Enabling legislation, functions and objectives
HWA was a statutory authority established under the Health Workforce Australia Act 2009 (the HWA Act). The Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997 (CAC Act) also applied to HWA in relation to reporting and accountability, banking and investment and conduct of officers. The HWA Act outlined HWA’s operations and functions. The HWA Act established the HWA Board as the governing body of HWA. The Board was responsible for ensuring the proper and efficient performance of HWA’s resources. HWA’s functions and powers as outlined within the HWA Act are reproduced below.
HWA had the following functions:
- To provide financial support for the delivery of clinical training (including simulation training) for the purposes of the health workforce by making payments to or in respect of:
- Eligible students undertaking or proposing to undertake eligible clinical training; or
- Persons providing eligible clinical training or facilities for eligible clinical training.
- To provide other support for the delivery of clinical training for the purposes of the health workforce (for example, by providing services for the purpose of matching students with suitable courses providing clinical training);
- To carry out research, and collect, analyse and publish data or other information, for the purpose of informing the evaluation and development, by the ministerial conference, of policies in relation to the health workforce;
- To develop and evaluate strategies for development of the health workforce;
- To advise the ministerial conference on matters relating to the health workforce; and
- Such other functions (if any) as may be conferred on it by the regulations.
The HWA 2013-14 Work Plan, was approved by Health Ministers.
The HWA Board was responsible for ensuring the proper and efficient performance of HWA’s functions, as specified in Section 5 of the HWA Act. The Board had power to do all things necessary and convenient to be done for, or in connection with, the performance of its duties.
Board members were appointed by the Commonwealth Health Minister, in consultation with state and territory Health Ministers. Appointments were made on a part-time basis for a minimum of three years and a maximum of five years. All Board members were non-executive directors.
During the Reporting Period the responsible Ministers for HWA were the Hon. Tanya Plibersek, Minister for Health and Medical Research and the Hon Peter Dutton, Minister for Health and Minister for Sport.
Section 39 of the HWA Act enabled HWA to establish committees to advise or assist it in the performance of its functions. In the Reporting Period, the HWA Board was supported by the following committees. Each committee comprised of representatives from key stakeholder organisations within the relevant sector.
Audit and Risk Management Committee
The HWA Audit and Risk Management Committee provided oversight of, and advised the Board on, matters relating to annual financial reporting, risk management, fraud control and internal and external audit functions. Its key responsibilities included monitoring of the HWA Risk Management Framework, Compliance Framework and Fraud Control Framework. The committee met four times during the Reporting Period.
The HWA Finance Committee advised the Board on matters relating to the management of HWA’s finances. It performed a range of functions, including preparing HWA’s annual budget for consideration by the Board, monitoring and reporting on financial performance and developing strategies for improving HWA’s financial performance. The Committee met four times during the Reporting Period.
The HWA Remuneration Committee advised the Board on matters relating to the remuneration of employees of HWA. It performed a range of functions including reviewing and advising the Board on HWA staff remuneration guidelines and competency frameworks, and providing guidance on remuneration-related elements of draft HWA enterprise agreements. The committee did not need to meet during the Reporting Period.
Standing Advisory Committees
The four committees which advised and guided projects in their related areas were:
- Standing Advisory Committee for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Workforce, which met three times during the Reporting Period;
- Standing Advisory Committee for Health Professions, which met three times during the Reporting Period;
- Standing Advisory Committee for Higher Education and Training, which met three times during the Reporting Period; and
- Standing Advisory Committee for Non-government Organisations and the Private Sector, which met three times during the Reporting Period.