Department of Health

Healthy Workers Initiative


Organisational Capacity

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The service is capable of delivering and supporting the programs being offered.
RationaleLong term healthy lifestyle choices are best supported by services capable of consistently and reliably delivering the interventions needed to facilitate the necessary changes. Organisations have a responsibility to their clients to deliver what they say they will and to do it in a sustainable way.
Organisational Capacity CriteriaWhy/How/ResourcesSuggested Evidence
6.1 The service articulates its business/program scopeWhy:
A clear scope statement defines exactly what the service will provide and what it will not.
Understanding an organisation scope:
  • means providers can be clear about what interventions/programs they deliver and clients and participants can have clear expectations about what is available
  • facilitates targeting of resources
  • clarifies staff and participant roles
  • enables funding bodies to have clarity on what they are getting for their money
  • identifies gaps in programs in the wider delivery network.
  • Identifying business service scope involves understanding:
    • what the objective of the service is
    • who the target population is
    • what programs/facilities are to be offered
    • where the program will be provided
    • what resources are needed to provide the program (space, facilities, equipment, staffing, financing)
    • what is the funding source and what is the funding for
    • what the service does not provide (service exclusions)
  • Documenting service scope in relevant documentation e.g. business plan, mission statement, handouts, etc.
The following may be used as a guide: Business Planning Template Starting Your Business Checklist Business Plans, Guides and Templates. Planning Your Club
Evidence may include copies of:
  • mission statement or similar
  • service goals
  • business plan
  • capability statement
  • program schedule
Organisational Capacity CriteriaWhy/How/ResourcesSuggested Evidence
6.2 The service role models healthy living Why:
Credibility is key to being successful in supporting organisations and participants to make healthier lifestyle choices. Health promotion organisations “walking the talk” are a good role model to those wanting to improve their lifestyle choices. In addition, providers have a social responsibility to implement approaches that role model their health promoting values.
Consider the following examples and implement strategies that are relevant to your context:
  • visibly behave the way the service advocates and support this behaviour consistently in all interactions with the clients/participants
  • implement a staff wellness program
  • provide low cost options for your workforce to participate in the services programs to support healthy lifestyles
  • provide healthy food and drink options for participants e.g. fruit and/or cool water drink station, limit poor food choices
  • provide staff facilities to support physical activity e.g. change rooms, showers, bike racks
  • implement no smoking policies
  • reduce non-healthy food options e.g. policies on types of food offered at catered events, avoiding fundraising with chocolates, healthy alternatives in vending machines.
  • encourage workforce participation in local activities e.g. fun runs.
Resources: Wellness Matters
Evidence may include copies of:
  • healthy food choices available for staff and participants
  • no smoking policy
  • an organisation Health, Safety and Wellness policy
  • types of exercise or change facilities available for staff

At least one sample of any of the above along with actions for improvement
Organisational Capacity CriteriaWhy/How/ResourcesSuggested Evidence
6.3 The service has an articulated effective governance structureWhy:
Governance refers to “The processes by which organisations are directed, controlled and held to account. It encompasses authority, accountability, stewardship, leadership, direction and control, exercised in the organisation”
Effective governance ensures that decisions about the service are made clearly and transparently and that the contribution, role and responsibilities of each participant in the decision making process are clearly defined. Effective communication and information sharing support a good governance process.
Effective governance requires a focus on:
  • structure
  • process
  • monitoring.
  • define the governance structure for the service e.g. board, advisory committee, Chief Executive Officer or other lead decision makers (program sponsor, individual, group)
  • outline roles and responsibilities and decision making capacity
  • identify decision making capacity of individuals in the structure and any accountability for decisions and outcomes.
  • develop policies and procedures to support the scope of business provided – consider the following as referenced in other performance criteria:
    • Health and Safety
    • Discrimination and Harassment
    • No smoking
    • Confidentiality and data management
    • Community engagement
    • Complaints and feedback
    • Risk assessment
    • Recruitment and dismissal of staff
    • Quality and monitoring
    • Education and training
    • Sponsorship or fundraising
    • Financial management and audit
Governance methods and processes for policy making and approval
  • define how human resource and finances are managed and who holds responsibility for these
  • ensure compliance with legislative requirements
  • implement communication and decision making processes to describe what is decided, where and how relevant people know about it and contribute to decisions.
  • develop a process to monitor the organisation’s performance in relation to:
    • program quality
    • human resources
    • finance
Sole providers can apply the processes of ‘how’ (as stated above), although it will be to a lesser degree. Sole providers should consider their structure and relationships with accountants, financial institutions, tax office etc.
Links to community organisation governance resources: Code of Governance for the Australian Community Sector Strengthening Governance
Examples of relevant policies Policy Bank
Evidence may include copies of:
  • a documented organisational structure
  • definitions of role responsibilities and accountabilities
  • program performance reporting processes
  • defined pathways for decision making
  • defined roles, job descriptions or Terms of Reference for committees, groups and individuals
  • list of policies
  • sample policy and procedures
  • minutes of meetings that demonstrate monitoring
Organisational Capacity CriteriaWhy/How/ResourcesSuggested Evidence
6.4 Resource allocation is managed to achieve efficiency and effectiveness.Why:
Resource allocation is the scheduling of activities taking into account the time and resources available. Resources are obtained, distributed, operated and maneuvered under a management’s control. To maximise efficiency and effectiveness of resource allocation, management require information on the resources available to them and their effectiveness in achieving a program’s purpose.

