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BPI ‘As-Is’ Human Resource Assessment – Examples

Blog: Biz-Performance, David Brown

BPI ‘As-Is’ Human Resource Assessment – Examples

BPI As Is HR Assessment - Focus Phase.png
The following are examples of the results a human resource assessment might produce. Example: human resource factors in the current process

Example: human resource factors in the current process

Example: Human resource issues related to the current process

The following is an example of an As-Is Human Resource Assessment for a police agency.


B.1    Introduction

This appendix presents the findings of the analysis of the Department of Police human resources management strategies and processes undertaken during phase one of Project PHRM.
The overall objective of this component of Project PHRM is to provide a framework for the reform of human resource management within the Department of Police to ensure that it contributes optimally to the achievement of the challenges outlined previously in this report and in the Business Direction.
This appendix provides an overview of the current status of Human Resource Management (HRM) in the Department and an analysis of the reasons why HRM, as a corporate responsibility, needs to be re-engineered in order to maximize its ‘enabling’ contribution to the achievement of the Business Direction.

B.2    Methodology

Information for this section of the report was collected in the following ways:
  • Review of current documentation and reports in relation to HRM;
  • Interviews with key personnel involved in, or who have a major stake in the provision of Human Management Resource Management strategies and processes; and
  • Mapping of a range of current HR processes.

B.3    Findings

The major findings of the assessment of the current status of Human Resource Management are outlined below.

An integrated corporate HR function is required

At a corporate level, the HR function is distributed across a number of areas including:
  • Recruitment and Training, located in Royce;
  • Human Resources and the Staff Support Unit, located in Honeywell within the Management Support Unit; and
  • Personnel Administration.
In addition there is a CHRIMS project team, an Industrial Relations function performed by the Director Administration and a Staff Allocation function performed by the Assistant Commissioner Logistics.
There is no mechanism currently existing that integrates these areas. In short, it is a function without a ‘centre’, i.e. an organizationally legitimate focal point for the integration of strategic and operational HR information, and the development of effective and efficient responses.
As a consequence, the Department of Police lacks a coherent Human Resource strategy, related initiatives are poorly coordinated and there is inevitably reactive decision making.

Professional HR expertise is required

Historically, recruitment to positions in Human Resources has been either:
  • through the administrative stream (for State Servants); or
  • as a short term rotation into HR roles, for police officers, as part of a process of career     development.
State Servants in HR roles tend to have had little career mobility either within the State Service or within the Department of Police and have little exposure to non-transactional human resource processes.
Police officers moving into HR roles are generally provided with little professional development. Given the fact that these officers deliver the more strategic and developmental HR functions, this is a serious matter. Functions these people manage include recruitment, training, performance appraisal and career development.
As a result the following areas require considerable attention:
  • Establishment of recruitment needs;
  • Identification of the competency requirements of new recruits;
  • Development of robust learning strategies for developing competencies;
  • Monitoring and supervision of recruits;
  • Feedback on and appraisal of performance;
  • Development of ongoing learning strategies; and
  • Establishment of appropriate succession and career planning processes.
These areas represent the more challenging aspects of Human Resource Management in any organization. They are additionally challenging given the changes required within the Department of Police, particularly with respect to flexibility, customer service, and empowerment.
There is also an increasing need to work through partnership arrangements with other agencies and HR service providers (Universities; the TAFE, etc.) to optimize both the quality and efficiency of HR strategies and services. Given the lack of in-depth experience and expertise in the training and education sector, the Department is potentially exposed in the
negotiation of these arrangements. It is very difficult to represent or advocate for the needs of your organization (in the process of developing partnership arrangements and associated service agreements with alternate providers) if you are not fully versed in the fundamental professional issues at stake.
It is important to stress at this point that the comparatively low level of Human Resource expertise is not the fault of any individuals. Indeed, there was a ready acceptance of the need for a higher level of HR competency to help shape and drive the achievement of a robust and resilient Human Resource infrastructure in support of the Business Direction.

Integrated HR strategy and planning is critical

Current HR decision making is characterized by a short-term focus. This is not to say that individuals do not take a long-term perspective. Indeed, there is a high degree of considered strategic thinking related to Human Resources issues, and a large number of senior people who are genuinely interested in improving the contribution of Human Resources to the organization.

The problem arises with the solutions that are generated as a result of strategic thinking. Given the lack of high level HR expertise and a lack of integration across the ‘corporate’ HR functions, the solutions tend to be short-term and often in conflict with each other. A number of examples of the various component elements of  Police HR separately seeking endorsement for specific HR initiatives were brought to the attention of the Project Team. (Career management and its related support processes is one example of this phenomenon.)
Most of these initiatives had little or no support from other HR areas, and the status of their progress through the organization’s approval processes was uncertain.
This is further evidence of an absence of a ÒcentreÓ for HR decision making at a policy or strategic level.

