Annual Report 2007-08 Part 3 Leadership, valuing and development
Leadership, valuing and developing staff
Terms and conditions of employment
CASA staff are employed under the employment powers vested in the CEO of CASA by the Civil Aviation Act 1988 The terms and conditions of the majority of staff are prescribed in the CASA Certified Agreement 2006–2008. The terms and conditions of staff not covered by that agreement are contained in Australian Workplace Agreements or common law employment contracts. All new CASA staff have been employed under the certified agreement following the change in government policy in early 2008.
Indonesian inspectorate mentoring program
The Indonesian inspectorate mentoring program is in full swing, with the first two rotations of Indonesian inspectors completing their safety training in Australia. The initiative follows the formal signing of a Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in the Transport Sector between Australia and Indonesia.
Under the agreement, Australia is providing almost $24 million over three years for training and technical assistance through CASA, Airservices Australia, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau and the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government.
Up to 40 Indonesian inspectors will be trained under the program in 2008, spending time at each of the participating agencies throughout the year. During their time at CASA, the Indonesian inspectors are being taught the fundamentals of Australian licensing procedures and processes, initial and continuing maintenance certification, manufacturing certification, practical rule making and safety promotion.
In addition to inspector training, other proposed activities include study visits to Australia, industry education workshops in Jakarta, provision of CASA aviation safety promotion material, and assistance to the Indonesian Director General of Civil Aviation in improving its management tools and safety oversight processes.
At 30 June 2008, approximately 55 per cent of CASA staff were employed under the CASA Certified Agreement and 45 per cent under either Australian Workplace Agreements or common law contracts. CASA commenced negotiating a replacement collective agreement with unions in the reporting period.
CASA also had a number of service contractors and individuals temporarily engaged through contracted employment agencies. This included some short-term project staff and persons engaged to oversee licensing examinations.
CASA staff have access to salary packaging and a choice of superannuation fund as allowed or required by legislation. Unless they are engaged as casual employees, staff have access to paid annual leave, paid and unpaid personal leave, a paid Christmas close-down, and paid or unpaid studies assistance. In addition, where it is operationally viable, staff may receive a range of non-salary benefits including purchased leave arrangements, flexible working hours and flexible work location arrangements.
CASA provides access for staff to a confidential employee assistance program. The program helps staff resolve any work-related or personal problems that could affect their performance or wellbeing.
At 30 June 2008, CASA had 653 staff. This number included 30 temporary staff and four staff managed as inoperative staff. Staff who are managed as inoperative include those on long-term leave for maternity/paternity reasons or on long-term leave pending formal retirement.
CASA had an average of 8.21 days of unplanned absence per employee in 2007–08, which was higher than the 6.82 days reported in 2006–07. Unplanned absence includes sick leave, carer’s leave and compassionate leave.
In 2007–08, CASA’s rate of staff turnover for permanent staff was 17.87 per cent (21.24 per cent in 2006–07). The underlying voluntary rate was 15.37 per cent (11.44 per cent in 2006–07).
Learning and development
Learning and development initiatives during 2007–08 continued to support CASA’s business reforms. CASA’s Certificate IV and Diploma in Aviation Safety Regulation were launched in March 2008 in collaboration with Swinburne University of Technology, with 58 CASA staff enrolled as at 30 June 2008.
The Learning and Development Section worked with CASA staff during 2007–08 to develop a technical training matrix. The matrix enables managers to identify specific learning and development needs and ensure their regulatory and technical staff remain current in their technical or professional fields.
During 2007–08, CASA delivered in-house training in a range of technical and non-technical skills such as project management, customer service, recruitment, auditing, human factors, safety management systems, regulatory and legal awareness, report writing and leadership. CASA’s successful orientation program continued as a way to transition new staff into the organisation, and 87 staff completed the two-day course during the year.
The year 2008–09 will see continued support for the Diploma and specialist training activities along with the implementation of new training initiatives such as the development of an online learning capability, orientation for new managers, and several CASA leadership programs.
CASA undertook investigations into a number of allegations of breaches of its code of conduct over the reporting period. These investigations, and any subsequent actions, were undertaken in accordance with the code.
The Workplace Relations Section undertook a number of investigations in line with the CASA bullying, harassment and discrimination policy during the year.
Recognising high performance
CASA continued its 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.
CASA staff are now able to further their skills and knowledge in aviation safety regulation with qualifications available through Swinburne University of Technology.
Coursework for the Diploma, designed for CASA’s regulatory employees, and Certificate IV, aimed at all other CASA staff, is being delivered flexibly through online and workshop-based learning.
With the assistance of a pilot group of staff who provided valuable feedback on content and delivery, the result is a flexible, relevant and challenging qualification.
The courses are competency based in both learning and assessment, with participants required to demonstrate real work examples of how they have applied the knowledge they acquire to a practical work situation. The coursework includes modules on working in an aviation regulatory environment, dealing with conflict, and providing and monitoring quality client service. The Diploma also covers technical skills such as undertaking compliance audits and evaluating safety management practices in an aviation context.
In conjunction with CASA’s suite of internal and external learning and development courses, the Diploma and Certificate IV program reflects CASA’s commitment to ensuring it has the right staff, with the right skills, in the right jobs.
Employees of the Month, 2007–08
- Ian Lonsdale
- Delene White
- Michelle Kranenburg
- Annette Munce
- Murray McQueen
- Irene King
- Alison Hayward
- Kylie Grieves
- Leanne Bradbury
- Steven Manton
The Above and Beyond awards recognise individuals or teams who have demonstrated outstanding and exceptional work or work on projects of importance to CASA.
Above and Beyond, 2007–08
- Wayne Abbott
- Airworthiness Engineering Branch Manufacturing Staff
- Philip Astley
- Talia Nikpalj
- Josh Ryan
- Sarah Hayden
- Andrew Warland-Browne
- Julie Codrye
- David Coulston
- Aussie Pratt
- Tanya Rush
- Steven Manton
CASA also uses a recognition scheme to honour the achievements and service of CASA employees for their 10, 15, 20, 25, 30 and 40 year milestones.
Public service medal for staff member
In June 2008, CASA’s Steve Swift was recognised as an international safety innovator. Steve earned a place in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List and joined the rare ranks of those whose achievements have been recognised with the award of the prestigious Public Service Medal.
The Australian Public Service Medal recognises outstanding service by employees of the Australian Government and state, territory and local government; it is awarded only twice a year by the Governor-General.
Steve, Principal Engineer, Airframe Durability, was nominated by Greg Vaughan, Group General Manager, General Aviation Operations Group, with support from acting CEO Shane Carmody and a range of CASA and industry colleagues.
In conjunction with a colleague at the US Federal Aviation Administration, Steve developed a tool—known as the ‘diamond model’—to help the aviation industry keep aircraft safe from fatigue cracks. He has now extended the utilisation of the diamond model to corrosion applications.
In addition, Steve was the first Australian to be awarded the international Whittle Safety Award by the International Federation of Airworthiness in 2007, in recognition of his work in developing this model.