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Guide to the ILS for APS 1-6

1 Introduction

The introduction of the Public Service Act 1999 (the PS Act) defined a new operating environment for the APS by formalising the devolution of powers to Agency Heads and the move from a prescriptive rules-based to a values-based environment. The PS Act introduced specific obligations for the Public Service Commissioner to foster leadership, coordinate APS-wide training and career development and promote the APS Values and Code of Conduct. It also introduced specific responsibilities in these areas for Agency Heads and members of the Senior Executive Service (SES).

In the same year the Senior Executive Leadership Capability Framework (SELC Framework) was launched and formed the selection criteria for the SES. It defined the leadership capabilities required to secure the long-term future of the APS. In 2001 the SELC framework was confirmed by Agency Heads as the most suitable tool for SES selection and development.

In 2004 the Australian Public Service Commission expanded the SELC framework by developing the Integrated Leadership System (ILS). The ILS is designed to link all aspects of leadership that impact on the APS. The ILS provides a common language to support consistent whole of APS capability development and is designed to ensure the APS has the leadership capabilities and behaviours to meet the challenges of the future.

Key elements of the ILS are:

  • understanding the capabilities required of APS leaders
  • developing a systemic approach to capability development
  • common descriptions of how roles change in response to increasing complexity
  • behavioural indicators for the increase in role complexity
  • guides and tools to support professional development, career planning and succession management.

The major component of the ILS is the leadership pathway which identifies capability descriptions and behaviours for executive and senior executive levels. This document expands on the ILS and provides capability descriptions and behaviours for APS 1 to APS 6 levels.

Finding the balance

The ILS assists agencies and individuals to address the particular requirements for leadership, management and technical expertise.

APS leaders require a mixture of technical and management expertise as well as leadership capabilities as shown in the following figure.

Figure 1 APS leadership model

The precise balance will depend on the level and role of the individual. For example, a policy adviser requires subject matter expertise, skills in administration, communication and relationships to ensure the advice takes account of stakeholders and can be implemented in practice. People in service delivery agencies need technical expertise as well as management and leadership capabilities in dealing with clients and stakeholders. The particular mix of capabilities will vary depending on the agency, and the level and/or role of the person.

2 ILS leadership pathway

The leadership pathway identifies and describes leadership capabilities that stem from the SELC framework. It illustrates the levels of complexity in which the APS operates and identifies new behavioural elements for potential leaders at each stage of their career path. The pathway for executive and senior executive levels is built around five core capability clusters:

  • shapes strategic thinking
  • achieves results
  • cultivates productive working relationships
  • exemplifies personal drive and integrity
  • communicates with influence.

The five core capability clusters for the pathway for APS levels are:

  • supports strategic direction
  • achieves results
  • supports productive working relationships
  • displays personal drive and integrity
  • communicates with influence.

The pathway is designed for use by current and future leaders of the APS and people who are responsible for leadership development. The pathway:

  • supports a whole of government perspective
  • provides a foundation for development activities
  • clarifies capabilities and behaviours that are expected at each level from APS 1 to SES B3.

The pathway which includes all levels from APS 1 to SES B3 is also available on the Commission website at www.apsc.gov/ils.

The pathway is a cumulative model, with behaviours identified at one level becoming the ‘floor level’ for the levels above. There are complex, subtle differences across the levels. The pathway’s descriptions and behaviours are level specific rather than job specific. The pathway may be applied differently by agencies depending on size and location. Agencies are at different points in the development of their leaders. In a devolved APS environment this is inevitable. The components of the ILS have been designed for flexible application. Agencies will select those aspects of the leadership pathway that suit their requirements, adjusting them as required to meet their particular context.

The pathway

The pathway is presented in two ways:

  • comparative view
  • individual profiles.

2.1 Comparative view of the pathway

The comparative view scans across the APS 1 to APS 6 levels to identify the changes in capability at each level. An overview of the capability descriptions is included in this section. More detailed information on the behaviours that illustrate these capabilities is included on the Commission website. The comparative view showing all levels from APS 1 to SES B3 is included on the Commission website at www.apsc.gov.au/learn/ils/resources.

Those capabilities where new behaviours have been introduced are shown in bold, while increased complexity is shown in italics.

The comparative view is highly versatile for individuals and particularly useful in guiding leadership capability development for:

  • those aspiring to leadership positions at all levels
  • those transitioning to the next level, or to a new role
  • those who want to be more effective at their current level.

