drivers, and analyses of our staff cohort, including APS Census results. The objectives of the Plan are based around:

  • our people: a workforce of high performing professionals
  • our managers: leaders of engaged and agile teams
  • our employee experience: a collaborative and innovative culture
  • our strategic alignment: leading practice services which deliver on ARPANSA’s purpose.

The Plan outlines six people management strategies, four supporting frameworks, and a range of innovative and leading practice initiatives to be implemented over the life of the Plan. The agency adopted an ‘open source’ approach to finalising the Plan, obtaining feedback on the draft through staff focus groups, an executive level 1 reference group, branch and office leadership groups, and inviting all staff to comment on the draft plan.

Employee life cycle

In early 2017, the agency undertook a review of activities at all stages of the employee life cycle, identifying a range of recommendations, all of which are being addressed by the Plan.

Workforce and succession planning

ARPANSA’s vision for workforce and succession planning is to deliver activities that identify the capability and capacity required to deliver on ARAPANSA’s future strategic agenda, and respond to internal and external change drivers.

During June 2017, the agency implemented a succession planning exercise with the objective of ensuring the supply of ongoing human resource capability. The vacancy risk of all roles was assessed, and potential future successors were identified. This process will form a part of the annual workforce planning cycle for the agency. 

Attraction and recruitment

ARPANSA has undertaken to deliver a standardised, effective and objective approach to recruitment that attracts and recruits high performing people with capabilities which enable the agency to deliver on its strategic objectives.

In 2016–17, the agency streamlined recruitment processes, cutting red tape, and broadening candidate attraction reach through identifying external talent pools, as well as the characteristics of roles that would appeal to potential applicants.

Diversity and inclusion

ARPANSA’s approach to diversity and inclusion is focused on enabling all staff to contribute their diverse voices to discussions and ideas for new ways of working, and being intentionally inclusive in our interactions.

During the year extensive work was undertaken to deliver the agency’s Diversity and Inclusion Plan 2017–19, which will come into effect on 1 July 2017, and sets out initiatives across the six key areas of inclusion, gender equity, flexibility, LGBTIQ+, people with a disability, and Indigenous Australians, with each having a  branch or office head champion.

Key activities include supporting applicants to the Superstars of STEM program, supporting the ‘Panel Pledge’ to enable gender balance at every forum, and participation in the Stepping Into internship program for students with a disability.

Health and wellbeing

ARPANSA’s approach to health and wellbeing enables an experience of working with the agency, which supports staff wellbeing across multiple aspects of health including psycho‑social, relationships, financial, and physical protection.

ARPANSA’s Employee Assistance Program provides for a counsellor on site in Yallambie and Miranda each week.

Learning and development

ARPANSA’s vision for learning is that our employees have access to capability development programs that clearly link to ARPANSA’s strategic objectives, represent a good investment, and are leveraged through pre and post training workplace activities.

During 2016–17, staff were provided a range of learning and development opportunities covering corporate compliance responsibilities, targeted agency-wide activities and training to meet the specific developmental needs of individuals. 

During the June 2017 succession planning exercise, the development needs of identified potential successors were identified, in addition to knowledge sharing activities and opportunities for current incumbents of roles.

The Plan also sets out the people manager and all-staff capabilities needed to achieve ARPANSA’s strategic objectives, which provide focus to our learning activities:

Our people 

  • leverage emerging technologies
  • collaborate with purpose
  • demonstrate agility
  • engage people to build positive relationships
  • create solutions
  • accountable for quality outcomes

Our managers

  • inspire direction and purpose
  • manage and develop people
  • optimise business outcomes
  • manage reform and change

Employment arrangements

The agency’s practices for making employment arrangements with its staff are consistent with the requirements of the Workplace Bargaining Policy 2015 and the Fair Work Act 2009. 

The types and main features of employment arrangements in operation or available to agency staff during 2016–17 are outlined on the next page.

Enterprise Agreement

The terms and conditions of employment for non-SES staff are provided through the ARPANSA Agreement 2011–14 (the Agreement).

The Agreement contains an individual flexibility arrangement term, which enables the Agency to vary the operation of specified terms and conditions provided under the Agreement for individual non-SES staff where necessary and appropriate. At 30 June 2017 ten such arrangements were in place. 

Bargaining for the ARPANSA Agreement 2017–20 was underway at 30 June and the new agreement will come in to effect on 31 August 2017. 

In accordance with the Government’s Workplace Bargaining Policy 2015, the salary increases delivered to staff by the new agreement will be funded by a range of productivity improvements, with the majority of savings achieved through corporate initiatives, and the removal of restrictive and/or inefficient work practices.

Individual determinations under the Public Service Act 1999

Comprehensive terms and conditions of employment for agency SES staff are provided via individual determinations made under section 24(1) of the Public Service Act 1999. The determinations are made following negotiations between the staff member and the agency. 

Australian workplace agreements

The agency does not have any Australian workplace agreements in place.

Common law contracts

There are three common law contracts in place for the agency’s SES staff.

Remuneration for senior officials

The agency maintained a remuneration position consistent with equivalent public sector entities during 2016–17. Base salaries and inclusions, such as the allowance paid in lieu of a motor vehicle, complied with Government policy and guidelines. Total remuneration for SES staff may have included non-monetary inclusions or reimbursements for mobile phones and laptops/tablets. 

APS census

Eighty-nine per cent of staff participated in the APS State of the Service Employee Census 2017.

The results show employee engagement at 78 per cent, four per cent higher than the APS average. Following the 2016 census and our continued work in developing effective people management capabilities, there were positive improvements including performance feedback and creating a diverse workforce. Over 90 per cent of employee’s believe their colleagues in their immediate work area act in accordance with the APS Values in their everyday work and 90 per cent of employee’s are happy to ‘go the extra mile at work’.

Over the next 12 months, we will focus on three key hotspots: change management and innovation, people leader performance effectiveness and recruitment capabilities and decision making. This includes developing supervisor capabilities and the implementation of a learning strategy for all employees.

Performance and rewards

The agency’s approach to performance and reward is to create a culture of ongoing feedback to support continuous development to perform even more effectively in the future, focus on those activities most critical to realising ARPANSA’s strategic objectives, and provide recognition of achievements, innovative approaches and enterprise contributions. 

There is no provision for the payment of performance pay in ARPANSA’s EA or Common Law Contracts.


The ARPANSA Award was first instituted in 2001 to recognise and celebrate significant contributions to the work of ARPANSA by an individual or team. Since then it has been established as an annual event with the presentation being made in conjunction with Australia Day. 

The 2016 recipient of the annual ARPANSA Award was Chris Oliver - for metrological excellence and originality while organising and conducting the first Australian comparison of small field output factors for radiotherapy.

In addition to the 2016 ARPANSA Award recipient, the following staff were recognised and celebrated for their significant contributions to the work of ARPANSA:

  • The Optically Stimulated Luminescence (OSL) Project Team - Michael Litwin, Donovan Ryan, Janaka Madamperuma, Tony Ainsworth, Gordon Gee, Robyn Lawler and Sasha Michaels - for their outstanding performance and team work to ensure the successful ‘Go Live’ of the OSL Solution in July 2016
  • The Wi-Fi in Schools Study Team - Lydia Tjong, Ken Karipidis and Stuart Henderson (Leading), Don Wijayasinghe, Chen Li, Pubudini Munasinghe, and Rick Tinker (Team) - for their outstanding performance in ensuring the Australian community is informed about the potential health effects from radiofrequency (RF) electromagnetic energy (EME) from mobile phones and Wi‑Fi devices.

The ARPANSA Social Club

The ARPANSA Social Club endeavours to create  a healthy workplace and provide a range of social functions to allow all staff to be involved in events throughout the year. The social events are an opportunity for staff from different sections to meet and mingle.

The Social Club hosts a range of events, including BBQ’s and fundraising activities. None of the events would happen without the hard work of those staff who volunteer their time and effort to be a part of the social club committee to ultimately benefit all staff.

Staffing statistics

As at 30 June 2017 ARPANSA employed 132 staff (not including the CEO). No employee identified themselves as indigenous.

Table 2.1 sets out the salary ranges as at 30 June 2017.

Table 2.1: salary ranges as at 30 June 2017

APS ClassificationSalary Range ($)
ARPANSA Graduate58 524 – 76 221
APS Level 143 901 – 49 901
APS Level 251 398 – 56 424
APS Level 358 524 – 65 484
APS Level 467 449 – 70 481
APS Level 572 596 – 76 221
APS Level 678 507 – 89 800
Executive Level 196 987 – 111 593
Executive Level 2 lower118 512 – 134 581
Executive Level 2 upper139 963 – 150 329

Table 2.2 sets out employees by location, gender and APS classification. The table shows that 83 per cent of staff are located in the Victorian office.

Table 2.2: staff by location, gender and APS classification

New South Wales


Table 2.3 shows that of the 132 employees (not including the CEO), 126 are ongoing and six are non-ongoing. Nine ongoing staff are part-time and one non-ongoing employee is part time.

Table 2.3: distribution of staff by full or part-time status

 June 2016June 2017June 2016June 2017June 2016June 2017June 2016June 2017June 2016June 2017


Table 2.4 shows that as at 30 June 2017 Radiation Health Services is the largest branch with 42 staff, followed by the Corporate Office (38), Regulatory Services (23), Medical Radiation Services (18), Office of the CEO (10) and Legal Office (1).

Table 2.4: distribution of staff by branch/office

 Jun 2016Jun 2017Jun 2016Jun 2017Jun 2016Jun 2017Jun 2016Jun 2017Jun 2016Jun 2017Jun 2016Jun 2017
Office of the CEO5400360081000
Corporate Office242521121200363721
Legal Office000011001100
Medical Radiation Services4432111022151454
Radiation Health Services141421272700414121
Regulatory Services7700161600232300

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