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Our people

We regard the skills and commitment of our people as an important part of our ‘secure and enduring infrastructure’, one of our agency objectives.

To this end, our approach to managing our people reflects the importance of attracting, retaining and developing a skilled and diverse workforce.

We foster an environment where resources and expertise are shared to maximise business outcomes and manage increased volume and complexity. We achieve this by providing our staff with opportunities for growth and development and by deploying the current workforce in a way that makes best use of their skills.

Talent identification and management

We have two formal recognition programs to celebrate the outstanding efforts and contributions of employees, while promoting our culture, values and purpose. These are based on set criteria and occur each year.

Australia Day awards

Each year, Commonwealth departments and agencies are invited by the National Australia Day Council to celebrate Australia Day by awarding an Australia Day Achievement Medallion to acknowledge staff who have displayed an outstanding contribution in the public sector.

For the 2019 Australia Day Achievement Awards, Ellie Carmichael and Tas Sakellaris were recognised for their willingness to work through complex policy and implementation challenges, which contribute to our agency and the wider Australian Public Service.

Awards of Excellence

We also hold an annual Awards of Excellence, which recognises the work and achievements of our employees. The awards align with our agency’s cultural anchors and focus on personal accountability, collaboration and innovation.

Learning and development

Developing our employees is important to us. Our learning and development programs target the development of capabilities for agency roles and individual career pathways.

To assist with targeted development, in September 2018 we implemented the first phase of a People Capability Framework, which articulates capabilities relevant to each job role in the agency. We are currently working on the next phase that includes developing proficiency levels within each capability, mapping those proficiencies to job roles, and introducing a process to allow individuals to baseline their proficiency level against each capability (see Feature – Bringing capability to life) .

To create a common language and habits that support a culture of continuous learning, we delivered an IMPROVE training program to 278 employees. This training provided employees with the tools to drive their own development by asking for feedback in real time at all levels across the agency.

During the year, we also continued to develop regulatory capability through the delivery of Regulatory Practitioner and Manager training programs. In 2018–19, a total of 111 employees completed this training.

In 2018–19, we provided financial support and study leave to 17 employees completing tertiary qualification study relevant to their employment in our agency and the wider Australian Public Service.

We continued to develop broad capabilities with training programs targeting writing skills, business process mapping, understanding legislation, recruitment and performance management.

In addition, we supported employees to attend numerous external workshops, seminars and conferences to further their understanding of specific industries, our participants or areas of professional interest. We also provided a range of technical and business training across our agency to support the rollout of new business processes and systems.

Feature – Bringing capability to life

At the Clean Energy Regulator, we need to be able to adjust our workforce and ensure our people are capable and can adapt to meet the challenges we face as an agency.

As a result, we developed our agency-wide People Capability Framework. We co-designed the framework with employees across the agency from all classification levels, considering how we work, how we want to work, how we need to work, best practice, emerging trends, and how we can embed our agency’s cultural anchors. Our cultural anchors are: active development, delivering outcomes, trust and accountability, and role clarity.

Using our agency’s operating model as a central reference point, we articulated the required capabilities and developed four proficiency levels for each. We mapped capabilities and proficiency levels to every job role within the agency.

Underpinned by growth mindset principles, framework development focused on the future of work. Core capabilities (those mapped to all job roles) include business acumen capabilities, data and digital literacy capabilities, emotional intelligence, and an individual development approach called ‘deliberately developmental’.

To bring the framework to life for all employees, we redesigned our learning management system, Learnhub, so it showcases the framework and links the capabilities to individual, tailored development plans and career pathways. Learnhub presents employees with a capability plan relevant to their job role and an opportunity to access training or identify targeted learning strategies. People can also develop a career pathway by identifying other job roles within the agency and applying those capabilities to their development plan. This is enabling us to move our agency’s cultural mindset from fixed (performance management) to growth (active development).

We are now developing a proficiency assessment process so people can baseline their current capability. Once fully developed, the framework will provide greater clarity and sharper tools so that we can respond to the changing demands of our workforce and better support mobility and career development while ensuring we achieve our objectives as an agency.

Workforce profile

As at 30 June 2019, our agency had 326 employees, comprising 308 ongoing and 18 non-ongoing employees.

Figure 12: Workforce profile by level and gender as at 30 June 2019 (by headcount)Bar chart graph mapping employee numbers by level and gender as at 30 June 2019. There are 6 graduates; 6 APS2; 7 APS 3; 33 APS4; 52 APS5; 88 APS6; 78 EL1; 27 EL2; 9 SES1; 2 SES2.

Appendix C provides full details of our workforce profile by level, gender, full-time and part-time, ongoing and non-ongoing and diversity.

Improved human resources (HR) management

Division, branch and section managers receive monthly reports on employee data including personal and annual leave takings and balances, flex balances, commencements and cessations. These reports help managers plan their workforce and workloads, anticipate recruitment needs and ensure job roles are covered.