Resources include: people, material, equipment, money and information. Effectiveness and efficiency can be influenced by an organisation’s investment in customers, suppliers, training, leadership, employees, processes, technology and innovation.

Providers need to be financially and operationally viable to ensure effective delivery of programs. Financial and other resource management processes must ensure efficient and effective use of resources. Providers need to:
  • identify, structure and prioritise the organisation goals and objectives
  • identify existing resources
  • prioritise the goals and objectives
  • consider alternative approaches to current practice or low priority areas
  • prioritise resources to areas of a business which are key to delivering the overall aims and objectives.
Providers need to have appropriate processes in place to:
  • maintain solvency
  • prioritise and manage resource allocation and budget
  • manage funds appropriately
  • monitor expenses and manage budget variance
  • identify sources of funding for future programs / growth
  • review expenditure to ensure maximum value for money
  • ensure facilities and equipment are maintained.
Community organisation financial management advice link: Financial Management and Your Community Group Resource Plan Template Resource Plan Template
Evidence of robust resource management may include:
  • resource plan
  • statement from accountant or financial auditor to say organisation is viable
  • equipment maintenance plan if relevant
  • annual report
  • reconciliation process

Organisational Capacity CriteriaWhy/How/ResourcesSuggested Evidence
6.5 The service identifies approaches to achieve program / organisation sustainability.

(See also 2.3)
Successful services are those that best adapt to change, anticipate future needs and aim for added value. Sustainability refers to the capacity of a service to constantly renew itself and to keep working effectively for its members or clients. Where the foundation of a service is embedded in and responsive to the economic, human and the environmental impact on operations, there is more likely to be long term program/organisation success. Continual evolvement is vital.

Economic sustainability is a major issue for many community organisations and small businesses especially when employment of staff is needed. Many providers rely on government grants to provide programs.
Whilst this may be an unavoidable fact of business life, providers need to consider issues of sustainability including:
  • alternative funding options including fee for service or partnership with other providers such as community and health providers, advocacy groups, educational professionals, private providers, academics, public health planners
  • awareness of relevant tax and GST obligations.

Human sustainability involves capacity building, networking, cultural sustainability, sustaining boards and committees, as well as volunteers and staff. Capacity building is a key component of organisational sustainability and works to strengthen the ability of community organisations and programs to build their structures, systems, people and skills.

Environmental sustainability has become a social priority especially with increased knowledge and awareness of global warming. A provider that focuses on decreasing carbon emissions, use of energy/renewable energy and waste along with wise use of water and active recycling will assist the well being of the community in which it operates.

How: (See also 2.3)
  • periodically review the service, including where it has come from, where it is going to and a review of the vision and goals
  • active commitment by leaders to ensure socially responsible leadership
  • actions to consider for economic sustainability include:
    • development of a financial reserves policy (funds retained by an organisation to help meet future needs)
    • risk assessment
    • enrolment on government or private sector funding/ tender websites
    • innovative approaches to program delivery e.g. approach other providers or funders to establish mutually beneficial relationships considering development of Memoranda of Understanding, joint bids for funding, partnership agreements
    • seek corporate sponsorship
    • develop a fee / donation policy
    • in kind support (equipment/volunteers)
    • actions to consider for human resource sustainability include:
      • active retention and succession planning of the workforce (paid, unpaid and those under license) focusing on promoting continued program delivery
      • introduction of workforce wellness programs
      • staff development/education/training/mentoring
      • ensure appropriate staff numbers and mix
      • plan replacements for leave and absentees
      • planned approach to recruitment
      • keep up to date on environmental sustainability options and consider their application into the organisational / program environment.

Australian Tax Office GST guidelines for the not for profit sector: Revenue plan templates Webpage blueprint GST Tips for Non Profit Organisations Earn your stars Why take up the challenge Guidance on Financial Reserves Policies
Evidence may include:
  • a revenue plan public liability insurance a financial reserves policy fee policy
  • sponsorship agreements
  • partnership memorandum of understanding
  • Human resource: staff turnover rate
  • recruitment, retention and succession planning
  • workforce wellness programs
  • Environmental: environmentally friendly activities/ processes the organisation has in place

Organisational Capacity CriteriaWhy/How/ResourcesSuggested Evidence
6.6 The service declares funding sources and has explicit policies for donations, sponsorship and marketing.Why:
Providers need to have a transparent approach to ensuring any sponsorship or funding is declared in regular financial reports, as well as making these sources known to participants through a variety of communication avenues (e.g. brochures, websites). This will assist in avoiding potential conflict of interest and allowing participants to make informed choices about their provider.

Providers must not use an opportunistic approach to marketing its own products when providing government funded programs or without the explicit approval of the employer.

Donations and grants must be acknowledged in financial statements documents and ideally advertised on program promotional information. Documentation outlining management of these funds must be kept current.

Develop and implement robust and transparent management policy/procedures for:
funding sources
accountability of funds
marketing of commercial products and other services
donations, bequests and sponsorship.

Resources: Financial Policy Guidelines Financial Policy Example Working Together for NSW: Good Funding Policy and Practice Social Media Policy Tool$file/social_marketing.pdf Consumer Affairs Victoria: Social Marketing and Consumer Policy
Evidence includes:
  • policy for donations, sponsorship and marketing
  • marketing policy in accordance with agreements or contracts signed with funders
  • display of funding sources on program promotional material

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Published date: July 2012