Supports strategic direction

Supports shared purpose and direction
APS 1
  • Understands and supports the organisation's vision, mission and business objectives.
  • Follows direction provided by supervisor.
  • Recognises how own work contributes to the achievement of team goals.
  • Understands the reasons for decisions and recommendations.
APS 2
  • Understands and supports the organisation's vision, mission and business objectives.
  • Follows direction provided by supervisor.
  • Recognises how own work contributes to the achievement of team and section goals.
  • Understands the reasons for decisions and recommendations.
APS 3
  • Understands and supports the organisation's vision, mission and business objectives.
  • Follows direction provided by supervisor.
  • Recognises how own work contributes to the achievement of organisational goals.
  • Understands the reasons for decisions and recommendations.
APS 4
  • Understands and supports the organisation's vision, mission and business objectives.
  • Communicates and follows direction provided by supervisor.
  • Recognises how own work contributes to the achievement of organisational goals.
  • Understands the reasons for decisions and recommendations
APS 5
  • Understands and supports the organisation's vision, mission and business objectives.
  • Identifies the relationship between organisational goals and operational tasks.
  • Communicates with others regarding the purpose of their work.
  • Understands and communicates the reasons for decisions and recommendations to others
APS 6
  • Understands, supports and promotes the organisation's vision, mission, and business objectives.
  • Identifies the relationship between organisational goals and operational tasks.
  • Clearly communicates goals and objectives to others.
  • Understands, supports and communicates the reasons for decisions and recommendations
Thinks strategically
APS 1
  • Understands the work environment and participates in team goal setting.
  • Demonstrates an awareness of issues that may impact on designated work tasks.
APS 2
  • Understands the work environment and contributes to the development of work plans and team goals.
  • Demonstrates an awareness of issues that may impact on designated work tasks.
APS 3
  • Understands the work environment and contributes to the development of work plans and team goals.
  • Demonstrates an awareness of the implications of issues that may impact on own work objectives.
APS 4
  • Understands the work environment and contributes to the development of plans, strategies and team goals.
  • Identifies issues and problems that may impact on own work objectives.
  • Demonstrates an awareness of the implications of issues for own work.
APS 5
  • Understands the work environment and contributes to the development of plans, strategies and team goals.
  • Identifies broader influences that may impact on the team’s work objectives.
  • Demonstrates an awareness of the implications of issues for own work and work area.
APS 6
  • Understands the work environment and initiates and develops team goals, strategies and work plans.
  • Identifies broader factors, trends and influences that may impact on the team’s work objectives.
  • Considers the ramifications of issues and longer-term impact of own work and work area.
Harnesses information and opportunities
APS 1
  • Knows where to find information, and asks questions to ensure a better understanding of issues.
  • Seeks guidance to determine what information should be conveyed to others.
  • Keeps supervisor informed on work progress.
APS 2
  • Knows where to find information, and asks questions to ensure a better understanding of issues.
  • Uses established guidelines to determine what information should be conveyed to others.
  • Keeps supervisor informed on work progress
APS 3
  • Knows where to find information, and asks questions to ensure a full understanding of an issue.
  • Uses common sense to recognise the importance of available information.
  • Keeps self and others well informed on work progress.
APS 4
  • Draws on information from multiple sourcesand uses agreed guidelines to analyse what information is important and how it should be used.
  • Keeps self and others well informed on work progress.
APS 5
  • Draws on information from diverse sources and uses experience to analyse what information is important and how it should be used.
  • Maintains an awareness of the organisation and keeps self and others well informed on issues that may affect work progress.
APS 6
  • Gathers and investigates information from diverse sources andexplores new ideas and different viewpoints.
  • Uses experience to analyse what information is important and how it should be used.
  • Maintains an awareness of the organisation and keeps self and others well informed on work issues and finds out about best practice approaches.
Shows judgement, intelligence and commonsense
APS 1
  • Researches information relevant to work tasks and responsibilities.
  • Participates in discussions around issues and refers problems to supervisor.
  • Recognises the need for improved work practices.
APS 2
  • Researches and analyses information relevant to work tasks and responsibilities.
  • Identifies issues that may impact on designated tasks and alerts supervisor.
  • Suggests improvements to work tasks.
APS 3
  • Researches and analyses information and makes recommendations based on evidence.
  • Identifies issues that may impact on tasks.
  • Suggests improvements to work tasks and business practices.
APS 4
  • Undertakes analysis and draws accurate conclusions based on evidence.
  • Thinks laterally, identifies and implements improved work practices.
APS 5
  • Undertakes objective, systematic analysis and draws accurate conclusions based on evidence.
  • Identifies problems and works to resolve them.
  • Thinks laterally, identifies and implements improved work practices.
APS 6
  • Undertakes objective, systematic analysis and draws accurate conclusions based on evidence.
  • Recognises the links between interconnected issues.
  • Identifies problems and works to resolve them.
  • Thinks laterally, identifies, implements and promotes improved work practices.

