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Performance statement – agency direction four

Professionalise our workforce

The AEC‘s core and temporary workforce is critical to successful delivery of electoral events, and enables the AEC to deliver its purpose. The agency is focused on attracting, training and maintaining a professional workforce with the capability and agility needed as we pursue efforts to modernise our model for delivering election events.

Intended result and
performance criteria in AEC corporate plan*

Link to purpose


Explanation of result

4.1 Staff are role capable and have a clear understanding of expectations and accountabilities

Effective lifecycle management of the AEC workforce is embedded in human resource systems and guided by strategy

Percentage of AEC staff who have completed mandatory corporate training

Percentage of AEC staff (permanent and temporary) who have completed election-specific training relevant to their role

Training and development activities evaluated and lessons to be learned are identified


Partly met

In 2018–19, the AEC focused its efforts on supporting the operational aspects of attracting, recruiting and onboarding a very large temporary election and surge workforce for the 2019 federal election.

The AEC continued its significant investment in training and development—both for APS staff and the temporary election workforce—through a nationally coordinated whole-of-agency approach.

Training completion rates for APS staff met the 90 per cent targets:

  • 98.3% of APS staff (excluding APS1 and labour hire) completed mandatory eLearning focused on core APS skills and legislative requirements
  • 96.7% of APS staff (excluding APS1 and labour hire) completed online election-specific training relevant to their role

Training completion rates for the temporary election workforce are being finalised. Data will be reported to the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters, and published in the 2019–20 annual performance statements.

Training and development lessons are being identified through the AEC’s lessons management approach.

The AEC considers work under this direction to be a long-term endeavour. The intended result for 2018–19 has been partly met as developing an AEC human resource (HR) strategy and Capability Framework remains in progress and will be a focus in 2019–20.

*Source: AEC Corporate Plan 2018–2022, p. 12.

What we did

Key achievements for the year were:

  • ‘scaling up’ our core and temporary election workforce for polling day. More than 90,000 individuals were onboarded for the federal election, all of who had to be recruited, trained and paid
  • delivering programs designed to support critical operational and leadership capabilities including:
    • the Election Readiness Program
    • the Australian Electoral Officer Program
    • divisional and state election planning and learning programs
    • the Election Experience Program
    • online and face-to-face training for the temporary election workforce
  • conducting three large scale rehearsals involving state and divisional office staff. A Declaration Vote Envelope Management rehearsal and two nominations rehearsals (the second following legislative changes to the nominations process in March 2019) allowed staff to practise these integral elements of election delivery. Participants in the nominations rehearsal demonstrated an increased awareness of procedures across the two rehearsals
  • initiating planning for a new HR strategy which will support workforce planning (including life-cycle management). It will focus on driving high performance, improving employee engagement, and establishing the AEC as an employer of choice. Work undertaken in 2018–19 included:
    • developing the AEC’s Diversity and Inclusion Strategy 2019–2022
    • maturing HR business intelligence to support strategy development and workforce planning
    • mapping and stocktaking existing human resource policies and procedures
  • progressively identifying training and development lessons and insights to be fed back into AEC learning programs developed by the National Training and Education Unit

In 2019–20 we are:

  • continuing to plan and develop our HR strategy to manage the AEC workforce
  • reviewing training and development activities and identifying lessons and actions following the federal election
  • progressing the AEC’s Capability Framework to define learning pathways for staff at all levels. This includes maturing the AEC’s approach to training and development, and future investment