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ADF Total Workforce System

The ADF Total Workforce System (TWS) was implemented in 2016 to provide Defence with the flexibility and agility it needs to meet current and future workforce demands. The TWS acknowledges that people are our most valuable asset, and to attract and retain the right people, Defence needs a contemporary, flexible and agile workforce environment.

For individuals, the TWS recognises that there is a life outside of the ADF. To help individuals achieve the right balance between their personal commitments and service responsibilities, the TWS introduced the Service Spectrum to offer more options in the way people can serve. For the full visual representation of the Total Workforce System visit the supporting materials and resources page.

For commanders and workforce managers, accessing the workforce potential distributed across the Service Spectrum generates the required capability effects.

Service Category (SERCAT)

A SERCAT groups members into like service and duty arrangements that share mutual obligations and conditions of service.

Service Option (SERVOP)

SERVOPs provide the means to group members who provide needed capabilities where differentiated arrangements are required.

News and Resources

Find out the latest developments and great information on what Total Workforce System resources are available to download.

The Service Spectrum

The Service Spectrum describes Service arrangements in terms of Service Categories (SERCAT) and Service Options (SERVOP). The Service Spectrum is designed to provide Defence with a cohesive structural mechanism to facilitate member contribution to capability and to enable members to access flexibility during their careers.

ADF TWS graphic

Service Category (SERCAT)


SERCAT 7

SERCAT 7 description
Members of the Permanent forces rendering full-time service.

Features

The vast majority of ADF members are allocated to SERCAT 7 and collectively they represent a permanent full-time capability. SERCAT 7 represents the maximum service obligation and in return, members in this category receive commensurate conditions of service. Members in SERCAT 7 are afforded career management oversight (e.g. receive performance appraisals, career development and training) and are posted to fill an established position.

Salary & Conditions of Service

Salary
Members receive full time salary in accordance with PACMAN Chapter 3, Part 1 Salaries.

Superannuation
Entitlement is in accordance with the Acts of the relevant superannuation schemes:

Service Allowance
Members receive Service Allowance.

Other Allowances
Members may be entitled for other allowances in accordance with PACMAN.

Housing
Defence provided housing or accommodation and other housing support (subject to eligibility criteria) and DHOAS (subject to eligibility criteria) in accordance with PACMAN.

Health and Medical
Full health and medical entitlement.

Leave
Eligible for various leave types based on performing eligible service and/or meeting qualifying criteria.

Applicable SERVOPs

SERVOP G
SERVOP G is applicable to members serving in SERCAT 7 who are undertaking the ADF Gap Year Program.

SERCAT 6

SERCAT 6 description
Members of the Permanent forces rendering a pattern of service other that full-time, who are subject to the same service obligations as SERCAT 7.

Features

Members of the Permanent forces rendering less than full-time service will be allocated to SERCAT 6.

The member's pattern of service (ie approved periods of duty) will be documented in a formal Flexible Service Determination. Examples of patterns are:

  1. Days per fortnight – member attends for duty between 1 day and 9 days in a fortnight.
  2. Weeks per month – member attends for duty certain weeks in a month (a month is a 28-day period). For example:
    • 1 week on, 3 weeks off
    • 2 weeks on, 2 weeks off
    • 3 weeks on, 1 week off
  3. Months per year – member attends for duty certain months in a year (a month is a 28 day period). For example:
    • 1 month on, 2 months off
    • 2 months on, 4 months off
    • 6 months on, 6 months off
  4. Customised pattern (this may include a combination of any of the above patterns of service).

Salary & Conditions of Service

Salary
Salary is pro-rated. Salary is paid for the days a member attends for duty under their pattern of service.

Salary increments
The non-working days in a member's pattern of service still constitutes eligible service for the purposes of salary increments.

Superannuation
DFRDB
Flexible service does not affect the benefits provided under DFRDB.

ADF Super
Employer and member contributions for ADF Super are based on a member’s ordinary time earnings (ie what is earned each pay period). When ordinary time earnings are reduced under flexible service, there will be a commensurate reduction in the employer and member contribution.