Achieves results

Identifies and uses resources wisely
APS 1
  • Monitors task progress against performance expectations.
  • Alerts supervisor early if work is behind schedule.
  • Makes effective use of own capabilities.
APS 2
  • Monitors task progress against performance expectations.
  • Alerts supervisor early when work is behind schedule and makes alternative arrangements.
  • Makes effective use of own capabilities.
APS 3
  • Reviews task performance and communicates outcomes to supervisor.
  • Understands individual and team capabilities and makes effective use of own capabilities.
APS 4
  • Reviews task performance and communicates outcomes to supervisor.
  • Makes effective use of individual and team capabilities.
  • Is responsive to changes in requirements.
APS 5
  • Reviews project performance and identifies opportunities for improvement.
  • Makes effective use of individual and team capabilities and negotiates responsibility for work outcomes.
  • Is responsive to changes in requirements.
APS 6
  • Reviews project performance and identifies opportunities for improvement.
  • Makes effective use of individual and team capabilities and negotiates responsibility for work outcomes.
  • Is responsive to changes in requirements.
Applies and builds professional expertise
APS 1
  • Contributes own expertise to achieve outcomes for the business unit.
APS 2
  • Contributes own expertise to achieve outcomes for the business unit.
APS 3
  • Contributes own expertise to achieve outcomes for the business unit.
APS 4
  • Contributes own expertise to achieve outcomes for the business unit.
APS 5
  • Values specialist expertise and capitalises on the knowledge and skills of others within the organisation.
  • Contributes own expertise to achieve outcomes for the business unit.
APS 6
  • Values specialist expertise and capitalises on the knowledge and skills of others within the organisation.
  • Contributes own expertise to achieve outcomes for the business unit.
Responds positively to change
APS 1
  • Creates and maintains schedules.
  • Responds in a positive manner to change.
  • Shares information with others.
  • Is adaptable and flexible to accommodate the changing needs of the team.
APS 2
  • Creates and maintains schedules.
  • Responds in a positive manner to change.
  • Shares information with others.
  • Is adaptable in approach and willing to be flexible to accommodate the changing needs of the team.
APS 3
  • Establishes task plans to deliver objectives.
  • Responds in a positive and flexible manner to change.
  • Shares information with others and adapts to a changing environment.
APS 4
  • Establishes task plans and simple project plans with measurable milestones to deliver objectives.
  • Responds in a positive and flexible manner to change.
  • Shares information with others and adapts to a changing environment.
APS 5
  • Establishes clear plans and timeframes for project implementation.
  • Responds in a positive and flexible manner to change and uncertainty.
  • Shares information with others and encourages cooperation in coping with change.
APS 6
  • Establishes clear plans and timeframes for project implementation.
  • Responds in a positive and flexible manner to change and uncertainty.
  • Shares information with others and assists them to adapt.
Takes responsibility for managing work projects to achieve results
APS 1
  • Sees tasks through to completion.
  • Works within agreed priorities, and works independently on routine tasks.
  • Maintains accurate records and files.
  • Seeks feedback from supervisor to gauge satisfaction and seeks assistance when required.
APS 2
  • Sees tasks through to completion.
  • Works within agreed priorities, works independently on routine tasks and accepts more challenging tasks.
  • Maintains accurate records and files.
  • Seeks feedback from supervisor to gauge satisfaction and seeks assistance when required.
APS 3
  • Sees tasks through to completion.
  • Works within agreed priorities.
  • Commits to achieving quality outcomes.
  • Maintains accurate records and files.
  • Seeks feedback from supervisor to gauge satisfaction and seeks assistance when required.
APS 4
  • Sees tasks through to completion.
  • Works within agreed priorities.
  • Commits to achieving quality outcomes and adheres to documentation procedures.
  • Seeks feedback from supervisor to gauge satisfaction and seeks guidance when required.
APS 5
  • Sees projects through to completion.
  • Monitors project progress and manages priorities.
  • Commits to achieving quality outcomes and adheres to documentation procedures.
  • Seeks feedback from supervisor to gauge satisfaction.
APS 6
  • Sees projects through to completion.
  • Monitors project progress and adjusts plans as required.
  • Commits to achieving quality outcomes and adheres to documentation procedures.
  • Seeks feedback from supervisor to gauge satisfaction.

