Workforce Planning Standard
New Australian Standard – Workforce Planning AS 5260:2015
On the 20th October 2015 Standards Australia published a new Australian Standard dealing with Workforce Planning (AS 5260:2015).
This is a significant event that will assist many HR practitioners and senior managers. So often, we see the requirement to develop a Workforce Plan as a part of an organisational strategic plan. However there may be no real consensus as to the required process or what the plan should include.
At the very least the new Standard will form an authoritative basis to inform discussion between HR and other stakeholders (senior managers) that will lead to a shared process and outcome.
Those who are passionate about having clear links between subordinate plans and higher level strategies will note that this is a fundamental requirement of the Standard, it also reinforces the need to incorporate Risk Management (ISO 31000).
A neat framework is provided for Workforce Planning covering four broad stages:
1) Getting started
2) Analysis and risk
Each stage is summarised then further supported with considerable detail, all not difficult to understand. In reality the framework is something that would be a sensible approach to almost any planning process.
Summarising, this new Standard is likely to be useful to any organisation regardless of whether they use it as a simple checklist or a comprehensive guide to a rigorous process.
Of course, the Workforce Plan can only be as good as the quality of the higher level objectives it is required to support.
Looks overdone to me ...
One of the key requirements of HR Standards developers is that the Standards produced must not be too complex for the majority of users (98% of organisations have 100 employees or less). The new Australian Standard is 31 pages long and reads like a consulting proposal for a 1000 employee organisation.
Originally Posted by Gary Bourke
In contrast the South African Board for People Practices (SABPP) have developed 13 National Standards, including Workforce Planning, and have kept the Standard both simple and concise. The website HR Standards describes HR Standards development initiatives around the world.
Thanks Gary and Friday403 for broadening my knowledge. I must admit before I read Gary's article I didn't realise that there was an Australian Standard on Workforce Planning nor the existence of the site mentioned by Friday403.
I've now done my own research and must admit that I found the Australian Standard pretty easy to understand. It was certainly more comprehensive than the SA standard and to my mind made the point much more strongly that any workforce plan had to be linked to higher level objectives.
I do think small organisations could find value in it as a lot of it provides explanatory background, that I found useful. I don't believe the extra pages make it too complex.
Finally, I guess, if we work in Australia, shouldn't we use the Australian Standard?
Thank you both again for your contributions, I've learnt something from them.
The other Australian HR standard is AS 4811:2006 Employment Screening, which was published in July 2006.
Can anyone help with a link to the standard (Workforce Planning AS 5260:2015)?
5260:2015 is available via SAI Global unfortunately they do charge for it.