Improved recruitment processes

Our recruitment processes aim to appoint candidates with the experience and required capabilities, based on merit and aligned with our agency’s priorities, objectives, values and behaviours.

Our recruitment principles support this by observing:

  • employment principles in section 10A of the Public Service Act 1999 to make fair employment decisions based on merit, and
  • Australian Public Service Commissioner’s Directions 2016 Part 3 Division 1, which directs an Australian Public Service agency’s minimum procedural aspects of upholding the statutory merit principle.

To improve efficiency in our recruitment, we create merit pools or lists where possible that we can use within a 12-month period. This enables us to review vacancies requiring similar capabilities and draw from the pool or lists, saving time and money. We also share our pools or lists and use other agencies’ merit pools or lists where appropriate.

Other initiatives include:

  • a temporary register—those interested can enter their details and experience, and our managers can draw from this register to fill non-ongoing positions
  • a mobility register—this provides the opportunity for capability development, knowledge and skill sharing across the agency, and also allows sections to ramp up during peak periods
  • stream recruitment—this enables us to conduct bulk recruitment activities based on the specific capabilities required across our agency, allowing us to fill multiple positions and create merit pools to use throughout the next 12 months, and
  • selection panel training—at least one member of any selection panel must complete panellist training, ensuring our panels know their responsibilities and use effective selection processes.

Graduate development program

Our graduate development program provides a range of professional and personal development opportunities to attract graduates with qualifications and experience highly relevant to our work.

At the 2018 Australian Public Service Commission’s graduation ceremony, our graduates received the top prize for the Major Project Outstanding Achievement Award. Their project, Seeking Signals and Signs of Change—Best Practice Environmental Scanning, was well researched, comprehensive and illustrated the benefits of bringing a contemporary perspective on environmental scanning to our agency.

In 2019 we employed six graduates. We continue to partner with the Australian Public Service Commission to deliver our graduate training programs. This, coupled with on-the-job experience, provides our graduates with the skills, knowledge and experience for future leadership roles in the Australian Public Service.

Access and equity

Workplace diversity

We are committed to supporting diversity in our workplace, and providing an environment free from discrimination, patronage and favouritism. We support this by:

  • successfully recruiting graduates in 2019 under
    • Affirmative measures—Indigenous employment, and
    • the Recruitability scheme
  • implementing our Indigenous Graduate program
  • holding specific events to celebrate and engage with workplace diversity and linking into the Department of the Environment and Energy’s activities for NAIDOC and National Reconciliation week events
  • becoming a member of the Australian Network on Disability (AND) to ensure we are disability compliant in our processes, procedures and systems
  • supporting our:
    • women in Clean Energy Regulator network
    • p@cer (Pride at the Clean Energy Regulator), which is our LGBTQIA network
    • non-anglo background staff reference group
    • Indigenous network (IN), and
    • DAWN (Disability ability wellbeing network)
  • participating in events such as the International Women’s Day luncheon
  • encouraging flexible working arrangements, including reduced hours and job-sharing
  • providing reasonable adjustment to support people with disability
  • providing appropriate facilities, including a prayer room and parent’s room
  • providing training for managers and employees in the areas of:
    • disability confidence
    • mental health in the workplace
    • family and domestic violence in the workplace, and
    • mandatory training in respectful workplaces, which includes prevention of inappropriate behaviour, such as bullying and harassment
  • maintaining our networks of:
    • workplace harassment contact officers, and
    • mental health first aid officers.

Appendix C details the representation of equal opportunity employment target groups in our workforce profile.

Access to information

We make our online services and information accessible to as many people as possible regardless of ability. We aspire to provide services as per the Digital Service Standard, defined by the Digital Transformation Agency, we focus on ensuring our systems and content are accessible.

In the coming year we will upgrade or replace all internal and external web-based systems to conform to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Level AA standard. We have divided our approach into four categories. Within each category we will focus on the four principles of WCAG 2.0 (text alternatives, keyboard access, readability and input assistance). The four categories are:

  • System/platform—our business and technical owners of current web-based applications are required to assess accessibility compliance, and define ways to support people whose specific accessibility needs are not met. They are also required to consider accessibility in future development work.
  • Content—all new or revised content published in existing agency systems will be accessible, where possible and within the limitations of the given web-based system/platform.
  • Documents—all new or revised documents will be provided in multiple formats where possible, with enhanced accessibility.
  • Media—we make transcripts available for new or revised multimedia presentations where possible. This includes videos, sound recordings or other multimedia presentations.

As part of this approach in 2018–19, we completed a user research project that gathered valuable insight from users of our information. The research will inform our next steps in updating or replacing our online systems and website.

Employment conditions

Terms and conditions for agency employees are governed by our Enterprise Agreement (including individual flexibility arrangements made in accordance with the Fair Work Act 2009 that vary conditions of the agreement), individual section 24(1) determinations in accordance with the Public Service Act 1999, and decisions of the Remuneration Tribunal.

Enterprise Agreement

Our employees are covered by the Clean Energy Regulator Enterprise Agreement 2019–2022, which commenced on 25 June 2019, with a nominal expiry date of 25 June 2022.