Supports productive working relationships

Nurtures internal and external relationships
APS 1
  • Builds and sustains positive relationships with team members and clients.
  • Actively participates in teamwork and activities.
  • Responds under direction to changes in client needs and expectations.
APS 2
  • Builds and sustains positive relationships with team members and clients.
  • Actively participates in teamwork and activities.
  • Responds under direction to changes in client needs and expectations.
APS 3
  • Builds and sustains positive relationships with team members and clients.
  • Actively participates in teamwork and activities.
  • Responds under direction to changes in client needs and expectations.
APS 4
  • Builds and sustains positive relationship with team members and clients.
  • Is responsive to changes in client needs and expectations.
APS 5
  • Builds and sustains positive relationships with team members, stakeholders and clients.
  • Is responsive to changes in client and stakeholder needs and expectations.
APS 6
  • Builds and sustains positive relationships with team members, stakeholders and clients.
  • Proactively offers assistance for a mutually beneficial relationship.
  • Anticipates and is responsive to client and stakeholder needs and expectations.
Listens to, understands and recognises the needs of others
APS 1
  • Actively listens to colleagues and clients.
  • Shares information and contributes to team discussions.
  • Works closely with team members to achieve results and operates as an effective team member.
APS 2
  • Actively listens to colleagues and clients.
  • Shares information and contributes to team discussions.
  • Works closely with team members to achieve results and operates as an effective team member.
APS 3
  • Actively listens to colleagues and clients.
  • Shares information and ensures others are kept informed of issues.
  • Works collaboratively and operates as an effective team member.
APS 4
  • Actively listens to colleagues and clients.
  • Shares information and ensures others are kept informed of issues.
  • Works collaboratively and operates as an effective team member.
APS 5
  • Actively listens to staff, colleagues, clients and stakeholders.
  • Involves others and recognises their contributions.
  • Consults and shares information and ensures others are kept informed of issues.
  • Works collaboratively and operates as an effective team member.
APS 6
  • Actively listens to staff, colleagues, clients and stakeholders.
  • Involves others and recognises their contributions.
  • Consults and shares information and ensures others are kept informed of issues.
  • Works collaboratively and operates as an effective team member.
Values individual differences and diversity
APS 1
  • Understands, values and responds to different personal styles.
  • Tries to see things from different perspectives.
  • Treats people with respect and courtesy.
APS 2
  • Understands, values and responds to different personal styles.
  • Tries to see things from different perspectives.
  • Treats people with respect and courtesy.
APS 3
  • Understands, values and responds to different personal styles.
  • Tries to see things from different perspectives.
  • Treats people with respect and courtesy.
APS 4
  • Recognises the positive benefits that can be gained from diversity.
  • Recognises the different working styles of individuals, and factors this into the management of tasks.
  • Tries to see things from different perspectives.
  • Treats people with respect and courtesy.
APS 5
  • Recognises the positive benefits that can be gained from diversity, and explores diverse views.
  • Recognises the different working styles of individuals, and factors this into the management of people and tasks.
  • Tries to see things from different perspectives.
  • Treats people with respect and courtesy.
APS 6
  • Recognises the positive benefits that can be gained from diversity.
  • Encourages the exploration of diverse views and harnesses the benefits of such views.
  • Recognises the different working styles of individuals, and factors this into the management of people and tasks.
  • Tries to see things from different perspectives.
  • Treats people with respect and courtesy.
Shares learning and supports others
APS 1
  • Identifies learning opportunities.
  • Supports the contribution of others.
  • Understands and acts on constructive feedback.
APS 2
  • Identifies learning opportunities.
  • Supports the contribution of others.
  • Understands and acts on constructive feedback.
APS 3
  • Identifies learning opportunities.
  • Makes time for people and supports the contribution of others.
  • Understands and acts on constructive feedback.
APS 4
  • Identifies learning opportunities.
  • Makes time for people and supports the contribution of others.
  • Understands and acts on constructive feedback.
APS 5
  • Identifies learning opportunities for others and delegates tasks effectively.
  • Agrees clear performance standards and gives timely praise and recognition.
  • Makes time for people and offers full support when required.
  • Provides constructive feedback.
  • Recognises and notes under-performance where appropriate.
APS 6
  • Identifies learning opportunities for others and delegates tasks effectively.
  • Agrees clear performance standards and gives timely praise and recognition.
  • Makes time for people and offers full support when required.
  • Provides constructive and regular feedback.
  • Deals with under-performance promptly.

