The WLS represent a hierarchy of descriptive standards which define the type of work that would be expected at each of the three bands across the Public Service. The WLS are meant to be the primary tool for classifying a new senior executive role and determining its appropriate band in the NSW Public Service.
As indicated above, senior executives are employed at the relevant band and then assigned to the role. Over time, senior executives can be assigned to other roles within the band, both within their cluster and across clusters (subject to consultation with the senior executive and head of the other agency). This mobility promotes breadth of experience, which will increase and broaden individual capability.
The WLS facilitate intra and cross cluster mobility by ensuring that there is consistent classification of senior executive roles across the NSW Public Service. Sector wide use of the new NSW Public Sector Capability Framework for defining both the senior executive role and senior executive officer capabilities will also facilitate this senior executive mobility.
These WLS are structured to provide differentiation between the three bands below the Department Secretaries, with the WLS for each band described under the following six factors: Expertise, Accountability, Dimensions, Key Relationships, Role Context and Environment, Judgement and Independence.
The WLS are intended to be viewed in their entirety when considering where a role should be appropriately located. To assist this process, Distinguishing Characteristics have been identified for each senior executive band, which seek to capture the fundamental characteristics of each band.
WLS and the five work contribution streams
The diversity of roles that comprise the NSW Public Service is significant. Senior executive roles may include the direction of program or project based service delivery functions, development or implementation of public policy, contract management, development and implementation of compliance and enforcement programs, or the provision of expert advice which ensures the integrity of decision making and planning processes of government.
At the band 2 and 3 levels, senior executives may also head an executive agency related to a Department.
Although any single senior executive role may incorporate several of these functions, roles are typically established on the basis of a more significant contribution in one of these areas.
In line with this, the WLS are considered in the context of the following five work contribution streams: Service/Operational Delivery, Professional/Specialist, Policy, Regulatory/ Compliance and Agency Head.
When considering a specific senior executive role, it is useful to identify its natural alignment to a particular work contribution stream in order to ensure that the most value can be gained from the content of the WLS and interpretation of descriptors.
To assist with this process, each of the work contribution streams are then considered in the context of the three bands, with the distinguishing characteristics for each band identified in the terms of Context, Scope and Impact. Also provided are indicative roles for each work contribution streams, at the particular band level.
The broad banded structure is intended to facilitate not only mobility within and across cluster but also across work streams. Although the WLS are structured by work contribution stream and band level, this is not meant to indicate that a senior executive’s career progression will be within a particular work contribution stream.