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Home Overseas posting admin basics How to manage your UK posting admin

How to manage your UK posting admin

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If you are Posted to the UK for 6 months + 1 day or longer the Defence Admin Office (DAO) at the Australian High Commission (AHC) in London will help you with the bulk of your in-country admin - just like your ships office or orderly room in Australia.

Other Australian agencies have some additional ongoing admin responsibility such as the Overseas Admin Team - your post will confirm the specifics.

In the UK both ADF and APS staff are under the guidance and command of the Head of Australian Defence Staff, London (HADS(L). An officer of one star level, who has a team of single service Defence Attaches and Assistant Service Advisers for each group - including Navy, Army, RAAF, DSD, CASG & DST.

For members in the EU where there is no Defence representation at post HADS(L) may also have command and control.

The over arching guidance for Pay and Conditions is the Overseas Conditions of Service volume of the PACMAN series (http://www.defence.gov.au/DPE/PAC/ ) you are urged to read it as there are some key differences in entitlements compared to Australia. This volume of PACMAN applies to both uniformed and APS staff on posting.

The differences to Australia may include medical options and financial assistance with regards to treatment costs, education and funding options for your children, housing location restrictions and more - ask questions early and make sure that you understand what you are agreeing to when you volunteer for the posting.

One of the biggest factors in the success of a posting is how well you actively manage your admin - both pre-departure from Australia and once you arrive.

If you would like to discuss a particular issue prior to arriving in the UK please contact the Personnel Officer (contact details for the Personnel Officer are provided on this website via Contacts Info link) or email your questions to lon.personnelandhousing@defence.gov.au and your question/s will be passed to the relevant desk officer or Service Adviser for their action.

The article below gives you a few key pointers on how to get started and what happens in the first month.

"I have been posted overseas....NOW WHAT DO I DO?!"

The actual admin processes involved to arrange an overseas posting are straight forward (if you know how)- but remember things take time and the earlier you can start the ball rolling the easier for you and your family and your new post .

Here is a general step by step to point you in the right direction:

  • Postings are announced by your career manager. At this stage a signal to the post and the Overseas Admin Team (OAT) should be sent. If not ask for one to be sent as this is the trigger for everything.

  • Make contact with the OAT (click here to send them an email) and confirm who is going to be your case manager. The OAT website has everything you need to get you started including who your case manager will be(www.defence.gov.au/dsg/organisation/OAT). Their link to the OAT pre-departure pack is www.defence.gov.au/dsg/organisation/OAT/Pages/conditions.htm

  • OAT have very useful guides to help you navigate the departure process; you must read everything you are given and ask questions if you are unsure. Keep your OAT case manager cc'd into everything

  • Contact your Single Service Defence Adviser or Defence Attache in the Overseas Post. Introduce yourself and ask for confirmation as to what date they expect you to March In.

  • Remember that usually you will not be allowed to join the post any earlier than your travel and rest period duration - do not plan to arrive a month early and take leave at Commonwealth expense..if you do arrive early your accomodation will usually be at your own cost until the date you should have Marched in. This is different to going on a posting in Australia when you can arrive when ever you want before commencing duties if you had the leave...it is just another difference to expect. For the UK you should plan for a march timed at no more than 5 working days before you start your course or commence handover.

  • Contact the admin team at your High Commission or Embassy. There will be information that they need from you in order to make the necessary arrangements for your arrival; including travel, housing, security clearances, any special needs for your family.

  • Read the Overseas Conditions of Service volume of PACMAN to familiarise yourself with the key entitlements associated with an overseas posting. Remember that there will be local standing instructions that will also refine this further. Make sure that you fully understand what is and is not included in the entitlement package and how this effects your family particularly (schooling, medical,housing are some of the things to look into early).

  • Make sure that you apply for Visa's and passports that are dated to expire at least 6 months from your planned return toAustralia.Note: Members in defacto relationships MAY not autmotically qualify for a UK spouse visa - the accompanying spouse may be required to satisfy visa requirements in their own right....we cannot influence this...this is UK Government policy; it will depend on the length of time you can prove you have cohabited.

 

TOP TIP: Contact the admin and Community Liaison Officer at your overseas post to confirm schooling, housing and any other issues that might effect your family EARLY!

  • Start the process to leave your home i.e book removals,arrange to hand back MQ, arrange temp accomodation, cleaning, final bills, sale of car, notify childrens schools, taking leave, pre-departure medicals for you and the family including Visas and vaccintations etc.

  • Contact Integrated Travel Services in Canberra to arrange travel (dsgdsoactsnsw.travelnonbusiness@defence.gov.au).  

  • Check you have all visas, passports and entry permits.

  • Finalise your Australian personal admin including banking, finances, health issues (including childrens vaccinations - these may be different in the UK), arrange furniture removals, mail redirection, insurance etc

  • Get a final confirmation from your overseas post what you need to bring by way of documents, records, uniforms, suggested household goods to get started and make sure you have all travel documents including arrival info and joining instructions printed (have these with you when you travel!

  • Conduct your removal uplift and travel to suit your travel plan.

  • Arrive in country - you may have opted for rest periods at post if not taken en route, then March in to your High Commission or Embassy and then join your unit.

EXTRA TIPS ANDHINTS: During the first few weeks/month in country

  • Try and get a dreams token if you have not brought one...keep up to date on the DRN.
  • Get a local mobile phone and internet solution
  • Join your new unit correctly
  • Get housing sorted (private rental or married quarter) and let removal company have your new address for delivery of consignment.
  • Make sure that your post, new unit and your OAT case manager all have your new address and contact details including email address.
  • Confirm that your banking is sorted and you are getting paid.
  • Get your in country personal admin sorted - register the family with GP's, kids at schools, sort out car and additional private travel insurance, learn the local road rules if you are driving
  • Plug into the family support services available at your local UK unit; if you are at a base.
  • Enjoy the experiences that an overseas posting offers but always remember that you are part of the ADF and the usual admin and military command and control lines still apply; when in doubt ask!

Throughout the posting:

- Update OAT and your post if your circumstances change - births, marriages etc as well as house moves.
- Monitor your leave balance - if you joined with too much leave you run the risk of losing it if not managed correctly.
- Annually renew your contents insurance (Marsh or Harlocks).
- Keep an eye on passport and visa expiry dates - these can be renewed at post but may take quite some time during which
your passport may not be in your possession.
- Start to think about planning your Return To Australia (RTA) six months from the date you expect to go home - it takes
a while to organise!
- Remember that some schools require a full terms notice if deposits are to be returned when you RTA.
- Remember to keep copies of all medical and personal correspondence that will be required once you go home.