Sunday, September 16, 2012


A soma a day keeps the people in ignorant bliss
Well, it looks good ... but take a second look. I will leave it here for your perusal and then begin to do some unpacking tomorrow... You could go here but it probably won't open.


Progress report on the minister for education and training’s direction to the cit to comply with the worksafe act report of 11 April 2012 (August 2012)

1.  Background
On 12 April 2012, WorkSafe ACT issued an improvement notice to the Canberra Institute of Technology (CIT) for failure to have an adequate system for preventing or responding to allegations from its workers of bullying and harassment arising from their work as part of CIT’s undertaking. On 12 April 2012, the Minister for Education and Training issued a direction to CIT to commence on 16 April 2012, under Section 6 of the Canberra Institute of Technology Act 1987. This direction required the Chief Executive to undertake immediate action to:

· conclude the implementation of the CIT Action Plan identified in WorkSafe ACT report of 11 April 2012;
· ensure all staff employed by CIT are trained in bullying awareness;
· ensure all managerial staff are trained in bullying prevention and response;
· review CIT policies and procedures to ensure clarity when allegations of bullying or harassment should be the subject of an independent investigation, and the process for such investigations being undertaken;
· review CIT policies and procedures to ensure the management of  bullying and harassment complaints adhere to the principles of natural justice;
· ensure that staff are involved in the review of the policies and procedures in respect of the prevention and management of bullying and harassment, and that these are reviewed on a regular basis again in consultation with staff;
· take active steps to build confidence in the staff in relation to the policies and procedures;
· closely monitor the centres identified in the WorkSafe ACT Report of 11 April 2012 to ensure, as far as is reasonably practicable, that bullying and harassment is not occurring at those centres;
· test staff confidence in the bullying and harassment complaints process, at regular intervals; and 
· provide weekly reports to the Minister on the actions CIT has taken to comply with the Ministerial direction.

This direction echoes the elements of the WorkSafe Improvement notice. CIT has complied with this direction in a comprehensive and timely manner, submitting 18 reports to date. 
This report summarises the progress CIT has made to meet the requirements of this Ministerial Direction and briefly outlines CIT’s strategy to continue to build and maintain a positive workplace culture.

2. CIT’s approach and commitment

CIT has taken a systematic approach to implementing the Ministerial Direction. A master plan consisting of a series of aligned and mutually reinforcing elements was developed.  The plan was designed to optimise the potential for improvement to CIT’s policies, practices, systems and culture.  The plan focuses on the core elements of the Ministerial Direction and consolidates the ten directives into four bodies of work:
· concluding the implementation of the Action Plan within the Centre for Tourism and Hotel Management;
· reviewing the policies and procedures in relation to the prevention of bullying and harassment; 
· delivering training in bullying awareness and prevention across the organisation; and 
· building staff confidence in the complaints process.

The work within CIT has been led fulltime by the Executive Director Special Projects - WorkSafe with support provided by the Executive Director, Governance and Executive Services , the executive team, CIT HR and the CIT Board of Management. 
The CIT Improvement Action Group, chaired by the Director, Continuous Improvement & Workers' Compensation Branch, Chief Minister and Cabinet Directorate and consisting of the CIT Chief Executive, representatives from the CIT Executive Team and CIT HR meets weekly to oversee the implementation of the Ministerial Direction. The terms of reference for this group are to:
· develop a detailed plan to:
o achieve the outcomes of the improvement notice;
o ensure continued progress implementing new work safety laws;
o ensure appropriate governance and accountability arrangements for work health and safety are in place;
o implement sustainable systems and work practices for responding to complaints and work health and safety issues; and
·  implement strategies that continue to build positive work cultures within CIT;
· oversee the implementation of the detailed action plan;
· analyse the progress towards the planned outcomes in a regular and systematic way; 
· provide leadership to CIT staff and students; and
· report regularly to the Minister on progress against the detailed plan.
In addition, a peak tripartite consultation group was established to provide detailed input to the project. The WorkSafe Improvement Consultation Group contributes to the progress of the Action Group and provides a consultative forum for the work in response to the Ministerial Direction. This group, also chaired by the Director, Continuous Improvement & Workers' Compensation Branch, Chief Minister and Cabinet Directorate, includes representatives of the Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) and the Australian Education Union (AEU) and two CIT Executives and meets fortnightly. The terms of reference for this group are:
provide input to the  development and implementation of the detailed action plan developed in response to the WorkSafe ACT improvement notice and related matters;
share information on the work of the CIT Improvement Action Group;
provide constructive feedback aimed to improve culture and behavior through transparent policies and procedures;
have membership agreed by the parties; and 
have terms of reference agreed by the members of the Consultation Group.

