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Job family model

Contact and acknowledgement information

Enquiries or suggestions about the APS Job Family Model are welcome and should be directed to: APSED [at] apsc.gov.au.


Job family model (MS Word)

Job family model coding (MS Excel)

If you would like to apply for a new role(s) to be added to the APS job family model, please use the form below:

Application to add job role


In May 2011, the Australian Public Service Commission (APSC) held a symposium to discuss workforce planning, in particular the barriers faced by workforce planning practitioners and what the Commission could do to assist agencies implement or improve workforce planning.

The symposium delegates articulated that forecasting workforce supply and demand is difficult without an established system for clearly understanding occupational groupings or skill areas in the workforce. Standard groupings of this sort are at the foundation for understanding workforce shortages, flows, development, and potential risks to business delivery. The 2009-10 State of the Service Agency Survey found that only 29% of APS agencies had a formal skill-based system for classifying occupations. This finding highlights significant deficiencies of an essential component of workforce planning.

Agencies indicated that to progress workforce planning across the APS, the APSC could assist by developing a common APS Job Family Model — a means of describing and analysing the workforce with linkages to the broader labour market, with view to identifying high-risk capability areas.

The main reference point for the majority of the functions and roles defined within this model is the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO). This is to enable the use of labour market information, published by the Australian Bureau of Statistics and the Department of Education and Training, to assess workforce risks. The model supports workforce planning and policy within an organisation and more broadly across the APS through a clear, consistent language for articulating the role and skills requirements for the sector and business intelligence on current and emerging functional needs.

In 2015 the APSC engaged with a range of agencies to review and revise the model and add additional roles. An Excel™ listing of the new model was made available in April 2017 and then updated in line with the publication of this guidance. The new model also includes enhanced governance arrangements including the facility to submit applications for new roles and annual review of the framework in consultation with key agencies.

The APS job family document was originally released for agencies to adopt or adapt to their needs but is not mandated for use across the APS. Take-up by agencies has progressed steadily since 2011 and at December 2016 the APSC had job family data for around 90,000 staff, or 60% of the total public service. Based on consultation with agencies who have, or are planning to, adopt the model this is expected to grow in coming years. Broad coverage across the sector will enable detailed intelligence on the roles performed across the APS as more agencies use HRM systems to monitor job family information and include it with APS Employee Database (APSED) reporting.


The APS job family model provides a basis for identifying, articulating, analysing and managing the functional and capability requirements of a workforce including associated risks these pose to business deliverables. This is a key enabler for internal workforce planning and to inform HR policy development. Agencies that have adopted the model have also used this as the basis for other HR priorities such as learning and development, business reform, talent management and mobility. Key features of the model include:

Groups functionally similar positions with related skills, tasks and knowledge to generate intelligence on roles performed across the APS

Job family data from participating agencies is held in the APS Employee Database (APSED) and provides sector intelligence on the skills and capability requirements of agencies now and into the future

Establishing a common language across the APS and providing a foundation for workforce intelligence and management

Aligns with Australia and New Zealand standard for Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO)

APS job families is based on and fully mapped against ANZSCO role titles to optimise data compatibility and align with statistical reporting provided by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Enabling cross sector insights and comparisons with Australian business

APS governance and maintenance

APS job families is governed by the Australian Public Service Commission (APSC) in collaboration with participating agencies. This includes annual review of the framework, regular consultation with key stakeholders and the facility for agencies to submit new roles for inclusion.

To ensure currency and accommodate public sector requirements

Guiding principles

The APS job family model aims to:

  • Effectively articulate specific roles for practical application to workforce planning and management;
  • Generate intelligence and insight into the skill and capability requirements of organisations;
  • Be inclusive rather than exclusive and seek to incorporate the full range of roles performed in the APS;
  • Be flexible and agile to enable the identification and incorporation of new skills and roles as they emerge;
  • Align with other job segmentation models to allow easy mapping and cross agency/sector comparisons.

Choose from the following job families:


The APS job family model is hierarchical and has four tiers. Three tiers are supplied within the model itself for categorising roles and the fourth designated by the agency or organisation:

Job family

The highest tier in a hierarchy of job segmentation within a workforce. The purpose is to split the workforce into logical and practical segments to allow deeper workforce analysis to occur. A job family is a grouping of similar jobs at the highest level that usually consists of several job functions. For example, a possible job family might be ‘Administration, facilities and property’.

Job function

The second tier in a hierarchy of job segmentation within a workforce. A job function is a subgroup of jobs within a job family that require similar skills, capabilities, knowledge and training. For example, one job function within the job family of ‘Administration, facilities and property’ might be ‘Executive assistants, secretaries and receptionists’.

Job role

A job role is a subgroup of jobs within a job function that allows for further refining and grouping of required skills, capabilities, knowledge and training. For example, a job role within the job function of ‘Executive assistants, secretaries and receptionists’ (in the ‘Administration, facilities and property’ job family) might be ‘Personal/Executive assistants’.

Job title

The name given to a job that provides a meaningful description of the role. Job titles are generally agency specific and may indicate the classification level of the position. For example, a job title within the ‘Personal/Executive assistants’ Job role might be ‘Executive Assistant to General Manager Corporate’


When implementing or applying the model to an organisation it may be helpful to consider the following:

  • The model groups functionally similar positions that have related skills, tasks and knowledge blocks. The complexity within a role is defined by the work level standards not by separate roles.
  • Roles should be grouped based on the role responsibilities and not on the context or environment in which they are performed. For example an accountant working in an intelligence area should be grouped within the accounting and finance family and not the intelligence family.
  • Job Family mapping is generally applied to a position not a person and should focus on the work needed to be performed in the role rather than the particular skills or abilities of the individual performing the role.
  • The model can be adapted to an agency’s particular situation and requirements, including the establishment of more granular or emerging roles. APS agencies should align and/or map any new positions against the current job family model to facilitate data collection and cross agency and sector comparisons.
  • Where a position undertakes a number of job roles, it may be helpful to determine the most appropriate role based on one or more of the following:
    • Function performed most frequently;
    • Attributes of the role that are most critical to business;
    • Key accountability or core purpose of the position;
    • Skilling or proficiency requirements for the position.