The issues paper outlined proposals for consultation for changing how these services are organised. The 3 key proposals in the issues paper for consideration were:

  • Establish UQ end-to-end service delivery in Finance and HR with strengthened reporting lines and clear accountability: the introduction of changed reporting lines for Finance and HR staff, with a single point of accountability for service delivery residing with the Head of Function. This signifies a ‘One Team’ approach with the purpose of strengthening integration of service delivery and linkages between the Central Divisions and all Finance and HR professional staff in organisational units across UQ.  
  • Establish standardised roles in Finance and HR with role specialisation: the establishment of a small number of standardised roles and position descriptions within Finance and HR Client Services which also introduces greater role specialisation.
  • Establish Professional Service Centres: the organisation, through consolidation of teams, of our Finance and HR services into eight Professional Services Centres to provide services across UQ.

Feedback received

Following the release of the issues paper on the ‘Proposal for the organisation of Finance and HR Services’, a summary report of staff feedback was compiled. In total, 115 responses were received – including group and individual responses. Below are some of the key observations that emerged.

Download the Issues paper feedback report (PDF, 892KB).

Key observations

  • The feedback provided valuable insights into the current issues facing organisational units in the delivery of Finance and HR services.
  • There were different perspectives on each of the proposals under consideration, however, there was broad support and recognition of the need for change in relation to the delivery of professional services at UQ.
  • In the context of recognising the case for change, it was acknowledged that UQ needs to be more cost-effective in its operations.
  • There was also broad support and recognition of the underlying aim of ESS to reduce waste and ensure that resources are freed up and re-invested in the academic purpose.
  • Analysis of the levels of support per proposal has demonstrated that approximately half the respondents were in support of each proposal. The remaining half of respondents indicated mixed views (some statements in support, some statements not in support).

Implementation considerations

In addition to the feedback on each of the 3 specific proposals, the responses included specific questions and issues that relate to the implementation, including:

  • significant support for process and system improvements before structural change
  • requests for further details regarding change impacts and workforce transition
  • clarification around the implementation approach and timeline.

The Steering Committee's consideration of the feedback received informed the development of a formal proposal.

Introduction

In February 2015, the Vice-Chancellor launched the Enhancing Systems and Services (ESS) program to enhance the University of Queensland’s (UQ) ability to deliver its core functions of learning, discovery and engagement. With a focus on processes, systems and professional services, the program aims to:

  • Improve the workplace experience of staff members through reducing red tape;
  • Ensure the time and efforts of our staff, released through improved operational effectiveness, are redirected toward the academic effort; and
  • Enhance the student experience and student satisfaction levels.

While business process improvement and consideration of system enhancements are essential and underway, developing a more consistent organisational model for our administrative structure and services will accelerate service delivery benefits from investing in process and system enhancements.

The two initial service areas under consideration are: Finance, and Human Resources (HR) services.  They were chosen first as they are fundamental to supporting the work of all professional services across UQ, and are closely connected in service delivery. The ESS Steering Committee has considered a number of issues and options in relation to the organisation of these services. Within scope of this Issues Paper is the whole of each function, that is, Finance and HR services provided across all levels and organisational units of UQ, including the Central Divisions.

The considerations outlined in this Paper have been informed by the work of two Design Teams (Finance and HR), established in October 2015 by the ESS Steering Committee.  These Teams [refer to Appendix Exhibit A, Table A.1 and Table A.2], comprising representative staff from Schools, Faculties, Institutes and Central Divisions collaborated to inform this proposal by identifying specific opportunities for improvement and developing options for the future delivery of Finance and HR services at UQ.

Prior to the development of this Issues Paper, preliminary discussions on these matters have also occurred with Finance and HR Managers, Heads of School, Faculty Executive Managers, Deputy Directors (Operations) and School Managers.

The commitment, professionalism and hard work of our staff across Finance and HR and their contribution to the success of UQ is not in doubt. The issue is whether our current organisational structure supports our staff to provide a consistent service which is responsive to the changing needs in the sector. Critically, the issue is also whether our current model allows the University to invest a greater proportion of its resource in teaching and research in an environment where future government investment is projected to be insufficient to maintain our global standing and insufficient to keep pace with growth in expenditure.

Purpose

This Issues Paper outlines the current context and challenges for how we organise our service delivery across Finance and HR; the rationale as to why we need to reconsider these arrangements; and present proposals for consideration for the future organisation of Finance and HR services.  In particular, the Paper proposes the following for consultation:

  • Establish UQ end-to-end service delivery in Finance and HR with strengthened reporting lines and clear accountability: the introduction of changed reporting lines for Finance and HR staff, with a single point of accountability for service delivery residing with the Head of Function. This signifies a ‘One Team’ approach with the purpose of strengthening integration of service delivery and linkages between the Central Divisions and all Finance and HR professional staff in organisational units across UQ;
  • Establish standardised roles in Finance and HR with role specialisation: the establishment of a small number of standardised roles and position descriptions within Finance and HR Client Services which also introduces greater role specialisation; and
  • Establish Professional Service Centres: the organisation, through consolidation of teams, of our Finance and HR services into eight Professional Services Centres to provide services across UQ.

