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Work contribution streams

In this Part, the work level standards (WLS) are considered in the context of the following five work contribution streams:

  1. Service/Operational Delivery
  2. Professional/Specialist
  3. Policy
  4. Regulatory/ Compliance
  5. Agency Head

When creating a specific senior executive role, it is useful to identify its natural alignment with the relevant work contribution stream in order to ensure that the most value can be gained from the content of the WLS and the interpretation of descriptors.

When undertaking the senior executive role analysis, it is important the role be reviewed in the first instance in accordance with the WLS in Part 2, then the relevant work contribution stream descriptors in this part be considered to supplement the general WLS descriptors.

To assist with this process, each of the following work contribution streams below are presented 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.

Service/Operational Delivery Roles

Service/Operational Delivery roles are those which focus primarily on ensuring that outcomes are delivered efficiently and effectively, and that the use of government’s resources is optimised.

  Context Scope Impact Indicative roles
Band 3 Focus on leadership and direction of a major service delivery agency or within a Department.
Emphasis typically on strategic, long term planning, governance and evaluation of Department/agency outcomes and performance in a whole-of-government context.
Inter-government and key external stakeholder negotiation and conflict resolution at national and international levels are key elements.
Department or major delivery agency.
Key contributor to governance and leadership within a cluster.
Point of escalation for highly sensitive, contentious and State-wide issues.
Evaluation of long term influences in strategic planning and decisions.
Cluster/Department performance and effectiveness.
Whole-of-cluster influence and State-wide impact or a big-budget local/regional service impact.
Critical governance and risk mitigation.

Deputy Secretaries
Chief Operating Officer roles within Departments

Band 2 Focus on initiation, implementation and integration of major agency programs.
Emphasis typically on strategic evaluation and long term planning related to appropriateness of functions and consistent with the core values of integrity, trust, service and accountability.
Entails significant collaboration and negotiation, on behalf of the agency, with Commonwealth and other jurisdictions, and external stakeholders.
Major government program/s, with State-wide service delivery.
Accountable for alignment of program to government’s objectives, and appropriateness of the programs/services in responding to needs of stakeholders.
Defines appropriation and resourcing requirements and assesses long term viability and sustainability of programs/services.
Agency and/or major program effectiveness.
Stakeholder satisfaction with agency performance.
Achievement of program or service performance objectives and measures.
Executive Directors, at a cluster level or within a major agency
Band 1 Focus on high quality service delivery for one or a number of integrated programs within an agency.
Emphasis typically on planning for, and performance optimisation of current year delivery.
Collaboration and negotiation across the sector and inter-government directed largely at achievement.
Branch or Division within an agency responsible for a major program/service or initiatives, or a portfolio of integrated programs/services.
Fully accountable for budget compliance, financial, physical and human resources.
Program effectiveness.
Achievement of performance standards, measures and client satisfaction levels.
Directors within agencies with localised or regional service delivery accountability


Policy Roles

Policy roles are those which focus primarily on consultation, research and analysis of trends and issues, formulation of appropriate public policy response, and the articulation and implementation of government’s policy positions.


  Context Scope Impact Indicative roles
Band 3 Focus on integration and alignment of public policy at a cluster level, and effective whole-of-government policy coordination.
Emphasis is typically on leading the policy process, including application and evaluation of effective governance frameworks for policy research, analysis, development and evaluation across the cluster.
Engages Department Secretary and Ministers around broad policy platform issues at a whole-of-government level.
Regarded as authoritative at the policy framework, systems and process levels.
Cross-sector and inter-government representation and negotiation are commonplace.
Effective outcomes for the State in development of state and national policy agenda.
Highly integrated and consistent policy outcomes aligned well with government’s objectives.
Deputy Secretaries
Band 2 Focus on appropriateness of policy development frameworks and processes in a major area of government policy.
Emphasis is typically on exploration and recommendation of policy options to achieve government’s objectives.
Primary representative for the agency/cluster in issues related to the specific policy area and its implementation.

Provides expert advice directly to the Department Secretary and Minister individually or in conjunction with a band 3 senior executive to specific policy and/or implementation issues.
Regarded as the authoritative source in one or more major areas of public policy content.

Policy advice provided at this level is regarded as highly critical to a key policy area for the government.
Government confidence in policy development and implementation.

Executive Directors, Policy within major agency or whole-of-government central agency
Band 1

Focus on professional direction of policy research, analysis, development and evaluation activities related to one or more specific areas of government policy.
Emphasis is typically on alignment of policy with government’s objectives.
Leads consultation and effective response to government and stakeholder feedback.

Thorough understanding of emerging environmental, social, and stakeholder context; and appreciation of whole-of-government policy priorities.
Accountable for the quality of briefs and advice to the Department Secretary and Ministers within one or more specific areas of government policy.

Effective and high quality public policy in a specific area.
Department Secretary and Ministers fully and accurately briefed.
Policy decisions are taken on the basis of comprehensive, factual and technically reliable recommendations.

Directors, Policy


Regulatory/Compliance Roles

Regulatory/Compliance roles are those which focus primarily on the development, implementation and enforcement of programs and activities which optimise compliance with the State’s legislative and regulatory framework.

  Context Scope Impact Indicative roles
Band 3

At this level, a role would focus on a whole-of-government portfolio of diverse regulatory functions and programs.
Such a role would be accountable for governance frameworks and their integration, program integrity, implementation effectiveness of government’s regulatory regime.

