The Capability Framework and the Performance Development Framework

Apr 27, 2015

External resources

Public Service Commission Employment Portal

Capability Framework:

Public Service Commission Circular 2013-09, NSW Public Sector Capability Framework (pdf)

Role Description Development Guideline (pdf)

Public Service Commission Capability Framework Tools and Resources

Public Service Commission Capability Comparison Guide (pdf)

Public Service Commission Guideline – NSW Public Sector Capability Framework (pdf)

Performance Development:

Performance Development Framework (pdf)

Public Service Commission Circular 2013-06, Public Sector Performance Development Framework (pdf)

Public Service Commission – Managing for Performance: Guide for Managers (pdf)

Giving performance a fair go

Jun 19, 2015

Giving performance a fair go – 19 June 2015 (PDF version)

The PSA recently wrote to the Public Service Commissioner, highlighting our concerns about performance management systems. We feel that when agencies implement systems aligned to the Performance Development Framework, employees may find themselves held to expectations or levels of performance that might not have been explicitly established previously.

Anecdotal evidence from delegates and members suggests performance management processes are not being consistently administered across the sector.

As performance management systems are mandated for all agencies (see HERE) the PSA is keen to see all of our members get a fair go and work on an even playing field.

The PSA’s letter to the Commissioner on 21 May 2015 proposed that, where existing positions are reassessed by agencies embedding the Capability Framework, and the employee in the position is subsequently assessed as not meeting the required capabilities, no formal performance management processes should be initiated on the basis of the established ‘role description’. This is valid for a period of six months from the date of conversion from the employee’s previous ‘statement of duties’ or ‘position description’.

The PSA believes the six-month lead time will give our members sufficient opportunity to appreciate and meet the capability requirements of their roles, and to complete any necessary training.

For more information about the Capability Framework and the Performance Development Framework, please see the PSA’s website or access the Public Service Commission’s website.

PSA bulletin: The Capability Framework and the Performance Development Framework

PSA bulletin: The Capability Framework and the Performance Development Framework – April 2015 (PDF version)

The Public Service Commission (PSC) is introducing a series of reforms, including the Capability Framework and the Performance Development Framework, which are aimed at producing a high-performance culture in the NSW public sector.

The PSA is keen to empower members and make sure that the reforms are carried out in a way that is consistent and equitable.

What is the Capability Framework?

The Capability Framework is defined in the Public Service Commission’s Circular (PSCC) 2013-09 which is available HERE.

Capabilities are the knowledge, skills, and abilities that need to be demonstrated by public sector employees to perform their roles effectively.

The Capability Framework provides a common foundation tool to support the full range of workforce management and development activities.

PSCC 2013-09 states that Agencies are expected to embed the Capability Framework in workforce management practices as soon as possible but no later than the end of the three year period beginning 9 August 2013.

The compliance level is “strongly encouraged”.

What is a role description under the Capability Framework?

A Role Description is a document that replaces a position description (see page 3 of the PSC’s “Role Description Development Guideline”, which is available HERE.

A role description contains the capabilities (and level descriptors) required of an employee and serves a range of workforce management purposes, including:

  • the basis for job evaluation;
  • a source of information for job applicants (both internal and external to the public sector);
  • the basis for deciding the capability levels to be assessed in recruiting to a role;
  • a reference point for performance agreements and reviews;
  • a starting point for identification of learning and development activities; and
  • a basis for staff to assess potential next career steps, through comparison of requirements.

The PSC has provided the following tools and resources for analysing your role description:

Public Service Commission Capability Framework Tools and Resources

Public Service Commission Capability Comparison Guide (pdf)

When will the Capability Framework commence in your agency?

While each agency is required to transition to the Capability Framework by 9 August 2016, this will not happen concurrently for all agencies.

With guidance from the Public Service Commission, each agency will work independently to develop Capability Framework-based role descriptions.

If you don’t currently have a role description in your agency, you and your manager will base your Performance Agreement (explained later in this document) on your position description or statement of duties, as well as other relevant organisational plans (or in the case of School and Administrative Support Staff, your School Plan).

How will the Capability Framework affect your job security?

The Government Sector Employment Act (the GSE) shifts the focus to employees no longer holding positions but having “roles”.

The Capability Framework is the foundation Framework which creates a mechanism for NSW public sector agencies to assess your capabilities and govern how mobile and flexible you can be in your “ongoing role”.

An employee under the former Public Sector Employment and Management Act 2002 held a “permanent position”, whereas the same employee under the terms of the Government Sector Employment Act 2013, holds an “ongoing role”.

While the Capability Framework could be seen as a neutral and benign way of describing the capabilities you need in your role, it is a new mechanism which allows your agency to move you from one role to another.

What is the Performance Development Framework?

Please refer to page 2 of the Public Service Commission’s “Performance Development Framework”, available HERE.

According to legislation, all public sector agencies must have a performance management system that meets essential elements and guidelines set by the Public Service Commissioner.

The Performance Development Framework contains these guidelines and sets the approach for managing all aspects of employee performance in the NSW public sector.

