ACA Resource Sharing System
The ACA Resource Sharing System (RSS) is a very timely employment initiative designed to assist members in retaining valuable staff by entering into short-term secondment agreements.
For several years the ACA has been developing a Resource Sharing System to expand upon a long-held but unofficial practice within the architectural profession of loaning staff from one office to another.
The cyclical nature of the construction industry can create an insecurity of workflow. Unfortunately, this can lead to architectural practices resorting to underbidding fees, losing money and then ultimately retrenching staff. Quality people are lost from the profession and the wider industry, with many practices unable to retain valuable staff. Each time this occurs the profession loses some of the brightest talent, who unfortunately do not return when the economy picks up.
While economic fluctuations are beyond the ACA’s control, we believe we can assist to smooth the curve and importantly maintain the employment of valuable staff by broadening the loan system.
Why is the RSS important?
At the onset of the COVID-19 crisis, the ACA connected with its members across the country to find out exactly what support they needed. Overwhelmingly, staffing issues presented as a key concern, with practices forced to make staff reductions, standing employees down, cutting their hours and/or considering redundancies. Many were also asking about secondment opportunities.
The introduction of JobKeeper during COVID-19 restrictions was a valuable game changer for many in our industry. However, during this period staff on JobKeeper could not be made available for secondment. With the decision to end JobKeeper at the end of March 2021, there is a renewed need for measures to retain and sustain employees in the workforce now and into the future. The RSS can help with these challenges.
How does it work?
This peer to peer collegiate networking system enables the identification of available and required short-term secondments, matching employees and projects on the basis of skill, experience, location and timeframe. It has a mapping application built in for geographical search functionality.
It connects practices together at a Director to Director level where opportunities can be explored and agreed upon, and short-term secondment agreements set in place.
The RSS is also supported with the ACA Secondment Agreement.
The RSS is primarily intended to enable practices to maintain quality valued staff during downturns and enable staff to expand their networks and gain different work experience while still maintaining and accruing entitlements such as annual leave, personal and long service leave. This is achieved through short-term, project focused secondments. The aim is to provide greater certainty in employment for many members of the profession.
What are the benefits?
The RSS is a straightforward system designed to ensure that valuable and talented architects retain employment within the profession. It features simple short-term secondment agreements between Directors, but these have the potential to save architectural practices tens of thousands of dollars a year in recruitment costs and/or redundancy payments.
The RSS should also give a greater level of confidence in employing staff in the knowledge that there is an option other than termination if work volumes reduce.
We strongly encourage you to make use of the RSS. If you have a short-term shift in your staffing needs, please consider using the Resource Sharing System and keeping your information up to date. Please help to create and maintain this live and useful tool to help support the needs of all ACA member practices.
How do I access the RSS?
The ACA Resource Sharing System (RSS) is accessible to ACA members at no cost. You can log in to the RSS here.
This service is only as good as the number of members that use it. The greater the level of participation, the more valuable the tool will become. As it is in its infancy, we welcome any comment or feedback that can assist in further developing and improving the tool. Please note that this is a desktop version. We intend to release a mobile version in future.
For more information and to give feedback, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
The ACA looks forward to supporting you and your practice, so we can retain and encourage architectural talent within our communities.