Latest Q&As

Our Scope and Process

Why are we doing the Corporate Functions Review and why didn’t it stay as part of Evolving Transport?

The CFR Program was set up in September 2020 following a consultation that asked if the corporate functions in Sydney Trains and NSW TrainLink should be designed as an integrated approach with the corporate functions in Transport for NSW.

Feedback received from this consultation supported the integrated design of the corporate functions of these three areas. Following this, the CFR Program was established as the best way to achieve this integrated design approach.

The CFR is not a part of the Evolving Transport organisational design program as it encompasses Sydney Trains and NSW TrainLink in addition to TfNSW. Evolving Transport is focused only on the TfNSW entity.

Who is in scope for the Corporate Functions Review?

The scope for the Corporate Functions Review includes teams from across Sydney Trains, NSW TrainLink and TfNSW across the following functions/teams:

  1. Legal
  2. Internal Audit
  3. Fraud & Corruption
  4. Communications
  5. IT
  6. SER/SEQR (some specific teams)
  7. People & Culture / People & Change
  8. Finance
  9. Procurement
  10. Office of the Secretary
  11. Risk/Compliance/Governance
  12. Strategic Projects/ TfNSW Transformation/Financial Sustainability teams

This includes those who work within TfNSW, Sydney Trains and NSW TrainLink; overall our corporate functions review include over 4,000 people. Each of these functions plays an important role in supporting and delivering for our Transport people and customers.

Is the rationale behind the Corporate Functions Review about bringing everything to Transport?

This program is not about a broad brush centralisation approach. The design approach is led by representatives across agencies and considers feedback provided by our people, Voice of the Customer (VoC) and leading practice advice.

Why are external consultants in place to lead the review process?

The program is led by representatives from across TfNSW, Sydney Trains and NSW TrainLink. KPMG and Deloitte have been engaged to partner with our program team to provide leading practice advice and to support the different stages of our design process to help inform decision making by the senior leaders across our business. A copy of the governance model can be found here.

How are learnings from previous restructures being used to inform the approach for the CFR?

We have gained a great deal of insight from previous restructures that have informed the process used throughout the CFR program. Some of the learnings we have considered and implemented include:

  • Our people want to be connected and have an opportunity to provide input into design:

To date we have fed initial feedback we received during consultation completed in August 2020 into the design process.

In addition, surveys to capture staff feedback have rolled out on a function by function basis across the business to capture advice from our people on how we can improve performance which will inform our organisational design.

We have now released the draft functional models which are open for staff feedback to further guide our organisational design moving forward.

  • We need to communicate clear information in a timely manner

We are using the CFR Intranet page as our key reference point for information. We are also working with leaders to share information via various channels including staff livestream events, team meetings, and leader newsletters.

  • Strong governance with the right representation is key

We have incorporated this into the CFR via our working groups and steering committee that include representatives from Sydney Trains, NSW TrainLink, TfNSW and representatives for the Voice of the Client.

  • Committing to timelines is critical

In December we released a proposed consultation timeline and asked for feedback on how we could improve functions across Transport.

We appreciate all the feedback received as it has informed a number of changes that have been made to our timeline including timeline clashes with the School Holidays, Forward Estimates, Budgeting 21/22 and Year End Deadlines all starting from March 2021.

Based on this feedback we have adjusted and finalised our consultation timeline which can be found here.

What role are TfNSW and Agency Leadership playing in the CFR. What systems have been put in place to assure staff that the processes followed are fair and transparent?

Our working groups and steering committee have representatives from Sydney Trains, NSW TrainLink, TfNSW and representatives for the Voice of the Client.

Our senior leadership team collectively make up the CFR Steering Committee who ensure the process our working groups follow to reach recommendations is fair and transparent and meets the principals and objectives of what we are trying to achieve in this program.

Is there a regional perspective in the working parties or committees for the review or is this being done with a Sydney only perspective?

Yes - Our working groups and steering committee have representatives representing Sydney Trains, NSW TrainLink, TfNSW and representatives for the Voice of the Client.

