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ADF Total Workforce Model

Why do we need the ADF Total Workforce Model?


The Australian workforce is facing a skills shortage. Over the next decade the number of people leaving employment will be much more than the number of people joining the workforce, creating strong competition for people. The ADF TWM has been developed to meet this challenge; to attract and retain the people we need.

Research and feedback from over 10,000 ADF personnel revealed that Permanent members want more flexibility and Reservists are seeking more opportunities to serve.

The TWM enables the ADF to draw on the skills and experience of its entire workforce in a more agile and integrated way, so the Services can access the right people at the right time to get the job done.


Work Flexibility

Find flexibility in the way you can serve

While the ADF already has flexible work arrangements in place such as the ability to work from home, work from another location, or work in a different pattern to core work hours, a new flexible service arrangement under the provisions of the Total Workforce Model (TWM), is also available. The model contains flexible work options where, with approval from the respective Service (Navy, Army or Air Force) and subject to service capability requirements, you may be able to work part-time such as days per fortnight or weeks per month. The TWM is designed to better meet both individual needs, and the needs of the ADF, now and into the future.

How can it benefit me?

While the ADF will predominately remain a full-time force, the TWM provides flexible service options to make it easier to balance career and personal commitments. Over the course of a military career, if personal circumstances change, there are options available to help you continue to serve.
These options can be requested at different stages in a military career, either as part of the permanent or the Reserve force. For example, you may wish to apply to serve flexibly when you need to help care for family members, wish to undertake non-Defence related studies, training or travel.

How does the model work

  • The model provides you access to a range of service categories and options that best reflect your availability and service obligations. These range from permanent members working full-time or part-time, and Reserve members working full-time or part-time. There are different conditions of service for each of the service categories.
  • The model also makes it easier for you to apply to transfer between the service categories.

By enabling different career opportunities for different life stages, the TWM helps to make the ADF a more sustainable longer-term career.

For more information about the TWM’s Service Categories and Service Options, visit our Service Spectrum page


CDF Overview

CDF Air Chief Marshal, Mark Binskin, AC

There is no doubt people are the Australian Defence Force's core capability. Our strength is in the quality of our people, rather than the size of our force, so we want to help you reach your full potential. That's why we've developed a Total Workforce Model to better meet your needs, and the needs of the ADF, now and into the future.

As a modern and responsive employer, we know there will be times in every ADF member's career when you'll need a degree of flexibility. We want to support that flexibility, without reducing military capability. We also know our reservists want to contribute more. A Total Workforce Model supports skilled people who want to stay with us longer, and better enable contributions from the whole workforce.

A Total Workforce Model better enables mobility across full-time and part-time service categories as your personal circumstances change. It also enhances Defence capability by allowing the Service Chiefs to draw on a more diverse pool to deliver the right force, in the right place, at the right time. They'll also be able to make greater use of the latent but proven capabilities inherent in the ADF Reserve workforce.

A Total Workforce Model offers improved access to flexible career options. What we have offered in the past was very competitive compared with other Australian employers, but the Total Workforce Model helps us to achieve best practice.

A Total Workforce Model allows the Service Chiefs to manage the number of people who access flexible service arrangements at one time to achieve the best balance for the ADF and the individual member. Obviously we can't have a completely part-time force; but we can achieve a better mix.

We're taking time to deliver the Total Workforce Model because we want to get it right. We want to make sure that what we put in place is fit-for-purpose and enduring so we can better meet your needs as a valued member of the Australian Defence Force.

Air Chief Marshal, Mark Binskin, AC


Project Suakin

The ADF Total Workforce Model has been developed, in consultation with the Services, by Project Suakin. The ADF TWM will be implemented by the Services from late 2016 onwards, according to single Service schedules.

Project Suakin's Vision:

Securing Defence capability through a flexible, contemporary and sustainable workforce.

Project Suakin's Mission:

Assist the Services to embed the ADF Total Workforce Model in their workforce and people management practices so that organisational and workplace flexibility enables the generation and sustainment of ADF capability.