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Australian Public Service (APS) Employee Census

Updated 29 / 11 / 2023

About the APS Employee Census

The APS Employee Census (the Census) is a confidential survey of all eligible employees who are employed under the Public Service Act 1999. It typically runs over the month of May, closing in early June each year. Although participation is encouraged, completion of the Census is voluntary.

The Census is used to collect confidential attitude and opinion information from employees on important issues in the workplace. Matters include employee engagement, wellbeing, innovation, performance management, leadership, and general impressions of the APS.

The Census results also help inform the State of the Service report – which is the Australian Public Service Commissioner's annual report to Parliament on the state of the APS.

The Commission's results

The Census results help the Commission identify areas of strong performance and opportunities for further development. They help to track how the Agency is progressing on key organisational strategies, initiatives and workplace culture.

The 2023 Highlights report containing the Commission’s agency level Census results is now available. The 2023 Census was completed by 90% of Commission staff.

The Highlights report contains a summary of the Commission’s Census results across a range of areas and includes aggregated agency data – as all Census reporting is subject to strict privacy rules.

The Australian Public Service Commission’s website provides access to the APS overall results and agency-specific results, with an explanatory guide on how to interpret the results. The guide also contains further information on the purpose and approach to gathering Census data.

Action plan

In 2023, for the first time, APS agencies were required to publicly release an action plan that sets out how the 2023 results will be addressed.

The Commission’s action plan outlines our top four target areas, underpinning goals and the key actions that are being taken to achieve our goals. Our top four target areas include:

  • Health and wellbeing
  • Communication and change management
  • Workplace culture
  • Talent management.

Download the 2023 Census results and action plan