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Work Level Standard - Executive Level 1


An Executive Level 1 employee would generally be required to undertake work that is very complex or sensitive and operate under broad direction. They exercise a considerable degree of independence and perform a leadership role. Employees at this level exercise sound decision making and judgement to produce high level policy advice. EL 1 employees engage in complex problem solving and issues management and may coordinate and undertake detailed or sensitive projects that impact on strategic, political or operational outcomes for the agency. Employees also responsible for actively managing key stakeholder relationships within and outside the agency and may manage one or more work teams. Generally, the work of an EL 1 is characterised by one or more of the following:

Leadership and Accountability

  • Provide expertise across a broad range of activities potentially relating to the work of different program areas.
  • Provide expert advice on policy, complex problem solving and issues management for internal and external stakeholders.
  • Ensure in-depth knowledge of and compliance with legislative, financial and administrative frameworks, government decision-making processes and agency guidelines and regulations.
  • Take responsibility for the achievements of own and team outcomes, monitor progress and follow through to deliver quality outcomes.
  • Recommend strategic directions for area of responsibility and consider wider agency implications when making decisions.
  • Consider and effectively manage competing priorities and strategic directions when achieving team planning and project outcomes in line with agency goals and objectives.
  • Implement change and manage ambiguity in the workplace.
  • Provide a significant contribution to innovation and business improvement strategies.
  • Engage with risk, including the conduct of risk assessment and risk management activities for area of responsibility.

Job Context and Environment

  • Undertake work activities with an awareness of their possible impact on strategic, political or operational outcomes for the agency/program.
  • Attain and maintain an extensive understanding of the role and responsibilities of the agency, including and understanding of the APS operating environment more broadly.
  • Work within established legislative and policy frameworks.

Independence and Decision-making

  • Work with a level of independence, under broad direction, with a concurrent need to resolve issues and deliver quality outcomes.
  • Communicate and make decisions with a high level of impact on the functional area and the potential to impact more broadly on agency operations and externally.
  • Communicate and make decisions that are based on professional judgement, evaluating risks and in the context of a complex and changing environment.
  • Work with a focus on research, analysis and judgement to manage complex issues.

Stakeholder Management

  • Engage and collaborate with key stakeholders to identify opportunities, achieve outcomes and facilitate cooperation.
  • Promote the agency’s business objectives through key strategic relationships with range of stakeholders.
  • Develop and manage a range of stakeholder relationships.
  • Establish and maintain internal and external networks.
  • Represent and explain the views of the agency at cross-agency meetings and other forums.
  • Present the agency’s position in the context of more complex issues.
  • Manage stakeholders through change, resolving conflict and managing sensitivities.
  • Identify new stakeholders considering future needs/direction and a changing environment.

Management Diversity and Span

  • Manage a number of employees performing diverse tasks or manage a larger team where skill sets are similar and tasks are related.
  • Ensure quality outputs including that employees maintain a high level of specialist, professional and/or technical expertise.
  • Coordinate and undertake detailed or sensitive projects that impact on the strategic, political or operational outcomes of the agency.
  • Develop and implement work plans that provide strategic directions for the work area.
  • Plan and monitor work processes, direct and coordinate quality assurance practices and set performance indicators.
  • Build capability in a team environment through coaching others, providing performance feedback, conflict resolution and encouraging career development.
  • Exercise autonomy and initiative in team management and allocation of resources and managing finances to meet objectives.


Service Delivery

Roles at this level may:

  • Negotiate with customers to resolve conflict in the context of escalated, sensitive or difficult issues
  • Review complex and sensitive issues relating to internal and external customers
  • Negotiate and liaise with internal and external stakeholders to ensure positive outcomes
  • Manage complex customer relationships, including the management of customer expectations
  • Develop and ensure delivery of specialist services to customers
  • Identify, establish and implement new services and customer service systems and system improvement initiatives
  • Identify measures to assess performance and direct data gathering processes to measure service impacts
  • Act on outcomes of performance measurement activities to ensure that customer service standards are met
  • Direct reporting in relation to customer service activities and act on recommendations
  • Promote a customer focused culture within work area
  • Manage and implement cultural and procedural change with a customer focused culture within work area
  • Prepare complex and/or sensitive correspondence and corporate documentation, reports, submissions, proposal papers and notes
  • Provide expert program, service or policy interpretation to ensure a high level of customer service
  • Contribute to the development of business plans and marketing strategies
  • Undertake risk assessment and risk management activities
  • Ensure continuity of service delivery across a region or program
  • Manage a range of procurement functions
  • Undertake contract management functions
  • Manage recruitment and staffing processes, including the preparation of selection reports

