Review and Future Directions of the FRDC People Development Program

by | Mar 5, 2013






Client: Fisheries Research and Development Corporation

The Fisheries Research and Development Corporation (FRDC) plays a pivotal role in planning, funding and managing Research, Development and Extension (RD&E) activities for its stakeholders: the Australian Government and the fishing industry. The majority of FRDC’s RD&E investment addresses public good priorities so as to ensure sustainable fisheries management and sustainable habitats. The FRDC has taken a strong role in supporting people development, with investments across a range of areas addressing three main program themes:

  1. Leadership
  2. Workforce Development
  3. Innovation Skills

Key issues prevailing at commencement

FRDC’s current People Development Program (PDP) concludes on 30 June 2013 and the Corporation needed an independent review of the main outcomes and achievements and to identify any implications for the future. Inovact Consulting was commissioned to:

• Gauge awareness of the PDP amongst FRDC stakeholders;

• Identify current stakeholder priorities for people development investment, and compare these to current program priorities;

• Evaluate strengths and weaknesses of internal versus external program management models; and

• Document roles and/or contributions of recipients of Development Awards pre and post development, to understand whether the people invested in have increased their contribution.

Key services provided by Inovact

• Existing evidence of what had been done and achieved was examined through a desktop review that considered key performance indicators (KPIs), Annual Operational Plans (AOPs) and Annual reports.

• The views of 100 external stakeholders involved in the People Development Program were gathered through a survey to establish levels of awareness of the Program, benefits of investment in people development, current and future priorities for investment, review of program management, essential sources of information for the FRDC and leadership program and development awards.

• Preliminary findings from analysis of desktop and the external stakeholder survey were tested and refined in an FRDC workshop that involved participants from a cross section of those who had participated in the survey.

Outcomes and value to date

Following analysis of the desktop research, key stakeholder survey results, the stakeholder workshop and discussions with senior FRDC managers, the evaluation found that the Program is performing well in developing the people needs of the seafood industry and that it is well respected by its stakeholders. There was a broad awareness of the Program, with the majority of stakeholders reporting that they were satisfied with the Program. Furthermore, the Program’s people development investments were well aligned to those investment priorities reported by stakeholders.

Our findings reveal that the Program is well established and an important part of FRDC’s overall RD&E portfolio. This foundation provides opportunities for strategic changes in the focus of the Program and its management in line with the challenges of a rapidly changing industry and operational environment.

Through the survey, future priorities for people development have been determined, and that this information will help guide FRDC’s investment for the next five years.

A new five year program is being developed for consideration by the FRDC board in April 2013.


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