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CASA Annual Report 2002 03 Part 5: Corporate management report

Part 5: Corporate management report

Our people

CASA's objective is to achieve a high-performance organisation through motivated and capable people at all levels.


Initiatives, developments and issues in 2002–03

CASA's strategies to meet this objective were developed as part of Critical Success Factor 7 in our Corporate Plan for 2002–03 to 2004–05. Our aims are to achieve greater alignment between our people and our strategic directions, and to position CASA to be more flexible and adaptable to future change.

Learning and development

CASA completed development of a comprehensive, integrated Learning and Development Strategy. We began implementing the Strategy early in the year by benchmarking it against best practices identified by the Australian National Audit Office1

1. Australian National Audit Office, Management of Learning and Development in the Australian Public Service, Report No. 64, Canberra 2002

Key aims of the Strategy are an improved infrastructure to enhance efficiency (through distributed learning methods), and effectiveness (through better-targeted learning and development opportunities based on actual needs). We now have in place a curriculum control process and a curriculum advisory group. Preparation of distributed learning programs has been ongoing. At 30 June 2003 we were considering tenders for a proposed 'education partner' to give CASA staff access to a greater range of learning and development activities.

A further initiative under the Strategy was adoption of the Australian Public Service Commission's Senior Executive Leadership Capability Framework. This now underpins significant development initiatives, recruitment and the Performance Communication Scheme for the Leadership Group. Two major leadership group conferences were conducted during the year to build a more effective and cohesive leadership group. We also successfully piloted a Team Leader development course and provided coaching support services to identified managers.

CASA is promoting individual career development planning through our Performance Communication Scheme. Evaluation found that 77 per cent of survey respondents believed the Scheme was capable of generating good discussion about learning and development and career planning.


Workplace relations

CASA's first comprehensive Certified Agreement was negotiated and endorsed with the intention that terms and conditions align more closely with corporate objectives. The Agreement was supported by 95 per cent of the staff who voted upon it.

The Agreement introduced, among other things, a framework for a Performance Communication Scheme and more flexible engagement, recruitment and selection, and separation arrangements to aid workforce planning. It also cleared the way for development of a whole-of-CASA capability framework in place of previous ad hoc competency arrangements for some employment groups.

Work is progressing on a number of issues arising from the Agreement, including developing certain provisions for advancement, reviewing work level standards, reviewing human resources delegations and rewriting the human resources manual. In addition, we have undertaken significant developmental work in implementing a review of the salary classifications for Flying Operations Inspectors.

The Workplace Relations Group, which is the peak level union/staff/management consultative forum, provided the opportunity to consult over significant strategic and people management issues during the year, including the outcomes of CASA's first Employee Survey. The Group met three times during 2002–03.


Employee survey

We conducted our first comprehensive all-staff Employee Survey in October 2002. Some 78 per cent of staff responded to the questionnaire, which asked them to rate 65 statements about CASA against importance and performance and included four open-ended questions, which allowed staff to freely express their view on important issues.

The survey identified priority issues for us to address and established base-line measures by which to help measure future people management performance. The results, which were presented to CASA in December 2002, found an overall satisfaction rate of 59 per cent. The various base-line measures identified through the Survey are reported in Table 18. Future surveys will be used to gauge movement compared with the baselines.

Staff have received extensive information about their own work area and whole-of-CASA results, including through face-to-face briefings about the survey findings. A working party reporting to the Executive People Management Committee has been established, and is examining options for addressing issues raised in the survey.


Workforce planning

CASA's workforce planning capability has been enhanced this year by the greater flexibility the new Certified Agreement offers and the insights the Employee Survey provided into what needs to be done to attract and retain staff with appropriate skills and attributes. We are now developing workforce planning strategies in keeping with the major change agenda in CASA.

Performance and recognition

CASA introduced a Performance Communication Scheme, which focuses on discussions about individual work expectations linked to business outcomes, learning and development needs and opportunities, and career aspirations. The Scheme was successfully implemented with an evaluation survey showing that 91 per cent of respondents were 'quite satisfied' to 'extremely satisfied' with the discussions and with development of their plans.

Lynne Burgess with Certification Standards Branch staff

Facilitator Lynne Burgess with Certification Standards Branch staff at one of the Performance Communication Scheme workshops.

We also developed a Recognition Scheme to reward both service milestones and excellent performance. Over 200 staff have been recognised for long and dedicated service since the Scheme began in January 2003. We introduced Employee of the Month awards in March.



Last year we recast CASA's corporate values to underline our shared vision of Safe skies for all and our commitment to all that public service entails. This year we looked to promote those values throughout the organisation.

Establishing commitment to CASA's values and behaviours is part of all recruitment activity. We also made corporate values and behaviours an integral element of the Performance Communication Scheme and the Recognition Scheme.

Communicating corporate objectives and strategies

The Employee Survey showed that more needs to be done to provide staff with a sense of purpose and direction, to communicate how we are performing against corporate goals, to promote understanding of key business initiatives across the organisation and to ensure timely access to strategic and operational information.

During the year we implemented a number of communication initiatives, including monthly divisional meetings to update staff on current issues, quarterly briefings on strategic issues and a lunchtime seminar series. We have instituted regular visits by members of the Executive to field offices. The Executive provided briefing and discussion sessions for all staff on the Regulatory Reform Program implementation and development of CASA's business model.


Workplace diversity

We continued our commitment to workplace diversity as an integral part of our organisational culture during 2002–03. The merit principle remained a focal point to ensure that respect, and fair and equitable treatment were accorded to all staff.