Displays personal drive and integrity

Demonstrates public service professionalism and probity
APS 1
  • Adopts a principled approach and adheres to the APS Values and Code of Conduct.
  • Acts professionally at all times and operates within the boundaries of organisational processes and legal and public policy constraints.
APS 2
  • Adopts a principled approach and adheres to the APS Values and Code of Conduct.
  • Acts professionally at all times and operates within the boundaries of organisational processes and legal and public policy constraints.
APS 3
  • Adopts a principled approach and adheres to the APS Values and Code of Conduct.
  • Acts professionally at all times and operates within the boundaries of organisational processes and legal and public policy constraints.
  • Operates as an effective representative of the work area in internal forums.
APS 4
  • Adopts a principled approach and adheres to the APS Values and Code of Conduct.
  • Acts professionally at all times and operates within the boundaries of organisational processes and legal and public policy constraints.
  • Operates as an effective representative of the work area in internal forums.
APS 5
  • Adopts a principled approach and adheres to the APS Values and Code of Conduct.
  • Acts professionally at all times and operates within the boundaries of organisational processes and legal and public policy constraints.
  • Operates as an effective representative of the organisation in internal forums.
APS 6
  • Adopts a principled approach and adheres to the APS Values and Code of Conduct.
  • Acts professionally at all times and operates within the boundaries of organisational processes and legal and public policy constraints.
  • Operates as an effective representative of the organisation in internal forums.
Engages with risk and shows personal courage
APS 1
  • Provides accurate advice on less complex issues.
  • Acknowledges mistakes and learns from them, and seeks guidance and advice when required.
APS 2
  • Provides accurate advice on less complex issues.
  • Acknowledges mistakes and learns from them, and seeks guidance and advice when required.
APS 3
  • Provides accurate advice on issues.
  • Acknowledges mistakes and learns from them, and seeks guidance and advice when required.
APS 4
  • Provides accurate advice on issues.
  • Acknowledges mistakes and learns from them, and seeks guidance and advice when required.
APS 5
  • Provides impartial and forthright advice. Justifies own position when challenged.
  • Acknowledges mistakes and learns from them, and seeks guidance and advice when required.
APS 6
  • Provides impartial and forthright advice.
  • Challenges issues constructively and justifies own position when challenged.
  • Acknowledges mistakes and learns from them, and seeks guidance and advice when required.
Commits to action
APS 1
  • Takes personal responsibility for accurate completion of work and seeks assistance when required.
  • Commits energy and drive to see that goals are achieved.
APS 2
  • Takes personal responsibility for accurate completion of work and seeks assistance when required.
  • Commits energy and drive to see that goals are achieved.
APS 3
  • Takes personal responsibility for accurate completion of work and seeks assistance when required.
  • Commits energy and drive to see that goals are achieved.
APS 4
  • Takes personal responsibility for accurate completion of work and seeks guidance when required.
  • Shows initiative and does what is required.
  • Commits energy and drive to see that goals are achieved.
APS 5
  • Takes personal responsibility for meeting objectives and progressing work.
  • Shows initiative and does what is required.
  • Commits energy and drive to see that goals are achieved.
APS 6
  • Takes personal responsibility for meeting objectives and progressing work.
  • Shows initiative and does what is required.
  • Commits energy and drive to see that goals are achieved.
Promotes and adopts a positive and balanced approach to work
APS 1
  • Works as directed to achieve work objectives, even in difficult circumstances.
  • Remains positive and responds to pressure in a calm manner.
APS 2
  • Works as directed to achieve work objectives, even in difficult circumstances.
  • Remains positive and responds to pressure in a calm manner.
APS 3
  • Focuses on achieving objectives even in difficult circumstances.
  • Remains positive and responds to pressure in a calm manner.
APS 4
  • Focuses on achieving objectives even in difficult circumstances.
  • Remains positive and responds to pressure in a calm manner.
APS 5
  • Persists with, and focuses on achieving, objectives even in difficult circumstances.
  • Remains positive and responds to pressure in a calm manner.
APS 6
  • Persists with, and focuses on achieving, objectives even in difficult circumstances.
  • Remains positive and responds to pressure in a calm manner.
Demonstrates self awareness and a commitment to personal development
APS 1
  • Seeks feedback from others.
  • Understands areas of strengths and works with supervisor to identify development needs.
  • Is aware of the impact of own behaviour on others.
  • Seeks self-development opportunities.
APS 2
  • Seeks feedback from others.
  • Understands areas of strengths and works with supervisor to identify development needs.
  • Is aware of the impact of own behaviour on others.
  • Seeks self-development opportunities.
APS 3
  • Seeks feedback from others.
  • Communicates areas of strengths and works with supervisor to identify development needs.
  • Reflects on own behaviour and recognises the impact on others.
  • Seeks self-development opportunities.
APS 4
  • Seeks feedback from others.
  • Communicates areas of strengths and works with supervisor to identify development needs.
  • Reflects on own behaviour and recognises the impact on others.
  • Seeks self-development opportunities.
APS 5
  • Seeks feedback from others.
  • Communicates areas of strengths and acknowledges development needs.
  • Reflects on own behaviour and recognises the impact on others.
  • Shows commitment to learning and self-development.
APS 6
  • Self-evaluates performance and seeks feedback from others.
  • Communicates areas of strengths and acknowledges development needs.
  • Reflects on own behaviour and recognises the impact on others.
  • Shows commitment to learning and self-development.

