Step 4: identify and address the training needs of managers and staff
The provision of sufficient and appropriate training to staff involved in the preparation and collection of FBT data is a key factor contributing to the integrity and reliability of FBT information.
Better practice entities will encourage FBT Managers to keep their knowledge current by including FBT training and learning activities in their annual development plan, and by establishing an annual budget allocation for FBT training.
The training needs of staff involved in preparing the FBT return should be identified and addressed early in the FBT return preparation process. This is particularly important where new staff are involved in preparing the return.
Training can be provided in a number of ways, including:
- external training, such as training provided by a professional organisation, or forums where there is formal or informal information sharing
- structured internal training presented by a person with a good working knowledge of FBT
- on-the-job training.
The extent and nature of FBT training provided to various staff with responsibility for FBT administration will depend on a number of factors, including the size and complexity of the entity, the number and type of benefits provided and the level of responsibility, knowledge and experience of relevant staff members.
A training needs self-assessment that entities can use to help identify training needs of FBT staff is available under the heading Training needs self assessment in the section titled Better practice 2: better practice checklist.
Formal handover procedures form a valuable part of the FBT training process. Whenever possible, entities should provide new FBT staff with a handover from a staff member who prepared the FBT return for the prior year.
The records of a post-lodgment review and workpaper files can be used as a basis for the handover.