MSBS
Flexible service does not affect the benefits provided under MSBS at this time. There are proposed changes to MSBS which are expected to apply in a few years. Until these proposed changes take effect, members will continue to pay contributions based on their full-time salary; with the employer contribution also based on their full-time salary. The member still has the option to vary their rate of contribution between 5 per cent and 10 per cent of their fortnightly salary.

The proposed changes to MSBS would see the member and employer contributions based on the actual fortnightly salary paid under the member's flexible service arrangement. This change to contributions is consistent with the superannuation arrangements in ADF Super and across the general community.

The bulk of MSBS benefit is the employer benefit. The employer benefit is calculated by applying a multiple to the members Final Average Salary (FAS). The multiples are 18%, 23%, 28%. These equate to the following periods of service: up to 7 years, 8 to 20 years, over 21 years. The FAS is the average full-time salary over the members final 3 years of service. Importantly, FAS for SERCAT 6 members will continue to be calculated on their full-time salary and is not under consideration for change. The proposed change will adjust the employer benefit in proportion to the hours worked under flexible service.

These explanations only outline the situation. Members should seek Subject matter expert advice from superannuation schemes prior to undertaking SERCAT 6.

Service Allowance
Members Service Allowance is pro-rated.

Salary, allowances and benefits under s58H of the Defence ACT 1903
Salary related allowances are pro-rated. These allowances are paid for the days in the member's pattern of service.

Housing and Accomodation
Eligibility to Defence provided housing or accommodation assistance is unaffected by a SERCAT 6 arrangement.
Housing contributions will increase by 50 per cent, if the pattern of service less than 130 working days in a year, or there are non-working periods exceeding 28 continuous days.

Members will remain eligible to Home Purchase and Sale expenses and the Defence Home Ownership Assistance Scheme.

Health and Medical
Members continue to access full health and medical entitlements. If hospitalised, SERCAT 6 members are returned to duty and full-time rate of pay, for the period of hospitalisation and any following period of medical absence related to the hospitalisation. Members remain SERCAT 6 during this period.

Recreation Leave
Members accrue recreation leave and additional recreation leave on a pro-rated basis iaw their pattern of service. Recreation leave credits are not debited on nonworking days. (Note: Non-working days are the days not in the pattern of service).

Allowances and benefits under s58B of the Defence ACT 1903 (eg remote location allowance, higher duties allowance) and reimbursements
Some non-salary related allowances are pro-rated. These allowances are pro-rated for the days in the member's pattern of service. Allowances that are paid on occurrence or as reimbursements for costs incurred (eg relocation and travel-related costs) are not pro-rated.

Completion and Retention bonuses
Eligible for completion and retention bonuses. Effective service is calculated based only on the days in the member's pattern of service.

MSBS Retention Benefit
The accrual of 15 years of continuous effective service for eligibility to the MSBS retention benefit applies to both SERCAT 6 and SERCAT 7 members. Service under a flexible service arrangement is considered continuous effective service. However, any gap, in member contributions to MSBS, which exceeds 21 consecutive days, is treated as a break in continuous effective service for eligibility to the retention benefit.

MWD(U) Benefits
MWD(U) will be required to pay contributions for food, accommodation and utilities on their non-working days. Reunion travel, separation allowance and the payment of food allowance will be pro-rated.

Applicable SERVOPs

SERVOP D
SERVOP D is applicable to members serving in SERCAT 6 who have received approval to enter into a dual employment arrangement between the ADF and an industry partner. SERVOP D provides an opportunity for a member to render service in the ADF while alternately working for a civilian employer under a formal shared service/employment agreement. The assignment of SERVOP D does not change the baseline obligations and conditions of service of the member's SERCAT. The dual employment agreement with the industry partner will detail the benefits to which the member will be entitled while working for that employer as well as relevant obligations.

