Right People, Right Skills, Right Place, Right Time

Rostering is considered a crucial element to ensure an environment that provides high quality and safe patient care as well as ensuring staff health and wellbeing is monitored through increased visibility of safe working hours. To date there has been very little in the way of documented rostering guidelines, training or education for staff with rostering responsibilities.

Patient talking with a Patient Services AssistantRostering Best Practice takes into consideration factors such as:

  • patient needs
  • staff needs
  • organisational needs
  • workforce and skills required to deliver services
  • conformity to relevant legislation
  • workforce availability.

These are complex and sometimes confusing documents so the NSW Health Rostering Resource Manual was developed as a practical guide to assist managers with rostering responsibilities; and to inform, guide and educate across all staff groups on best practice approaches to planning, developing and maintaining rosters as well as ensuring staff health and wellbeing is ingrained into rostering practice. 

The RBPT also promotes the rostering capability framework as an important resource for further developing and improving rostering capability across NSW Health agencies.

The principles

The following overarching rostering principles have been designed to guide the development of appropriate and efficient rosters.

  1. Rosters must ensure that there are sufficient and appropriately skilled staff rostered to work, in order to provide appropriate patient care and to meet anticipated service demands.
  2. Rosters must conform to relevant regulatory frameworks, including anti-discrimination, work health and safety legislation, industrial awards, and NSW Health and local health districts' and specialty health networks' policies.
  3. Rostering processes should ensure staff are rostered fairly, while still providing appropriate flexibility to facilitate meeting unit staffing needs.
  4. Rosters must make appropriate provision for adequate staff supervision, training and clinical handover.
  5. The organisation must have appropriate governance structures in place to oversee roster planning, creation, approval, monitoring and reporting.
  6. Rostering practices in NSW Health are based on co-operation between rostering managers and staff, in order to promote fairness in rostering and to deliver appropriate care to patients.
Page Updated: Thursday 15 August 2019
Contact page owner: System Performance Support