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EM volunteers studying as a group and achieving nationally accredited qualifications for free!

Philippa Murphy 7th, February 2019

Free study options are now available for emergency management volunteers. Study together in your local area with your local emergency management volunteer group to achieve your Diploma of Public Safety (Emergency Management) PUA52312 for free!

Just like Port Stephens SES (pictured), we are working with Units, Brigades and local EM volunteers around Australia who are taking advantage of the Australian Institute of Disaster Resilience (AIDR) government scholarships to assist emergency management volunteers achieve qualifications. Studying together is a great way to do this program and our facilitators come to you!

Applications for the next round of grants close on 4 March 2019. This is a great opportunity for your whole team! Contact us to find out more on contact@acimsolutions.com.au or read the blog below.

Round 5 - Emergency Management Volunteer Scholarships

Philippa Murphy 2nd, January 2019

Study scholarships

ACIM Solutions is proud to be working with many successful scholarship recipients from around Australia who have taken up the opportunity to achieve the following nationally accredited leadership qualifications  paid for by the AIDR scholarship:

Diploma of Public Safety (Emergency Management) PUA52312 (10 Units)

The Diploma of Public Safety (Emergency Management) qualification provides the skills and knowledge required to develop leaders in operational roles in emergency or disaster management. It is suitable for paid professionals or volunteers working across the emergency or disaster management spectrum; Prevention, Preparedness, Response and Recovery (PPRR)

Advanced Diploma of Public Safety (Emergency Management) programs PUA60112 (12 units)

The Advanced Diploma of Public Safety (Emergency Management) qualification provides the skills and knowledge required to perform a senior leadership role in emergency or disaster management. This qualification addresses both the planning for, and management of major risks in emergencies and recovery operations with a strong focus on engaging communities and key stakeholders throughout the PPRR phases.  The program’s specific focus is on developing skills that can be applied directly into emergency management agencies to support positive outcomes across the phases of professional emergency management.

>SKILL SETS (groups of units) ALSO AVAILABLE

Round 5 opens on 7 January 2019 and closes on 4 March 2019.  Scholarship amounts for the vocational sector is up to $12,000 per person.  

NB: Applications can be as an individual or if you have an organisational group seeking leadership qualifications please get in touch regarding a group application.  Study must be completed by the 2nd of December 2019.

If you are a volunteer in the emergency management sector and would like to take advantage of this great opportunity to achieve nationally accredited qualifications please get in touch with us to discuss the options.  You can study remotely and if you would like to supplement your study with our face to face workshop program we will be offering face to face locations later in 2019 where sufficient demand exists.

Please read our information sheet and get in touch with us to assist you in identifying the program options and units of study.

All our qualifications issued with the CIFAL and Unitar branding as part of our ongoing relationship with the United Nations Institute of Training and Research.

ACIM Solutions- Scholarship pathways

For more information on the scholarships Click  Volunteer Scholarships AIDR

Philippa Murphy 27th, December 2018

“It’s been a watershed year. From now on, life will never be the same for regulators found wanting under the microscope of public scrutiny.” This is an interesting article out recently which reviews the performance of several economic regulatory agencies in light of the findings of the Banking Royal Commission. Although this article focused on several financial regulators, the themes are applicable to regulators across the Board. Community and other stakeholder expectations have never been higher. This makes it essential that oversight agencies remain vigilant in ensuring their compliance and enforcement policies, processes and most importantly, cultural practices are aligned with those evolving community expectations and their broader responsibilities on behalf of communities.

Training your licensing, compliance and enforcement teams is a critical part of supporting teams in understanding the current operating environment and provides a great opportunity to both upskill teams with contemporary investigative practices but also ensure alignment of their activities and cultural practices with the expectations of the Agency.