SERCAT 5

SERCAT 5 description
Members of the Reserves who provide a contribution to capability that extends across financial years and who have security of tenure for the duration of their approved commitment to serve.

Features

SERCAT 5 provides an enduring part-time capability allowing each Service to access the skills and competencies available in the Reserve workforce to support and sustain a broad range of activities and operations. In particular, SERCAT 5 is a means to provide:

  • a longer term contribution by Reserve forces members to capability; greater stability for the member and greater certainty for units.
  • complementary people capability in support of Permanent force members rendering service in SERCAT 6
  • the ability to better plan and resource units in meeting their capability output obligations over time (e.g. Reserve augmentation to meet enduring part time capability requirements and emergent longer term taskings such as project work).
  • provision of specific skills and qualifications suited to a particular task, which are not readily available within the Permanent force.

Salary & Conditions of Service

Salary
Reserve salary is paid for each Reserve Service Day (RSD) served in accordance with PACMAN Chap 3, Part 1B.

Superannuation
Reserves undertaking RSD do not contribute to Superannuation.

Reserve Allowance
Reserve Allowance (RA) is paid for each RSD. RA is included in salary for LTCOL (e)/O5 and above.

Other Allowances
Other allowances may be payable in accordance with PACMAN.

Housing
Access to the Defence Home Ownership Assistance Scheme is available for Reserve members who meet the ‘qualifying service period’. For more information on this scheme refer to PACMAN Ch 7, Part 3A.

Health and Medical
Service related injuries, disease or death are covered under the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Scheme. Reserve members are responsible for maintaining their own health and, subject to meeting the eligibility criteria, Reserves may be eligible to receive a Health Support Allowance (HSA) in accordance with PACMAN Ch 4, Part 9, Div 3, and access to the Reserve Assistance Program (RAP) Refer PACMAN Chap 8, Part 10. Reserves are required to undergo periodic health assessments.

Leave
Each thirty days of Reserve service counts as one month service towards the accrual of long service leave (LSL) entitlement should a Reserve member subsequently transfer to SERCAT 6, SERCAT 7 or undertake a period of SERVOP C. For more information on the how LSL is calculated refer to PACMAN Ch 5, Part 5, Div 3.

Applicable SERVOPs

SERVOP G
SERVOP C is applied to members in SERCAT 5 when the member renders service on a continuous full-time service basis. Members in SERVOP C are generally afforded the same conditions of service as those provided to members in SERCAT 7, dependent on the period of service.

SERVOP G
SERVOP D is applicable to members serving in SERCAT 5 who have received approval to enter into a dual employment arrangement between the ADF and an industry partner. SERVOP D provides an opportunity for a member to render service in the ADF while alternately working for a civilian employer under a formal shared service/employment agreement. The assignment of SERVOP D does not change the baseline obligations and conditions of service of the member's SERCAT. The dual employment agreement with the industry partner will detail the benefits to which the member will be entitled while working for that employer as well as relevant obligations.

SERVOP G
SERVOP G is applicable to members serving in SERCAT 7 who are undertaking the ADF Gap Year Program.

SERCAT 4

SERCAT 4 description
Members of the Reserve forces who provide a contingent capability at short notice, with their notice to move defined by their Service.

Features

The nature of service in SERCAT 4 is characterised by the provision of capability at short notice, including through Continuous Full-Time Service (CFTS), with the length of that readiness notice and the duration of service defined by the individual Services. Service in SERCAT 4 imposes additional obligations on members (e.g. Individual Readiness compliance, higher training commitment), and in turn attracts commensurate remuneration. Members in SERCAT 4 may be afforded career management oversight (e.g. receive performance appraisals, career development and training) and are normally posted to fill an established position.
The requirement for a SERCAT 4 capability will be determined by each Service.

Salary & Conditions of Service

Salary
Reserve salary is paid for each Reserve Sservice Day (RSD) served in accordance with PACMAN Chap 3, Part 1B.

Superannuation
Reserves undertaking RSD do not contribute to Superannuation.