Are the functions that have been said to be in and out of scope locked in or will these change?

All of the functions in scope are currently engaged in detailed design workshops. These workshops provide a continually evolving view, leading to a more holistic understanding of specific functions.

We will review scope on a case by case basis. This will be based on feedback from workshops and where we identify an opportunity that makes sense to include a function or team that has a strong alignment to another in CFR.

Have the unions been consulted already?

We are engaging with our people and Unions as part of the process and will commence formal consultation in line with our requirements as we commence the consultation process.


Our Timeline

When will information be provided regarding organisational structure and job availability?

Through to March this year, we will be working through organisational design. Consultation regarding proposed organisational structures will begin from March or April 2021 after the detailed design process has been finalised and when the details of proposed organisational structures and roles are provided.

We will be consulting on a function by function basis and have shared a timeline of the CFR program that can be found here. This will continue to be updated with further detail when it becomes available.

Decision on Change vs Determination – what do they mean?

Employees of Sydney Trains and NSW TrainLink who are covered by the agency’s respective agreements are also covered by The Deed to the Enterprise Agreement.

The Deed is the industrial instrument that covers management of excess employees.

Under The Deed, after a proposed change has been consulted with impacted employees a Decision on Change is made. This date marks the point at which the Implementation Period commences. The Implementation Period is for a minimum of 6 months, but can be longer.

In TfNSW management of excess employees is covered in the MEE (NSW Government Managing Excess Employees Policy).

Determination refers to when we announce the change outcome and structures. Following this a function will move into implementation.


Role Specific Information

How will these changes affect the total number of positions?

CFR is about determining if and where functions can be better aligned and identifying opportunities to improve how we work together across our corporate functions at Transport.

Specific information on positions is not yet available as we are progressing through the design phase. It is important to reinforce that this is not about reducing the number of positions but rather looking at the right support and delivery of services, appropriately located in the business to provide the best outcomes to customers.

To what extent will these changes impact the operating agencies? (Sydney Trains and NSW Trainlink)?

The full extent of this will be understood after the detailed design phase is complete. However we are focussed on ensuring that there will be no impacts to the quality of service delivery for any of the agencies and/or ensuring we meet all of our legal and regulatory requirements,

Will the different industrial agreements for Sydney Trains, NSW TrainLink and TfNSW be considered?

We recognise there are different industrial instruments across agencies and we will meet all obligations required of us under the respective agreements we have in place – both in consultation and implementation.

How will employee development and advancement be included as part of the review process?

Providing people with clearer expectations about their role creates better pathways to career progression.

The CFR program ensures clearer delineation and consistency across roles and responsibilities no matter where they sit in the organisation. Providing people with clearer expectations about their role will enable greater opportunities for career pathing, and ensure our people are positioned to be involved in driving the agenda around their areas of expertise.

This approach can only benefit us and more significantly allow us to develop better ways of working. More specific opportunities for employee development and career progression will be at the forefront of discussions as the organisational structure is developed.

Are labour hire and contracted staff being considered in this process?

While we value all those who work within our teams, our prime focus is on managing the impact of change on our employees. We look forward to feedback and ideas from all of our people through the process.

How will targets relating to employee diversity be incorporated into the Corporate Functions Review?

The Corporate Functions Review program does not alter our commitment to achieving diversity targets across Transport.

We will actively monitor this through implementation to look for opportunities to increase diversity and ensure we do not go backward from our current position.

Is the program considering other changes happening across Transport?

We are very aware of the extent of change occurring across the organisation and the impact change can have on our people. We do need to evolve and develop in a way that benefits our community to deliver on our ten year blueprint and Future Transport strategy.

This means changing the way we work and how we are organised to deliver these outcomes. Going through change and uncertain times can be challenging - our focus is to continue to engage with our people through this time to keep them informed at each step of the way.

