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The past year has been one of implementation and consolidation of agreement making in the ABS. Ratification of the Population Survey Operations Interviewers Certified Agreement 2002-2003 by the Australian Industrial Relations Commission in May 2002 means that the ABS has three operational Certified Agreements:
Effective performance management is a key strategy in ABS working conditions and arrangements. The current Performance Management Scheme was introduced some three years ago. In order to ensure its continued relevance to the needs of the ABS and its staff, a review was conducted of the scheme during 2001–02. While a number of improvements were identified which are aimed at making the scheme more effective, the outcomes of the review reinforced the value of the scheme in meeting objectives in areas such as:
During 2001-02 the National Forum was instituted as part of the wider ABS Certified Agreement consultation framework which includes separate Divisional and regional office consultative forums. The inaugural National Forum meeting was held in March 2002. The National Forum considered a range of issues including the Business Statistics Innovation Program, the recognition and reward scheme, consultative arrangements, and early ideas about the next certified agreement.
Work was undertaken during 2001-02 on the development of an ABS Workforce Planning model for the ABS. The model is designed to provide information on workforce supply and demand, including analysis based on scenarios characterised by various expectations of retention rates, promotion probabilities, exit rates, and recruitment issues.
The ABS continues to provide high quality staff learning and development opportunities across three streams, namely, statistical skills, information technology, and leadership and management. These are delivered through various means including online, formal programs (delivered both internally and externally), and well equipped resource centres.