Australian Literacy Testing Centre

Promoting excellence in vocational education and training

Frontline Management

What is a Frontline Manager?


The term 'Frontline Manager' covers a range of different position descriptions including 'supervisor', 'foreperson', 'team leader', 'superintendent' and 'office co-ordinator'. Whatever their title, Frontline Managers are essentially the interface between the workforce and senior management. They are people managers who co-ordinate and lead the workforce on a day-to-day basis, in pursuit of the organisation's strategic goals.

The Origin of the Frontline Management Program


The Frontline Management program was developed in the mid to late 1990s, in response to the findings of an Australian Government Task Force which investigated best practice in the development of managers around the world. The Task Force concluded that Australia has some world class managers, but not sufficient numbers to match our international competitors. Overseas managers and enterprises were seen to be changing more rapidly and to be better prepared for the competitive challenges of the twenty first century. The Task Force estimated that nearly half of Australia's first line managers did not have any formal training for their role.

Purpose of the Frontline Management Program

Frontline Management is a nationally recognised, competency-based training program, aimed at supporting industries in raising their performance by developing the skills and knowledge of their frontline managers. At an organisational level, Frontline Management is used to support cultural change within organisations as they restructure themselves and upskill their staff to adjust to the rapidly changing demands of their environment. At an individual level, the program helps to facilitate the transition from team member to team supervisor or manager. It enables recognition of the management skills that frontline managers already possess, and provides opportunities for improving existing management skills and developing new ones.

Program content


The nationally recognised Frontline Management qualification is composed of a set of competencies, which describe what is expected of high performing frontline managers. The competencies were developed through extensive consultation with a wide range of industries, and relate to areas such as:

•Leadership
•Team effectiveness
•Effective workplace relationships
•Continuous improvement
•Operational planning
•Customer service
•Innovation
•Workplace health and safety
•Developing individuals and teams
•Identifying and applying risk management processes
•Developing work priorities
•Making presentations
•Co-ordinating business resources


Note: The range of topics covered during the program will depend on the units selected.

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