As part of the detailed planning, we are looking at how we will consider and align with major reform programs (such as Evolving Transport and Fit for the Future) to ensure our timelines and approach for consultation, determination/decision on change and implementation considers these other key programs.

Will redundancies be used as part of the CFR? What options will be available to staff and how will this be reconciled with existing RMS, NSWTL and ST agreements

The full extent of this will be understood after the detailed design phase is complete. However we are focused on ensuring that there will be no impacts to the quality of service delivery for any of the agencies.

We recognise there are different industrial instruments across agencies and we will meet all obligations required of us under the respective agreements we have in place

To what extent has the financial impacts of CFR been the motivator for change?

Whilst improved financial sustainability will be a result of the CFR, this is not the programs central focus and is not the lens that is being applied to make organisational design decisions. It is about ensuring the design process and model for service delivery meet the needs of all parts of Transport.

What is the placement strategy for CFR?

The placement approach for CFR will necessarily be different to ET because we are not only looking within the structure of TfNSW but across all the corporate functions and teams of Transport including Sydney Trains, NSW TrainLink. The final details of the approach are currently being worked out and we hope to provide staff with more information on the placement approach and employment arrangements this week or next.

What is consultation, how does this work ?

The detailed design aspect of org design, drawing lines and boxes, is the responsibility of our working groups, who are made up of representative from TfNSW, Sydney Trains, TrainLink and Voice of the customer. The output of this is a detailed branch structure down to individual roles that will be presented for feedback during the formal consultation period.

Consultation remains an important part of the process where staff can provide feedback on everything that is proposed, including structures, role descriptions and how those roles are proposed to be filled.

Consultation feedback is reviewed by your branch leader, as well as People and Culture. In some cases, feedback may also be reviewed by the Deputy Secretary, the wider branch leadership team and other relevant stakeholders – for example another branch leader if teams are proposed to move to another branch. Your feedback will remain anonymous throughout the process and is de-identified when required.

Determination / Decision on change is when the decision on the final structure is made, including any changes in response to feedback from consultation. No changes take effect at this stage but determination will provide certainty about the structure we will be proceeding with and any associated impacts.


Communication and support for our people

How will our people be engaged during this process?

The CFR intranet page is consistently being updated with information as it becomes available.

Information and updates are also being provided by your leadership team. We will be using a variety of ways to engage with our people, including:

  • Livestreams and Q&A’s
  • Team meeting updates
  • Targeted workshops
  • Direct leader updates
  • Email updates
  • Website updates and surveys

How is feedback from our people being collected and implemented?

The feedback provided from the initial consultation completed in August 2020 has and continues to be fed into the design process. In addition, we have captured staff ideas and feedback via surveys. This has kicked off with the IT and Legal Workstreams and will roll out across other functions throughout December and January.

What is being done to support our people’s wellbeing during the transition period?

There are a range of support tools and services available to staff

The Employee Assistance Program is available at any time for a confidential discussion.

  • The contact number for TfNSW, Sydney Metro and RMS staff is 1300 360 364.
  • The contact number for NSW TrainLink and Sydney Trains is 1300 364 213.

Further support services can also be found online at the following links:

Is the program considering other changes happening across Transport?

We are very aware of the extent of change occurring across the organisation and the impact change can have on our people. We do need to evolve and develop in a way that benefits our community to deliver on our ten year blueprint and Future Transport strategy.

This means changing the way we work and how we are organised to deliver these outcomes. Going through change and uncertain times can be challenging - our focus is to continue to engage with our people through this time to keep them informed at each step of the way.

As part of the detailed planning, we are looking at how we will consider and align with major reform programs (such as Evolving Transport and Fit for the Future) to ensure our timelines and approach for consultation, determination/decision on change and implementation considers these other key programs. You can view the CFR consultation timeline here.


The future of the Corporate Functions Review

Will the appointment of a new secretary delay CFR?

Our pivotal transformation programs, including the Corporate Functions Review, remain a key focus and important foundation for our future. We are continuing to focus on delivering the program and will engage with the new Secretary when they are confirmed.