Current administrative processes are complicated

A range of HR processes were mapped by the  Police project team. Those processes have, characteristically:
  • unnecessary approval steps;
  • unnecessary centralization of decision making; and
  • an unnecessary number of forms.
More importantly, some processes that require the effective use of interpersonal competency and managerial discernment are currently engineered in such a way that the outcome is interpersonal avoidance and adversarial supervisory/subordinate interaction. The current performance appraisal process is the prime example of this. The overwhelming view of those people consulted during the HR assessment was that performance appraisal actually depleted value from the organization, rather than adding value. Performance appraisal is a particularly challenging aspect of HR. However, the process that has been used in the Department of Police is designed, as it were, against all the principles of effective performance feedback and development. Assessments are completed behind closed doors, there is no requirement fordirect supervisor/employee discussions and the only mandatory one-on-one discussions occur between employees and their manager or supervisor once removed.

The Department must address Issues of role confusion, conflict and overlap

There is considerable role confusion, conflict and overlap. This was one of the most frequently discussed issues during interviews. These role issues related both to interaction between the component elements of the corporate HR function, and between corporate and district HR.
Roles confusion/conflict/overlap is manifest in a number of ways including:
  • Debate about the respective roles of the Academy and HR (in Management Support) regarding Career Management; and    
  • The double handling of promotions related paperwork.
  • hese role confusions result, typically, in two phenomena:
  • Competition for attention through, often, the submission of ‘duelling’ reports and     recommendations; and
  • Inaction because a clear decision or direction regarding how best to manage an issue is not forthcoming.
With respect to role issues between corporate HR and district HR, the key issue is inadequate devolution of essentially administrative roles, and the consequent utilization of senior police personnel to undertake routine clerical/administrative responsibilities.

B.4    Assessment of particular functions


The recruitment function is managed by Recruitment and Training (the Academy) for police officers and by Personnel Administration for state servants.
Recruitment decisions are based on job descriptions. For police officers, these are based on the Enterprise Agreement.
Recruitment decision-making for police is highly centralised with little ‘field’ involvement. The techniques used are currently the subject of considerable discussion with a view to streamlining them, increasing their effectiveness and ensuring that EEO guidelines and considerations are met.
The major weakness in the recruitment process is the lack of a competency framework based on a sound analysis of job requirements.  Police are awaiting the finalization of a national competency standards review conducted by the National Police Standards Council Inc.
There is, however, an opportunity to develop a tailored competency framework for recruitment decision making. This could then be used as the basis for an annual needs analysis process that identifies the critical learning needs of new recruits on the basis, for example, of expected job experience during their first two years of service.
With respect to the selection process, a key innovation currently being considered is the use of an assessment centre approach. This requires skilled assessment centre professionals with a grounding in psychometric and other assessment methodologies. It is, however, an excellent idea, and, with the recent appointment of an highly experienced psychologist,  Police has some of the necessary skill base to develop this concept successfully.


Most training within the Department of Police is developed and conducted by Recruitment and Training and focuses primarily upon police officers.
Recruitment and Training is staffed by police officers. Little professional development is provided to assist them perform their jobs. Two Education Officers work closely with the Police staff to assist in professional issues such as curriculum design, competency assessment and learning methodologies.
The current programs are closely tied to the promotion system within  Police. The major programs are:
  • Constable training;   
  • Sergeant training; and   
  • Inspector training.
A series of examinations linked to the programs are also conducted.
There are a range of questions and concerns about the suitability of both the individual programs and the overall training framework. They include the need to:
  • develop a formal training needs analysis process using draft national competency standards, corporate resource need information and local job analysis information;
  • improve contracting between Recruitment and Training and corporate and district management on priorities and performance expectations for training services;   
  • develop a strategy for     alliances with other education and training providers; and   
  • improve curriculum design and learning strategies that support the demonstrable achievement of competency standards.
In summary, the training framework has been in place for many years. Its origins are in the seniority based system which is based on a set of assumptions about how long it takes for someone to become effective in a role. Such an approach is fundamentally at odds with the directions of industry training and accreditation processes which are increasingly based on competency acquisition and demonstration.
This is as much an issue of promotional policy and career management as it is an issue of training.
With respect to State Servants, there is very little training and development or, indeed, career management assistance provided.

Career management

The two major career management processes undertaken within the Department of Police are the promotional examination and training programs and the actual promotions process.
The promotional examination and training programs have been the subject of some internal debate over the nature of the examination processes, the numbers of applicants and the selection of participants. Essentially police self-select to be involved in the programs. There is no structured succession process involving the identification of high potential employees, and their development to meet projected shortfalls and opportunities.
The consequence of the current system is a high degree of dissatisfaction with the time it takes to gain a promotion. This has been exacerbated (for some people) by the recent delayering of the career structure through broader banded classification levels. To counterbalance this change, and to reinforce its objective of focussing police upon the business of providing and rewarding excellent service rather than becoming distracted by issues of hierarchy, programs need to be developed that support the development of a culture of service to the community through increased competency in core policing processes.
In summary, career management needs to focus on identifying and developing both:
  • high potentials, with a view to promotional positions; and
  • a commitment to a career in operational core policing.
With respect to the promotions process, there is considerable and unnecessary double handling of paperwork between Management Support and Personnel administration.