Transforming delivery of UQ’s services requires a phased implementation so that people, organisational, process and technology changes can occur in parallel. As such, full implementation of the above proposals would occur progressively over a period of time.

Current context and challenges: rationale for change

The University’s current context is one in which:

  • Our operating costs are growing more than revenue;
  • There is a need to invest significantly in our administrative systems;
  • Teaching and research staff are declining in number whilst student numbers grow;
  • Our current resourcing levels for professional services are higher than most of our competitors; and
  • There is increased financial pressure and funding uncertainty.

Within this context, it is imperative that the University adapts to ensure that UQ remains competitive, provides an excellent student experience and sustains success.

While UQ continues to invest in world-class facilities and has recruited and developed internationally-renowned knowledge leaders, investment in systems and operations has been inconsistent resulting in frequent duplication and inefficiency.  The 2012 Culture and 2015 Staff Engagement Surveys also confirmed high levels of staff frustration in relation to inadequate systems and onerous processes.

Insights into UQ’s resourcing levels have been provided by our participation in the UniForum benchmarking survey through which member universities capture, review and compare the way they organise and deliver professional services to support teaching and research [refer to Appendix Exhibit B]. The results show that in comparison to our benchmark group, UQ has:

  • The second most devolved resourcing model of all universities in the benchmark group;
  • The lowest proportion of resources in Central Divisions and in Faculty Centres;
  • The most junior and a more generalist workforce, with a low number of specialist staff; and
  • A comparatively high cost base for administrative services.

This information demonstrates that a large proportion of UQ’s resources is required to support outdated, inefficient systems and ways of operating.

UQ’s current approach to service delivery consumes resources that could otherwise be directed to enhancing teaching and research. Our staffing profile trend and ratios indicate a decrease in the number of teaching and research (T&R) staff, in tandem with an increase in student numbers, with adverse consequences for academic staff:student ratios.  These trends are not sustainable in the longer term given their impact on both the learning experience and staff well-being. Investment in additional T&R staff needs to be made to redress this imbalance.

This is occurring within the context of Australian universities facing increased financial pressures, uncertainty with the potential for further reductions in funding arising from the 2015-2016 Federal Government budget announcement, reputational pressures and changing client expectations (student, industry and government).

Accordingly, several other Australian universities have already made, or are in the process of making, substantial changes to their organisational administrative architecture.

The following issues have informed the development of this Paper.

3.1. Service quality

Whilst the commitment of our staff to provide a high quality service is evident, opportunities to improve the quality of Finance and HR services through how we organise these services have been identified through feedback from the clients of these services, the University community. Service quality includes responsiveness, accuracy, consistency of policy application, provision of timely information to inform decision making and the tailoring of advice to the local context.

3.2. Complex service delivery model

The current Finance and HR service delivery model is multi-level and highly devolved; service delivery is fragmented across approximately 100 operating business units [refer to Appendix Exhibit C]. Models vary significantly across units:

  • In traditional Faculty models, Finance and HR services exist at both School and Faculty level resulting in transactional inefficiency through double handling and in some cases, unclear lines of accountability.
  • Some faculties have consolidated services at the Faculty level; albeit with varying approaches.
  • University level Institutes provide end-to-end Finance and HR services (within their organisational units) but there is opportunity to better deploy resources, particularly with respect to transactional activity.
  • Across the 40 organisational units within central portfolios, there is no consistent Finance or HR service delivery models; some units have dedicated teams and professional roles, while others do not.

In general, our current approach to service delivery:

  • Is unnecessarily complex with multiple approvals and hand-offs within and between organisational units;
  • Has resulted in inconsistency of processes and duplication of systems as areas have implemented initiatives to improve their services without an overall ‘One UQ’ framework or approach;
  • Allows each operating unit to access and control its own resources with the consequence that there is an uneven allocation of resources across units and that capabilities available to clients varies considerably from unit to unit. Service capability is often driven by the scale of a unit and its ability to resource (fund) the required service; and
  • Has created very low spans of management at UQ. That is, the number of staff supervised by the majority of positions within each function, are very often low both in absolute numbers and relative to other similar universities.

Our current service delivery model, as described here, has impacted on our ability to deliver efficient Finance and HR services.

3.3. Professional services

Opportunities to improve the professional delivery of our services have been identified. The current devolved resourcing model and the variability in role design for Finance and HR do not provide a mechanism from which to develop arrangements for consistent professional development. End-to-end integration of these functions will enable a strategic focus on capability development and career mobility within each function.

