The Justice Health & Forensic Mental Health Network’s Got Talent

The Justice Health & Forensic Mental Health Network (JH&FMHN) is developing a talent management strategy to improve the access, allocation and appropriateness of learning opportunities for its staff.


To implement a talent management strategy that facilitates leadership development in the JH&FMHN.


  • Attracts the right people, with the right skills, to the right job.
  • Improves access to leadership opportunities for staff at the JH&FMHN.
  • Delivers an integrated approach to professional development.
  • Improves the individual performance of staff and identifies high achievers.
  • Aligns to the JH&FMHN Strategic Direction 4: Attract, grow and retain a talented workforce and foster a supportive working environment.


Prior to the project, there were over 40 leadership courses available to JH&FMHN staff. However, a survey of registered nurses at the Forensic Hospital conducted in October 2016 found that while most of the nurses understood there were learning opportunities available, they believed the access, allocation and appropriateness of these opportunities needed to be improved. The survey also showed that staff preferred ‘on the job’ experience over formal learning and felt it would be more beneficial to their professional development.

This approach aligns to the 70:20:10 model of Planning, Development and Review (PDR), which suggests 70% of professional learning should be experiential, 20% social and 10% formal. While the existing PDR was valid and useful, it was clear that a more coordinated approach to investing in the professional development of staff was required.

Following a literature review, it was determined that a nurse-informed talent management strategy was the best way to achieve the goals of the project. The literature suggested it would help staff identify their preferred career pathway and understand the skills and experience they needed to make this happen. This would sit alongside the existing PDR process, to maximise the potential of individuals and deliver a better return on training and education investment.


  • A resource outlining current leadership development opportunities at JH&FMHN was compiled.
  • After reviewing a number of tools on the market, the Health Leadership Framework Survey and Talent Management Conversation Tool were chosen for an initial trial.
  • The trial was conducted in October 2016 by Clinical Nurse Coordinators (CNCs), Clinical Nurse Educators (CNEs) and Nursing Unit Managers (NUMs) at the Forensic Hospital. Results showed the tools did not deliver a collaborative approach to staff development. The Health Leadership Framework Survey was focused on individual reflection rather than collaboration, while the Talent Management Conversation Tool was long, complex and time consuming.
  • A working party will be established in March 2017, made up of registered nurses, CNCs, CNEs and NUMs, to ensure ongoing progress and sustainability of the project. The areas it will address include:
    • communication and engagement with other local health districts
    • development of a JH&FMHN talent management tool
    • strengthening the PDR process
    • enhancing policies and procedures
    • maximising the capacity of a strengths-based workforce.
  • A talent management strategy will be developed by the working party in 2017.

Project status

Implementation - the initiative is ready for implementation or is currently being implemented, piloted or tested.

Key dates

July 2016 – December 2017

Implementation sites

The Forensic Hospital, JH&FMHN


Clinical Leadership Program


A full evaluation will be undertaken in December 2017 measuring outcomes determined by the working party in the initial phase of the project.

Lessons learnt

  • t’s important to ensure the project is grounded in project management methodology, with an appropriate focus on teamwork and leadership theory.
  • We learned the importance of investing in others and stakeholder engagement.
  • Defining the problem and the aim of the project has proven to be the most challenging aspects.
  • It’s important to manage scope creep at every stage of the project.
  • The project team developed networking skills, a greater sense of knowledge and self-awareness, as well as experience collaborating with different stakeholders. It also provided the team with a sense of achievement and motivation for change.

Further reading


Kevin Baron
Acting Deputy Director of Nursing
Justice Health & Forensic Mental Health Network
Phone: 02 9700 3158


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