View the IP Australia Corporate Plan 2020-21 in PDF format


At IP Australia we look at risk and its management from two perspectives; one that considers events that may have a negative impact on our business (i.e. threats), and one that considers embracing some level of risk as an opportunity. 

Under the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 the Director General has overall responsibility for ensuring an appropriate risk management framework is in place and managing our risk performance. 

IP Australia’s risk management framework comprises:

  • Accountable Authority Instructions—sets out instructions from the Director General regarding managing risk within IP Australia.
  • Risk Management Policy—defines IP Australia’s approach to the management of risk.
  • Risk Management Plan 2019–21—outlines roles and responsibilities, mechanisms for reporting and communication, and a schedule of ongoing activities designed to maintain effective risk management practices.
  • Risk Management Guidelines—provides guidance for staff to support day-to-day implementation of the risk management framework.

IP Australia’s Executive Board is responsible for overseeing implementation of the risk management framework, with all staff responsible for the day-to-day management of risk. The Executive Board reviews strategic risks on a quarterly basis, discussing and monitoring risks that could emerge over the period of the plan. IP Australia’s Audit Committee also provides the Director General with independent advice and assurance as to the appropriateness of IP Australia’s system of risk oversight and management in accordance with the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Rule 2014.

As part of IP Australia’s ongoing efforts to raise its level of risk maturity, the risk management framework will be subject to review during 2020–21. The intention of the review is to further embed risk management understanding and practice into the operations of IP Australia. Any enhancements to the framework are expected to be implemented from 2021–22.

Risk appetite 

IP Australia’s risk appetite involves effectively managing uncertainty, not only avoiding or eliminating risk. A higher risk appetite allows us to consider opportunities that involve the acceptance of some risk. Accordingly, IP Australia is prepared to pursue, retain or accept risk that has been well considered, thoroughly assessed and is managed and monitored appropriately. This is done in an open and transparent manner to reduce threats and seize opportunities for the benefit of the organisation.

Strategic risks

IP Australia faces a broad range of risks reflecting its responsibilities as an administrator and service provider for Australia’s IP rights system. The following categories of strategic risk are used by the Executive Board to measure and monitor threats and opportunities that may impact the achievement of IP Australia’s strategic objectives and purpose. 

Risk Category Risk Definition Risk Response

IP ecosystem IP Australia is committed to ensuring public trust in the IP ecosystem so we can continue to deliver a system that adds value to the Australian community, achieves government objectives relating to jobs and growth, and keeps the system safe from abuse. We have established processes for the identification and prioritisation of policy issues to ensure the IP legislative framework keeps pace with what we are doing, and what is happening within the broader IP ecosystem, including through our International Engagement Strategy.

Confidence IP Australia is committed to carrying out our responsibilities as an administrator and service provider for Australia’s IP rights system, as well as maintaining a reputation as an agency that delivers high quality IP rights.

We measure ourselves annually against our Customer Service Charter commitments.

This is supported by an established IP Rights Quality Framework, and maintenance of an ISO-certified Quality Management System.


Stakeholder engagement IP Australia must engage effectively with customers and stakeholders, domestically and internationally. Our approach is to focus on collaboration and engagement with stakeholders to improve effectiveness, performance, meet established quality standards and expand our sphere of influence. An overarching Stakeholder Engagement Strategy is under development to improve our engagement with stakeholders and explore new opportunities.

Governance IP Australia is responsible for meeting and administering its legislative responsibilities, fulfilling the Commonwealth’s policy agenda, adhering to its Accountable Authority Instructions, and maintaining relevant certifications. We have established frameworks, and underpinning policies and procedures, to govern IP Australia in accordance with our legislative obligations. The Executive Board has responsibility for overseeing implementation, and we make use of our annual internal audit program to provide independent advice and assurance.

Financial IP Australia’s mandate as an agency is cost recovery rather than profit. We take a strategic approach to investment to ensure our long-term sustainability and build our capacity to adapt to the changing needs of our customers and other stakeholders. We completed a review of our fees in 2019-20 in accordance with the Australian Government Charging Framework and new fees will come into effect from 1 October 2020.

Workforce IP Australia must make effective use of its skills and knowledge to deliver value to the Australian community, at home and abroad. To successfully compete in the contest for talent we aim to be an employer of choice, at the forefront of flexible working solutions. We have established a Strategic Workforce Plan and People Strategy to inform leveraging our existing workforce and determining how we can meet future workforce needs.

Operations IP Australia is committed to meeting customer expectations and delivering on our core business for high quality and timely IP rights administration and registration, data and education, and advice and support to government in achieving jobs and growth. Our annual operational planning processes identify and prioritise IP Australia’s key activities, resourcing, and risks. Delivery against these plans is monitored by the Executive Board.