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Work level standards SES Band 2



Roles are characterised as requiring extensive knowledge and skills, and advanced professional/specialist/public administration expertise.


Roles would typically include heads of divisions/groups with extensive corporate resource accountabilities, and/or policy advisory accountabilities, and/or substantial or specialised knowledge demands.

Roles at SES Band 2 strategically lead the implementation of programs and initiatives. It is rare that roles will operate within a single frame of reference, as they are more likely to drive a range of activities and initiatives, with a requirement to strategically balance resources in order to optimise both the efficiency and effectiveness of activities and functions under their control. Some roles will have a more limited range of focus to deal with particular issues of high complexity or risk, often for a specified time frame.

Roles are largely focused on strategic activities which align with government objectives and anticipate future requirements.

Roles focus on activities that support agency sustainability, including the development of people, the facilitation of information accessibility and sharing, monitoring of resourcing pressures and implementation of strategies to ensure the best results are achieved. Roles accept full accountability for projects or funding in their charge.

Role occupants are seen as influential leaders within the agency, and contribute significantly to the development of agency strategies to meet government objectives.


Roles manage a total function or professional discipline at a whole-of-agency level with accountability for the integration of a number of functions. Roles are likely to oversee the implementation of multiple, integrated change initiatives with outcomes that significantly impact communities, stakeholders and services.

Stakeholder Management

Roles effectively lead and oversee stakeholder engagement and influence outcomes, including through leading and motivating others to cooperate over priorities, the use of resources, management decisions, policy frameworks and technical concepts and processes.

Roles proactively develop productive working relationships across the broader APS and actively engage, inform and advise a diverse range of major stakeholders about various complex issues. As a principal representative of government and an advocate of key roles, interactions extend to external stakeholders domestically and internationally. While content appreciation is important, the focus is largely on achieving satisfactory outcomes through effective interactions with stakeholders.

Effectively responding to and anticipating the needs of key stakeholders are an important feature. Roles provide persuasive advice in an environment of time pressure, divergent views and conflicting priorities.

Job Context and Environment

Roles operate in an environment where there is a requirement to identify long-term opportunities, consider emerging trends and the whole-of-government agenda, and formulate strategies, plans and priorities which are underpinned by robust analysis and investigation.

The issues are complex and may be characterised by any one or combination of the following: problems and issues arising frequently; new methods are regularly required; resolution of issues breaks new grounds of knowledge; or there is no available source of advice or guidance.

Roles are required to consider multiple options to resolve complex problems and develop innovative and realistic solutions. Roles will efficiently and effectively assess environmental factors, identifying relationships between complex issues and developing contingency plans to mitigate risks to the achievement of government priorities.

Judgements and Independence

Roles work with a large degree of independence as to methods, procedures and processes within a framework of broadly established policies, priorities, and goals.

Roles are often responsible for significant change initiatives that will have agency and/or cross-agency impacts. Whilst operating within an existing policy and practice framework, roles have considerable freedom to determine how to achieve results.

Roles make statements of behalf of the agency in accordance with policy parameters. Roles are accountable for program development and planning, including resource negotiation, implementation, effectiveness review and professional and objective standards of assurance.

Roles directly influence the development of policies, and initiate new developments in either policy and program delivery, or professional practice, which establish precedent for the agency.

Delivery roles will either substantially influence the allocation of resources or allocate resources in the short term, and make medium to long-term commitments where there are defined precedents.


Delivery roles manage the capability and resources of a function at a whole-of-agency level, for example:

  • General management and broad executive direction.
  • Responsibility and accountability for a defined part of the agency’s outcomes.
  • Financial, physical and human capital management.
  • Major program management.
  • Leadership in implementation and delivery of strategic and/or major agency initiatives.

Public Policy

Policy roles provide highly critical advice in the area of operation and represent the agency on those matters, for example:

  • Establish policy development frameworks.
  • Provide authoritative policy advice in one or more areas of government policy.
  • Consult on policy options to achieve outcomes.
  • May provide direct advice to the Minister on a specific program or policy issue.


Regulatory roles provide highly critical advice in compliance, risk management and intelligence gathering and assessment, for example:

  • Lead evaluation of effectiveness of regulatory policies, operational frameworks and guidelines.
  • Engage stakeholders during analytical stages of problem solving and risk assessment.
  • Assess emerging issues and trends which may impact on regulation management.
  • Establish and maintain standards of independence and professionalism.

Professional / Specialist

Specialist roles provide highly critical advice in the area of expertise, for example:

  • Exercise influence cross-APS, or cross-jurisdictional.
  • Ultimate escalation point for professional/technical matters related to the specific discipline.
  • Drive strong external peer network within function/discipline.

Distinguishing Characteristics

  • These roles usually require extensive professional/administrative management experience.
  • Integration of diverse activities or multiple functions at agency level.
  • Contributes to agency leadership and to overall governance processes.
  • Compared to Band 1, the focus is more often across agency or on the external context.
  • Contributes to shaping and implementing overall corporate strategy.
  • Places divisional activities into broader whole-of-APS and environmental context.
  • Primary planning focus assumes a 4 year horizon and beyond.
  • Recommends decisions on significant strategic alternatives to Secretary/Deputy Secretary.
  • Authority to plan and manage agency resources, linking capability to business planning.
  • Typically represents the level accountable for aggregation of functions and activities to determine priorities, and argue the case.
  • Impacts on whole-of-agency performance outcomes.
  • Principal and authoritative source of advice related to a specific area of knowledge or practice upon which the agency and Ministers depend.
Last reviewed: 
29 March 2018