3.4. High service delivery cost

UQ operates at a high cost base in the delivery of Finance and HR services.  UniForum benchmark (2014) data indicate that staffing costs for both Finance and HR are at least 25% higher than sector top quartile performance; this gap increases to 37-54% in relation to ‘best in class’ [refer to Appendix Exhibit B1 and B2]. Many Australian universities have embarked on service transformation programs to deliver both efficiency and effectiveness benefits, so this gap is anticipated to widen further in the absence of action to improve UQ’s processes and service delivery.

3.5. Variability in role design

There is a high degree of variability in resourcing levels and role design driven by the large variability in unit size. Across Finance at UQ, there are approximately 110 unique position titles for functional specialists and across HR, there are over 60 unique position titles. This high degree of variability was also previously identified in the Administrative Review of Finance and Business Services in 2012. As a result of this lack of consistency in role design, service delivery is characterised by a lack of clarity of accountabilities, unclear career pathways and opportunities for development across UQ.

Smaller organisational units tend to overcome the resourcing challenge by creating multi-functional (or “hybrid”) roles that combine Finance, HR and other administrative responsibilities in a single role. It is difficult to secure applicants with experience in both Finance and HR, meaning clients are often not receiving specialist Finance or HR service. Furthermore, staff performing Hybrid roles are organisationally more distant from the Finance and HR communities at UQ and do not receive the same degree of professional training and development, supervision and support as their professional peers.

3.6. Service performance management

There is currently no consistently adopted mechanism for providing client feedback on service performance, or for ensuring that client requirements are considered in prioritising service improvement. Service performance feedback is presently captured through a number of functional networks and forums operating in both Finance and HR, bringing key staff together to facilitate two-way communication and build alignment on improvement initiatives.

Proposals for consideration

Following consideration of the context and challenges of our current operating model outlined above, it is proposed to revise the current professional services operating model.

Proposed Future Professional Services Operating Model

The option proposed for consultation is:

  • The establishment of end-to-end services for Finance and HR where all Finance and HR staff across UQ report through to the Finance and HR functions, respectively (see 4.1a and 4.1b below);
  • The delivery of these professional services, either locally (to be readily accessible to clients), or by central specialist teams delivering services UQ wide; and
  • The organisation and consolidation of Finance and HR services into service delivery teams called Professional Services Centres (PSCs). If implemented, PSCs would achieve efficiencies through a reduction in approval layers. PSCs would be designed to ensure that all organisation units, regardless of size, are able to access appropriate professional Finance and HR professional services.  Under this option, each PSC would be responsible for the provision of services to a defined group of organisational units.

The Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and HR Director, as heads of the respective functions, would be accountable for all the services within their scope whether delivered by a central specialist team or by a PSC.

The services for both Finance and HR have been defined and are available in Appendix Exhibit D.

4.1.Proposal One: Establish UQ end-to-end service delivery in Finance and HR with strengthened reporting lines and clear accountability

Under the proposed operating model, the CFO and HR Director will have responsibility for the delivery of high quality, professional, consistent and responsive client services across UQ; incorporating:

  • Defining the service strategy, proposing service policies and standards ensuring consistent application across the function UQ-wide;
  • Developing capability across dimensions of people, processes and systems;
  • Managing service performance by establishing clear performance measures and mechanisms to seek client feedback and track service performance;
  • Driving service improvement including business process and systems enhancements; and
  • Promoting a client-focused culture and partnership approach.

In order for the CFO and HR Director to deliver on these duties, it is proposed to amend the reporting framework. All Finance and HR professional staff will report through to the CFO and HR Director via a functional reporting line.

A functional line means that all professional staff will receive support and guidance through their professional function (either Finance or HR) in relation to performance expectations, appraisals and career development.

The introduction of a functional reporting line does not change the accountability of the Business Unit leader (e.g. Executive Dean, Institute Director, Head of School, or Director) for the delivery of their unit’s performance and for determining key business decisions.

The successful implementation of the proposed model would require Finance and HR functions to continue to work in partnership with organisational units to deliver the best outcome for UQ.

Benefits

The introduction of a functional reporting line will ensure that the function leader (CFO or HR Director) has ‘line of sight’ of recruitment, performance, people, processes and systems for their function across the University. Furthermore, a strengthened functional line will:

  • Improve consistency in service standards and performance across Finance and HR at UQ;
  • Enable greater coordination and consistency in Finance and HR initiatives including system and process enhancement;
  • Support a greater focus on developing a client-focused and performance driven culture;
  • Ensure there is a strategic focus on capability development and mobility for Finance and HR professionals; and
  • Improve awareness and understanding, at either the Finance or HR Divisional level, of issues and challenges experienced at organisational unit level.

​It is proposed that the reporting framework will follow the specific models outlined below.

a. Reporting framework for Finance Staff

In the majority of cases, Finance staff will deliver services across a number of organisational units and will be both supervised and will receive functional direction from the Finance functional leader (e.g. Finance Manager) [see Appendix Exhibit E1].

