CPSU members in Smart Centres have made significant progress in efforts to improve Technical Peer Support (TPS).

When issues were raised last year about TPS arrangements in Smart Centres, CPSU members worked with their delegates to develop clear and detailed recommendations to improve the system both for staff providing TPS and those workers who rely on the support.

They then collected signatures on a petition calling on Services Australia to adopt their recommendations and approached National Workplace Relations and the General Manager of Smart Centre Operations.

The good news is that Services Australia is already picking up some of the recommendations and has committed to working through the issues.

Key points that the agency has already advised of include:

  • TPS Skill tags should not be being applied to staff that had not done the training.
  • A ‘participation pathway’ support program has been launched for after training support for staff doing TPS.
  • TPS training with a live trainer is now an option, rather than online packages only.
  • That it wasn’t clear in the Operational Blueprint that TPS staff are not required to ‘misrepresent themselves as supervisors’. The Operational Blueprint is being reviewed and there was a commitment to communicated changes to staff. Please note, these calls should be going to staff classified APS 5 or above. 
  • They do not seek to limit the after-call work time on TPS work. Services Australia also confirmed that it is reviewing the way that TPS operates and advised it is currently working through issues with around 70 staff invited to provide feedback.

From here, your representatives will be meeting with Services Australia to further discuss member feedback. Our union is also developing some TPS specific resources for delegates to assist members.

Over the last year, Smart Centre CPSU delegates have been working together with members towards a better service, a better pathway to undertake TPS work and better on the job experiences. The fact that Services Australia is taking these matters on is a great reflection of members’ efforts to address issues and improve support.

Our Smart Centre delegate network will continue to look at how the agency implements changes and continue to provide member feedback where it's needed.

Contact us with TPS issues

These are positive developments, but it certainly doesn’t mean that all issues have been resolved.

Whether you work in a Smart Centre or other business lines, if you have concerns about how TPS is being implemented, how skill tags are added or any other matter, please contact your delegate, email [email protected] or contact the CPSU Member Service Centre on 1300 137 636.