At ACIM Solutions we provide highly tailored training which incorporates and embeds in practical terms the compliance and enforcement framework of the agencies that we work with.  This ensures consistency in practices across the workforce which continues to present significant risk to regulatory agencies.  If you would like to discuss your individual development needs, or those of a group please get in touch.

https://www.smh.com.au/business/the-economy/accc-wins-watchdog-of-the-year-as-others-lick-their-wounds-20181215-p50mi1.html

Important first steps for workplace investigations

Philippa Murphy 19th, August 2018

Managing workplace complaints can be challenging. The impact on the workplace during and post the investigation can be negative and long lasting and can affect not only those involved but also team members on the periphery.

Poor investigation processes can result in disengaged staff, low morale, lost productivity, poor performance and workplace relationship breakdown that can take years to rebuild.

Facilitating a professional investigation in a timely manner using investigative processes consistent with best practice and compliant with legislative frameworks can offer a valuable opportunity to minimise the additional human resource risks to your workplace.

There are several underlying principles to positively managing workplace investigations. They are:

  • Developing and implementing consistent policies and processes around workplace investigations
  • developing strong communication practices with all those involved,
  • ensuring confidentiality,
  • recording your actions and
  • documenting decision making processes.

When are workplace investigations required?

The need to conduct an investigation into an employee’s behaviour in the workplace or otherwise in relation to his or her employment may arise in the following circumstances:

  • Where an employee lodges a complaint about the behaviour of another employee, for example sexual harassment, bullying, micro-management or various other issues.
  • Where management becomes aware of conduct by an employee that, if substantiated, may justify disciplinary action or even dismissal.

Investigative first steps

The first action to undertake is to discuss and record the information accurately from the complainant or source.

Ensure that the allegation is clearly articulated and all information to substantiate an allegation is collected. You should then advise the complainant of your proposed action to speak to the team member.  Confirm that you will keep them updated as the investigation progresses.

Following this, and in a timely manner, inform the team member of the allegation and allow them an opportunity to respond and explain any mitigating circumstances that may exist.

If the employee denies the allegations or claims mitigating circumstances, inform him or her that you intend to investigate the matter, and that your investigation will include contacting other people, including other employees and, where relevant, external parties.

You should now commence your investigation without undue delay. Any investigation of an employee’s behaviour should be conducted as soon as practicable. Delays may suggest that management does not regard the matter as serious, or even condones it.

Further, some tribunal and court cases have found that a significant delay was unfair to the employee, in that it made it harder for the employee and witnesses to recall accurately what really happened. There is also a strong argument that the unreasonable delay in investigating allegations can exacerbate the stress for those involved which can increase any subsequent workers compensation claims.

Despite the need for a timely response, the investigation still needs to be thorough. As part of this process you need to communicate the process and the timeframes you envisage to both the complainant and the team member. Be sure to highlight that any delay does not imply that the employer condones the conduct either alleged or complained about.

The next step is to conduct the investigation, which will be detailed in the next blog. In the meantime if you would like to know more training around complaint management, or would like ACIM Solutions to assist you in conducting an investigation please get in touch @ contact@acimsolutions.com.au

Conducting the workplace investigation

Philippa Murphy 19th, August 2018

Once the need for an investigation has been established, the following are our suggested steps when conducting an investigation.

Conducting the investigation

Step one when conducting a workplace investigation is to determine if your organisation is able to conduct the investigation internally or whether it would be more appropriate to use an external investigator.

The answer to this question will depend upon a number of factors including, the seriousness of the allegation and whether there is anyone in your organisation with sufficient skill, and independence from the parties, to be able to carry out the investigation with credibility.

A consideration of these factors will enable you to determine if the investigation should and can be undertaken “in-house’ or whether it should be outsourced to experts who have experience in conducting workplace investigations.

Don’t forget, depending on the outcome, the conduct of the investigation process may come under as much scrutiny as the original allegation!

The investigation should cover not only whether the alleged act or behaviour actually occurred, but also whether the employee accused or complained about was actually involved, and whether there are any mitigating circumstances.

You should only approach witnesses or other parties that you are definitely aware can help you and you must instruct them to treat the matter as confidential.

When speaking with witnesses ensure you collect facts around the specific allegation. A workplace investigation is not the appropriate process for ‘fishing expeditions’. Poor investigative practices such as these can undermine the entire investigation, jeopardise the investigation and potentially embarrass the organisation.