In a small number of cases, given organisational unit scale, it may be appropriate for Finance staff to continue to be supervised by their local business unit leader (e.g. School Manager); in this case the Finance team would still have a functional reporting line to a Finance functional leader (e.g. Finance Manager).

b. Reporting framework for HR Staff

In HR, it is proposed that all HR staff, regardless of the size of the organisational unit, will report to a HR functional lead and also be supervised by a HR professional [see Appendix Exhibit E2].

c. Impact on the Finance (FBS) and HR Divisions

Implementation of the new functional reporting framework will require some re-alignment of the Central Divisions to facilitate the proposed operational model. Furthermore, service enhancements will need to be implemented to address strategic and operational gaps identified by clients, and to lift the quality and consistency of services offered. If such subsequent organisational changes necessitate a separate Issues Paper(s) this will occur as part of the normal consultation process in accordance with the Enterprise Agreement.

A number of priorities have been identified in relation to service gaps for each Function.  For Finance, these include improving support to researchers and other project managers in project accounting, cost management and cost control; supporting delivery of the UQ Procurement Transformation Strategy; and the provision of consistent, high quality advice for academic and management staff.

For HR, these priorities include the provision of tailored, client focused, accurate workforce metrics to inform workforce planning; improved consistency in the recruitment and appointment of senior staff; the provision of remuneration advice and strategy to support key HR decisions; and greater capacity and support for strategy development and implementation to support the Equity and Diversity objectives of UQ’s Strategic Plan.

4.2.Proposal Two: Establish standardised roles in Finance and HR with role specialisation

To support the operating model outlined above, a smaller number of standard roles within each function have been identified. Five standard roles in HR Client Service areas and six roles in Finance are proposed, each with defined responsibilities, accountabilities and capabilities to facilitate responsive and accessible client services. It is envisaged that aspects of these roles could be nuanced according to local client requirements but that the core responsibilities and accountabilities would remain consistent.

The design of these roles would allow for greater role specialisation through a delineation of advisory services (the provision of professional, proactive and solutions focused advice) and transactional services (routine, supporting administrative activities). In addition, creating transaction processing teams for both Finance and HR will enable process improvement, automation and progressive consolidation over time.

The key accountabilities of the proposed Finance and HR roles are summarised in Exhibit F.

Benefits

The benefits of implementing standard roles across UQ include:

  • Delivery of consistent, responsive and efficient Finance and HR services across UQ;
  • Clarity on accountabilities for service performance;
  • Clarity for clients regarding access points for Finance and HR services;
  • Enhanced capability across UQ; and
  • Improved career development and mobility opportunities for Finance and HR professional staff.

4.3.Proposal Three: Establish Professional Service Centres for Finance and HR services that are devolved from the Centre

To address the issues outlined in Section 2 and guided by the principle of consolidating services, the ESS Steering Committee considered a number of options for consolidating Finance and HR service provision into Professional Services Centres (PSCs). PSCs are to be designed to deliver responsive and accessible services to the client, while aggregating at a sufficient level to achieve benefits of scale in terms of efficiency and capability. This consideration was guided by the following design principles:

  • Ability to deliver client-focused services (proximity and accessibility for clients);
  • Scale which enables UQ to capture efficiency including: i) leverage of specialist roles over an appropriately sized client portfolio, and ii) creation of meaningful spans for Finance and HR Managers;
  • Alignment of related activities (e.g. research-intensive units); and
  • Potential applicability to other professional service functions, given that there are benefits if all functions were to be aligned to a consistent structure.

Guided by these principles, the proposed approach is to organise Finance and HR services into eight PSCs for the delivery of Finance and HR services. PSCs would be designed with a premise that organisational units, regardless of scale, are able to access appropriate professional services.  Each PSC would be responsible for delivering professional services to a defined group of organisational units.

The eight proposed PSCs are:

  • Business, Economics and Law;
  • Engineering, Architecture and Information Technology;
  • Health and Behavioural Sciences;
  • Humanities and Social Sciences;
  • Medicine and Biomedical Sciences;
  • Science;
  • Central Portfolios (One PSC to service all central divisions and portfolios); and
  • Institutes (One PSC to service Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology, Centre for Advanced Imaging, Global Change Institute, Institute for Molecular Bioscience, Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation, Queensland Brain Institute, Sustainable Minerals Institute).

Benefits

The anticipated benefits of establishing the PSC model include:

  • Improved service consistency and quality through strengthened line of sight and accountability for service delivery for function leaders;
  • Consistency in resourcing levels for Finance and HR through the establishment of standard roles and strengthened governance processes for allocating resources within and across each PSC;
  • Improved ability to implement service improvements UQ-wide;
  • Efficiencies through reduction in management layers, more efficient and consistent management spans, and through consolidation of transactional activity; and
  • The introduction of a consistent framework applicable for other professional services which can be consolidated.

