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Performance Management

All ASD employees and their ASD and Australian Defence Force supervisors are required to participate in the Performance Feedback Assessment and Development Scheme (PFADS).

PFADS supports a strong performance culture, as it provides a framework for employees and their supervisors to discuss and establish expectations regarding performance and behaviour, to recognise, reward and reinforce performance, and to identify and encourage improvement where improvements need to be made.

The foundation of the performance framework is frequent quality performance conversations, between an employee and their supervisor, throughout the performance cycle. By regularly discussing performance, sharing ongoing feedback and acknowledging achievements and performance, supervisors and employees create a sustainable and strong performance culture.

ASD's annual performance cycle runs from 1 September to 31 August. Key events in the performance cycle include:

  • frequent clarity, check-in and closing conversations that occur continually throughout the performance cycle, to discuss particular work activities.
  • three defined checkpoint conversations to set expectations, review performance and assess performance, that occur at distinct points within the performance cycle, to discuss the standard of work performance and expectations of the employee.

ASD's performance management process is underpinned by policies to assist supervisors to lead and encourage employees to high performance and improve poor performance.

ASD Determination

During this reporting period, ASD operated under its first ASD Conditions of Employment (Non-SES) Determination 2018, which was made by the Director‑General ASD under subsection 38A(3) of the ISA.

The determination was made on 21 June 2018, and came into effect on 1 July 2018, to align with ASD's transition to an independent statutory agency. The current determination will nominally expire on 16 August 2020. Across the 2019–20 reporting period, ASD has been actively preparing for its next Employment Determination.

ASD's SES workforce are employed under the ASD Conditions of Employment (SES) Determination 2018.

These two determinations provide for a range of non-salary benefits, including leave entitlements, access to flexible working arrangements, and part-time work. These benefits aim to highlight ASD's investment in its staff, particularly in the pursuit of additional training and development.

Table 2 shows the types of employment arrangements covering SES and non-SES arrangements in ASD as at 30 June 2020.

Table 2: SES and non-SES employees by employment arrangement, as at 30 June 2019

Employment arrangement




ASD Conditions of Employment (Non-SES) Determination




ASD Conditions of Employment (SES) Determination








Service Allowance Non-Salary Benefits

ASD introduced a new 'ASD Service Allowance' on 2 March 2020, under the ASD Conditions of Employment (Non-SES) Determination 2018 and the ASD Conditions of Employment (SES) Determination 2018. The ASD Service Allowance is paid at 4 per cent of base salary to eligible staff who are employed under these determinations and is managed within ASD's exiting appropriation.

The allowance was introduced following a period of consultation with employees and their representatives and was implemented to recognise the significant personal, physical and information security requirements imposed on staff. The ASD Service Allowance is consistent with other National Intelligence Community entities which apply similar allowances.

Non-Salary Benefits

ASD offers its staff a number of additional benefits that are not included under the provisions of the Determination, including:

  • annual influenza immunisation
  • in-house capability development programs
  • a confidential employee assistance program for employees and their immediate families
  • study assistance to eligible employees
  • access to flexible working arrangements.