The Framework consists of six components that develop employee capabilities and link individual and team efforts and performance with the objectives and performance of their organisations.

Why are NSW public sector agencies introducing Performance Management Systems?

Under Section 67 of the GSE, agency heads are required to implement a Performance management system.

Further instruction from the Public Service Commission provides a deadline of 1 July 2015.

Compliance level is “mandatory”. This information is provided in the Public Service Commission’s Circular (PSCC) 2013-06

What are Performance Agreements and Reviews?

The Public Service Commission’s “Managing for Performance: Guide for Managers” (available HERE) advises that “Performance agreements are likely to vary in title and structure from agency to agency.They are developed collaboratively between the employee and their manager, and are used to record the performance objectives for the upcoming period and results of the formal performance review” (page 32).

Formal performance reviews are usually held once or twice yearly, in addition to the regular monitoring and ongoing feedback to employees that is given on a daily basis.

Performance Reviews should be based on Performance Agreements.

How does your agency’s Performance Management System relate to the Capability Framework?

In order for you and your manager to negotiate a “Performance Agreement”, you will need to understand what capabilities you need in your role and how you can demonstrate them.

The Capability Framework contains 16 core capabilities on which all roles in the NSW are based. Your updated “role description” contains the focus capabilities (and level of capabilities) you need to demonstrate.

If some agencies have position descriptions and statement of duties, while others have updated to “role descriptions”, does this create a level playing field for all NSW public sector employees?

The PSA is closely monitoring developments to ensure that you and all employees are treated in a fair, consistent and equitable way. We are keeping in touch with delegates and asking questions of agencies at Joint Consultative Committee (JCC) meetings.

For more information about the Capability Framework and the Performance Development Framework, please go to the Public Service Commission’s (PSC’s) Employment Portal.

All PSA members are encouraged to read the Public Service Commission’s information about the Capability Framework and the Performance Development Framework through the PSC’s Employment Portal.

Senior Executive Change bulletin

Jun 4, 2014

Senior Executive Change bulletin June 2014 (PDF Version)

Background

In February 2013, the NSW Government introduced a new senior executive classification which transfers senior officers from the award based system to ongoing contracts.

The GSE Act came into force on 24 February 2014 and since then the finer details and full impact of the senior executive reforms are being revealed. From the date of commencement:

  • 3 years to transition Senior officers ‘in scope’ to new senior executive structure;
  • 6 months for Clusters to provide implementation plan to the Public Service Commission (PSC) for approval.

Relevant resources

Transitional arrangements improved thanks to members’ feedback

The transitional provisions contain some important wins achieved through the advocacy of PSA members.

This includes the initial recruitment action for senior executives being restricted to those former senior executives and senior officers from within the agency. (GSE Act, Schedule 4, clause 8(5)).

Further, once transitioned and to avoid any financial disadvantage, senior officers may be paid an allowance to bridge the difference between the previous senior officer’s salary and the new senior executive band. (GSE Act, Schedule 4, clause 8B(4)) This was not possible prior to PSA intervention. If this has not translated into practice please contact the PSA.

Senior Executives Band Determination

More recently the PSC provided PSA with formal confirmation of which senior officer equivalent classifications will be in scope for the senior executive reforms. This detail is included in the PSC’s Determination made on 25 March 2014.

PSA has written to the PSC to raise a number of concerns with the Determination, specifically the extension of the senior executive service to classifications below the Senior Officer Grade 1, Year 1 salary.

This is contrary to the indications that have been provided to the PSA and public sector staff as to the intent of the reforms.

The bottom line

The model contract of employment for senior executives may now commence at salaries as low as $128,024. (GSE Act, Schedule 4, clause 8(1)(b))
PSA will be meeting with the PSC to discuss this issue.

The PSA will seek to establish ongoing consultation arrangements with PSC to enable broad consultation throughout the three year transitional period.

PSA will continue to have a central role in determining conditions of employment for senior officers who transfer to the new executive structure.

Senior Executive conditions

The model contract of employment (GSE Rules, Schedule 1) provides a direct link to the leave provisions that apply to non-executive employees. This provides an opportunity for senior executives, through the union, to negotiate changes to conditions on a collective basis.

Agencies are required to develop a transition plan and submit it for approval to PSC by August 2014.

Where members become aware of the transition plan for their agency, they are encouraged to advise PSA. Please email research@psa.asn.au.

PSA will separately seek direct consultation with the Public Service Commission on individual agency transition plans.

More important than ever to join the PSA

It is more important than ever to be supported by your Association.

We urge members to contact the PSA if they are concerned about the senior executive changes and issues arising from the implementation of their contract.

We are exploring ways to negotiate improvements to the model contract of employment for senior executives.

PSA has been a leading voice in identifying the corruption risks of these model contracts, in particular the lack of appeal rights.

We will continue to advocate strongly on behalf of our senior executive service members.

Don’t forget all PSA members are covered on their travels to and from work with PSA journey insurance.

 

Note: Current versions of the Government Sector Employment Act 2013 No 40, the Government Sector Employment Regulation 2014 and  the Government Sector Employment Rules 2014 are available from www.legislation.nsw.gov.au

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