Impact on professional staff

It is acknowledged that the issues outlined in this Paper, if progressed, will impact professional staff members and it is recognised that there will be uncertainty as any proposed changes are implemented.  The implications for directly impacted staff members are outlined below. In addition, both professional and academic staff members will be impacted as clients of Finance and HR services. These staff members will experience a change in the way that services are organised; and may consequently experience a change in how they access and receive these services. Business continuity and ensuring quality service provision will be critical considerations during a change process.

5.1.Finance and HR Staff

The proposals outlined for Finance and HR services will affect some staff and certain roles and it is not possible at this stage to anticipate with any certainty exactly how each staff member will be impacted.

Implementation would be progressive and considered, however it is likely that over time some professional staff positions may no longer be required. The University is committed to a timely process, to ongoing consultation with staff, to taking all reasonable steps to minimise uncertainty and disruption for staff and to implement support arrangements during the change process.

Consistent with the University’s Enterprise Agreement, all avenues will be explored to minimise adverse impacts on existing staff. Consistent with the University’s commitment to job security, between now and the time of implementation of any new operating model(s), requests to renew appointments and to fill vacancies (Finance and HR) will be carefully considered and, where appropriate, fixed-term appointments will be made during this period of change, in accordance with the Enterprise Agreement.

5.2.Other impacted professional staff

There are broader implications for other professional staff at UQ.

General Managers such as School Managers, Faculty Executive Managers and Institute Deputy Directors (Operations) will be impacted as these staff may no longer be required to directly supervise Finance and/or HR staff.

Concerns regarding the impact on the School Manager role is acknowledged given the proposed removal of the day-to-day supervision of Finance and HR staff. It is recognised that if these change proposals are implemented, as a consequence the responsibilities and accountabilities of the School Manager role will to be considered. This will occur through a consultative process.

Furthermore, it is recognised that the matters outlined in this Issues Paper will have an impact on staff supporting Finance and HR activity, including:

  • Staff currently performing multi-functional (“hybrid”) roles covering Finance, HR, general administration or other professional functions. Under the proposed model, these roles are likely to change as work will transfer to one of the dedicated functional roles in either Finance or HR.
  • Staff who are not identified as Finance or HR professionals, but who currently perform either Finance or HR activity. Under the proposed model this work will transfer to one of the dedicated functional roles in either Finance or HR.

Other implementation considerations

A critical dependency for the successful implementation of the proposed operating model for Finance and HR is an acceleration of process improvement and automation, where warranted, of priority Finance and HR processes. This work has commenced but given the scale and scope of processes to be reviewed, and the possible changes to systems required, changes will be implemented progressively.

In implementing the proposed changes to the Finance and HR service delivery model, a more rigorous and explicit approach to setting service level expectations and managing performance will be established. A framework will be developed to ensure a consistent approach to seeking client feedback and for ensuring that client requirements drive service priorities.

Consultation

The consultation process will be conducted in accordance with the consultation requirements of The University of Queensland Enterprise Agreement 2014 – 2017.

7.1.Stage One

This Issues Paper invites feedback on the Proposals outlined in Section 4 for the delivery of Finance and HR services at UQ. To facilitate the consultation process, a number of forums will be held to provide an opportunity for discussion and feedback.

7.2.Stage Two

The ESS Steering Committee will develop a Formal Proposal which will incorporate feedback received through the consultation process. The Formal Proposal will outline the final proposed service delivery model for Finance and HR and implementation issues. The Formal Proposal will be circulated to all staff for consideration for a further period of ten (10) working days and then be subject to University processes and approvals.

Depending on the scope of change to be implemented as an outcome of this Proposal, the development of Implementation Plan(s) will follow the Formal Proposal.

7.3.Submissions on the Proposal in this Issues Paper

All staff (professional and academic) are encouraged to provide feedback on this Issues Paper by 4 July 2016. Submissions should be provided here and should clearly indicate who the submission is from (i.e. from an individual, or from a work team, or other grouping of staff, with the names of those making the submission clearly indicated). Anonymised written feedback may also be provided.

7.4. Communication

Regular communications will be forthcoming as we progress through the review. Documents and information can be found on this website. A dedicated portal has been established to help answer any queries; this will be monitored by several staff and be used to respond to questions.

Access to support services

All staff may access the University’s free, confidential Employee Assistance Program (EAP) to discuss any issues or concerns. The EAP service is provided by Davidson Trahaire Corpsych (Ph: 1300 360 364).