The Workplace Diversity Sub-committee, which comprises federal union officials, workplace delegates and senior management, met twice during the year.

See Appendix 8 for CASA's workplace diversity principles and guidelines, and information about activities during the year.

Occupational health and safety

We are undertaking a review of our existing occupational health and safety (OH&S) policies to bring them into line with the requirements of a management system that identifies, assesses and controls OH&S risks.

The OH&S Sub-committee, which comprises federal union officials, workplace delegates and senior managers met twice during 2002–03. The role of the Sub-committee is to provide strategic comment, advice and assistance on OH&S issues, and develop programs and measures to continuously improve the health and safety of all our employees, including overseeing and monitoring the OH&S program.

The Sub-committee's work during the year included:

  • ongoing appointment of health and safety representatives and organisational nominees for Designated Work Groups as vacancies arose
  • support for an OH&S management system
  • starting to implement, within the Aviation Safety Compliance Division, recommendations arising from the Job Safety Analysis report
  • ongoing advice on corporate-wide OH&S issues.

Further information about occupational health and safety is provided, in accordance with the requirements of section 74 of the Occupational Health and Safety (Commonwealth Employment) Act 1991, in Appendix 8.

Human Resource Management Information System

We undertook planning for the 2003–04 upgrade of CASA's Human Resource Management Information System, which will improve the quality and timeliness of management information, streamline various processes, and introduce employee self-service.


Staffing status report for 2002–03

CASA staff are employed under the Civil Aviation Act 1988. Employment terms and conditions are based on the 2002-05 Certified Agreement and Australian Workplace Agreements. CASA also has a number of contract managers, who are employed under common law contracts and from time to time we engage invigilators to oversee examinations.

Staff have access to a range of non-salary benefits, including flexible working hours, purchased leave arrangements, study assistance, paid Christmas close-down, reimbursement for vacation childcare, access to an Employee Assistance Program and additional leave for shift workers.

See Table 39 in Appendix 8 for details of the salary ranges payable under the Certified Agreement.

Staffing profile

At 30 June 2003, CASA had 707 staff representing 96 per cent of our establishment. Of these:

  • 95 per cent were permanent and 5 per cent were temporary
  • 98 per cent were full-time and 2 per cent were part-time
  • 70 per cent were male and 30 per cent were female
  • 9 per cent had identified themselves as belonging to an Equal Employment Opportunity group
  • 54 per cent were employed in central office and 46 per cent in regional offices.

See Appendix 8, Tables 40 to 44, for further details of our staffing.


Training effort

In 2002–03 there was an average of 3.9 training days per employee, which was down from 5.3 in the previous year and well below target.

The target has been in place for a number of years and was set at a time when data was not available. We will be reviewing it in 2003–04 to identify a more realistic level that is in keeping with industry and public sector norms.

Figure 21: Staff training days

Figure 21: Staff training days

Note: These data are collected manually and may not reflect total training days. A training administration database will be implemented during 2003–04 to comprehensively collect training data.


Unplanned absenteeism

The annual average for unplanned absenteeism in CASA was 3 per cent against an annual target of 2 per cent. This was an increase over the previous year's result of 1.9 per cent, but remains well within industry and public sector norms.2

Figure 22: Absenteeism

Figure 22: Absenteeism

Note: Unplanned absence includes sick, family and special leave.

Staff turnover

CASA's rate of staff turnover improved this year with an annual average turnover of 5.98 per cent compared with the annual average of 8.28 per cent last year.

The turnover rate has moved to the lower end of our target range of 5-10 per cent and is well below the benchmark figure of 12 per cent identified in Australian Benefits Review 20023.

2. Australian National Audit Office, Absence Management in the Australian Public Service, Report No. 52, Canbera, 2003.
3. William M Mercer, Australian Benefits Review 2002.


Table 17: Staff turnover

Quarter Quarterly turnover % Annualised turnover % Annual average % Annual target range % External benchmark %




















Note: Figures exclude fixed-term staff.


Table 18: Staff satisfaction

Measure % of staff satisfied

Pay and conditions being fair


Respect and courtesy of team leaders and managers




CASA attracting and retaining capable employees


Recruitment and selection being fair and based on merit


Recognition of efforts


Executive providing a sense of purpose and direction


Communicating performance against corporate goals


Understanding of the CASA Improvement Program


Communicating about the Regulatory Reform Program


Receiving information about what is happening in CASA


Overall satisfaction



Staff satisfaction

The results in Table 18 table were derived from a comprehensive survey of all staff, which was conducted in October 2002 by an independent specialist firm. Almost 78 per cent per cent of staff responded to the survey.


Where to from here

During 2003–04 CASA will focus on:

  • developmental work on proposed initiatives under the Learning and Development strategy
  • cascading leadership development down to middle managers
  • ongoing implementation of the Certified Agreement, including undertaking a number of reviews into travel, work level standards, CASA's Code of Conduct and home-based work
  • ongoing implementation of Flying Operations Inspector classification review (with a particular focus on arrangements for assessing suitability for incremental pay advancement), and development of a new human resources policy and procedure manual
  • action planning in response to priority issues identified by the Employee Survey, such as CASA attracting and retaining capable employees, employees receiving relevant training and development to do their job well, and having access to accurate and timely information
  • implementation of the Human Resource Management Information System upgrade
  • human resource management, particularly workforce planning issues, associated with the CASA Improvement Program and Regulatory Reform Program Implementation.