PD Program

What is the Professional Development Program?

The Professional Development Program is a joint initiative of the ACA and Cricket Australia and is available to all male and female current players, those who have recently retired and past players on a case by case basis. The program focuses on providing services in the key areas of:

  1. Wellbeing and Health Services
  2. Career Transition
  3. Education and Training
  4. Player Hardship Fund

How is the program funded?

Funding for the Program is $1,428,150 for 2014/15. Fifty percent of this funding comes from Cricket Australia and the States with the balance paid by the Player Payment Pool.

For any additional information about the Professional Development Program contact Ben Smith on 613 9698 7200 or bsmith@auscricket.com.au.

Program Pillars

  1. Wellbeing and Health Services
  2. Career Transition
  3. Education and Training



Counselling Services

The ACA and Cricket Australia provide confidential professional counselling services to members and their families through a partnership with Relationships Australia.

Relationships Australia is one of Australia's largest community based organisations, providing support to nearly 90,000 Australians per year. Services are available to members 24 hours a day with face to face professional assistance (psychologists and life coaches) in all State capitals, major regional centres and in some overseas countries.

Confidential welfare services available include but are not limited to: relationship counselling, family planning, depression, gambling and alcohol through to general mental wellbeing.

These counselling services are made available by the ACA and Cricket Australia for members who may not feel comfortable discussing sensitive issues with their State Association or the ACA.

The ACA is also a member of the Australian Psychological Society. As a member the ACA has access to a national database of psychologists who specialise in wellbeing counselling services.

Members can contact Ben Smith at the ACA on 613 9698 7200 or email bsmith@auscricket.com.au, call Relationships Australia on 1300 364 277 to make an appointment.

Members should be aware that all calls and contact in relation to this service will be treated confidentially.

Skin Cancer Checks

The ACA and Cricket Australia offer members the chance to have a free annual skin cancer check. The checks are run nationally between November and January each year and members will be notified of the date and time in their State.

The risks associated with playing and working outdoors are well documented so members are encouraged to take advantage of this free service.

Financial Services

BDO has been appointed to deliver one-on-one financial education programs to players.
The programs are designed to offer understanding on budgeting, taxation obligations, superannuation and to assist players establish personal financial goals.

All rookie and newly contracted players are required to participate in a one-on-one session with BDO as part of their first year induction program. Players who experience changes in their disposable income (i.e. change in contract) or who are preparing to transition out of the game are strongly encouraged to complete a "Financial Health Check" with BDO.

A "Financial Health Check" provides an independent assessment of a player's current financial situation. Players can then discuss the outcome of their assessment with their financial advisor.



The ACA and Cricket Australia are committed to assisting players achieve a balanced lifestyle and as such, specific programs have been developed to address the issues players face at the beginning of their careers, whilst they are playing and when their playing career has come to an end.

The Career Transition Program consists of:

  • Induction camp
  • Career advice
  • Apprenticeships and traineeships
  • Beyond the Boundary
  • Access to national and state specific recruitment providers
  • Exit interview and outplacement services

New Player Induction Program

The ACA and Cricket Australia hold an annual New Player Induction Program for rookie and newly contracted players in August each year. The program offers vital information to players outlining their contractual responsibilities and the services available to assist them throughout their careers.

Career Advice

With the assistance of the ACA and Cricket Australia, each State Association has now appointed a State Player Development Manager to work closely with players during their careers. State Professional Development Managers can assist with planning for the future, identifying skill gaps, development needs and accessing the right career and education programs and experts that will assist members to create a balance and prepare them for the next phase of their life and career.

Apprenticeships and Traineeships

Apprenticeships and traineeships provide an excellent opportunity to undertake accredited training, receive on the job experience and be paid whilst doing it. Traineeships and apprenticeships can be undertaken in a number of employment areas including trades, sport and recreation, business, marketing and community services.

Additional information about apprenticeship and traineeship vacancies is available at www.jet.org.au or by contacting Ben Smith at bsmith@auscricket.com.au at the ACA.

