Work level standards: APS Level and Executive Level classifications

Last updated: 19 Nov 2014

This page is: current

The Australian Public Service (APS) Work Level Standards for the APS Level and Executive Level (EL) classifications have been developed to provide a consistent platform for classifying jobs. They accommodate the diversity of roles across the APS and are structured to clearly differentiate between the work expected (i.e. responsibilities and duties) at each classification level.

The work level standards are not intended to be an exhaustive list of responsibilities and duties for each classification level. The classification should be determined according to the highest function performed on a regular basis. Roles are not expected to involve all of the examples listed. Descriptions of the responsibilities and duties have been developed to take account of the wide-ranging nature of work across the APS. They should be regarded as general in nature and will require a level of interpretation depending upon the broad job context and conditions within which the responsibilities and duties are to be performed.

Agencies may consider supplementary guidance to enable the application of work value descriptions to a specific job. 

In keeping with the broader employment framework for the APS it is expected that in performing any role, all APS employees display behaviours consistent with the APS Values and Employment Principles and the APS Code of Conduct. Employees are also expected to apply principles and practices relating to workplace diversity, a safe working environment and workplace participation.

The WLS consist of two key elements: characteristics and functions.

Characteristics: contain general statements about the broad job requirements and operating context for each classification level. The five key characteristics are:

  • Leadership and accountability;
  • Management diversity and span;
  • Stakeholder management;
  • Job context and environment; and
  • Independence and decision-making.

Functions: details the typical duties and provides examples of the types of tasks and/or functions performed at each classification level. A role may incorporate duties from more than one function. The five key functions are:

  • Service delivery – relates to the delivery of outcomes in support of policy objectives, program delivery or delivery of finite government initiatives. Service delivery to internal and external customers is a feature of this function.
  • Program and project management – roles in this function are accountable for the achievement of objectives through the management of risk and financial, human, physical and capital resources.
  • Policy – the most significant contribution of roles in this function relate to the development of strategic policy. The provision and interpretation of policy advice reflects research and analysis of implications and stakeholder views obtained through consultation, articulation of policy in policy statements, regulatory or financial measures and legislation.
  • Regulatory – this function relates to the design and implementation of compliance and enforcement programs and operations within a governance framework. This includes information gathering and risk assessments.
  • Professional / Technical – the most significant contribution of roles in this function is the provision of technical, professional, or specialist advice or expertise. This knowledge has a primary influence on adopted strategies, plans, targets and outcomes in terms of effectiveness or efficiency. Roles in this functional stream may have a relevant qualification or recognised expertise in a field or area.

APS Work Level standards: