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Part One – Classification Framework 7
APS classification principles 7
Classification structure 8
Legislative framework 9
APS classification system 9
Part Two – Classification Management 14
Why is classification management important? 14
Classification responsibilities 14
Classification decisions – classifying jobs 16
Documenting classification decisions 19
Flexibility within approved classifications 20
Better Practice Case Study - ATO 21
Part Three – Work Level Standards 22
What are work level standards? 22
Key concepts 23
APS work level standards for the APS Level and Executive Level classifications 24
APS Role evaluation tool and guidance 30
APS work level standards for the SES classifications 30
Agency work level standards 31
Busting Myths 31
Part Four – Classification Management in Practice 32
Role evaluation 32
Role evaluation principles 34
Job analysis 34
Assessing a role 37
APS role evaluation tools 38
Dealing with potential sensitivities 38
Busting myths 40
Part Five – Broadbanding 41
Objectives of broadbanding 41
Broadbanding and the APS classification system 41
Advantages and disadvantages of broadbanding 43
Different broadbands for different needs 44
Establishing and managing broadband arrangements 47
Busting myths 52
Better Practice Case Study - DHS 53
Better Practice Case Study - FWO 55
Part Six – Training classifications 57
Benefits of using training classifications 57
Training classifications and the APS classification system 57
Different training classifications for different needs 58
Establishing and managing training classifications 60
Better Practice Case Study - ABS 63
Better Practice Case Study - BoM 64
Part Seven – Managing “Specialists” 65
The single APS classification structure 65
Managing specialist occupations 65
Better Practice Case Study - DEEWR 69
The Australian Public Service (APS) classification guide has been developed by the Australian Public Service Commission (the Commission) and provides policy guidance on determining and managing classification arrangements in the APS. This guide is current as at 1 December 2014.
This guide provides general advice on workforce classification within the APS and replaces the 1992 publication Handbook of Australian Public Service Classification Management. It outlines the broad framework and principles underlying the system of classification management, and provides guidance and advice on techniques that agencies can use when putting these principles into practice.
While many of the principles and practices identified in this guide are relevant across all APS classification levels, this guide is aimed primarily at the classifications APS Levels 1-6 and Executive Levels 1-2. Information relevant to Senior Executive Service (SES) classification levels has been incorporated where appropriate.
Why have this guide?
The reform work stemming from Ahead of the Game: Blueprint for Reform of Australian Government Administration (2010) sought to clarify and align employment conditions across the APS, and in particular to ensure that non-SES classification arrangements and work level standards continued to meet the needs of APS agencies and employees. The report on the APS classification review, published in November 2012, made a series of recommendations to strengthen the integrity of the classification system and to achieve greater consistency in classification decision-making across the APS.
This guide has been developed in response to recommendations made in the APS classification review. It presents a common approach to classification management across the APS and builds on good practice already in place in many APS agencies. The opportunity is taken in this guide to share these good practice examples within a classification framework that is common to all.
This guide was prepared by the Commission’s Workforce Classification team. Major contributors were Ms. Erin Selmes, Ms. Elyse Allan, Mr. Izaac White, Ms. Louise Memmolo, and Mr. Owen Livermore.
We thank and acknowledge the contribution of agencies that participated in the APS classification review working group, and of agencies that contributed case studies for publication. Without the assistance of these agencies, the guide would not have been possible.
Further information on classification management is available on the Commission’s website or by contacting the workforce classification team via StaffingPolicy@apsc.gov.au.