Our Scope and Process

Why are we doing the Corporate Functions Review and why didn’t it stay as part of Evolving Transport?

The CFR Program was set up in September 2020 following a consultation that asked if the corporate functions in Sydney Trains and NSW TrainLink should be designed as an integrated approach with the corporate functions in Transport for NSW.

Feedback received from this consultation supported the integrated design of the corporate functions of these three areas. Following this, the CFR Program was established as the best way to achieve this integrated design approach.

The CFR is not a part of the Evolving Transport organisational design program as it encompasses Sydney Trains and NSW TrainLink in addition to TfNSW. Evolving Transport is focused only on the TfNSW entity.

Who is in scope for the Corporate Functions Review?

The scope for the Corporate Functions Review includes teams from across Sydney Trains, NSW TrainLink and TfNSW across the following functions/teams:

  1. Legal
  2. Internal Audit
  3. Fraud & Corruption
  4. Communications
  5. IT
  6. SER/SEQR (some specific teams)
  7. People & Culture / People & Change
  8. Finance
  9. Procurement
  10. Office of the Secretary
  11. Risk/Compliance/Governance
  12. Strategic Projects/ TfNSW Transformation/Financial Sustainability teams

This includes those who work within TfNSW, Sydney Trains and NSW TrainLink; overall our corporate functions review include over 4,000 people. Each of these functions plays an important role in supporting and delivering for our Transport people and customers.

Is the rationale behind the Corporate Functions Review about bringing everything to Transport?

This program is not about a broad brush centralisation approach. The design approach is led by representatives across agencies and considers feedback provided by our people, Voice of the Customer (VoC) and leading practice advice.

Why are external consultants in place to lead the review process?

The program is led by representatives from across TfNSW, Sydney Trains and NSW TrainLink. KPMG and Deloitte have been engaged to partner with our program team to provide leading practice advice and to support the different stages of our design process to help inform decision making by the senior leaders across our business. A copy of the governance model can be found here.

How are learnings from previous restructures being used to inform the approach for the CFR?

We have gained a great deal of insight from previous restructures that have informed the process used throughout the CFR program. Some of the learnings we have considered and implemented include:

  • Our people want to be connected and have an opportunity to provide input into design:

To date we have fed initial feedback we received during consultation completed in August 2020 into the design process.

In addition, surveys to capture staff feedback have rolled out on a function by function basis across the business to capture advice from our people on how we can improve performance which will inform our organisational design.

We have now released the draft functional models which are open for staff feedback to further guide our organisational design moving forward.

  • We need to communicate clear information in a timely manner

We are using the CFR Intranet page as our key reference point for information. We are also working with leaders to share information via various channels including staff livestream events, team meetings, and leader newsletters.

  • Strong governance with the right representation is key

We have incorporated this into the CFR via our working groups and steering committee that include representatives from Sydney Trains, NSW TrainLink, TfNSW and representatives for the Voice of the Client.

  • Committing to timelines is critical

In December we released a proposed consultation timeline and asked for feedback on how we could improve functions across Transport.

We appreciate all the feedback received as it has informed a number of changes that have been made to our timeline including timeline clashes with the School Holidays, Forward Estimates, Budgeting 21/22 and Year End Deadlines all starting from March 2021.

Based on this feedback we have adjusted and finalised our consultation timeline which can be found here.

What role are TfNSW and Agency Leadership playing in the CFR. What systems have been put in place to assure staff that the processes followed are fair and transparent?

Our working groups and steering committee have representatives from Sydney Trains, NSW TrainLink, TfNSW and representatives for the Voice of the Client.

Our senior leadership team collectively make up the CFR Steering Committee who ensure the process our working groups follow to reach recommendations is fair and transparent and meets the principals and objectives of what we are trying to achieve in this program.

Is there a regional perspective in the working parties or committees for the review or is this being done with a Sydney only perspective?

Yes - Our working groups and steering committee have representatives representing Sydney Trains, NSW TrainLink, TfNSW and representatives for the Voice of the Client.