Appendix: Exhibit A - Design Team Composition

Table A.1: Finance Design Team membership

Position

Name

Executive Dean (ESS Steering Committee Sponsor)

Professor Iain Watson

Faculty of Business, Economics and Law

Chief Financial Officer

Andrew Betts

Finance and Business Services

Head of School

Professor Mark Blows

School of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science

Faculty Finance Manager

Debbie Browne

Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

Institute Deputy Director (Operations)

Dr Zoe Cahill

Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology

School Manager

Danielle Clarke

School of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences

School Manager

Stephen Coombs

School of Chemical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Architecture and Information Technology

Finance Manager

Heather Fletcher

Contract and Grants, Finance and Business Services

Faculty Executive Manager

Tricia Williams

Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences

Guest Attendees at Finance Design Team Workshop on 1 March 2016

  • Marni Jacoby, Faculty Executive Manager, Faculty of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences
  • Riaan Retief, Associate Director, Financial Planning and Analysis, Finance and Business Services
  • Karen Wheeler, Associate Director, FBS Operations, Finance and Business Services

Table A.2: HR Design Team membership

Position

Name

Executive Dean (ESS Steering Committee  Sponsor)

Professor Tim Dunne

Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

Director of Human Resources

Jane Banney

Human Resources Division

Faculty HR Manager

Julie Campbell

Faculty of Science

(Member from October – December 2015)

HR Manager, Central Services

Bronwyn Cash

Information Technology Services

Faculty HR Manager

Chelse Dunne

Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences

Faculty HR Manager

Sian Frisina

Faculty of Science

(Member from January 2016 – May 2016)

Institute Deputy Director (Operations) 

Melissa Glendenning

Sustainable Minerals Institute

Head of School

Professor Louise Hickson

School of Health & Rehabilitation Sciences

(Member from April - May 2016)

Faculty Executive Manager

David Mayocchi

Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

School Manager

Karen Perkins

School of Psychology, Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences (Member from January 2016 – May 2016)

Head of School

Professor Paul Strooper

School of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Architecture and Information Technology (Member from October 2015 – April 2016)

School Manager

Katrina Tune

School of Business, Faculty of Business, Economics and Law (Member from October 2015 – January 2016)

Faculty HR Manager

Phil Vaughan

Faculty of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences

Guest Attendee at HR Design Team Workshop on 18 February 2016

  • Patrick Testa, Faculty Executive Manager, Faculty of Science

Appendix: Exhibit B - Resource Benchmarking

What is UniForum?

UniForum, an offering of Cubane Consulting, is a benchmarking forum through which member universities capture, review and compare the way they organise and deliver professional services to support teaching and research.

During the annual UniForum Data Collection period the services provided by all professional staff and related contractor resources are coded against a comprehensive activity framework covering 148 activities grouped under 13 functions. The resulting staff activity and costing data is used to facilitate a broad range of analyses supporting internal reviews and cross-university comparisons.

UniForum aims to explore best practice in service delivery and provides benchmarking data to support investigation of different operating models and the impact of organisation profile, structure, scale and resourcing on service efficiency and effectiveness, as well as identifying opportunities for maximising staffing investment.

UQ has participated in the UniForum benchmarking forum since 2012.

Which universities are involved?

Other Australian and New Zealand universities participating in UniForum in 2015 included Queensland University of Technology, University of Auckland, Griffith University, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, University of Technology Sydney, University of South Australia, Australian National University, University of Melbourne, Monash University, University of New South Wales, University of Otago, University of Sydney, Flinders University, Victoria University of Wellington, The University of Adelaide, The University of Western Australia, Newcastle University, La Trobe University, James Cook University, Murdoch University and Edith Cowan University.

Macquarie University, Curtin University, Massey University and Canberra University joined the forum in 2016.  The forum also has a UK chapter, with a membership of eight universities from the Russell Group.

What are the ‘Chapter A’ member universities?

UniForum member universities are grouped into chapters. Chapter A universities include founding members and five of the large teaching and research universities - Melbourne University, Monash University, Sydney University, University of New South Wales, The University of Queensland, Queensland University of Technology and Auckland University.

UQ Core Services1 staff resourcing profile relative to the group of 20 member universities in UniForum

  • UQ has the second most devolved team in the group of 20 with 46.1% of resources deployed within central divisions, relative to the group median of 54.5% (IQR2 51.5% - 64.7%).
  • UQ has the lowest seniority in the group of 20 with 17.6% of wFTE3 at HEW 8 or above, relative to the group median of 24.9% (IQR2 20.6% - 27.3%) as well as an above average proportion of junior staff with 23.5% of wFTE at HEW 4 or below, relative to the group median of 21.4% (IQR2 18.9% - 24.3%).
  • UQ has a deeper than average management structure with 41.6% of wFTE at relative management level (RML4) 1 & 2 compared with a median of 43.1% in the group (IQR2 40.2% - 49.7%) and smaller management spans of control.
  • UQ continues to have average specialisation at both the Activity and Function Level.

1 Core Services are the services supporting Teaching and Research, including 11 of the 12 UniForum functions captured in 2014, excluding ‘Other Activities’.

2 The interquartile range is a measure of where the middle 50% of values sit in a data set. It provides further information on the variability or spread of a data set.

3wFTE is actual worked FTE for the nominated scope.

4 Relative Management Level 1&2 = % of wFTE in the 1st and 2nd highest level of each organisation unit relative to the most senior professional staff member in that organisation unit (excluding contractors).