To align with a Band 3 level, a role would be responsible for direction of a diverse whole-of-government regulatory and compliance function.   Deputy Secretaries
Band 2

Focus extends to a substantial portfolio of related or unrelated regulatory and/or compliance programs, at a cluster or cross-cluster level.
Roles would typically operate at a level of executive governance to evaluate and ensure compliance with legislative and regulatory frameworks.
Significant engagements internally to ensure alignment with government policy and effective risk management; and externally with key industry and community stakeholders.

A source of recognised authoritative advice on issues of compliance, risk management and intelligence assessment.
Ensures regulatory programs are reviewed and improved through assessment of trends and emerging issues.
Roles at this level will define standards of professional conduct and independence.

Regulatory and compliance programs respond rapidly and proactively to changing context and emerging trends.
Programs are implemented and managed with the highest professional standards and genuine independence.

Executive Directors at cluster level
Band 1

Focus on one or more significant regulatory/compliance programs at an agency or cluster level.
Roles will typically direct a range of functions related to implementation, stakeholder and community education, and enforcement and compliance.
Articulates standards of practice in terms of professional conduct, systemic integrity, and independence.

Leads a significant enforcement and compliance audit/monitoring program.
Will contribute to development and ongoing review of governance frameworks within which the role functions, adapting as necessary to fully satisfy the needs of specific programs.

Program effectiveness and efficiency.
Optimal levels of compliance with regulated requirements.
Achievement of performance standards and measures.

Directors at the program level


Professional/Technical/Specialist Roles

Professional/Technical/Specialist roles are those which focus primarily on the application of a particular body of specialised knowledge essential to the effective delivery of government’s role, or on the provision of technical, specialist, professional or strategic advice which informs strategies, plans, decisions and outcomes.

  Context Scope Impact Indicative roles
Band 3

Focus may be on leadership of a broad professional, technical or scientific discipline, determining professional standards and advising government’s decision processes, OR
Executive direction of a diverse set of professional/specialist functions at a cluster or cross-sector basis.
Typically roles will have substantial requirements for cross-sector and inter-government collaboration and coordination, and in the case of scientific disciplines, national and international connection.

In the case of a specific scientific, technical or professional discipline, the role may manage a significant professional practice or agency within a cluster.
Absence of precedent is a significant feature for roles s at this band level.
Advice provided by the role will shape the State’s response to major issues or initiatives.
In the case of Corporate Services roles, only those with additional broader accountability would occur at this level.

Appropriate State-wide response to significant issues relevant to the discipline. National agenda are influenced to reflect NSW interests. Deputy Secretaries with specific or additional professional/ technical/ specialist discipline stewardship
Chief Officer for a broad professional/ technical/ scientific discipline (e.g. Chief Health Officer)
Band 2

Focus may be on driving professional, para-professional, technical or scientific standards and practices on a State-wide basis, and building effective cross-jurisdictional links related to a specific discipline, OR
Executive direction of a diverse set of professional/specialist functions within a cluster.
Typically professional roles will be the recognised within the sector as the highest escalation point for the specific discipline.

In the case of scientific, technical or professional disciplines, advice provided is critical, and the role influences the State’s position, and represents that position at an inter-government level on matters related to the discipline.
Corporate Services roles at cluster and/or major agency level are likely to occur at this level.

State-wide standards articulated.
Consistent application of professional standards and practices across the State.
In the case of enabling or corporate services, clusters and major service delivery agencies are supported with best practice business management services.

Cluster/ agency level CFO, CHRO, CIO, etc.
Chief Scientist

Band 1

Focus on professional or technical leadership in a specific professional, technical, para-professional or scientific discipline for the sector, OR
Executive direction for one or more professional/specialist functions at major agency level, OR
Direction of a significant single function at major agency level.
Typically, professional roles will be recognised as the appropriate escalation point for the discipline within a cluster or major agency.

In the case of specific scientific or professional disciplines, the role determines agency or cluster positions and represents these across the sector.
Agency based corporate services roles, and those roles responsible for delivery of specific functional accountability (finance, legal, human resources, ICT) are likely to occur at this level.

Professional/ Technical/Specialist disciplines embrace consistent standards of practice across clusters and agencies.
Strong compliance regimes mitigate business risk across each cluster.

Corporate Services Director roles
Director roles, HR, Finance, ICT, Legal
Principal Professional roles


Agency Heads

Agency Head roles are those which assume stewardship, leadership and direction of, and accountability for effective operation of an agency, authority or enterprise of government.

  Context Scope
Band 3

Executive heading a major delivery agency within a cluster, accountable to Department Secretary.
Characterised by substantial budget appropriation, often supplemented by agency based revenue sources.
Typically engaging substantial workforce > 5000 FTE.
Participates fully in strategic planning for the cluster as a whole.

A major delivery agency responsible for delivery of significant range of services across the State.
Characterised by multiple sites and broad, diverse client base, including strong regional presence.
The agency represents a substantial part of overall cluster responsibilities.
Band 2 Executive heading an agency involving delivery of significant suite of integrated programs and services in most or all regions.
More likely to report to a Deputy Secretary.
Delivery agency responsible for delivery of what are largely related or interrelated programs and services across the State or a large regional area.
Characterised by related services to a broad client base, or diverse programs and services to a specific defined client base.