This agreement covers all employees except those on individual flexibility arrangements, our Senior Executive Service (SES) and Chair.

Individual flexibility arrangements

At 30 June 2019, 14 non-SES employees were covered under individual flexibility arrangements.

Individual determinations under the Public Service Act

At 30 June 2019, terms and conditions for our nine Senior Executive Service officers were outlined in individual determinations under section 24(1) of the Public Service Act 1999, made by the Chair.

Appointment of Chair

The position of Chair is a statutory appointment with conditions of employment determined by the Remuneration Tribunal.

Remuneration and benefits

The details of our remuneration and process for salary advancement are in our Enterprise Agreement.

Appendix C provides details of the available salary ranges by classification level. Progression through the available salary points is determined by the results of annual performance assessments.

Non-salary benefits available to our employees include:

  • individual flexibility agreements
  • health and wellbeing programs including Employee Assistance Program services
  • coaching and mentoring
  • learning and development opportunities
  • studies assistance (study leave and financial assistance)
  • options for flexible hours and time off in lieu, and
  • flexible working conditions such as part-time employment, job sharing, and working from home.

Performance pay

In 2018–19 no performance pay in the form of one-off bonuses was awarded to the Clean Energy Regulator’s Senior Executive Service officers.

Non-Senior Executive Service officers who achieve a performance outcome of ‘Meets’ or ‘Exceeds’ expectation are recognised by incremental advancement consistent with conditions outlined in the Enterprise Agreement.

Performance management

In 2018–19, we maintained our Continuing Conversations approach to performance management. This approach emphasises the importance of individuals and their managers having ongoing conversations about performance throughout the year.

We continued to implement our performance management policy, introduced in 2016, that complements the Clean Energy Regulator Enterprise Agreement 2019–2022. This aligns the performance management cycle with the financial year and eligible employees receive salary advancement on 1 July each year.

Work health and safety

We recognise the importance of our legislative obligations under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 to prevent work-related injury and illness. Workplace health and safety hazards can be physical or psychological, and they can derive from both office-based and off-site work environments. We articulate our commitment to workplace health and safety through related policy and supporting documents.


As part of our commitment to the promotion of employee wellness and providing a safe working environment, we delivered the following initiatives in 2018–19:

  • maintained networks of trained mental health first aid officers, first aid officers and workplace harassment contact officers
  • provided mental health awareness training for employees and managers
  • coordinated a Health Expo, hosting a variety of health and wellbeing providers
  • conducted skin checks for peace of mind or early detection of suspicious skin spots
  • conducted a ‘quit smoking’ seminar and subsequent ‘quit smoking’ coaching
  • provided a trained rehabilitation case manager to assist staff and mental health first aid officers, and
  • maintained early intervention initiatives.


These initiatives led to the following outcomes in 2018–19:

  • no directions or notices were given to our agency
  • no work health and safety investigations were conducted
  • one notifiable incident occurred, and
  • two workers compensation claims were accepted by Comcare.


We maintained compliance with the mandatory requirements of the Protective Security Policy Framework (PSPF) and will be reporting high compliance levels for 2018–19. In October 2018 the Attorney-General directed the introduction of widespread reforms to the PSPF policy. Our agency successfully implemented these changes in the period, well ahead of the Attorney-General’s implementation deadline of 1 October 2020. We have also fully implemented the PSPF requirement of introducing timely pre-employment screening for all new agency personnel, addressing conflict of interest declaration, and ensuring initial and ongoing personnel suitability to handle security classified information.

Facilities and accommodation

In 2018–19, we maintained the appropriate level of facilities for our staff to provide a safe and productive working environment and we maintained our 6-star energy rating under the National Australian Built Environment Rating System.

Assets management

Our assets management framework encompasses several elements to ensure we strategically invest in and maintain assets necessary for effective delivery of our purpose. The framework includes:

  • internal governance through the internal budget process and Strategic Leadership Team, to ensure investment decisions regarding assets are subject to sound investment principles and can deliver benefits to our agency
  • asset management policies that articulate sound asset management principles and responsibilities, and
  • annual reviews of the asset register including stocktakes and impairment testing.

We manage current and non-current assets in accordance with the Accountable Authority Instructions and relevant accounting standards. During 2018–19 we undertook the following asset-related activities:

  • a full stocktake of our asset base, and we engaged an independent expert to conduct a valuation of our agency’s assets (excluding intangibles) in accordance with the requirements of Australian Accounting Standards Board (AASB) 13 Fair Value Measurement, and
  • asset impairment testing and review of useful life (‘re-life’ assessment) of our assets, including ICT and non-ICT property, plant and equipment, intangibles and software Assets Under Construction, as required by the following Australian Accounting Standards:
    • AASB 116 Property, Plant and Equipment
    • AASB 136 Impairment of Assets, and
    • AASB 138 Intangible Assets.

The results are reported in the financial statements in Part 5 – Finances.