Staff Association Secretary Sam Popovski examines capability days and discusses practical ways that CSIRO staff can acees this new entitlement, designed to enhance and support career development.
Valuing your capability and development
The Staff Association understands the difficulties staff have with project workloads as well as ensuring sufficient time for important non-project activities, including training and development.
As a result we have advocated and achieved improvements in this area during the last enterprise bargaining campaign.
These improvements include access to capability days and to a minimum amount of training and development days for all staff members every year.
Stage 1 of APA 2012-13
Stage 1 of APA 2012-13 must be completed by all staff (excluding casuals and staff employed for less than three months) by no later than 30 September 2012.
Even though this final deadline is still months away, many staff will be completing this stage of the APA with their supervisor much earlier.
The Staff Association strongly advises all staff to constructively plan the utilisation of capability days and training and development activities as part of their APA.
The number of capability days is determined by agreement between a staff member and their supervisor.
There are no prescriptive guidelines or minimum or maximum amount of capability days for each staff member.
However, there is an expectation by CSIRO that the average number of capability days per staff member is approximately 20 per annum across the whole organisation.
We would expect many staff to exceed the average, for example staff that have corporate citizenship role/s, while other staff will have less than the average, depending on need.
Capability days can be used for a range of non-project-related activities which can include:
- corporate citizenship activities (e.g. Staff Association
- workplace delegate, health and safety representative, equity and diversity officer)
- professional development, training and conference attendance
- conducting research which includes scoping future science possibilities
- additional time to publish work (note: it is expected that time to publish is also part of project work) and
- divisional meetings and activities.
The agreed number of capability days are recorded at Stage 1 of the eAPA and then automatically translated into effort logging information for each individual staff member.
Training and development
All staff are entitled to a minimum of five days training and development within each APA cycle (July to June), exclusive of travel time. The training activities are to be reflected in the eAPA and/or in an agreed development plan.
The CSIRO Enterprise Agreement 2011-2014 recognises that a large number of staff will exceed this minimum.
The agreed activities should lead to the development of skills and/or knowledge and may include formal program and conference participation and on the job assignments.
Staff should consider their individual needs, along with the needs of their CSIRO projects and business unit, in determining training and development activities each year.
Staff Association support
As stated previously, we strongly encourage all staff to assess the need and plan for capability days and training and development activities as part of Stage 1 of APA 2012-13.
The APA process is intended to be a constructive framework in communicating and determining work requirements, both project and non-project-related.
Staff can be represented at any meetings where the APA is discussed by a Staff Association workplace delegate.
The Staff Association can also provide advice to members if any disagreements arise during the APA process.