Performance appraisal

The performance appraisal system has recently been amended. The amendments have addressed a couple of problem areas (for example, lack of direct supervisor/employee discussions -as noted earlier in this appendix – and the separation of the process from the salary review process).
There was more consensus on the appraisal process than any other, and the conclusion was that it detracted (rather than added) value to the organization.
There are two major challenges ahead with respect to the Performance Appraisal process. They are:
  • The need to redesign the process in such a way that it supports the achievement of the Business Direction through the recognition and reward of appropriate behaviours and the development of critical competencies; and
  • To develop a strategy for overcoming the inevitable disrepute that any performance appraisal process will be greeted with as a result of past experiences.
As a result, the performance appraisal needs to be redesigned in a collaborative fashion and the implementation of the new design needs to be supported by focussed training and follow-up coaching to ensure it is successfully implemented.


The induction process is currently under review. Recruitment and Training are investigating the introduction of a mentoring process to assist recently trained recruits.
Currently, newly trained recruits are frequently placed in high stress roles and receive poor supervision. This situation needs to be addressed both in the short term (re current trainees) and in the medium to long term as a critical element of an integrated recruitment and training process.
There is no induction process for state servants.

Employment framework

Police has recently introduced a new Enterprise Agreement which included significant changes to the career structure and remuneration practices.

The agreement is still in its early stages of implementation. A number of the processes supporting the agreement are currently being reviewed, particularly with respect to pay administration, the calculation of overtime and the recording of leave. These matters all relate back to the need to clarify what constitutes a work day.
The other specific implementation issue relates to the recognition of competencies for salary purposes. The supporting process entails unnecessary approval steps which, with the implementation of an on-line data entry process, can be administered locally.
State Servants are currently employed under a range of related awards linked to a State Service Award. These are characterized by a large number of salary levels and narrow classification bands.
Currently, there are some preliminary discussions on the reform of the State Service award. Given the move to a more flexible employment framework that will enable an increasingly effective partnership between State Servants and Police Officers in the provision of service to the community, the development of an integrated employment framework that recognizes the links between operational policing and enabling support processes would be valuable. This could usefully be incorporated in the terms of reference of the review of the State Service Award.
Occupational health and safety and staff support
A structured occupational health and safety program is currently in the process of being developed. n Police has recently appointed an experienced OH&S practitioner with best practice credentials. The objective currently being pursued is to enable supervisors to act as Safety Officers, responsive to the needs of employees in their respective areas. The OH&S manager will then act as a consultant, supporting supervisors. This approach is consistent with an empowered organizational model.
The staff support unit also provides a range of counselling/psychological services to managers and employees across  Police. Again, the processes being established such as the trauma counselling process are consistent with the empowered model. As with OH&S, the existence of a highly qualified, centrally located professional, to develop policy and implement cross-organization strategies, maximizes the effectiveness of this function.

Personnel administration

All payroll, leave, workers compensation and State Servant recruitment is undertaken by Personnel Administration. A new information system is currently in the early stages of implementation and should lead to improved performance of these functions. This project is being managed by the CHRIMS project team.
The implementation of the new system provides an obvious opportunity to review the service objectives of Personnel Administration and to develop a core team of experienced internal advisors offering support to line managers in the exercise of the human resource responsibilities.

Workers compensation is one area that requires immediate attention to ensure that the process protects the organizations right to contest claims in a manner that does not create unnecessary tensions with employees. The Occupational Health and Safety Manager is well positioned both organizationally and professionally to address this issue.

B.5    Summary

Human Resource is an area that requires significant attention and improvement within the organization. This is generally well acknowledged by most people working in the component organizational elements of Human Resources and by managers and employees throughout the organization.
In the past the response to perceived shortcomings has been to fix up the discrete pieces. It is unlikely that continuing with this kind of approach will result in the achievement of the level of service improvement that is required of the function. By undertaking a holistic review of its operations, including Human Resources, as part of Project PHRM, the Department has taken an important step addressing the critical HR issues before it.
The Human Resource Assessment reveals a function unempowered and under-skilled to respond to the challenge of major change. This is an issue of fundamental importance to  Police particularly given the realities that 80% of the  Police Budget is Human Resources, and all the changes that will be generated by the outcomes of Project PHRM will require employees, both sworn and unsworn, to think, act and feel differently about their work and their careers.
Re-engineering opportunity 6 provides the basis for lifting the performance of Human Resources to a new plane, commensurate with the needs of the organization and its internal and external communities.

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