Beyond the Boundary

Beyond the Boundary is a work experience program for cricketers that has been developed in conjunction with AFL SportsReady. The program seeks to enhance players' career development and future employment prospects through the provision of work experience and training in an industry preferred by the player.

To achieve this objective, the program aligns players with employers who are willing to provide work experience and training in a field or discipline that matches the qualifications and/or requirements of the player.

The Professional Development Program funds up to twelve positions annually and players are required to complete a formal application process in order to be eligible.
Host Company: Craigie Leisure Centre (City of Joondalup)

Type of Work: Personal Training
Comments from Jake Fawcett

"My role included personal training, cleaning items, talking with clients, working out the different personalities of clients and making sure clients got what they wanted out of each session. I enjoyed learning a lot more whilst making some money as well, and I have got a job out of it, so I can't ask for much more."

National and State Specific Recruitment Providers

Members can access the services of national provider Worklife Solutions and Adecco or a number of State specific providers for potential job placement opportunities.
For further information contact Ben Smith at the ACA on bsmith@auscricket.com.au or your State Professional Development Manager.

Exit Interview / Outplacement Services

Retired or delisted players will be contacted by the National Professional Development Manager and asked to participate in a formal exit interview. The interview provides the ACA with the following vital information:

  • Identification of any transitional problems that the player may experience as they exit the game
  • Matching of Career and Welfare Services with the player's needs to assist with transition
  • Feedback on how State Association's managed player's retirement / delistment

The ACA works closely with partner Worklife Solutions to provide appropriate outplacement services to players who need assistance as they begin their transition. Outplacement services include:

  • Resume preparation
  • Interview techniques
  • Job searching techniques
  • Job placement assistance

Players will also be provided with the career transition booklet "Taking the Next Step." The booklet outlines all the vital information and services that are available to players.



The promotion of education and training opportunities amongst members is a major objective of the Career and Welfare Program. This is being achieved through several initiatives including:

  • Provision of Education and Training Grants
  • Membership of the Elite Athlete Friendly University Network
  • Implementation of skill development workshops

Each of these initiatives is detailed below:

Education and Training Grants

The ACA has made a significant commitment to subsidise players' further development through the provision of grants for education and training.

With up to $4,000 per player available annually, players wishing to apply for assistance need to outline their reasons for undertaking study, including how this fits within their career plan.

Applications are accepted over two rounds each year and only those submitted by the due date will be considered. Education and Training Grant due dates for 2014 are as follows:

  • Round 1 - 27 February 2015
  • Round 2 - 24 July 2015

Click here to complete an Education and Training Grant Application Form.

Comments from David Bandy:
"Without the ACA's Education and Training Grant's diversity, there's no way that i would be in the position of all but completion of my Certificate III in Electrotechnology (licensed electrician). My unique situation posed problems that threatened my apprenticeship. However, with the appreciation and understanding of the ACA, the required help was extended to assist in my tuition."

Comments from Rhiannon Dick:
"The ACA Education and Training Grant has been unbelievable it has meant that I can pay my uni fees up front and not have a huge hex debt to worry about in the future. This has allowed me to concentrate fully on my studies and also my cricket without the added worry of working additional shifts at my work to cover the high uni expense."

Elite Athlete Friendly University Network (EAFU)

The ACA is a member of the Elite Athlete Friendly University (EAFU) Network. The network has been established to identify and promote universities that have responded to the specific needs of elite athletes by developing new or promoting existing policies and practices which assist elite student athletes to undertake sporting opportunities whilst pursuing and achieving academic excellence.

Any player needing assistance with their existing or prospective university should contact Ben Smith at the ACA or your State Professional Development Manager.

Skill Development Workshops

The ACA works closely with State Associations to deliver valuable skill development workshops to players throughout their playing career. Sessions include, but are not limited to:

  • Public speaking
  • Goal setting
  • Time management
  • Depression
  • Alcohol and Illicit Drugs
  • Media training

For further details contact Ben Smith at the ACA on bsmith@auscricket.com.au or your State Professional Development Manager.