Source: UniForum Database 17 June 2015; Cubane analysis (Annual Briefing on 2014 Support Services Results)

B.1:  Finance Function Benchmarking

Finance Function Staffing ($m)1

Finance function staffing

Benchmark Definitions

BM1 - $28.2m Top quartile (University with the 5th lowest normalised costs in the group of 20 universities) across entire Finance Function. UQ is 19% above BM1.

BM2 - $23.8m 'Best in Class' (University with the lowest normalised costs in the group of Chapter A* universities) across entire Finance Function. UQ is 41% above BM2.

BM3 - $21.9m 'Best in Class' (University with the lowest normalised costs in the group of 20 universities) across entire Finance Function. UQ is 53% above BM3.

BM4 - $26.6m Top quartile (University with the 5th lowest normalised costs in the group of 20 universities) across all Finance Sub-Functions aggregated. UQ is 26% above BM4.

* Chapter A Universities include:  UNSW, Monash, QUT, Auckland, UniMelb, Sydney, UQ.

1 The Finance Function is taken to include activities associated with General Purchasing, Travel, and Credit Cards Management.

Source: UniForum Advanced Reporting Platform (2014 Data)

B.2:  HR Function Benchmarking

HR Function Staffing ($m)

HR Function staffing

Benchmark Definitions

BM1 - $12.1m Top quartile (University with the 5th lowest normalised costs in the group of 20 universities) across entire Human Resources Function. UQ is 19% above BM1.

BM2 - $10.5m 'Best in Class' (University with the lowest normalised costs in the group of Chapter A* universities) across entire Human Resources Function. UQ is 37% above BM2.

BM3 - $10.5m 'Best in Class' (University with the lowest normalised costs in the group of 20 universities) across entire Human Resources Function. UQ is 37% above BM3.

BM4 - $11.3m Top quartile (University with the 5th lowest normalised costs in the group of 20 universities) across each Human Resources Sub-Function aggregated. UQ is 27% above BM4.

* Chapter A Universities include:  UNSW, Monash, QUT, Auckland, UniMelb, Sydney, UQ

Source: UniForum Advanced Reporting Platform (2014 Data)

Appendix: Exhibit C - Operating Business Units

UQ’s organisational structure as at March 2016 consists of 102 operating business units:

  • 6 Faculties;
  • 4 Major Institutes;
  • 31 Schools;
  • 14 Faculty / University Centres;
  • 4 Faculty based institutes;
  • 8 senior executive portfolios; and
  • 35 central divisions and units (note: Centre for Advanced Imaging, Global Change Institute and Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation are included here under the DVC-R portfolio).

Appendix: Exhibit D - Service Scopes - Finance and HR

The service scopes for both Finance and HR were defined through the work of the Design Teams and have been validated with the function leaders.

Figure D1: Finance Service Scope

Finance service scope

Figure D2: HR Service Scope

HR service scope

Appendix: Exhibit E - Reporting Lines For Finance and HR Professionals

The delivery of UQ-wide professional Finance and HR service functions involves the establishment of a single point accountability in the roles of the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and Director of HR for the delivery of services and organisational capability across UQ for Finance and HR, respectively.

In order for the CFO and HR Director to deliver on these duties, it is proposed to amend the reporting framework. All Finance and HR professional staff will report through to the CFO and HR Director.  The successful implementation of this model will require service functions to work in partnership with business units to deliver the best outcome for UQ.  Notably, the proposal neither changes the accountability of the Business Unit leader for the delivery of their business nor for the key business decisions.

Further details on the proposed reporting arrangements for Finance and HR are provided below.

Figure E1: Reporting Lines for Finance Professionals

Illustrative Structure - Finance Professional Service Centre

Reporting lines for finance professionals

Figure E2: Reporting Lines for Human Resources Professionals

Illustrative Structure - Human Resources Professional Service Centre

Reporting lines for HR professionals

Appendix: Exhibit F - Proposed Standard Roles - Finance and HR

The following tables provide a summary of the key roles proposed for both Finance and HR.

Table F1: Finance Roles

 

Finance Manager

Senior Management Accountant

Management Accountant

Role Summary

Accountable for delivery of finance services to the business units within the scope of the Professional Services Centre.

Provide financial analysis, supporting commentary and advice to senior leaders.

Provide project accounting advice and support to key project leaders.  Support Senior Management Accountant on delivery of financial analysis and advice as required.

