Our people and culture are fundamental to our current and future success in delivering positive impact for Australia and humanity.

Guided by our values, we seek to lift our capacity for innovation, providing the environment, facilities and opportunities that our people need to work collaboratively and creatively.

CSIRO’s Human Resources (HR) Plan underpins our commitment to developing and supporting our staff, with the HR function providing support and leadership on people issues to leaders and staff across CSIRO.

During 2012–13 we focused on the following goals from our HR strategy:

  • Values and Innovation Culture
    • Diversity and inclusion
    • Change management
    • Improving service delivery and quality, especially in recruitment and our service centre
    • Embedding our Values and Code of Conduct
    • Complex case management
  • Learning and Development
    • Currilulum development
    • Building an enterprise Learning Management System
  • Capability Planning
    • Strategic workforce planning
    • Indigenous employment
    • Role and accountability statements and capability profiles.

We also continue to provide quality services to the Organisation across the full range of HR services including:

  • Workplace relations and enterprise agreements
  • Recruitment
  • Policy, payroll, superannuation, records
  • Performance management
  • Rewards and awards
  • Change management
  • Career management
  • Orientation
  • Leadership succession.

Enterprise agreements

Enterprise agreements set the terms and conditions of employment for CSIRO staff.

Two enterprise agreements are in operation at CSIRO – CSIRO Enterprise Agreement 2011–14 (CSIRO EA) and the Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex (CDSCC) / Combined Unions Enterprise Agreement 2011 (CDSCC EA).

The CSIRO EA came into operation on 7 July 2011 following formal approval processes and a staff vote. This Agreement will reach its nominal expiry date in August 2014.

The CDSCC EA covers non-managerial CSIRO staff employed at CDSCC, Tidbinbilla, Canberra, and came into operation on 8 July 2011 and will reach its nominal expiry date in July 2013.

Preliminary planning and preparations for the development of the next CSIRO Agreement has commenced, with further work to be progressed during the 2013–14 financial year.

The CDSCC Agreement is currently being negotiated.

Comcare Improvement Notice

In response to a Comcare Improvement Notice issued to CSIRO in July 2012, CSIRO introduced new psychosocial and health risk assessment requirements.

We introduced mandatory reporting for bullying and harassment, and developed mandatory training on the prevention of workplace bullying and harassment using a custom developed eLearning module and face-to-face training.

In March 2013 Comcare confirmed that CSIRO had fully complied with the Improvement Notice.

Learning and development

CSIRO’s Enterprise Agreement provides all staff the opportunity to participate in at least five development days each year. This learning can be accessed through work experience, networking, coaching, mentoring, or through participation in formal programs.

This year has seen significant growth for Learning and Development at CSIRO, delivering enterprise-wide learning solutions that support the delivery of excellent science.

Ten new programs have been introduced and two have been updated. In line with global best practice, we continue to incorporate a ‘blended learning’ approach (classroom methods with technology-enabled activities) in our programs.

Diversity and inclusion

Diversity and inclusion has been an enterprise-wide focus during 2012–13 as implementation of the 2012–15 Diversity and Inclusion Plan progresses.

The plan builds on the foundations of past plans and seeks to produce a step-change in our diversity and inclusion performance through enhanced leader responsibility, visibility and engagement.

Some highlights during the reporting period include:

  • Formation of the Chief Executive-led Diversity and Inclusion Steering Committee, and addition of diversity and inclusion to requirements for Group annual progress reporting to the Chief Executive.
  • Seven Divisions are now covered by diversity and inclusion committees or reference groups.
  • All Group Human Resource Managers now have diversity and inclusion as one of their top four priority areas.
  • An increase in requests from senior leaders for interaction and support from HR and diversity and inclusion teams.

CSIRO’s Indigenous Engagement Strategy, which aims to achieve greater Indigenous participation in CSIRO’s research and development agenda and activities, continues to be progressed (more in Stakeholder engagement).

The Indigenous Employment Strategy aims to increase the employment of Indigenous peoples through the implementation of several new employment programs and targeted approaches. CSIRO’s commitment is reflected in the CSIRO Enterprise Agreement.

Innovation Maturity Model

As a key contribution to the 2011–15 Strategic Plan goal of ‘building an enhanced culture of innovation’, CSIRO researched and developed an Innovation Maturity Model (IMM). The model specifies the elements (21 defined) essential for organisational innovation at five levels of maturity.

By applying the findings of the ‘Working in CSIRO’ survey to the model, CSIRO was able to robustly measure and baseline its capacity to innovate and benchmark against other organisations.

During 2012–13, the IMM’s relevance and utility has continued. It has proved a useful framework to coherently discuss and set cultural/operational direction, plan change activity, and measure and report progress.

Staff demographics

CSIRO staff are employed under section 32 of the Science and Industry Research Act 1949. At 30 June 2013, CSIRO had a total of 6,477 staff, which has a full-time equivalent (FTE) of 5,751.

Table 3.3 shows the number of staff employed in different functional areas and Table 3.4 on page 104 shows staff by state. Overall, the total number of staff decreased by 0.2 per cent (15) over the last 12 months.

Research Science staff decreased by 4.6 per cent (90). Voluntary staff turnover remained at a very low level of 4.3 per cent.

The proportion of female staff in CSIRO stayed constant at 40 per cent and the proportion of female Research Scientists dipped marginally from 25 to 24.4 per cent (up from 22.6 per cent in 2008–09).

Table 3.3: Staff numbers (headcount) as at 30 June 2013

Functional Area 2008–
% Female
for 2012–13
Research Scientists 1,837 1,907 1,865 1,948 1,858 24
Research Project Staff 2,215 2,241 2,166 2,094 2,149 43
Senior Specialists 13 15 12 11 25 36
Research Management 176 161 165 166 177 11
Research Consulting 26 34 40 42 47 17
Technical Services 545 630 643 613 623 12
Communication and Information Services 407 429 375 391 369 67
General Services 51 48 56 40 38 55
Administrative Support* 1,112 1,075 1,048 1,057 1,068 76
General Management 128 140 144 130 123 25
Total headcount 6,510 6,680 6,514 6,492 6,477 40
FTE 5,866 5,956 5,780 5,720 5,751 37

*Administrative Support includes: Staff who provide science-based administrative and management services and systems.

Table 3.4: Staff numbers (headcount) by state as at 30 June 2013

State Metropolitan Regional Total
ACT 1,386 - 1,386
NSW 783 324 1,107
NT 25 12 37
QLD 744 135 879
SA 388 - 388
TAS 391 - 391
VIC 1,446 332 1,778
WA 501 10 511
Grand Total 5,664 813 6,477

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