Reserve Allowance
Reserve Allowance (RA) is paid for each RSD. RA is included in salary for LTCOL (e)/O5 and above.

Other Allowances
Other allowances may be payable in accordance with PACMAN.

Housing
Access to the Defence Home Ownership Assistance Scheme is available for Reserve members who meet the ‘qualifying service period’. For more information on this scheme refer to PACMAN Ch 7, Part 3A.

Health and Medical
Service related injuries, disease or death are covered under the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Scheme. Reserve members are responsible for maintaining their own health and, subject to meeting the eligibility criteria, Reserves may be eligible to receive an increased Health Support Allowance (HSA) in accordance with PACMAN Ch 4, Part 9, Div 3, and access to the Reserve Assistance Program (RAP) Refer PACMAN Chap 8, Part 10. Reserves are required to undergo periodic health assessments.

Leave
Each thirty days of Reserve service counts as one month service towards the accrual of long service leave entitlement should a Reserve member subsequently transfer to SERCAT 6, SERCAT 7 or undertake a period of SERVOP C. For more information on the how LSL is calculated refer to PACMAN Ch 5, Part 5, Div 3.

Completion Bonus
Subject to meeting the eligibility requirements, SERCAT 4 members may be eligible for payment of a completion bonus after 12 months service in SERCAT 4.

Applicable SERVOPs

SERVOP C
As part of the SERCAT 4 agreement members may undertake to provide continuous full-time service, at which time SERVOP C will be applied. The period of CFTS will be defined by the Service. Members in SERVOP C are generally afforded the same conditions of service as those provided to members in SERCAT 7, dependent on the period of service.

SERCAT 3

SERCAT 3 description
Members of the Reserves who provide a contingent contribution to capability by indicating their availability to serve, or who are rendering service to meet a specified task within a financial year.

Features

SERCAT 3 comprises two discrete contingent workforce components:

  • members who have indicated a willingness to render service on an as required basis but are not yet doing so; and
  • members who are rendering service to meet a specified task within a financial year.
SERCAT 3 members not rendering service form capability pools from which the Services can draw at relatively short notice to address emergent capability needs. Dependent upon the nature and duration of the requirement a member may render service in SERCAT 3 or another SERCAT (eg SERCAT 5).

When rendering service in SERCAT 3, activities may include:

  • a short to medium term contribution by Reserve forces members to capability (eg Undertaking short-term project work)
  • complementary people capability in supprt of Permanent force members rendering service in SERCAT 6
  • provision of specific skills and qualifications suited to a particular task, which are not readily available within the Permanent force.

Salary & Conditions of Service

Salary
Reserve salary is paid for each Reserve Service Day (RSD) served in accordance with PACMAN Chap 3, Part 1B.

Superannuation
Reserves undertaking RSD do not contribute to Superannuation.

Reserve Allowance
Reserve Allowance (RA) is paid for each RSD. RA is included in salary for LTCOL (e)/O5 and above.

Other Allowances
Other allowances may be payable in accordance with PACMAN.

Housing
Access to the Defence Home Ownership Assistance Scheme is available for Reserve members who meet the ‘qualifying service period’. For more information on this scheme refer to PACMAN Ch 7, Part 3A.

Health and Medical
Service related injuries, disease or death are covered under the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Scheme. Reserve members are responsible for maintaining their own health and, subject to meeting the eligibility criteria, Reserves may be eligible to receive an increased Health Support Allowance (HSA) in accordance with PACMAN Ch 4, Part 9, Div 3, and access to the Reserve Assistance Program (RAP) Refer PACMAN Chap 8, Part 10. Reserves are required to undergo periodic health assessments.

Leave
Each thirty days of Reserve service counts as one month service towards the accrual of long service leave entitlement should a Reserve member subsequently transfer to SERCAT 6, SERCAT 7 or undertake a period of SERVOP C. For more information on the how LSL is calculated refer to PACMAN Ch 5, Part 5, Div 3.