Communicates with influence

Communicates clearly
APS 1
  • Communicates messages clearly and concisely.
  • Focuses on key points and uses appropriate language.
  • Structures written and oral communication so it is easy to follow.
APS 2
  • Communicates messages clearly and concisely.
  • Focuses on key points and uses appropriate language.
  • Structures written and oral communication so it is easy to follow.
APS 3
  • Confidently presents messages in a clear, concise manner.
  • Focuses on key points and uses appropriate language.
  • Structures written and oral communication to ensure clarity.
APS 4
  • Confidently presents messages in a clear, concise manner.
  • Focuses on key points and uses appropriate language.
  • Structures written and oral communication to ensure clarity.
APS 5
  • Confidently presents messages in a clear, concise and articulate manner.
  • Focuses on key points and uses appropriate, unambiguous language.
  • Selects the most appropriate medium for conveying information and structures written and oral communication to ensure clarity.
APS 6
  • Confidently presents messages in a clear, concise and articulate manner.
  • Focuses on key points and uses appropriate, unambiguous language.
  • Selects the most appropriate medium for conveying information and structures written and oral communication to ensure clarity.
Listens, understands and adapts to audience
APS 1
  • Adapts communication style and approach to ensure they address the needs of different people or audiences.
    Listens carefully to others and checks to ensure their views have been understood.
  • Checks own understanding of others’ comments.
APS 2
  • Adapts communication style and approach to ensure they address the needs of different people or audiences.
  • Listens carefully to others and checks to ensure their views have been understood.
  • Checks own understanding of others’ comments.
APS 3
  • Seeks to understand the audience and tailors communication style and message accordingly.
  • Listens carefully to others and checks to ensure their views have been understood.
  • Checks own understanding of others’ comments.
APS 4
  • Seeks to understand the audience and tailors communication style and message accordingly.
  • Listens carefully to others and checks to ensure their views have been understood.
  • Checks own understanding of others’ comments.
APS 5
  • Seeks to understand the audience and tailors communication style and message accordingly.
  • Listens carefully to others and checks to ensure their views have been understood.
  • Checks own understanding of others’ comments and does not allow misunderstandings to linger.
APS 6
  • Seeks to understand the audience and tailors communication style and message accordingly.
  • Listens carefully to others and checks to ensure their views have been understood.
  • Checks own understanding of others’ comments and does not allow misunderstandings to linger.
Negotiates confidently
APS 1
  • Listens to, and considers different ideas.
  • Discusses issues without getting personal or aggressive.
APS 2
  • Listens to, and considers different ideas.
  • Discusses issues without getting personal or aggressive.
APS 3
  • Listens to, and considers different ideas and discusses issues credibly and thoughtfully.
  • Identifies relevant stakeholders.
APS 4
  • Listens to, and considers different ideas and discusses issues credibly and thoughtfully.
  • Identifies other people’s expectations and concerns.
APS 5
  • Approaches negotiations with a clear understanding of key issues.
  • Understands the desired outcomes.
  • Identifies relevant stakeholders’ expectations and concerns.
  • Discusses issues credibly and thoughtfully.
  • Encourages the support of relevant stakeholders.
APS 6
  • Approaches negotiations with a clear understanding of key issues.
  • Understands the desired outcomes.
  • Anticipates and identifies relevant stakeholders’ expectations and concerns.
  • Discusses issues credibly and thoughtfully and presents persuasive counter-arguments.
  • Encourages the support of relevant stakeholders.

2.2 Individual profiles

Another way to look at the capabilities and behaviours described in the pathway is by individual profiles. A profile exists for each level from APS 1 to SES B3. The profiles describe the capabilities and behaviours expected at a particular level, and complement agency specific capabilities and individual job requirements.

If an individual wants to become more effective in their current role, the relevant profile will be particularly useful in guiding their leadership capability development. It is also useful for individuals aspiring to leadership positions at all levels, or if they are in transition to the next level, or to a new role.

Individuals may use the profile as a guide to identify areas of strength and areas for development. The profiles enable a complete view of the capabilities that would be expected at a particular level. The profiles do not contain any mandatory requirements but are a tool to assist individuals to identify development needs and options.

An overview of the capability descriptions for each level from APS 1 to APS 6 levels is included in this section, followed by more detailed information on the behaviours that illustrate these capabilities. Shaded areas in the overview for each profile represent critical transition points. The individual profiles for all levels from APS 1 to SES B3 are included on the Commission website.