Program and Project Management

Roles at this level may:

  • Collaborate with stakeholders to establish joint program initiatives
  • Oversee and analyse project outputs, aims and objectives
  • Research, review and evaluate projects and/or programs
  • Report on program outcomes to internal and external stakeholders
  • Coordinate the use of specialist project service providers, including contractors and consultants
  • Evaluate specialist proposals from contractors, select contractors and manage consultant/contractor providers
  • Maintain expert knowledge in relevant areas and provide advice and technical expertise to guide project and program activities
  • Undertake risk assessment and risk management activities for a project or program
  • Monitor program outcomes and analyse against budget specifications
  • Manage a significant set of resources of a business unit, including financial budgets
  • Develop and maintain business planning strategies for the business unit or office
  • Coordinate strategic planning for longer-term project initiatives and program management
  • Coordinate cross program activities
  • Manage, deliver and monitor projects that may have an agency wide impact
  • Develop, plan and manage training programs
  • Review and clear briefs


Roles at this level may:

  • Develop and interpret policy in a specialised area of work that requires detailed understanding and consideration of sensitive organisational and political issues
  • Develop complex policy that requires a detailed analysis of diverse data and views where there are a range of viable options
  • Develop and implement complex policy documents for review and publication
  • Prepare and review draft policy reports, briefing papers, speeches and discussion papers for presentation to senior staff and the Senior Executive
  • Provide specialist, expert advice on more complex areas of policy
  • Develop or evaluate policy advice for presentation to the Minister or Senior Executive
  • Incorporate risk and implementation considerations into policy development
  • Assess the impact of changes in Government policy and initiate and contribute to appropriate responses
  • Liaise with internal and external stakeholders, participate in committees and use networks across the APS in order to develop policy and provide advice to senior management
  • Oversee, maintain and analyse policy initiatives that incorporate a broad understanding of the policy environment
  • Work to implement policy driven change across the agency
  • Facilitate policy initiatives changes
  • Engage with Cabinet and other processes

Regulatory Functions

Roles at this level may:

  • Maintain knowledge of relevant legislative and reporting requirements, Australian and International standards, quality assurance procedures and best practice models
  • Apply comprehensive work knowledge, precedent and established legislation, policy, procedures and guidelines to situations involving a high level of complexity and sensitivity which require considerable interpretation and analysis
  • Contribute to strong levels of regulatory compliance and reporting
  • Manage compliance processes such as data analysis and compliance intervention design
  • Undertake and manage investigations
  • Develop, conduct and report on audit/quality control activities
  • Educate employees in correct decision making practices
  • Promote and encourage quality decision making within the agency
  • Undertake analysis and investigation and produce intelligence products in line with required standards
  • Provide significant and detailed advice on regulatory issues
  • Establish information for proof, validation or evidence
  • Oversee the preparation of documents such as financial investigations and litigation files
  • Manage legal processes in complex cases
  • Prepare briefing material and analytical reports

Professional/Technical Functions

Roles at this level may:

  • Provide high level specialist technical/professional advice on specific issues, including feasibility and precedential advice
  • Provide strategic advice to the Senior Executive, contributing to and supporting the strategic direction of agency in area of specialisation
  • Supervise and manage a professional work unit and provide expert advice and assistance to team members performing technical or professional work
  • Provide specialist professional supervision where applicable
  • Provide quality assurance and case review
  • Coordinate scientific or technical testing, analysis and evaluation, including analysis of complex data
  • Undertake more complex research in area of specialisation
  • Prepare research proposals
  • Report results in the form of presentations, project reports and peer-reviewed publications
  • Contribute to the development and implementation of initiatives, strategies or methodologies relating to technical, policy, IT, operational or service oriented matters
  • Liaise with relevant professional bodies and associations
  • Liaise, engage and collaborate with other internal or external professionals to resolve assessments, complete assessments or make referrals and ensure positive outcomes
  • Independently provide professional services on more complex issues
  • Represent the agency in a professional or specialist context
  • Maintain professional knowledge and continue to develop knowledge and expertise in relation to professional skills
  • Develop and deliver education services in area of expertise
  • Prepare and review draft procedural or technical manuals and guidelines
  • Manage and deliver projects of a technical or specialised nature
  • Undertake and lead technical laboratory or field work
  • Identify, manage and report on specialist related risk
Last reviewed: 
31 May 2018