Bulletin – Capability days and your APA

To view a printable version of this bulletin, for display on your workplace noticeboard, please click here.

CSIRO have introduced capability days for staff for the 2011/12 APA. However, there has been confusion about what constitutes capability days and how they are linked to project time and effort logging. Staff Association representatives have recently met with Corporate HR to sort out the conflicting messages coming from different parts of CSIRO. Below are the resolved and agreed outcomes of those meetings.

What is included in capability days?

Capability days have been introduced to formally recognise the important non-project related activities that CSIRO staff engage in, which include:

– corporate citizenship activities (e.g. union workplace delegate, health and safety representative);

– professional development, training and conference attendance (note: there is a minimum five days per annum, learning, training and development, provided for through the CSIRO Enterprise Agreement);

– conducting research which includes scoping future science possibilities;

– additional time to write papers (note: it is expected that time to write papers is also part of project work); and

– divisional meetings and activities.

 How is the number of capability days for individual staff determined?

This number of capability days is agreed between a staff member and their supervisor through the APA objective setting process (Stage 1) and must be completed by 30 September. CSIRO have recognised that, organisation wide, there will be an average of 20 capability days per staff member in 2011/12. The 20 days is not an individual entitlement. Staff members with a greater need for capability days, such as those with corporate citizenship roles or higher than average conference attendance, will require greater than the average number of capability days. Other staff, for example those who do not have corporate citizenship roles, may require less than the average. What is important is that the number of capability days is determined as part of the APA process and staff members and supervisors appropriately recognise the need for capability days in agreeing on a number.

What happens if there is disagreement in the APA process on the number of capability days?

Staff Association members who cannot reach agreement on the number of capability days with their supervisor can seek advice and support from their workplace delegate or organiser. The APA process provides for resolution of issues through next level management. For more information on the process, refer to Know Your Rights fact sheet No. 2 and Clause 37 of the CSIRO Enterprise Agreement.

How will capability days be linked to project time and effort logging?

The time for capability days (an average of 20 days per year per staff member) has been approved by the CSIRO Executive to be incorporated alongside project and work planning for 2011/12. After 30 September, when staff have completed Stage 1 of the APA and agreed on the number of capability days, the eAPA will be linked and automatically update effort logging information. Staff will be requested to verify this information but will not be required to manually amend any data, in order to have their capability days recognised.