Manual of Policies and Procedures

B/3.1 Workforce planning

Contact Officer

Associate Director, Human Resources (Workplace Relations)

Approval Date


Approval Authority


Date of Next Review


3.1.1 Objectives
3.1.2 University Workforce Plan
3.1.3 Workforce planning at faculty / division level
3.1.4 Changes to staffing structure outside of planning process
3.1.5 Staff profile and vacancies
Related Documents
Modification History


3.1.1 Objectives

A critical component of strategic planning is the development and anticipation of the kind of overall workforce best suited to the University's future needs.

While undertaking strategic planning, managers are required to undertake a thorough workforce planning exercise to plan staffing for the years ahead.

A broad approach to workforce planning involves:

  • a systematic forward-looking assessment of organisational direction, workload and capability requirements,
  • a forecast of staffing requirements to meet the anticipated workloads, and
  • a linking of staffing policy from recruitment to retirement which is designed to achieve the desired workforce profile.

Planning and budget guidelines, released prior to each planning and budget round by the Finance Business Solutions Division, provide further details of this process.

This policy addresses the workforce planning process and management requirements at QUT.


3.1.2 University Workforce Plan

A University Workforce Plan is released at the time of the planning and budget round to assist senior managers when formulating plans at a faculty / divisional level. The University Workforce Plan provides a description of current University workforce attributes and trends, attributes of a desired future University workforce consistent with University top level plans, strategies to attain this workforce and a clear set of parameters from which to manage the workforce.


3.1.3 Workforce planning at faculty / division level

a) Responsibility for workforce planning

It is the responsibility of managers to undertake long-term workforce planning to ensure that the strategic objectives of the area and the University are adequately supported by an appropriate staff structure now and in the future. This includes financial planning to ensure that staffing decisions are affordable both within the current budget and likely future funding scenarios.

Overall responsibility for managing a faculty / division's workforce and staff profile lies with executive deans of faculty / heads of division who sign off on all workforce plans and staffing proposals. Executive deans of faculty / heads of division approve the creation of new fixed-term and on-going positions (academic staff Levels A - C, and professional staff HEW Levels 1 - 10) within the parameters of the University Workforce Plan. The creation of a position outside of these parameters must be approved by the Vice-Chancellor and President, including approval for the creation of new fixed-term and on-going academic positions Levels D and E and all senior staff positions (SSGA - SSGE).

Authority for the creation and approval of all positions (on-going and fixed-term) is set out in MOPP Appendix 3 Schedule of Authorities and Delegations.

b) Contents of a Faculty / Division Workforce Plan

A workforce plan outlines the key human resource issues that the faculty / division will encounter in the next three years and details objectives and strategies to deal with these issues. Information from sources such as environmental scanning may assist with this process. Workforce plans should align with Top Level plans, the University Workforce Plan and faculty / division strategic plans. A workforce plan will report on the following areas:

  • progress during the previous 12 months against the relevant key performance indicators of the top level plans;
  • the main workforce issues impacting on the organisational area and the impact / risk posed by these issues;
  • broad objectives proposed and the strategies needed to achieve objectives;
  • the performance targets / indicators (qualitative / quantitative) to be used to measure performance on objectives; and
  • proposed recruitment activities and workforce strategies planned for the next three years in response to the objectives of the University Workforce Plan.

Consideration of equity target groups is expected in the early stages of workforce planning. The level of detail and formality of the workforce plan will vary according to the scale and complexity of an area's workforce.

Advice may be sought from the Executive Director, Human Resources or nominee during the preparation of workforce plans.

For more information to assist with workforce plans refer to the Workforce Planning Guide.

c) Staffing proposals and budget development

A staffing proposal for new on-going and fixed-term academic Level D and E positions, for senior staff positions (SSGA - SSGE), or for a position outside of the parameters of the University Workforce Plan, should clearly state:

  • the rationale for the proposed new position;
  • the proposed level of appointment;
  • the proposed fraction;
  • the past record of the position (if any);
  • demonstrated support for QUT's direction, and the faculty / division's strategic and workforce plan; and
  • the funding source for the position including supporting statement on affordability, sustainability and stability of the funding source.

Positions funded from all funding sources are included in a faculty / division's staffing profile. All positions must be costed within the overall faculty / division staffing budget and be supported by a deployment of funds statement detailing affordability, sustainability and stability of the funding source. The statement will take into account the salary and on-costs associated with the staffing profile position(s).

Staffing proposals are submitted to the Finance Business Solutions Division in conjunction with faculty / division budgets as part of the planning and budget process. Staffing proposals are then forwarded to the Vice-Chancellor and President for approval. Each executive dean of faculty / head of division will review and sign off their staffing proposal(s) and deployment of funds statement(s) prior to submission.

Consideration needs to be given to both estimated future income and estimated salary increases through enterprise bargaining negotiations. The percentage allocated to staffing expenditure will vary within individual faculties and divisions, and it is the responsibility of managers to appropriately manage the balance between salary and non-salary expenditure in line with relevant key performance indicators.

d) Change management

If a major change exercise coincides with the planning and budget cycle, a workforce plan will not be required as it will form part of the Change Management Plan (B/11.1). A Change Management Plan, particularly for a change project involving significant job redesign, should include a review of all positions and subsequently a detailed workforce plan.


3.1.4 Changes to staffing structure outside of planning process

If approval is sought for a new on-going or fixed-term academic Level D or E position, for a senior staff position (SSGA - SSGE), or for a position outside of the parameters of the University Workforce Plan , a request should be initially directed to the Executive Director, Human Resources. The Executive Director, Human Resources then forwards requests for professional and senior staff positions to the Vice-Chancellor and President. Requests for academic positions are forwarded to the Vice-Chancellor and President via the Provost.


3.1.5 Staff profile and vacancies

Additions and changes to a faculty / division's staff profile will be reflected in the University's human resources information system. The staff profile represents a record of all full-time and part-time (on-going or fixed-term) staff positions by classification level that a faculty or division may maintain within its budget, assuming a reasonable vacancy rate, and making adequate allowance for other salary and non-salary costs.

Vacancies on profile should be considered during workforce planning taking into account future needs and direction as well as funding availability (B/3.1.3(c)).

The Human Resources Department undertakes an annual review of all long term vacancies within the University, defined as positions on the current position profile that have not been filled for 18 months or more. The Human Resources Department will consult with executive deans of faculty / heads of division to determine if the positions will be required in the short term.

Long term vacant positions will be removed from the current position profile if it is determined that there are no plans or requirements for filling these positions in the short term.


Related Documents

MOPP A/2.2 University Planning Framework

MOPP G/1.1 Financial management

MOPP G/4.1 Budget

MOPP B/11.1 Workplace change management policy

MOPP Appendix 3 Schedule of Authorities and Delegations


Modification History

Date Sections Source Details
03.11.14 All Governance and Legal Services Editorial amendments to reflect the termination of the senior staff agreement

B/3.1.3, B/3.1.4

Human Resources Department Minor amendments to reflect changes in the Employee Collective Agreement (Senior Staff) 2009-2012
26.07.06 All Council Revised policy (endorsed by Vice-Chancellor's Advisory Committee 19.07.06)
20.12.04 B/3.1.1, B/3.1.2, B/3.1.3 Registrar 's Office Editorial amendments (consistent with Higher Education Support Act 2003 and associated Guidelines)
31.01.01 All Human Resources Department Updated