What is Special Measures?
- A program, plan or arrangement designed to promote equality of opportunity for groups of people who face, or may have faced, entrenched discrimination
- Permits more favourable treatment of a group of people who have not yet achieved employment equality
- Also sometimes known as “affirmative action”, or “positive discrimination
Why do we need Special Measures?
Aboriginal people currently make up around 30% of our population but just 10.5% of NTPS employees. Increasing the representation of Aboriginal employees will enable the NTPS to better reflect the diversity of the community we serve. Having a higher proportion of Aboriginal persons in the workforce creates benefits that reach beyond a job itself.
The NTPS has set an aspirational goal of 16% Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (Aboriginal) employees overall, and 10% representation of Aboriginal employees in senior leadership roles.
Types of Special Measures in the NTPS
The two main types of Special Measures plans used in NTPS selections are:
- Designated Positions: Positions are specifically designated for a suitable Aboriginal and cannot be filled by any person from outside that group. (Often used for jobs such as Aboriginal Mental Health Workers or Aboriginal Interpreters)
- Priority Consideration and Preference in Selection: Plans under which Aboriginal applicants are considered first before any other applicants, and are given preference in selection if they meet all essential criteria and are suitable at level
This flowchart outlines the process by priority consideration and preference in selection processes are conducted in the NTPS.
Aim of NTPS Special Measures Plan
- Increasing recruitment of suitable Aboriginal applicants
- Providing greater promotional opportunities for Aboriginal employees who have demonstrated they are ready; and
- Increasing Aboriginal representation in senior leadership roles
Aboriginal applicants who wish to be considered under a Special Measures plan must provide a statutory declaration with their applications, and if selected, a Confirmation of Aboriginality of prior to commencement.
The Commissioner for Public Employment’s Review of Special Measures, released in early 2019, made 5 findings as summarised below:
- Special Measures is achieving its aims in relation to recruitment and promotion of Aboriginal employees, and therefore should continue.
- That the process for obtaining an exemption from Special Measures in situations where it would be fair and reasonable should be better promoted and more flexible.
- That the current OCPE review process for Special Measures selection panel findings of unsuitability provides an invaluable quality control and will continue.
- That the recent changes to the requirements for eligibility for Aboriginal Special Measures, as made in consultation with the Senior Aboriginal Reference Group, were necessary and will remain.
- That more education and an eLearning course for all employees are necessary to better address perceptions, concerns and resistance to the concept of Special Measures. (A new and improved Special Measures eLearning tool will be coming soon)
To download a copy of the Commissioner's Review of the NTPS Special Measures Aboriginal Recruitment Plans click here .
If an agency would like to discuss the implementation of a special measures plan please call the Director, Public Sector Appeals and Grievance Reviews on (08) 8999 4128.
Information for Aboriginal Applicants
Frequently Asked Questions: Special Measures FAQ
Statutory declaration of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander status for NTPS employment related purposes
SM SOAFFA Template: Selection Outcome Advice for All Applicants in a Special Measures Selection
Template: Assessment report template for Special Measures applicants found Unsuitable under a Priority Special Measures Recruitment Plan
Examples of assessments of special measures applicants found unsuitable
Read more about special measures on the links and documents below:
Policy and Guidelines
- NTPS Recruitment and Selection Policy
- Commissioner's Guidelines on Special Measures
- Employment Instruction 15 (Special Measures)
- Determination 3 of 2015 - Job Descriptions
Information and FAQs
- Information for Aboriginal Applicants
- Frequently Asked Questions: Special Measures FAQ
- Flowchart: NTPS Special Measures Aboriginal Recruitment Process - Flowchart
- Information for applicants
- Information for selection panels
- Information for delegates
- Information for referees
Last updated: 10 January 2020
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