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Our staff take part in the annual Australian Public Service (APS) employee census, which informs the APS State of the Service Report.

The APS employee census asks APS employees about their attitudes and opinions on a range of work-related issues, including health and wellbeing, attendance, performance management, leadership, and general impressions of the APS.

The APS employee census is conducted in May each year.

In 2023, the ACNC achieved an 88% response rate to the census, with 91 out of our 103 staff participating. Those on long-term leave during this period were not required to respond.

To promote transparency, we, along with other agencies, make both our census results and action plan public.

You can download the ACNC’s 2023 Highlights Report (as either a PDF or Excel file) and our 2023-24 Action Plan at the bottom of this page.


The 2023 APS employee census saw a change in how our staff felt about their work, with a return to results that were more in line with those recorded before the pandemic.
However, there were some notable improvements.

Although the ACNC’s overall engagement score (and some of the underlaying results linked to it) has declined since last year, our overall engagement score of 74 remained strong.

Some of our other highlights and key areas of success include:

  • 97% of staff had a clear understanding of how their roles contributed to achieving outcomes for the Australian public. This figure was the highest recorded over the past five years of surveys
  • 93% of staff were confident that if they requested a flexible work arrangement, it would be given reasonable consideration. 97% of our staff currently access flexible work arrangements
  • 90% of staff felt their supervisor actively ensured that everyone could be included in workplace activities
  • 90% of staff felt they could suggest ideas to improve how the ACNC did things, a six percentage point increase over the past five years
  • 89% of staff were satisfied with the stability and security of their role. This remained stable compared to the previous year, and marked a 20 percentage point increase compared to five years ago
  • 88% of staff believed their immediate supervisor cared about their health and wellbeing
  • 87% of staff strongly believed in the ACNC’s purposes and objectives
  • 87% of staff felt the ACNC supported and actively promoted an inclusive workplace culture. This figure increased by 13 percentage points over the past five years, and is 11 points higher than other small government agencies
  • 83% of staff are committed to the ACNC’s goals, increasing by 10 percentage points over the past five years
  • 80% of staff are proud to work at the ACNC, increasing by 10 percentage points over the past five years.

The ACNC has already undertaken an extensive consultation process with staff to ensure we better understand the key themes behind the survey results.

And after considering both the survey results and the feedback from our consultation process, our 2023-24 Action Plan has identified three focus areas:

  • managing priorities
  • capability management
  • communication and empowerment.

Census Action Plan 2023-24

Target area: Managing priorities


Our people manage and communicate priorities to maintain a good balance between workload and wellbeing across our organisation.


  • Promote regular interaction between our people and their leaders to help them to collaboratively manage workload changes and clarify priorities to pursue sustainable workloads.
  • Share internal service standards across the ACNC in a centralised location so our people understand timelines for completion of work and approval requirements, which will help with planning and carrying out work.
  • When the need arises, consider surge to areas that need the most support to manage workloads.

Target area: Capability development


Our capability (including process, systems, and knowledge management) is enhanced to a level that supports retention and provides effective workload management.


  • Expand ACNC’s mentoring relationships to enable more experienced staff to share their knowledge with others to improve capability and reduce key risk dependencies.
  • Provide greater opportunities for our people to build capability and understand different areas of the ACNC, which will better support peak period surge, internal mobility, and paths to promotion.
  • Enhance our peoples’ awareness and capability in practical skills and systems through targeted micro learning sessions run by subject matter experts.

Target area: Communication and empowerment


Effective two-way communication occurs and supports a collaborative approach to our work, where we empower each other to challenge ideas and are comfortable speaking up.


  • Develop an ACNC-specific ‘Communication Protocol’ outlining how information flows between teams and between APS levels, and how we interact with each other to achieve our vision of working as one ACNC.
  • Communicate decision making processes down to a team level to support transparency around how and why decisions are made, as well as who to consult and collaborate with on activities or projects.
  • Deepen our understanding of how our people contribute to and influence psychological safety across the ACNC.