This particular client applied for the role of Compliance & Risk Manager within an APS government department, Defence. The application was very well received with the selection panel verbalising as such during the interview process. Several APS departments request that you outline barriers/challenges when addressing selection criteria and preparing relevant examples/answers. This application required the addressing of six criteria each with a corresponding maximum 400-word length limit. Following are full excerpts of two of the criteria which showcase not just well-written STAR (Situation-Task-Action-Result) examples, but how the barrier/challenge component should be written and incorporated. Read more on the STAR model on Services – Selection Criteria page.

Experience in identifying and analysing risks and compliance issues and developing effective solutions or remedial actions…

Throughout my career I have been responsible for identifying, monitoring, assessing, analysing and providing solutions to risk, based on compliance with security, occupational health and safety policy and legislation. As the Security and Risk Management Supervisor within XYZ, I identified a safety risk to my staff as well as a wider security and reputation risk to XYZ that placed hundreds of millions of assets in a position of significant vulnerability. Upon identifying these risks, I immediately sought to undertake a risk assessment in accordance with ISO standards, security policy and occupational health and safety legislation in order to better advise on how to mitigate the risk, develop effective solutions and comply with policy requirements.

To achieve this, I conducted a comprehensive assessment of the threat to people, assets and reputation. In so doing, I liaised and consulted extensively with local law enforcement agencies, stakeholders and subject matter experts. Thereafter, I authored a document outlining the threat, vulnerabilities, likelihood and overall risk to XYZ assets, human resources and reputation. This document included strategies to mitigate risk including a number of options available in accordance with the policy and legislative requirements.

The main challenge encountered was that the only available solutions in managing the risk in this instance, was to seek a waiver from the Attorney General or meet the ‘must’ requirements of the DDD Manual. In order to meet this standard or apply for the waiver, the security manager (who was responsible for the budgetary and manpower resources acquirement and coordination) had to be consulted and approve final expenditure. As resources had been reduced within the group, I recommended and detailed a number of strategies for consideration that met with resource requirements as well as the legislative and policy requirements.

As a result of both identifying the risk and providing the commensurate solutions, I effectively ensured that procedures were improved to protect people. I was also able to show thorough evidence-based analysis and procedure regarding equipment that needed to be updated in order to comply with legislation and policy. These changes, as well as the equipment, remain in place today and ensure an effective solution in an environment where both safety and security are paramount to the effectiveness of the day-to-day running of XYZ operations.

Ability to communicate with influence, including the ability to communicate complex concepts and negotiate persuasively to gain agreement to proposals and ideas…

In my previous role as Analyst at XYZ, I was responsible for the day-to-day analysis of threat to deployed forces in one location. I identified a lack of knowledge of many facets of the locality including how our group impacted the area. In identifying this vulnerability, I successfully negotiated the commencement of a long term project involving threat analysis, risk assessment and risk management of security matters that included evaluation of other legal and relative matters.

Throughout the process, I informed and influenced senior executives of the risk to personnel, assets, reputation and morale from a multi-faceted approach over a four month period. Specifically, I informed relevant managers of the intent of the project and how it would better improve their position in the highly sensitive environment. I also provided regular feedback to senior executive personnel on findings and relevant matters of concern, and briefings to line staff on relevant threat vectors.

A number of challenges were encountered throughout this project. Firstly, gaining support for a project that the senior executive saw as potentially unpopular and morale-affecting to other personnel involved in the operation. To resolve this issue, I communicated regularly with the executive; specifically, on how this would realistically affect morale and I provided recommendations on how to resolve morale problems as well as protect personnel. Further challenges included communications with people from different cultural backgrounds. This challenge was overcome utilising specialist staff, research and taking due care to ensure I abided at all times with cultural sensitivities. As a result of the steps taken to overcome these challenges, I successfully negotiated risk mitigation strategies that protected personnel as well as maintaining morale, and gained information that was of utmost importance in order to completing a comprehensive and complete DDD Paper.

On completion of the tasks involved, and once satisfied that all relevant lines of inquiry were followed, I developed a detailed DDD Paper that explained the relevant factors that had been actioned. The paper was presented with a set of briefs and meetings that ultimately changed the manner in which the deployed element conducted itself outside of the secure environment. The changes that had been influenced as a result of the findings remained in place for a number of years until the completion of the operation in that area.

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Annie Cerone