As part of the investigative process adhere to the principles of procedural fairness. For an employee to defend him or herself against allegations or complaints, you must provide them with sufficient details of the allegations or complaint to do so.

This is why shaping the allegations is one of the most critical parts of any investigation process as they will determine what evidence is able to be gathered and how that information can be used in the process.

The employee is entitled to seek assistance from an appropriate person, such as a union delegate, to defend him or herself.

After the investigation

If an investigation finds that an employee’s complaint is substantiated, inform the employee in another interview and advise him or her about what action you intend to take to resolve the matter.

Inform the employee (in the presence of a witness if he or she prefers) of your findings and advise what action you intend to take.

If the complaint is not substantiated, you must still inform the employee, providing some details of the nature of your investigation and the basis for your decision. Be careful not to take sides in this process, just provide the facts.

Ensure you update the complainant on the outcome of the investigation.

Keep a record of the complaint, your investigation findings and the final interview, in case the employee or complainant decides to pursue the matter through other avenues, such as legal proceedings.

If you would like assistance in conducting or managing investigative processes in your organisation, please contact us @ contact@acimsolutions.com.au

Deadly fires and mudslides: Montecito 6 months on

Philippa Murphy 10th, July 2018

It has been a fascinating week talking with members of the leadership team from Santa Barbara County Emergency management unit who worked in the response team for both the devastating Thomas Fire and the subsequent mudslides in January 2018 where 22 people died.

The scale of both significant events were unprecedented and posed complex challenges for those managing the response over an extended period.The Thomas Fire started on December 4, 2017 and was the largest in California’s modern history. It eventually burned 281,893 acres, was contained in late January 2018 but it took until last month to be finally declared as out. On Jan 9, 2018 torrential rain fell which caused the devastating mudslides to rapidly move from the charred mountains towards the sea via Montecito creating unprecedented destruction.

The After Action Review process has begun and is comprehensively assessing across all parts of PPRR. Of particular interest was hearing how the team described the challenges around the the management of the Public Alerts and Warning Systems (PAWS). The recent experience of the Northern Californian wild fires in October 2017 (44 fatalities) and the concerns around evacuation information reinforced to the team the need to notify the public early and often, even in situations where intelligence is limited or when a situation is in flux.

As a result of the Nthn Californian experience, the team quickly responded and refined their PAWS protocols and focused on developing even closer ties with mainstream media to ensure consistent information was distributed to the community. They proactively invested in their social media strategy and enhanced electronic communication tools on their website. This layered strategy of developing targeted messages, monitoring communication and responding quickly as events changed they believe really assisted with the evacuation and immediate recovery needs of 20,000 residents.

Mid term recovery is well underway and there appears to have been some great progress in terms of the infrastructure rebuild. Of course Montecito is a very affluent area of California and this has certainly made a huge difference to the progress. Notwithstanding, after driving around, and talking with locals it is obvious there is still a long way to go for many in this community who are still haunted by the events of earlier this year.

Special thanks to Brian Uhr and Melinda Clark from Santa Barbara County who gave up their valuable time to share their experiences. Their information and insight will become part of our case study reviews for our students studying emergency management.

The link below show the challenges this emergency presented:

 Mudslide clip

Health, Wellbeing and Career Confidence Workshops - NSW Police

Philippa Murphy 28th, June 2018

ACIM Solutions is really pleased to be involved with the delivery of Health, Wellbeing and Career Confidence workshops which are FREE for transitioning and retired NSW police officers and their immediate families. The workshops are part of the Back Up for Life initiative of NSW Police Legacy.

The next 3 day program is in Newcastle between (8 – 10 August, 2018 ) and will assist participants to gain an insight into strategies to support health and wellbeing, build self confidence and coping skills and gain personal and practical tools to find a new career.
 
We will be presenting the Career Confidence workshop on 10 August which will include a presentation from the Manager of Forsythes HR and Recruitment – Emily Bowen.
 