Are the functions that have been said to be in and out of scope locked in or will these change?

All of the functions in scope are currently engaged in detailed design workshops. These workshops provide a continually evolving view, leading to a more holistic understanding of specific functions.

We will review scope on a case by case basis. This will be based on feedback from workshops and where we identify an opportunity that makes sense to include a function or team that has a strong alignment to another in CFR.

Have the unions been consulted already?

We are engaging with our people and Unions as part of the process and will commence formal consultation in line with our requirements as we commence the consultation process.


Our Timeline

When will information be provided regarding organisational structure and job availability?

Through to March this year, we will be working through organisational design. Consultation regarding proposed organisational structures will begin from March or April 2021 after the detailed design process has been finalised and when the details of proposed organisational structures and roles are provided.

We will be consulting on a function by function basis and have shared a timeline of the CFR program that can be found here. This will continue to be updated with further detail when it becomes available.

Decision on Change vs Determination – what do they mean?

Employees of Sydney Trains and NSW TrainLink who are covered by the agency’s respective agreements are also covered by The Deed to the Enterprise Agreement.

The Deed is the industrial instrument that covers management of excess employees.

Under The Deed, after a proposed change has been consulted with impacted employees a Decision on Change is made. This date marks the point at which the Implementation Period commences. The Implementation Period is for a minimum of 6 months, but can be longer.

In TfNSW management of excess employees is covered in the MEE (NSW Government Managing Excess Employees Policy).

Determination refers to when we announce the change outcome and structures. Following this a function will move into implementation.


Role Specific Information

How will these changes affect the total number of positions?

CFR is about determining if and where functions can be better aligned and identifying opportunities to improve how we work together across our corporate functions at Transport.

Specific information on positions is not yet available as we are progressing through the design phase. It is important to reinforce that this is not about reducing the number of positions but rather looking at the right support and delivery of services, appropriately located in the business to provide the best outcomes to customers.

To what extent will these changes impact the operating agencies? (Sydney Trains and NSW Trainlink)?

The full extent of this will be understood after the detailed design phase is complete. However we are focussed on ensuring that there will be no impacts to the quality of service delivery for any of the agencies and/or ensuring we meet all of our legal and regulatory requirements,

Will the different industrial agreements for Sydney Trains, NSW TrainLink and TfNSW be considered?

We recognise there are different industrial instruments across agencies and we will meet all obligations required of us under the respective agreements we have in place – both in consultation and implementation.

How will employee development and advancement be included as part of the review process?

Providing people with clearer expectations about their role creates better pathways to career progression.

The CFR program ensures clearer delineation and consistency across roles and responsibilities no matter where they sit in the organisation. Providing people with clearer expectations about their role will enable greater opportunities for career pathing, and ensure our people are positioned to be involved in driving the agenda around their areas of expertise.

This approach can only benefit us and more significantly allow us to develop better ways of working. More specific opportunities for employee development and career progression will be at the forefront of discussions as the organisational structure is developed.

Are labour hire and contracted staff being considered in this process?

While we value all those who work within our teams, our prime focus is on managing the impact of change on our employees. We look forward to feedback and ideas from all of our people through the process.

How will targets relating to employee diversity be incorporated into the Corporate Functions Review?

The Corporate Functions Review program does not alter our commitment to achieving diversity targets across Transport.

We will actively monitor this through implementation to look for opportunities to increase diversity and ensure we do not go backward from our current position.

Is the program considering other changes happening across Transport?

We are very aware of the extent of change occurring across the organisation and the impact change can have on our people. We do need to evolve and develop in a way that benefits our community to deliver on our ten year blueprint and Future Transport strategy.

This means changing the way we work and how we are organised to deliver these outcomes. Going through change and uncertain times can be challenging - our focus is to continue to engage with our people through this time to keep them informed at each step of the way.

As part of the detailed planning, we are looking at how we will consider and align with major reform programs (such as Evolving Transport and Fit for the Future) to ensure our timelines and approach for consultation, determination/decision on change and implementation considers these other key programs.