Applicable SERVOPs

SERVOP C
SERVOP C is applied to members in SERCAT 3 when the member renders service on a continuous full-time service basis. Members in SERVOP C are generally afforded the same conditions of service as those provided to members in SERCAT 7, dependent on the period of service.

SERCAT 2

SERCAT 2 description
Members of the Reserve forces who do not render service and have no service obligation except for Call Out.

Features

Members in SERCAT 2 represent the latent (standby) component of the ADF; they are trained, former members of the Permanent and Reserve forces. Members allocated to SERCAT 2 do not render service.

Salary & Conditions of Service

Salary
You will not receive salary.

Superannuation
You will not receive superannuation.

Reserve Allowance
You will not receive Reserve Allowance (RA)

Other Allowances
You are not eligible for other allowances.

SERCAT 1

SERCAT 1 description
Employees of the APS who are force assigned to Operations and provide a direct contribution to ADF capability

Features

While those in SERCAT 1 are not members of the ADF, this Service Category has been included in the Total Workforce System in recognition of the direct contribution to ADF capability that certain members of the Defence APS make from time to time. An officer of the Defence APS will be allocated to SERCAT 1 when they are force assigned to perform duties in an Area of Operation.

Salary & Conditions of Service

There are specific conditions of employment applicable to APS employees who are deployed to an area of operations. Information is available on the APS employees overseas in an area of operation page.

Service Option (SERVOP)


SERVOP C

The nature of service in SERVOP C is characterised by the rendering of continuous full-time service by members of the Reserve. The assignment of SERVOP C is for a defined period of time and relates to the fulfilment of a specific Service need in keeping with the Reserve member’s skills, capabilities and qualifications. While participants remain in their baseline Reserve SERCAT (SERCATs 3, 4, 5) they are subject to the same service requirements, laws, regulations and procedures as a SERCAT 7 member.

Purpose

SERVOP C is used to secure capability by engaging Reserve members in full-time service. SERVOP C provides Defence with:

  • Access to personnel for the sustainment of Defence capability,
  • Access to full-time skill and talent, and
  • The provision of full-time capability to Defence to defend Australia and its national interest, as consistent with SERCAT 7.

Service

Unless subject to call-out, SERVOP C is voluntary and may be initiated by the member or Service. Members considering SERVOP C should refer to their relevant Service Instructions for the administrative process and conditions of service requirements. Subject to Service discretion, if a member is serving under a SERCAT 3, 4 or 5 agreement, that agreement may be suspended for the duration of the SERVOP C period.

Remuneration and conditions of service

Members serving in SERVOP C are generally entitled to the same remuneration and conditions of service as a SERCAT 7 member. Visit the SERCAT 7 page for further information.

SERVOP D

Members in SERVOP D render service in the ADF and also work for a civilian employer under a formal shared ‘dual employment’ arrangement. SERVOP D has been designed to enable an arrangement where Defence and industry work in partnership to share rather than compete for people with high value/in-demand skills and experience.

Purpose

The purpose of SERVOP D is to provide Defence:

  • Increased access to high value/in-demand skills
  • Development and retention of strategic capability and talented personnel within Defence and Defence industry
  • A competitive joint employment offer which is more compelling than what either Defence or industry could offer.

Service

Permanent force members can access SERVOP D through a flexible service arrangement (ie. SERCAT 6). Access to SERVOP D is also available to Reserve members in SERCAT 5.

SERVOP G

SERVOP G is available to a civilian between 17 and 24 years of age at the time of entry into the ADF and is subject to the applicant meeting relevant Service selection requirements.

Purpose

The aim of SERVOP G is to provide young Australians with a meaningful experience to gain a better understanding of the opportunities available to them in Defence, and to facilitate their potential selection for ongoing ADF service. SERVOP G supports Defence capability while providing a positive experience for young members of the Australian community as they are exposed to military training and employment.

Service

Entry into the ADF is via SERCAT 5 or SERCAT 7. Members in SERVOP G are expected to serve for a period of 12 months.



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