About the Human Resources Professionals Capability Set

The Human Resources Professionals Capability Set is intended to be used in conjunction with the NSW Public Sector Capability Framework (“Capability Framework”) to support the full range of workforce management and development activities, including role design and description, recruitment, performance development, learning and development, and strategic workforce planning.

The Capability Framework applies to all public sector roles, both executive and non-executive. Every role requires, at an appropriate level, all of the capabilities in the Capability Framework, including the People Management capabilities for roles responsible for managing others.

The Human Resources Professionals Capability Set is comprised of seven capabilities that define additional knowledge, skills and abilities required for roles within the human resources profession. Most human resources roles will require only a subset of these capabilities, depending on the focus of responsibilities.

When used together, the Capability Framework and the Human Resources Professionals Capability Set provide a comprehensive description of the capabilities required for successful performance in a human resources role. For example, in order to provide strategic advice on the potential workforce implications of new service delivery models being considered by government, a role may need highly developed capabilities in analysis (Capability Framework: Think and Solve Problems) as well as expert ability to examine business problems in workforce terms (Human Resources Professionals Capability Set: Workforce Strategy and Planning).

The seven capabilities in the Human Resources Professionals Capability Set are described by behavioural indicators across four levels of complexity. The behaviours are not exhaustive, but provide an indicative list of the knowledge, skills and abilities expected at each level. When read collectively, the behavioural indicators provide a reasonable understanding of what a particular level of capability ‘looks like’.

Capability Levels

Roles require a range of capabilities at varying levels, and the levels in the Human Resources Professionals Capability Set do not correspond directly to classifications or grades. Capabilities at level 4 are not intended to apply exclusively to roles at the highest grade in the human resources function.

The Capability Framework has five levels, but these do not correspond directly with levels in the Human Resources Professionals Capability Set. The descriptors for Level 1 of the Human Resources Professionals Capability Set reflect more complex behaviours than those contained at the Foundational Level in the Capability Framework. This is because the nature of the work undertaken by human resources roles requires specialised knowledge, skills and abilities usually developed through tertiary education, training and/or relevant occupational experience.

Specialised knowledge, skills and abilities are rarely required for either entry level roles or agency head roles. This means that, while the core Capability Framework applies to roles from entry level to agency head, the Human Resources Professionals Capability Set will generally only apply to roles above entry level but below agency head.