3. Consultation and Communication
3.1 Consultation
The improvement plan has been underpinned by a comprehensive strategy designed to engage CIT staff in the planned improvements to CIT processes, practices and workplace culture. The preliminary consultation focused on identifying, addressing and ameliorating the operational and systems failures associated with responding to workplace issues which contributed to the findings of the WorkSafe Report and subsequent Ministerial Direction.  CIT utilised a multi-pronged approach to engage with staff individually, collectively and through their union representatives. All staff were provided with the opportunity to participate in staff forums, face-to-face and on-line. 
The second phase of engagement was designed to build a comprehensive understanding of staff perceptions and experiences at CIT.  The results of this analysis will underpin localised action plans to respond to the issues identified by staff within their local work areas.  This work is part of a long term strategy to build a positive workplace culture free from bullying and harassment (see section 6). 
The third limb of consultation was executed concurrently with the first two and focused on specific workplace issues that were identified by the WorkSafe ACT report. This included a series of meetings for each individual work area in Centre for Tourism and Hotel Management. 

3.2 Communication
A comprehensive communication strategy was developed to keep staff informed on the importance and progress of the work of the CIT Improvement Action.  A multi-media approach was adopted to broaden the reach of the communication.  The communication strategy included:
· briefings to staff through a number of forums including leadership forums, staff forums, and Centre meetings (19 meetings);
· meetings with multiple stakeholders as part of the consultation process;
· briefings to external stakeholders such as the CIT Audit Committee on 25 May and the CIT Advisory Council on 19 June;
· all staff emails from the Chief Executive, Message from Adrian;
· staff messages delivered through targeted staff emails, presentations to staff groups and other stakeholders; and
· individual meetings as required.
 The focus of this work was to: 
· emphasise the importance of the work;
· inform staff of the progress made;
· engage staff in the process, particularly in regard to consultation, training and participation in surveys;
· seek input from staff;
· set clear expectations; and 
· initiate cultural change.

4. policy review
4.1 Consultation process
A comprehensive consultation process was conducted prior to the redevelopment of the Staff Complaints and Anti-bullying and Harassment policies. This included face-to-face meetings with the WorkSafe Improvement Consultation Group and CIT staff, an online eLearn forum, and individual interviews as requested. Face-to-face meetings were held with:
· Health and Safety Representatives;
· Education Managers;
· CIT Health and Safety Policy Committee; and
· CIT Senior Management Group.
At each of these meetings employees were invited to meet individually with the Executive Director Special Projects - WorkSafe and several employees availed themselves of this opportunity. 
In addition to this, in order to reach all staff in a meaningful way, an eLearn forum was established. This forum examined the existing policies and provided a summary of the feedback that had been received through the face-to-face consultations. The face-to-face feedback also informed the nature of the eLearn forum particularly in regard to the discussion threads and the development of the confidential feedback option.  The discussion threads gave staff an opportunity to engage in an interactive discussion. 
Feedback received through this consultation process contributed significantly to the redevelopment of the staff complaints and anti-bullying and harassment policies. 