The workshop will be held at the Newcastle Exhibition and Conference Centre (NEX) at 309 King Street Newcastle.
This is a great opportunity for retired NSW Police to gather valuable information on health and wellbeing as well as identify pathways into new careers.
 
For more information:
To register your place and to find out more please contact esther@policelegacynsw.org.au or Ph: 9264 4531
https://www.policelegacynsw.org.au/what-we-do/backup-for-life/backup-workshop-newcastle/

Trainer/Assessor positions available

Philippa Murphy 21st, June 2018

Due to demand the ACIM Solutions team is expanding again and we are looking for contract Trainers/Assessors and Program Co-ordinators to work on our Investigations programs. Our team work remotely so you can be located anywhere but applicants must be prepared to travel if required for face:face workshops.

About the role
 
We have both Trainer and Assessor and Program Co-ordination roles available for our investigations programs. Even though we are based in Newcastle, our team all work remotely throughout Australia so we would welcome applicants who are based in other States and Territories. The trainer/assessor role involves developing, delivering and evaluating tailored programs that incorporate agency specific legislation, policies, procedures and context. All case studies during the program are developed around investigations that would be encountered by each organisational group or learning goals of our students. Skills in business development and in facilitating through online formats is also preferred.
 
Co-ordination roles require extensive client liaison. This ensures the programs we deliver maintain our high level of professionalism and students are well supported on their learning and development journey.
 
Benefits and perks
 
Being part of a highly qualified and professional team who are committed to developing and delivering high quality learning and development programs. Opportunities to travel around Australia and work flexibly. Above industry average payment rates.
 
Skills and experience
 
Experience working in a regulatory agency is essential and also experience facilitating vocational education programs, preferably the Certificate IV in Government Investigations PSP40416 and the Diploma of Government Investigations PSP50416. Applicants must hold the TAE40116 and must be able to travel.
 
For more information please send through your resume with contact details to anita@acimsolutions.com.au and we will be in touch.
 

Tailored Authorised Officer Training

Philippa Murphy 2nd, April 2018

ACIM Solutions is now providing tailored Authorised Officer training specifically for people working in or aspiring to work in roles requiring these functions:

  • monitoring compliance in their industry
  • assessing applications for approval
  • conducting assessments and audits
  • enforcing compliance
  • investigating incidents and complaints
  • providing advice and guidance to drive compliance.

Authorised Officers have the power to conduct patrols, inspections and intelligence operations and provide community education in relation to fisheries, earth resources and primary industries. Types of Authorised Officers working for regulatory agencies include:

  • Animal health officers
  • Biosecurity officers
  • Chemical standards officers
  • Child employment officers
  • Compliance officers
  • Earth resources inspectors
  • Fisheries officers
  • Forest compliance officers
  • Plant standards officers
  • Veterinary officers

The program is comprised of nationally recognised units of competence. Successful completion will be issued with a Statement of Attainment which can be used as a building block towards the full Certificate IV in Government Investigations PSP40416

Please contact us for more information on a tailored program for your agency click here Course enquiry

 

Investigations: Workplace Surveillance

Philippa Murphy 28th, March 2018

Increasingly investigators are being required to gather or manage evidence from mobile phones, CCTV photos and video and even recorded conversations as part of their workplace investigations.

In some of our recent investigations these types of evidence have been gathered as part of workplace equipment, by colleagues or even provided by members of the public.

As an investigator there are many factors to be mindful of when gathering electronic surveillance as evidence.Several pieces of legislation guide the practices in this important aspect of conducting contemporary investigations.

Organisational management and those who are responsible for conducting workplace investigations must be conversant with the legal framework in their State to ensure robust investigations are conducted ethically and ensure that privacy and procedural fairness obligations are being met

To read more click on our factsheet

ACIM Solutions – Electronic Surveillance Factsheet

Who we are

ACIM Solutions is a Registered Training Organisation (41002) and a NSW Government preferred provider (146291) providing contextualised training for people working in Government and the Emergency Management sector.


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