Federal bureaucrats urged to complete survey for APS health check

By Melissa Coade

June 7, 2022

office workers writing at their desks
Four more days to complete the annual employee census. (Image: Adobe/metamorworks)

Select staff employed by government agencies and departments have four more days to complete the annual employee census run by the Australian Public Service Commission (APSC).

APS employees have until Friday 10 June to share ​confidential attitude and opinion information to help guide public agency heads with workforce decision-making. The 30-minute voluntary survey asks demographic questions and general questions about job demands, job resources, as well as the strain and motivation factors impacting public service work.

“The census results help target strategies to build APS workplace capability now and in the future,” a statement on the commission website reads.

“The purpose of [the] census is to understand your views on, and experiences of working in, your agency and the broader Australian Public Service (APS).”

The commission has been accepting responses to the 2022 survey from invited public servants since mid-May and those interested in finding out more have been told to contact a nominated agency census coordinator. The coordination of the census is being done with the help of various coordinators from across the APS, along with external service provider Engine

“Census participation is by invitation only. If you are selected to complete the 2022 census, you will receive an email between 9-13 May,” guidance on the commission website said. 

“Only Engine, the external service provider, will be able to link your Census response with your unique identifiers such as AGS number and your email address.”

The National Health Funding Body (NHFB), a government agency of less than 30 staff, has achieved the highest response rate for participation in this year’s APS Employee Census, with 96% of the workforce having completed the survey to date. 

The Independent Parliamentary Expenses Authority (IPEA), with about double the number of staff as the NHFB, has also achieved a 96% response rate so far. 

According to the APSC, the Digital Transformation Agency (DTA) and Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity (ACLEI) have also responded with a high response rate of 87% and 77% as of 1 June.

“The census results also help the development and evaluation of strategies to build APS workforce capability now and into the future,” the guidance read.

Census data has been collected by the commission since 2012 and after being de-identified and aggregated, the results are published on the commission website and the annual APS State of the Service report. Last year’s census found the number of recorded complaints about bullying and harassment had increased (increasing by a further 166 complaints since 2018-19 to 588 complaints made in 2020-21), while the perception of bullying and harassment had declined by more than five points from 2015 (17.2%) to 2021 (11.7%). ​​ 

“By better understanding the views and experiences of their workforce, agencies and the APSC will be better positioned to evaluate, revise and/or improve the working conditions and environment for you and your colleagues,” the commission said. 

Agency-level census data is also published on the APSC website. Where there are fewer than 10 responses at an agency level, the data will not be published, to prevent findings from being reasonably attributable to any specific individual.

“De-identified datasets will be uploaded to data.gov.au in accordance with the Australian Government Public Data Policy

“De-identification of data is undertaken in accordance with guidance provided by the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner,” the commission said. 


Are you preparing now, to get the most out of 2021’s APS census results?

About the author
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
The Mandarin Premium

Insights & analysis that matter to you

Subscribe for only $5 a week


Get Premium Today