CIT WorkSafe Improvement Consultation Group
This group was actively involved in the development of the revised policies. A half-day workshop was held prior to the redrafting work commencing. This workshop provided the skeleton of the revised staff complaints policy. The group met on three subsequent occasions to further refine this policy and the anti-bullying and harassment policy. Key advice that was incorporated into the policy review included:
· a flow chart of the process;
· enterprise agreement is the governing document;
· early intervention is important;
· managers need to forward on workplace issues if they could be perceived to have a perception of bias;
· a risk assessment process should be included;
· issues raised by other mechanisms need to be addressed;
· the nature of the issue determines the mechanism through which the issue is resolved;
· interpretation of the enterprise agreements processes;
· provide supporting documentation including procedures to allow for clear communication to staff;
· definitions of what bullying and harassment is, and how staff members may be affected; and 
· provide a user friendly document that staff can utilise with easy access to further relevant information; 
Key features of the policy change 
The redrafted policies are brief and include underlying principles and links to relevant legislation. It is made clear that the governing legislation is the relevant Enterprise Agreement.  Direction for staff is provided in procedures that accompany the policies. Other key changes include:
· A change in terminology to workplace issues resolution rather than complaints. This is to encourage employees to raise issues at an early stage. Many employees are reluctant to “make a complaint”, but still have issues that require resolution;
· clearly identified support for all parties including the complainant, respondent and the person handling the issue;
· clearly articulated roles, rights and responsibilities; 
· clearly articulated risk assessment. This is in the form of a series of questions based on the risk assessment matrix in the Work Health and Safety (Preventing and Responding to Bullying) Code of Practice. It sets a clear expectation that only low risk workplace issues will be handled at the local level. The CIT Office of the Chief Executive will have oversight of all other issues. 
· The inclusion of a trained impartial workplace issues evaluator to  identify: 
o the mechanism for handling the issue
o an impartial person to manage the issue
o the support required;
· clearly identified alternate avenues for raising workplace issues, particularly for employees who don’t feel able to raise an issue at the local level;
· issues that are raised through alternative avenues such as accident/incident reports and workers compensation claims are addressed through these policies;
· an emphasis on adherence to the principles of natural justice; 
· the requirement for an impartial (or perceived to be impartial) person to handle the issue at each stage in the process; 
· the nature and seriousness of the issue determines the appropriate resolution mechanism (i.e. the complainant does not select a formal or informal approach);
· all complaints, other than low risk issues resolved at the local level, are centrally logged and monitored; 
· CIT’s commitment to a positive workplace culture is clearly articulated;
· the consequences for proven cases of bullying and harassment are articulated;
· the requirement to report experienced or witnessed instances of bullying and harassment is articulated; and
· the standards of behaviour for managers/senior managers/CIT HR and all employees in regard to bullying and harassment are clearly articulated.
Next steps
By the end of August the consultation process will have been concluded and the new Responding to Workplace Issues Policy and Discrimination, Harassment and Anti-bullying Policy will have been formally approved. Once endorsed the policies will be implemented, promoted extensively, monitored carefully, and reviewed for efficacy within a nine month period.

5. staff training
bullying prevention and awareness training
CIT was required to ensure that all staff employed by CIT received training in bullying awareness. CIT employed a multi-dimensional strategy for the delivery of the training.  All staff were requested to participate in on-line training that had been customises for the CIT (separate modules for staff with supervisory or managerial responsibilities and general staff). To complement the online training, face-to-face training was executed at CIT Woden, CIT Reid and CIT Bruce between and 8 and 17 August. Alternative face-to-face training sessions on bullying prevention will be scheduled for late August. To date, 98 per cent of supervisors and managers have completed the training and 75 per cent of all staff (see the graph below). 

Completion rates for on-line training in the prevention and management of bullying and harassment. (Missing graph)

ongoing strategy
The on-line training program has been incorporated into the staff induction process. CIT has also made it a requirement for an employee undertaking higher duties or obtaining a promotion to undertake the training module for supervisors.  It is included in the CIT Professional Development calendar which is issued weekly to staff.

6. Building staff confidence
CIT engaged the consultancy firm Great Places to Work Institute to design and execute a census based survey to establish a baseline of employee’s experiences and attitudes within the CIT.  Additional questions were added to the existing Great Places to Work survey to baseline staff views regarding CIT’s response to the Ministerial Direction and the WorkSafe Report.
The questions are based on extensive research and provide information on the culture of following dimensions:
· credibility; 
· respect; 
· fairness; 
· pride; and 
· camaraderie.
The results of this survey will be used by CIT’s staff and management to develop detailed action plans and strategies to response to any issues identified.  The survey will be administered again in three-four months to measure progress against the Centre specific action plans. 

7. Increasing staff capability in key areas 
The WorkSafe Report identified four work areas of CIT that were of particular concern. These were:
· CIT Tourism and Hotel Management;
· CIT Creative Industries;
· CIT Vocational College; and 
· CIT HR. 
Given the work undertaken prior to the Ministerial Direction, CIT Tourism and Hotel Management (TH&M) has been the first priority for the staff capability development program.

Centre for Tourism and Hotel Management
Action Plan in response to workplace issues within T&HM
Following an issues assessment report conducted by KMR Consulting in 2010 (referenced in the WorkSafe ACT report) an Action Plan was developed to address the issues raised. The majority of this plan was implemented in 2011 and early 2012.  This plan was reviewed in detail with the centre management team.  
As part of the overall improvement strategy, the 2011 plan was reviewed with staff and a new action plan was developed to build upon the work previously undertaken and focus on building effective workplace relationships and a positive culture. Strategies included:
1. Implementation of a development program to build capability and confidence of staff within and across teams. This will include the use of Team Management Index (TMI index) an instrument used to indicate preferred working styles. The TMI index will provide the foundation to build targeted programs within teams to:
· improve dialogue skills;
· increase self-awareness;
· increase emotional intelligence;
· provide practical examples that demonstrate signature behaviours linked to Centre values and are appropriate and relevant for each team;
· recognise the negative impact of gossip on working relationships and deliberately work together to minimise gossip;
· resolve conflict; and
· enhance working relationships.