3 Support tools

The ILS contains a number of tools to assist individuals, leaders and HR practitioners to apply the descriptions behaviours described in the leadership pathway. These tools form another significant component of the ILS.

All components of the ILS have been designed for flexible application as part of a capability development planning cycle and will assist individuals assess their capability requirements, identify appropriate development strategies and formulate a capability development plan outlining both immediate and long term goals for development, which will form the basis of a learning agreement.

Agencies and individuals will select the tools that suit their requirements, adjusting as required to meet their particular context.

The ILS resources which can be used for assessing capability development needs include:

  • the original ILS book contains models and support tools designed to assist executive and senior executive staff assess capability needs
  • leadership pathway—identifies and describes leadership capabilities from APS 1 to SES B3 levels. The leadership pathway in the original ILS book contains capability descriptions and behaviours for EL1 to SES B3, while this book includes capability descriptions and behaviours for APS 1 to APS 6.
  • layers of complexity—allows individual to assess the level of complexity of their role
  • critical transition points—identifies the area of most change from one level to another, and can assist individuals identify priorities for development
  • ILS capability assessment kit (available for EL1 to SES B3)—allows individuals to prioritise the capabilities required for their role, assess their capabilities and prioritise development needs (individuals will also need to assess any agency specific capability requirements)
  • leadership capability development planning booklet—provides further information to help individuals assess their capability requirements, align learning with business needs, identify appropriate development strategies and formulate a capability development plan. This booklet is available on the Commission website.

There are many other resources available to individuals including the human resources area of their own agency, to assist them in developing a learning agreement. Finally, the Commission has programmes and networks available that would benefit individuals interested in further developing their capabilities.

3.1 Layers of complexity

This tool describes the increasing layers of complexity as roles change. It will help individuals identify the context that they are working in or aspiring to.

As roles change, the level of complexity changes in each of four aspects—future focus, breadth of contact, breadth of impact and breadth of responsibility. Individuals can identify where different aspects of their role are more complex than others. Agencies will find that these elements of complexity may affect levels other than executive and senior executive, depending on the particular context e.g. small agency or strong regional base.

  • Future focus—shifts from considering the longer-term implications of actions to developing a vision and direction for the future. This is most evident in the supports strategic direction capability.
  • Breadth of contact—stakeholder interactions become more frequent and the range of stakeholders increases. This is most evident in the supports productive working relationships capability.
  • Breadth of impact—shift occurs from an impact on one’s self and the team, to an impact on a business unit, the whole organisation and then an impact on the whole of government. This is most evident in the supports strategic direction and the achieves results capabilities.
  • Breadth of responsibility—clear shift in responsibility that develops from a responsibility for achieving individual and team outcomes to a responsibility for achieving organisation wide outcomes. This is most evident in the achieves results capability.

The following diagram expands the descriptions of these four aspects as they increase in complexity. More detailed information about each aspect of the levels of complexity can be found in the Leadership capability development planning booklet.

3.2 Critical transition points

Critical transition points have been identified for each capability across the various levels. These are points where new behaviours have been introduced and are indicated by bold text in the comparative view of the pathway. This tool is useful for individuals looking to move to a more senior level, and need a snapshot of the critical differences between levels. It will also help individuals identify capability development priorities.

Figure 3: Critical transition points.
Capabilities APS 1 APS 2 APS 3 APS 4 APS 5 APS 6
Supports strategic direction
Supports shared purpose and direction transition point transition point transition point critical transition point critical transition point transition point
Thinks strategically transition point transition point transition point critical transition point transition point transition point
Harnesses information and opportunities transition point critical transition point critical transition point critical transition point critical transition point critical transition point
Shows judgement, intelligence and commonsense transition point critical transition point critical transition point critical transition point critical transition point critical transition point
Achieves results
Identifies and uses resources wisely transition point critical transition point critical transition point critical transition point critical transition point transition point
Applies and builds professional expertise transition point transition point transition point transition point critical transition point transition point
Responds positively to change transition point transition point critical transition point transition point critical transition point critical transition point
Takes responsibility for managing work projects to achieve results transition point transition point critical transition point critical transition point critical transition point critical transition point
Supports productive working relationships
Nurtures internal and external relationships transition point transition point transition point transition point transition point critical transition point
Listens to, understands and recognises the needs of others transition point transition point critical transition point transition point critical transition point transition point
Values individual differences and diversity transition point transition point transition point critical transition point critical transition point critical transition point
Shares learning and supports others transition point transition point critical transition point transition point critical transition point critical transition point
Displays personal drive and integrity
Demonstrates public service professionalism and probity transition point transition point critical transition point transition point transition point transition point
Engages with risk and shows personal courage transition point transition point transition point transition point critical transition point critical transition point
Commits to action transition point transition point transition point critical transition point transition point transition point
Promotes and adopts a positive and balanced approach to work transition point transition point critical transition point transition point critical transition point transition point
Demonstrates self awareness and a commitment to personal development transition point transition point critical transition point transition point critical transition point critical transition point
Communicates with influence
Communicates clearly transition point transition point critical transition point transition point critical transition point transition point
Listens, understands and adapts to audience transition point transition point critical transition point transition point critical transition point transition point
Negotiates confidently transition point transition point critical transition point critical transition point critical transition point critical transition point

