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Advancing professional development through planned mobility

The following information is for APS managers who are looking to provide professional development opportunities for employees through planned mobility.

More detailed information for employees on ways to move around the APS is at Changing Jobs in the APS.

SES secondment opportunities can be seen at Learning and Development opportunities for SES.

Planned mobility

Agencies are encouraged to initiate the planned, temporary movement of targeted employees to build capability and develop a more experienced and engaged workforce.

Employee mobility initiatives include the temporary movement of staff:

  • within an APS agency–across different business areas
  • to another APS agency
  • to another organisation—including a non APS agency, statutory authority, state, territory or local government, the not–for–profit sector or a private company.

Movements can also be from another organisation into the APS, and be unilateral or involve an employee exchange.

Placements can occur in the same geographic locality or a different locality. They can include arrangements where there is no physical relocation of the employee.

Initiatives—other than within an agency—are normally based upon agreements between the participating parties through a signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that includes information about

  • the employer
  • the employee's entitlements and their funding
  • conditions of employment
  • workplace health and safety obligations
  • the roles and responsibilities of the home and host organisations and the employee.

It is common for participating employees to continue to receive existing work entitlements through a secondment arrangement to minimise administrative complexity. However, funding arrangements are a matter for the parties to determine.

Mobility initiatives do not necessarily lead to a change in an employee's entitlements unless all participating parties are in agreement.


Agencies are encouraged to consider the role of mobility initiatives in the context of business needs, workforce plans and talent management programs.

The following principles are designed to help agencies get the most from the planned, temporary movement of employees.

  1. Movement to enhance employee development is seen as a strategic initiative and is valued as part of the organisation's management of talent.
  2. Mobility initiatives enhance an organisation's workforce capability in a cost effective way and support an employee's professional development.
  3. External mobility initiatives are undertaken with an organisation that has a natural alignment with the home organisation business or the learning objectives of the participating employee.
  4. Mobility initiatives balance advantages and risk for the home organisation, the host organisation and the participating employee.
  5. The objectives for the home agency, the host organisation and the participating employee are clearly documented.
  6. Mobility initiatives are tailored to meet the needs of participating agencies and their employees.
  7. Employee mobility initiatives are evaluated for their usefulness, cost effectiveness and overall benefit to the employee, the home agency and the host organisation with a view to continually improving the way in which these initiatives are undertaken.
Last reviewed: 
5 March 2021