2. Implementation of a communication strategy around Centre budget by:
· Centre Director and Education Managers to gain a shared understanding of the Centre budget
and arrive at a shared position around the Centre budget;
· the team developing and delivering consistent messages around Centre budget management;
· the team  developing and delivering consistent messages around the contemporary VET funding context;
· presenting the Centre budget information to staff clearly and concisely; and
· clearly articulating and explaining in terms of the Centre budget decisions that impact staff.

CIT Human Resources
CIT engaged HBA Consulting to develop a program of support and capability strengthening for the HR area. This project includes the following stages:
· develop a targeted communication process including the identification of stakeholders, key messages, timeframes and delivery methods;
· confirm the 'current state' suite of Human Resource  services provided to clients by the CIT HR team  including service expectations. Consolidate and use as the baseline data to scope and develop the consultative program with HR staff and key stakeholders. 
· undertake a facilitated discussion (involving focus group sessions) to provide HR staff and relevant key stakeholders with an opportunity to provide their feedback and suggestions in relation to potential areas requiring support and/or capability strengthening within the HR area;
· test and validate the input from staff through one-on-one discussions with selected Senior Managers/Executives within CIT and test staff feedback against the findings and recommendations of the WorkSafe ACT report; and
· consolidate and distil all emerging themes and specific areas of development identified and establish a draft set of priorities, a complementary program, timeline and resourcing plan to build the capability and to appropriately support the CIT HR Team into the short to medium term future. 
Work on this project has commenced and is anticpated be be complete by the end of 2012. CIT is also undertaking a review of the roll-out of the RED framework at CIT. 

CIT creative industries
The aim of the work within CIT Creative Industries has been to build resilience and understanding in individuals of the wider vocational education and training environment.  This is being done in parallel to addressing industrial matters impacting on the teaching staff. Changes within the educational leadership have occurred resulting in a more stable environment. There have also been a number of meetings of groups in the Centre, to manage the change process and monitor staff relations. The well-being of the management team is being supported by the CIT Executive.
Next steps
A development program will be implemented for new managers and longstanding managers to build collaborative ways of working, focussing on change and staff behaviour. By the end of the year the leadership of this Centre will have created a management blueprint for how they intend to work together. There will be team-based discussions leading to team-building in 2013.  

CIT Vocational College
Work within the CIT Vocational College has been focussed on the values of respect, equity and diversity and how they are demonstrated in the workplace. In 2011 an external consultant was engaged to undertake this work. The work area identified in the WorkSafe report is regularly monitored through the Education Manager and CIT HR. Behaviour that is not aligned with the RED framework is named, reported and addressed. CIT HR works closely with the management team to encourage early intervention strategies. A workload issue was identified within one work area and additional support was provided to manage the issue.

Next Steps
A development program to build capability and confidence of staff within and across team will be implemented in the Centre. This will include the use of the TMI index to indicate preferred working style. 

Strategy for further strengthening CIT
CIT is developing a blueprint for the future that will continue the work the CIT Improvement Action Group has initiated. This work will be led by Executive Director, Governance and Executive Services. Progress will be reported at monthly CIT Board of Management meetings and the CIT Advisory Committee to ensure sound governance. It is anticipated that this blueprint will be a dynamic document that will represent the changing needs of the CIT workforce. The plan includes: 
· a statement of commitment;
· a program of regular and systematic monitoring of performance and culture;
· the embedding of refined consultation mechanisms;
· a commitment to regular staff surveys;
· continuation of the Great Places to Work Institute pulse surveys and action plans;
· evaluation of new policies;
· review of new policies;
· a professional development program and performance accountability for leaders and managers at CIT to ensure appropriate leadership and management is in place to support a positive workplace culture; and
· an induction program for new managers at CIT; and
· a review of the structure, systems, and culture of CIT to ensure these are aligned with the requirements of a contemporary provider of vocational education and training in a contestable market.

OR kept in the dark and fed nothing but bullshit .. 

No comments:

Post a Comment