Appendix A: Critical transitions APS 6 to EL 1

Critical transition points have been identified for each capability across various levels. These are points where new behaviours have been introduced and are indicated by bold text in the comparative view of the pathway. This table shows a critical transition points between APS 6 to EL 1.

Figure 4 Critical transition points between APS 6 and EL 1
APS capabilities APS 6 EL 1 Executive and senior executive capabilities
Supports strategic direction Shapes strategic thinking
Supports shared purpose and direction transition point critical transition point Inspires a sense of purpose and direction
Thinks strategically transition point critical transition point Focuses strategically
Harnesses information and opportunities critical transition point critical transition point Harnesses information and opportunities
Shows judgement, intelligence and commonsense critical transition point critical transition point Shows judgement, intelligence and commonsense
Achieves results Achieves results
Identifies and uses resources wisely transition point transition point Builds organisational capability and responsiveness
Applies and builds professional expertise transition point transition point Marshals professional expertise
Responds positively to change critical transition point transition point Steers and implements change and deals with uncertainty
Takes responsibility for managing work projects to achieve results critical transition point transition point Ensures closure and delivers on intended results
Supports productive working relationships Cultivates productive working relationships
Nurtures internal and external relationships critical transition point transition point Nurtures internal and external relationships
Listens to, understands and recognises the needs of others transition point critical transition point Facilitates cooperation and partnerships
Values individual differences and diversity critical transition point transition point Values individual differences and diversity
Shares learning and supports others critical transition point critical transition point Guides, mentors and develops people
Displays personal drive and integrity Exemplifies personal drive and integrity
Demonstrates public service professionalism and probity transition point transition point Demonstrates public service professionalism and probity
Engages with risk and shows personal courage critical transition point critical transition point Engages with risk and shows personal courage
Commits to action transition point transition point Commits to action
Promotes and adopts a positive and balanced approach to work transition point critical transition point Displays resilience
Demonstrates self awareness and a commitment to personal development critical transition point critical transition point Demonstrates self awareness and a commitment to personal development
Communicates with influence Communicates with influence
Communicates clearly transition point transition point Communicates clearly
Listens, understands and adapts to audience transition point transition point Listens, understands and adapts to audience
Negotiates confidently critical transition point critical transition point Negotiates persuasively

Appendix B: Glossary of terms

agencies
Commonwealth departments and agencies under the PS Act 1999

APS
Australian Public Service

APS 1
Australian Public Service level 1

APS 2
Australian Public Service level 2

APS 3
Australian Public Service level 3

APS 4
Australian Public Service level 4

APS 5
Australian Public Service level 5

APS 6
Australian Public Service level 6

capability framework
An instrument to identify the critical factors or capabilities required now and in the future for high performance.

EL
Executive Level

EL1
Executive Level 1

EL2
Executive Level 2

HR practitioners
Human resource practitioners

human resource/people management
The processes that managers plan for and manage people to achieve agency outputs and outcomes. This includes specific practice areas such as organisational development, workforce planning, recruitment and selection, performance management, learning and development, reward and recognition, workplace diversity and occupational health and safety.

ILS
Integrated leadership system

learning and development
Learning and development refers to all processes associated with the identification of agency and individual requirements in relation to skills development, and the design, delivery and/or brokering of opportunities to bridge gaps in skills or behavioural requirements.

pathway
The leadership pathway from the Integrated leadership system

performance indicators
Information that can be used as the basis for determining the outcome, or impact, of particular learning and development activities or programs.

PS Act
Public Service Act 1999

SELC Framework
Senior Executive Leadership Capability Framework

SES
Senior Executive Service

SES B1
Senior Executive Service Band 1

SES B2
Senior Executive Service Band 2

SES B3
Senior Executive Service Band 3

Values
The APS Values

workforce planning
A continuous process of shaping the workforce to ensure that it is capable of delivering organisational objectives now and in the future. The desired outcomes of workforce planning are its effective integration into an agency's strategic planning framework and the alignment of HR strategies to continuously deliver the right people in the right place at the right time.

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