Go to top of page

Work level standards SES Band 1



Policy and professional/specialist roles provide advice and recommendations within the framework of broad policy parameters and required standards of professionalism and objectivity.


Roles at SES Band 1 are usually expected to perform an important leadership role in the control of a branch or group and are responsible for the achievement of results in line with corporate or professional goals.

Roles develop the strategic direction for the branch/group ensuring elements integrate to support higher level agency objectives. Roles require the collection and analysis of information, policies and procedures in order to describe the status quo and develop or modify systems, operational plans, broader agency-wide policies and/or specialised projects.

In smaller agencies or parts of agencies, roles at this level may assume accountability for a number of recognised functions, activities or programs; however it is not uncommon for SES roles at this level to be more singularly focussed on one program or initiative, providing comprehensive leadership and direction on that area of focus.

A key feature is the need to work to higher level senior leaders within the agency in order to achieve outcomes, influence processes and build the capability, including the people of the branch/group.


Roles may have leadership or managerial responsibilities for a range of professional / specialist roles.

Roles usually embrace several related activities that need to be coordinated with other activities within a related function, or other functions not under the control of the role.

Professional / specialist roles operate across the full range of a recognised discipline or as a specialist.

Stakeholder Management

Roles are actively involved in influencing and convincing others in the pursuit or achievement of specific and set objectives and representing the agency and government authoritatively.

Stakeholder engagement on sensitive issues, in order to share or seek information, and/or to advocate a particular position, is a regular feature of roles at this level. Focus tends to be at a detailed level involving high order technical or content appreciation.

Roles actively build sustainable relationships within the agency, within the Minister’s office, across the APS and with external parties. Roles are responsive to stakeholder needs and engage stakeholders during times of change, resolving conflict and managing sensitivities within constrained timeframes. The focus is often on achievement of desired objectives and ensuring negotiations remain on track.

Job Context and Environment

The operating environment is both complex and diverse. Direction is specified in terms of broad agency objectives. Roles may embrace a range of activities and/or operate in a complex, specialised environment. Focus can be national and/or international, representing the agency or government.

Roles are required to understand a range of external factors affecting the agency, and regularly monitor and respond to a changing operating environment ensuring that there is a high level of integration with the broader context, including the agency’s direction and role within government. This extends to understanding contemporary and emerging cross-jurisdictional and international issues.

Focus on an environment that can respond to changing needs and circumstances.

Work is characterised by the regular requirement to improve or revise established techniques, methods, systems or policies, or the relating of precedent to new situations to propose solutions that usually have enduring effects which extend beyond the immediate work environment. For many roles there will be a requirement to adapt or develop new systems, methods and processes.

Judgements and Independence

Role objectives and operating policies are broadly defined with established methods, procedures and processes.

At this level a variety of alternatives must be considered before judgements and/or decisions can be made. Problem resolution may need to take account of established management systems, professional standards, budget parameters or known equipment capacity.

Complete information may not always be available, requiring roles to make effective judgements under pressure, anticipate and manage risk, consider alternative courses of action, address problems in the work environment, devise action plans and advocate new approaches.

Delivery roles are governed by clear objectives and/or budgets. Compliance with regulatory and reporting requirements is a key feature. Within this framework, the role independently manages the day-to-day activities of staff to ensure efficiency and effectiveness of service delivery and proposes creative solutions to problems.


Delivery roles build and maintain the capability of a branch/group to ensure the effective delivery of government policies, strategies and programs aligning with the corporate plan and within budget parameters, for example:

  • Achievement of performance standards and measures.
  • Financial and human capital and other asset management.
  • Leadership in implementation and delivery of strategic/major agency activities and initiatives.
  • Collaboration and negotiation with State/Territory governments.

Public Policy

Policy roles provide intellectual leadership and where necessary marshal expertise in the area of operation, while also understanding the impact of the environment, whole-of-government priorities, and community and stakeholder influences and interactions, for example:

  • Lead policy development and review activities.
  • Provide expert advice in one or more areas of government policy.
  • Analyse policy options and prepare material for policy statements.
  • Consult on policy options and assess stakeholder feedback.
  • Prepare and/or sign off on briefs/advice to Ministers within broad policy parameters within a defined area of government policy.


Regulatory roles build and maintain the capability of a branch/group to effectively implement compliance programs, gather and assess intelligence and manage risk and threat, for example:

  • Stakeholder education to support implementation of regulatory requirements.
  • Lead enforcement and compliance programs.
  • Contribute to the establishment and maintenance of governance frameworks.
  • Foster and maintain standards of independence and professionalism in audit and assurance.

Professional / Specialist

Specialist roles provide intellectual leadership and where necessary marshal expertise in the use of complex, though conventional, methods and techniques of a particular area, for example:

  • Exercise influence within the agency and across the APS.
  • Provide a key escalation point for professional/technical matters related to the specific discipline.
  • Participate in cross-agency coordination/collaboration.
  • Provide advice on legislative interpretation.

Distinguishing Characteristics

  • The focus of interactions, while often across the agency or directed inwardly with staff reporting to the role, extends to broader corporate leadership, and cross-government and external representation.
  • Takes responsibility for performance outcomes for a specific program, initiative, or for quality of advice provided.
  • Takes responsibility for the management and development of all staff in a branch/group.
  • Leads a branch/group in implementing programs, projects and initiatives.
  • Contributes to one or more elements of agency governance.
  • Recommends decisions on performance improvement initiatives and options.
  • Plans and manages budgeted resources.
  • Influential source of advice related to a specific area of knowledge or practice, which will form a key input to agency decision making processes.
  • Primary planning focus assumes an immediate current year but with an understanding of future implications.
Last reviewed: 
29 March 2018