Indicative HEW level range*

HEW 9-10

HEW 8-9

HEW 6-7

Accountabilities

•    Accountable for end-to-end Finance service delivery to business unit(s) service by the Professional Services Centre (PSC), including service quality, timeliness, efficiency and client relationship management and satisfaction

•    Lead PSC finance team and develop capability of finance professionals

•    Ensure the consistent application of policy

•  Provide financial analysis, supporting commentary and advice to senior leaders that informs periodic financial planning, forecasting and monitoring

•  Responsible for supervision of assigned management accountants

•  Support the Finance Manager and Senior Management Accountant in the delivery of high-quality financial and management accounting services

•  Provide Project-level financial reports, analysis commentary and advice to project managers (e.g. principal investigators); manage project costs

•  Exercise financial delegation

Line Management

•    Senior Management Accountants

•    Management Accountants

•    Nil

Key Clients

•    Executive Deans / Institute Directors

•    Faculty Executive Managers

•    Heads of Schools / Heads of Centres

•    Directors of Central Divisions

•  Heads of Schools and School Managers

•  Institute Directors and Deputy Directors

•  Directors of Central Divisions

•  Chief Investigators

•  Project Managers

•  Academic Staff

•  Professional Staff

•  Program Leaders

* Indicative HEW level range means that the role will fall within this classification range subject to formal evaluation.

 

Financial Services Coordinator

Senior Finance Officer

Finance Officer

Role Summary

Accountable for delivery of finance transactional services to business units within scope of Professional Services Centre

Review, process and correct financial transactions in line with policies and procedures (more complex transactions). Support to Finance Officers.

Review, process and correct financial transactions in line with policies and procedures.

Indicative HEW level range*

HEW 8

HEW 6

HEW 4-5

Accountabilities

•    Deliver finance transactional services to the business units within the scope of the PSC

•    Resolve issues escalated from the processing teams

•    Leads and develops the financial processing team, manages client relationships and ensures consistent application of policy.

•    Drives local adoption of service standards and process improvement

•    Exercise financial delegation

•  Deliver financial transactions for defined processes and clients

•  Deliver more complex transactions

•  Administer procurement plans

•  Support Finance Officers

•  Exercise financial delegation

•  Deliver financial transactions for defined processes and clients

•  Resolve procedural queries raised by clients

•  Exercise financial delegation

Line Management

•    Senior Finance Officers + Finance Officers

•    Finance Officers

•    Nil

Key Clients

•    Faculty Executive Managers

•    School Managers

•    Institute Deputy Directors

•    Heads of Schools / Heads of Centres

•    Directors of Institutes and Central Divisions

•  Chief Investigators

•  Project Managers

•  Academic Staff

•  Professional Staff

•  Program Leaders

•  Chief Investigators

•  Project Managers

•  Academic Staff

•  Professional Staff

•  Program Leaders

Table F2: HR Roles

 

HR Client Services Manager

Senior HR Consultant

HR Officer

HR Services Officer

HR Services Assistant

Role Summary

Member of HR Leadership team and single point accountability for HR service delivery for PSC

Provision of proactive, client-focused support, and the coordination and management of HRO team across Professional Services Centre

Delivery of HR advisory and related administrative support

Coordination of timely, consistent delivery of transactions processing

Deliver timely, consistent transactions processing

Indicative HEW level range*

HEW 8-10

HEW 7-8

HEW 5-6

HEW 5

HEW 4

Accountabilities

•      Accountable for strategic deployment of expertise to deliver and support end-to-end HR service delivery in line with University strategy.

•      Contributes to development of university and PSC level strategy

•      Trusted expert advisor to PSC executive leadership group

•      Ensures service quality, timeliness, efficiency and effective client relationship management and satisfaction

•      Leads PSC HR team and develop capability of HR professionals

•      Ensures consistent application of policy

•      Complex case management

•  Delivery of HR advice and support (operational focus)

•  Client relationship management and satisfaction

•  Support to varied client groups including those with limited knowledge of HR processes (e.g. Researchers who want to recruit to grants)

•  Effective utilisation of HRO resources

•  Consistent application of policy

•  Key interface between HR Client Service Manager and HRO network

•    Initial point of contact for routine HR advisory and administrative support to staff at all levels

•    Coordination of approvals for key HR decisions / actions to ensure compliance with UQ HR policy

•    Support to varied client groups (including casual staff)

•    Escalation of queries to Senior HR Consultant as appropriate

•   Approval of HR transactions in HR Information System

•   Service quality, accuracy and timeliness  (HR services focus)

•   Effective utilisation of HR Services Assistant resources

•  Input and maintain all key data sets relating to the HR Information System (e.g. payroll, appointments, leave and entitlements)

•  Generate reports relating to HR activities that will trigger actions (e.g. appointment expiry reports)

•  Identify, investigate, resolve and where appropriate, escalate data integrity issues

Line Management

•     Senior HR Consultants

•    HR Officers

•    Nil

•   Nil

•  Nil

Key Clients

•     Pro Vice Chancellors / Exec Deans / Institute Directors

•     Faculty Executive Managers

•     Heads of Schools / Heads of Centres

•     Directors

•  School Manager / Institute Deputy Directors

•  Researchers / Chief Investigators

•  Group Leaders

•  Deputy / Associate Directors

•  All other staff

•  All staff

•  All staff

•  Key linkage with HROs and SHRCs

* Indicative HEW level range means that the role will fall within this classification range subject to formal evaluation.