7.14 Methodology

The Code of Practice is currently undergoing a major revision. In the interim it is recommended to use the rates as currently listed. Rates have a CPI increase added to ensure that they remain as current as possible while research is being undertaken.


Minimum/trainee rates
Minimum hourly rates for practitioners were derived from the relevant award covering the comparator occupations.


Mid-career rates
As only one-third of employees on average are paid exactly the minimum award rate, it is also necessary to add other pay grades to reflect the higher rates of pay earned by the other two-thirds of employees who receive an over-award payment or are covered by a registered collective or individual agreement. Typically, this level would require an employee to have around five years experience. 

Senior practitioner/ established rates
The advanced or premium rate was derived by applying a premium to the standard rate. The premium was determined by calculating equivalent difference in rates between the ‘standard’ and ‘senior practitioner’ rates in the 2004 report for each relative occupation. The pay rate should be regarded as a minimum for a senior practitioner. Typically, this level would require an employee to have around 10 or more years of experience.


Artist fees for public art and special purpose commissioning, new work (acquisition)
The minimum rate is based on the entry level for a graduate architect in the Technical Services – Architects - Award (AW801194) – rates as at end of 2008.
Due to the lack of accessibility of the ABS unpublished data, the senior practitioner  rate was instead derived by applying a 20% premium onto the ‘mid-career’ rate for a public artist.  This was the equivalent difference in rates between the ‘standard’ and ‘senior practitioner’ rates in the 2004 report. This has then had CPI applied to it to derive the current 2017 rate. 
The ‘mid-career’ rate in this report was initially derived using published ABS data from the EEH survey 2006, however the 2004 report relied on unpublished data from the ABS EEH survey 2002.  Comparing the ‘unpublished’ data with ‘published’ data effectively means there is no consistent comparator, consequently producing an anomaly. The rate in this report is derived by applying a percentage increase to the public artist’s rate prescribed in the 2004 report.


Practitioner fees hourly rate
NAVA notes there are different circumstances and situations where an hourly rate will be preferred over a flat fee and vice versa. Hourly rates from the original 2004 - 2009 Code have recently been added to this current version as interim reference in response to feedback following a series of sector roundtables as part of NAVA’s Fair Pay for Artists campaign in 2017.  
The minimum rate is derived from the Senior Finished Artist Classification – one level above the trade rate for a Finished Artist – in the Commercial and Industrial Artists Award (AT772248)
The ABS Employee Hours and Earning Survey has moved from 2nd edition of ASCO occupational codes to the new ANZSCO codes.  The standard rate is now derived from using ANZSCO 2110 Arts professionals (previously ASCO code 253 Artists and related professionals)
Due to the lack of accessibility of the ABS unpublished data, this rate was instead derived by applying a 35% premium onto the ‘standard’ rate for a Studio Artist.  This was the equivalent difference in rates between the ‘standard’ and ‘senior practitioner’ rates in the 2004 report.


Independent curators
The research on the range of artists fees and the Independent Curators Fees was commissioned in 2009 from the Workplace Research Centre (WRC), University of Sydney. The research developed a schedule of pay rates through a benchmarking exercise against jobs of comparable worth covered by formal wage setting regulators. Annual salaries were divided by 1,000 hours for short term rates and 1,200 hours for long term rates.


Exhibition designers
Minimum hourly rate is for Graduate Information Technology Employee taken from Information Technology Industry (Professional Employees) Award 2003 (AT812962CAV) - rates as at end of 2008.  The rate should be taken as a minimum. Standard rates are based on APESMA’s Australian Computer Society 2009 remuneration survey data.
Level 2 Median Base Salary (Annual salary is then converted to an hourly rate- based on a 38-hour working week). Senior practitioner rates are based on APESMA’s Australian Computer Society 2009 remuneration survey data.
Level 4 Median Base Salary (Annual salary is then converted to an hourly rate- based on a 38-hour working week).   
Rates will vary from the 2004 update as this data does not incorporate information from the Digital Labourers Federation as it is no longer available.  


Installers and life models
This study had a limited response rate and therefore all amounts are to be used as a guide.


Flat fees
In 2013 – 2015 NAVA reviewed via qualitative sector interviews, how artists were paid and how the previous benchmark hourly rates were used. From this research NAVA designed a national sector survey aimed at identifying the factors that may affect the payment of fees and the variation in current rates paid to artists. 

Respondents to the survey conducted in 2016, included those drawn from each area of the visual arts and craft sector accessing data from major museums and galleries, regional galleries, contemporary art spaces, artist run initiatives, craft and design centres and university galleries. 

The scales of flat fees and wages for new work production was calculated from the average of survey responses, excluding data outliers: a very small number of institutions (1.7%) who pay significantly higher fees for commissions or solo exhibitions. The averages were then measured against the industry awards for occupational comparators for artists. Flat fees were determined as a minimum allowance of 3 weeks, full time work equivalent at the comparative industry award rates. Early career and mid-career Studio Artists rates have been benchmarked against Level 1 and Level 8 in the Graphic Arts, Printing and Publishing Award 2010, the established or late career Studio Artists rate has been calculated from Level 3 in the Professional Employees Award 2010. This is based on a minimum level of qualification and experience under each category. Rates for Group exhibitions are half the rate for a solo exhibition. Performance artist rates have been calculated from the Live Performance Award 2010, starting at a base allowance for one artist in a one-off event in a group show at the casual rate for a 3-hour performance. The base allowance for one artist in a one-off event in a solo show is calculated at the casual rate for 6-hours. Exhibition / Product Designer rates have been calculated under the Professional Employees Award 2010 starting at Level 1, Graduate Professional, pay-point 1.1 (4 or 5 year degree) for early career, Level 2 for mid-career and Level 4 for established.

The scales of fees and wages for public art, special purpose commissioning, loan fees and arts workers’ salaries initially set out in this Code in the 2004 edition have had an annual CPI increase of three percent applied. This has then been reviewed against publicly advertised rates to establish the benchmark rates for these areas.