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Business and compliance skills:


Business and compliance encompasses the broad range of skills required by industry to run a successful business, and to understand relevant regulatory requirements and maintain compliance.

Though there are many business skills that a successful business leader will have, key skills may include sound financial and project management skills, along with the ability to plan, and effectively manage resources. In addition, understanding the regulatory environment in which the industry is operating is necessary, to ensure that the company adheres to industry standards and rules, follows internal compliance guidelines, and maintains dialogue with regulatory bodies for the industry.

56% of IRC Skills Forecasts identified this skill as a priority

The project Supply Chains is examining the implications of the major change underway across and within supply chains due to the impact of automation, robotics, big data and other new technologies. The skills needed to support innovation and new technologies will be the key to the future success of industry throughout the supply chain. This project is one of nine cross-sector projects being undertaken by the Australian Industry and Skills Committee to address common skills needs, minimise duplication and consolidate existing training units. 

Industry skills needs

Business and compliance skills are ranked as the 4th highest-priority by industry, with 56% of individual IRC Skills Forecasts listing them as a priority for their workforce.

When considering the IRC’s ranking of generic skills, business and compliance skills were not included as a potential category. However financial skills (which align somewhat with business and compliance skills) were included and ranked 11th (out of 12). The industries that ranked financial skills highly in their generic skill ranking were:

  • Agriculture, Horticulture and Conservation and Land Management
  • Local Government
  • Animal Care and Management
  • Financial Services.

50% of priority skills identified by the Australian Food, Beverage and Pharmaceutical Product Manufacturing industry were business and compliance skills.

    The business and compliance skills prioritised by the Australian Food, Beverage and Pharmaceutical Product Manufacturing industry included:

    • Cellar door operations
    • Higher-level strategic planning and management skills
    • Advanced supply chain management skills
    • Work health and safety and risk management
    • Advanced food safety and Pharmaceutical auditing and compliance skills.

    40% of priority skills identified in the Skills Forecast for the Australian Meat Processing industry, were business and compliance skills.

      In the Skills Forecast for the related industry, Australian Meat Processing, the priority business and compliance skills identified included:

      • Skills to undertake Threat and Vulnerability Assessments
      • Warehousing and logistics skills.

      The specific type of business and compliance skills prioritised by industry clusters were split fairly evenly, with:

      Approximately 54% of Business & compliance skills prioritised in Skills Forecasts were focused on business skills, while approximately 46% were focused on compliance skills.

       Business skills:

       Compliance skills:

      • Business process skills (including Lean & Six Sigma etc)
      • Organisational Planning
      • Workforce Development
      • Financial skills
      • Business and Financial Management
      • Small Business Management
      • Supply Chain and Logistics
      • Risk Management
      • Project Management.
      • Understand Regulatory Frameworks
      • Work Health and Safety
      • Workplace Safety and Compliance
      • Ethics and Conduct
      • Skills to adapt and respond to Changing Government Policies, Industry Code of Practices and WHS Procedures.

      Case studies

      Transport industry cluster

      This industry cluster consists of 4 IRC industry sectors, each of which identified compliance-related skills as priorities for their workforce:

      • Transport and Logistics
      • Maritime
      • Rail
      • Aviation
      Work health and safety and Compliance skills (or a combination of both) were reported in the IRC Skills Forecasts for each of these industries:




      of priority skills were compliance-related for both the Transport and Logistics, and Maritime industries.

      of priority skills were compliance-related for the Rail sector, which identified Work health and safety skills as a priority.

      of priority skills were compliance-related for the Aviation sector, which identified Compliance skills as a priority.

      These quotes highlight why business and compliance skills have been prioritised in the Transport industry cluster:

      Any changes made to the regulatory environments in the Transport and Logistics industry directly affect the workforce, with companies requiring to upskill or retrain workers to meet these requirements... Industry have indicated that compliance, driving and WHS skills are their highest priority over the next five years. (Transport and Logistics IRC Skills Forecast).

      There is an ever-present tension between meeting regulatory compliance requirements and maintaining global competitiveness in the Maritime industry. The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) will assume responsibility for the direct provision of certification and compliance services on 1 July 2017. This will have considerable impact on the workforce, and industry have acknowledged that developing compliance skills is a priority as a result. (Maritime IRC Skills Forecast).

      Safety remains a major focus for the Rail industry... Workplace health and safety was identified by industry as a priority skill for the workforce and further integration of rail compliance and regulations into the Training Package will become increasingly important. (Rail IRC Skills Forecast).

      There is an increased focus on skilling requirements related to safety management systems, aviation compliance and control. (Aviation IRC Skills Forecast).

      Tourism, Travel and Hospitality

      16% of priority skills identified by the Tourism, Travel and Hospitality industry were business skills.

      This industry is broad and encompasses a range of sub-sectors which identified business-related skills needs, including:

      • Tourism
      • Hospitality
      • Holiday parks & resorts

      All identified Business skills as a priority skill for their workforce.

      • Travel


      Identified Business development as a
      priority skill for their workforce

      • Exhibitions and events


      Identified Project management as a
      priority skill for their workforce.

      Only the Cookery and Catering sub-sector did not identify business and compliance skills as a priority.

      These quotes illustrate the importance of business and compliance skills for the Tourism, Travel and Hospitality industry:

      Industry reports ongoing need for staff development and training in basic business skills. Financial skills such as basic accounts and cost control, as well as human resources and  management skills, are required across all sectors, particularly at a middle-management level as employees move from operational to supervisory and management roles.

      Risk and crisis management skills and basic business skills such as financial, human resources and management skills will be of critical importance in the future tourism, travel and hospitality workforce. (Tourism, Travel and Hospitality IRC Skills Forecast)

      Updated: 29 May 2018
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