The PICC Evaluation: What does it mean for staff?
As most of you will know, an evaluation of PICC has been underway over the past year and many of you will have participated in surveys and interviews. The PICC Board set up the evaluation to look at what PICC has achieved over the past ten years and what we need to do and change for the future. PICC started work on the evaluation and then we received funding from DATSIP and the Departments of Child Safety and Communities to fund independent consultants, Ipsos, to complete the evaluation.
I am pleased to announce that the evaluation is now complete and we have received the final report from Ipsos. We are keen to share the findings but the full report is quite long and so we are printing a small number and also it is available on the PICC website by clicking here. A summary report highlighting the key findings is also being printed and will be made available to staff and the community as well as other stakeholders such as funding bodies.
We will be meeting with staff to discuss the evaluation.
But in the meantime, I want to provide staff with some initial information about the evaluation findings and their implications. Overall the findings are very positive about PICC, but they also point to things we need to improve and change.
What we are doing well?
The good news is that the evaluation has shown what an amazing job you are all doing in providing services and meeting needs within the community. The report confirms that clients and the community value PICC services and especially appreciate having local staff.
The evaluation also says that PICC has achieved what it was set up to do and that PICC:
- Is well managed and well governed
- Provides much needed, services for the community. These services are of a high quality and culturally appropriate
- Is important in connecting community members with services they need
- Has provided significant local employment opportunities and built a well skilled workforce
- Has contributed to building community capacity
- Has contributed to social and economic improvements for the community
What we need to improve?
Communication with the Community
An important finding was that we need to better inform the community about what we are doing, especially those who don’t use PICC services and those who may have negative ideas about PICC. Things like our revamped newsletter, the Wunja Tribal Voice, as well as our improved website and social media will help but we all need to think about how we better tell the community good news stories about what we are doing.
HR Practices and Workplace Health and Safety
Although staff feedback was generally positive about working for PICC, the evaluation strongly supported staff views that we need to continue to improve our HR practices and workplace health and safety. We are already working on this with the employment of dedicated HR staff, Michael and Charmaine, and efforts to improve workplace conditions, especially in Bwgcolman House. These issues, especially improving workplace health and safety, are ongoing priorities and will need all staff and management to work together to make PICC as safe, happy and productive a place to work as possible.
Improved Organisation Policies, Systems and Data
The evaluation also found that many of our policies and systems have served is well in the past but need to be upgraded as we grow bigger. In particular, we need to be better at collecting and using information about our clients, services and what works. Managers, co-ordinators and our new quality officer, Vicky, will be working with all staff to keep improving these things.
What else needs to change?
Changing to Community Control of PICC
One of the most important things about the evaluation is that it confirmed the importance of PICC changing is constitution to become fully community controlled. The Board has been working on this for more than a year and is now talking to the Queensland Government and Palm Island Council about giving up their shareholdings in PICC so that the Company can change to having only Palm Islanders as members who elect the Board. We believe that this is important for the future development of PICC and for the self-determination of the Palm Island community.
The Board is working with solicitors to draft a new constitution that will make PICC owned by the community but keep all the good things about how PICC works.
If this goes ahead, it will not change anything for PICC staff or services. The Board and management will ensure that the change will not affect your jobs, pay or conditions.
We will keep you informed and will have meetings to consult with staff along the way.
Where to from here?
As a first step, PICC is consulting with Palm Island Council and the Queensland Government as Ordinary Shareholders and requesting their agreement to the re-structure. If they agree, we will then consult other stakeholders including PICC staff, Community Shareholders, the wider community, funders and other service providers to ensure they are informed about both the evaluation findings and the proposed transition to community control.
We welcome any questions and feedback from staff and will be organising meetings over the coming weeks to give you more information and discuss any ideas, questions or concerns you may have. In the meantime, please talk to your co-ordinator or if you have any concerns or questions.
Mislam Sam Rachel Atkinson
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