Capability Review Program
The Capability Review program is part of the Government’s enduring plan for APS Reform. Currently in a pilot phase, the program aims to:
- embed a culture of continuous improvement across the APS
- ensure agencies can deliver government priorities and outcomes for Australians.
Capability reviews are independent, forward-looking and assess an agency's ability to meet future objectives and challenges. They aim to facilitate discussions around an organisation’s desired future state, highlight strengths and organisational capability gaps and identify opportunities to act on them.
Capability reviews are an investment in long-term capability. They are conducted in partnership with agencies, complement existing initiatives within agencies, and provide an independent evidence base for further targeted change.
Capability reviews apply a consistent framework – a structured approach that assesses agencies against comparable standards. This helps share best practice between agencies and identify common themes.
Review findings are set out in a report delivered to the APS Commissioner. Agencies then develop and implement action plans to raise capability. Agency capability review reports and action plans are published on this web page.
A review of the pilot will inform advice for an ongoing program of reviews.
To ensure transparency, independence and accountability, each review is led by a Senior Review Team including:
- Independent Reviewers – eminent individuals with a strong understanding of the public sector operating environment and an appreciation of how organisations can build capability; and
- Senior APS Reviewers – current APS Band 2 or Band 3 SES officers from agencies other than those being reviewed.
Department of Home Affairs
- Australian Public Service Commission
- Department of Health and Aged Care
- Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications and the Arts
- Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry.
Between 2011 and 2016, the Government conducted a program of periodic external reviews of organisational capability for each department and three major agencies (Australian Taxation Office, Australian Customs and Border Protection Service and Australian Bureau of Statistics).
In July 2013, the Capability Review report for the Australian Customs and Border Protection Capability Review was released.
On 18 September 2013, changes were made to the administrative arrangements for the Australian Public Service. The nine Capability Review reports available below were completed prior to these changes:
- Department of Finance and Deregulation
- Department of Regional Australia, Local Government, Arts and Sport
- Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry
- Australian Taxation Office
- Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
- Department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary Education
- Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs
- Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism
These reports were released in December 2013.