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Annual Report 2005-06: People



CASA aims to be a high-performance organisation, with highly motivated, skilled and effective staff. We recognise that providing a safe work environment and opportunities for staff development are important for achieving a productive workforce. The strategic focus for 2005–06 was on developing a more flexible employment framework and embedding a performance culture in the organisation.

Learning and development

During 2005–06 CASA’s learning and development initiatives supported the reform process of ‘Building a New CASA’, with key activities undertaken to:

  • strengthen the leadership and management capability across CASA
  • design and develop a diploma in aviation safety regulation
  • build our e-learning capability.

A number of activities were undertaken to strengthen the leadership capabilities of people with leadership and management roles in CASA. Those activities included an objective measurement exercise for the Senior Management Group, designed to assess capabilities that distinguish high performers in executive roles. The results of the exercise will be used to determine specific development needs and opportunities for individual managers.

In 2005, a leadership and management development framework was developed. It proposes a number of mandatory development programs for managers at all levels within CASA. Executive managers attended a Senior Executive Service orientation program, and a group of senior managers participated in a ‘leading for results’ program. The CASA Team Leadership program was reviewed, and will now be a mandatory course for our frontline managers. Both the framework and the development initiatives will continue to be refined in 2006–07, and a talent management and succession planning strategy will be introduced.

CASA is working with Swinburne University of Technology to design, develop and pilot a diploma in aviation safety regulation over a two-year period. The design and accreditation phases of the project were completed in 2005–06. From 2007, two qualifications will be offered to selected staff in CASA: a Certificate IV in Aviation Safety Regulation, which can be completed by our administrative staff; and the diploma, which targets our technical staff. The learning content will be progressively developed and piloted in 2006–07.

To support the aim of providing timely regulatory and legislative training, we continued to build our e-learning capability through the purchase of e-learning software and the design of programs, such as:

  • the revised orientation program, offered through our intranet
  • the induction program for CASA Licensing and Registration Centre staff
  • an environmental awareness module
  • an equity and diversity module.

In 2006–07, we will continue to identify and utilise the most cost-effective and appropriate learning content and delivery tools to enhance individual and team effectiveness.

Workplace relations

During 2005–06, CASA finalised negotiations for the CASA Certified Agreement 2006–08 with the relevant unions and staff associations. The agreement was certified on 16 February 2006. The key elements of the new certified agreement include the streamlining of conditions of employment, a new classification structure, and an enhanced performance scheme linking individual performance to salary.

The Workplace Relations Group, which is the highest level management–staff consultative forum, met twice during the reporting period, providing the opportunity for consultation on significant strategic, organisational and people management issues.

Occupational health and safety

The following information about occupational health and safety (OH&S) in CASA is provided in accordance with the requirements of section 74 of the Occupational Health and Safety (Commonwealth Employment) Act 1991.

A Statement of Commitment between CASA and Comcare was signed on 21 July 2005 by Bruce Byron, CEO CASA, and Barbara Bennett, CEO Comcare.

The OH&S policy was released and promulgated to all staff in September 2005. The policy includes:

  • health and safety management arrangements
  • OH&S Committee terms of reference and management arrangements
  • Local Consultative Committee terms of reference and management arrangements
  • issue resolution procedures
  • incident notification, reporting and investigation procedures.

The review of the existing OH&S manual continued in 2005–06, with the intention of aligning the manual with the requirements of the OH&S management arrangements.

The OH&S Committee, which comprises union officials, workplace delegates and senior managers, continued to meet quarterly in 2005–06. The committee provides strategic comment, advice and assistance on OH&S issues, and develops programs and measures to continuously improve health and safety outcomes for all CASA employees.

The committee’s work during the year included:

  • review and acceptance of the procedures, guidelines and templates for the OH&S management arrangements, including consultative mechanisms to resolve OH&S issues
  • ongoing monitoring of health and safety matters reported to the OH&S unit during the year, including hazards, incidents and mechanisms of injury
  • improvement of the OH&S reporting framework to facilitate monitoring and management of both local and organisational OH&S matters
  • acceptance of arrangements to manage health and safety risks for staff attending aviation safety occurrences.

Recognising high performance

Throughout 2005–06, CASA continued to deliver the Recognition Scheme, under which high performers may be nominated for CASA’s Employee of the Month award or Above and Beyond award.

The scheme is designed to reinforce the CASA values and associated behaviours, and encourages staff to see these values and behaviours as an important feature of performance in CASA.

Employee of the Month awards are given to individuals whose work displays a level of service that meets or exceeds CASA’s standards for excellence. Employees recognised under the scheme are nominated by their managers or colleagues. Recipients of the award during 2005–06 were Leanne Cross, Brenda Jarratt, Adam Anastasi, Alison Gosper, Pat McLeod, Karen Hogan, Arceli Alegado Chua, Alan Murray, Leonard Yates, Jill Davis, Peter Hill and Tony O’Shea.

The Above and Beyond awards recognise individuals or teams who have demonstrated outstanding and exceptional work on a project of importance to CASA. Recipients in 2005–06 were Richard Castles, Bob Kennedy, Roger Crosswaite, Rhonda Watts, Russell Cunningham and Chris Genge.

CASA also uses the Recognition Scheme to honour the achievements and service of CASA employees for their 10-, 15-, 20-, 25-, 30- and 40-year milestones.

Workforce planning

CASA continued to focus on workforce planning and reporting in support of the development of the new CASA operational model in 2005–06. In conjunction with the ‘Building a New CASA’ reform program, workforce and transition plans were developed for key operations groups to assist them in their transition from the old CASA structure to the new structure.

To help meet the CEO’s identified safety priorities, a number of new classifications or roles have been introduced as part of the new structure, including the roles of system safety specialist, field safety adviser and air transport inspector.

Equity and diversity

CASA maintains its commitment to equity and diversity in its workforce and throughout the workplace. In 2005–06, CASA provided equity and diversity awareness training for selected staff. The Workplace Diversity Committee and the CASA Equity and Diversity Network met during the reporting period to discuss and promote equity and diversity issues.

Major changes for CASA’s people

CASA’s focus on the safety of passengers and on better cooperation with industry has resulted in major changes to our human resources.

Previously, our organisational structure was aligned with our functional activities. Our new structure is ‘industry facing’—in other words, it now aligns staff with the segments of industry they service. The new structure makes it easier for us to engage with industry; for our external stakeholders, it makes us a more accessible organisation.

The biggest impact on human resources has come from the establishment of operational roles outside Canberra. The move was clearly essential for improved aviation safety and efficiency, but relocating has not been feasible for some staff.

The new positions are being openly contested and filled on a merit basis. Recruitment has brought new skills and talent into CASA and a freshness of approach. Management positions have now largely been filled, and the recruitment of other staff is also progressing well.

In a year of such major change, the challenge has been to find a balance between the demands and upheavals that stem from reform and the need to maintain our core functions of safety regulation and services to the aviation industry. Across CASA, the response from staff has been outstanding.

Now that new staff and structures are settling into place, we are beginning to see the rewards of our hard work: improved safety and better services.