Will redundancies be used as part of the CFR? What options will be available to staff and how will this be reconciled with existing RMS, NSWTL and ST agreements

The full extent of this will be understood after the detailed design phase is complete. However we are focused on ensuring that there will be no impacts to the quality of service delivery for any of the agencies.

We recognise there are different industrial instruments across agencies and we will meet all obligations required of us under the respective agreements we have in place

To what extent has the financial impacts of CFR been the motivator for change?

Whilst improved financial sustainability will be a result of the CFR, this is not the programs central focus and is not the lens that is being applied to make organisational design decisions. It is about ensuring the design process and model for service delivery meet the needs of all parts of Transport.

What is the placement strategy for CFR?

The placement approach for CFR will necessarily be different to ET because we are not only looking within the structure of TfNSW but across all the corporate functions and teams of Transport including Sydney Trains, NSW TrainLink. The final details of the approach are currently being worked out and we hope to provide staff with more information on the placement approach and employment arrangements this week or next.

What is consultation, how does this work ?

The detailed design aspect of org design, drawing lines and boxes, is the responsibility of our working groups, who are made up of representative from TfNSW, Sydney Trains, TrainLink and Voice of the customer. The output of this is a detailed branch structure down to individual roles that will be presented for feedback during the formal consultation period.

Consultation remains an important part of the process where staff can provide feedback on everything that is proposed, including structures, role descriptions and how those roles are proposed to be filled.

Consultation feedback is reviewed by your branch leader, as well as People and Culture. In some cases, feedback may also be reviewed by the Deputy Secretary, the wider branch leadership team and other relevant stakeholders – for example another branch leader if teams are proposed to move to another branch. Your feedback will remain anonymous throughout the process and is de-identified when required.

Determination / Decision on change is when the decision on the final structure is made, including any changes in response to feedback from consultation. No changes take effect at this stage but determination will provide certainty about the structure we will be proceeding with and any associated impacts.


Communication and support for our people

How will our people be engaged during this process?

The CFR intranet page is consistently being updated with information as it becomes available.

Information and updates are also being provided by your leadership team. We will be using a variety of ways to engage with our people, including:

  • Livestreams and Q&A’s
  • Team meeting updates
  • Targeted workshops
  • Direct leader updates
  • Email updates
  • Website updates and surveys

How is feedback from our people being collected and implemented?

The feedback provided from the initial consultation completed in August 2020 has and continues to be fed into the design process. In addition, we have captured staff ideas and feedback via surveys. This has kicked off with the IT and Legal Workstreams and will roll out across other functions throughout December and January.

What is being done to support our people’s wellbeing during the transition period?

There are a range of support tools and services available to staff

The Employee Assistance Program is available at any time for a confidential discussion.

  • The contact number for TfNSW, Sydney Metro and RMS staff is 1300 360 364.
  • The contact number for NSW TrainLink and Sydney Trains is 1300 364 213.

Further support services can also be found online at the following links:

Is the program considering other changes happening across Transport?

We are very aware of the extent of change occurring across the organisation and the impact change can have on our people. We do need to evolve and develop in a way that benefits our community to deliver on our ten year blueprint and Future Transport strategy.

This means changing the way we work and how we are organised to deliver these outcomes. Going through change and uncertain times can be challenging - our focus is to continue to engage with our people through this time to keep them informed at each step of the way.

As part of the detailed planning, we are looking at how we will consider and align with major reform programs (such as Evolving Transport and Fit for the Future) to ensure our timelines and approach for consultation, determination/decision on change and implementation considers these other key programs. You can view the CFR consultation timeline here.


The future of the Corporate Functions Review

Will the appointment of a new secretary delay CFR?

Our pivotal transformation programs, including the Corporate Functions Review, remain a key focus and important foundation for our future. We are continuing to focus on delivering the program and will engage with the new Secretary when they are confirmed.

Page last updated: 25 February 2021, 13:37