ICT Capability Assessment Strategy

The ICT Capability Assessment Strategy has been developed to enable the NSW public sector to recruit, manage and develop a skilled and capable ICT workforce that meets business outcomes.

The Strategy includes general assessment principles, two case studies and accompanying explanatory notes. The focus of the ICT Capability Assessment Strategy is on what to assess, giving examples using capabilities from the Capability Framework and ICT occupation specific (SFIA) skills and, where necessary for the role, technical knowledge, essential requirements and other attributes. The Strategy and notes include guidance on what could be assessed, who should perform the assessment and how to achieve valid and consistent assessments. While use of the Strategy is not mandatory, it is strongly recommended.

ICT managers, HR professionals and recruiters are encouraged to apply the Strategy to:

  • select ICT candidates with the right capabilities and, where required, the right technical knowledge and personal attributes when filling ICT roles
  • boost their team’s performance and achieve business objectives
  • learn more about their team members’ development needs to create targeted development plans

The Strategy works together with the ICT Career Pathway Framework, which shows a range of potential career paths between 55 ICT sector role descriptions and 7 emerging ICT roles.

Further information on how to assess capabilities is available in the Recruitment and Selection Guide.

Assessment Principles and Options for ICT Roles

Assessment Principles and Options for ICT Roles

Capability Framework

General principles

  • core skills that all NSW public sector employees must demonstrate and develop to progress along the career pathway
  • transferable across a range of roles
  • incorporate ethics and responsibility, Core Values and leadership capabilities
  • required levels and focus capabilities depend on the role and may vary, according to the key accountabilities of the role and context, from one organisation to another

Sample assessment methods

  • Interview
  • Work sample assessments
  • Online assessments including cognitive ability tests and personality questionnaires
  • Assessment centre exercises such as presentations, role plays, group exercises, in-tray exercises

Occupation Specific (SFIA) Capabilities

General principles

  • professional skills required by ICT professionals
  • transferable between roles in the ICT function, but may have limited transferability to roles in a different functional area
  • must be developed to progress within the ICT function
  • may be evaluated through fit-for-purpose assessments created by your organisation and in the context of the role, such as work sample assessments

Sample assessment methods

  • Interview
  • Work sample assessments
  • Online assessments including cognitive ability tests and personality questionnaires
  • Assessment centre exercises such as presentations, role plays, group exercises
  • Proprietary assessments of SFIA skills from an external vendor (optional)

Technical Knowledge

General principles

  • particular expertise in a specific "practice area"
  • may be required by professionals in areas such as technologies, products, internal systems, services, processes, methods and legislation
  • assessed when required

Sample assessment methods

  • Work sample assessments
  • Assessment centre exercises
  • Interviews

Essential Requirements

General principles

  • qualifications and certifications, which may validate elements of technical knowledge and may be required for certain specialised or highly technical roles
  • include any registrations and licences necessary to take up a role
  • assessed when required

Sample assessment methods

  • Interviews
  • Résumé/CV review
  • Background screening
  • Referee checks

Other Attributes

General principles

  • language/cultural diversity
  • shared organisational values fit
  • motivators/demotivators
  • engagement
  • assessed when required

Sample assessment methods

  • Application questions
  • Interviews
  • Online assessments such as integrity tests

Case study example assessments for the role of Business Analyst – ICT Grade 7/8

Example assessments for the role of Business Analyst – ICT Grade 7/8

Capability Framework

Assessments selected

  • Behavioural interview questions relating to the required capabilities for the role
  • Role play scenario relevant to the role of Business Analyst – ICT

Example behavioural interview question for capabilities Think and Solve Problems and Deliver Results:

‘Give me an example of a time when you analysed an established work process and recommended solutions that resulted in improvements to your work.’
Probing questions could include:

  • ‘Why did you choose that approach?’
  • ‘What were the results? How did you feel about that?’
  • ‘If you had to do it all over again, what if anything would you do differently?’

Example role play scenario for capabilities Communicate Effectively and Commit to Customer Service:

Role play between the candidate (playing the Business Analyst) and a role player (playing the customer), exploring the customer’s business requirements for a new ICT system. Detailed scenario materials and a scoring system are required, and may be developed by the agency or by a provider from the Assessment Services Panel.

Occupation Specific (SFIA) Capabilities

Assessments selected

  • Behavioural interview questions relating to the required SFIA capabilities for the role
  • Work sample assessment relevant to the role of Business Analyst - ICT

Example behavioural interview question for SFIA skill Business Analysis - Level 4:

'Tell me about a time when you investigated the business’s operational requirements for a new ICT system:

  • How did you analyse the stakeholders’ objectives?
  • Which options did you identify for consideration?
  • What underlying issues and opportunities did you identify, and how did you use this information to select the most appropriate options?’

Probing questions could include:

  • ‘Why did you choose that approach?’
  • ‘What was the outcome of the project for the business – were their needs met?’

 

Technical Knowledge

Assessments selected

  • Interview questions relating to technical knowledge
  • Work sample assessment relevant to Business Analyst – ICT role

Example written work sample assessment for technical knowledge of functional design specification techniques:

‘You are developing the functional design specification for a new Human Capital Management system, which will be used to capture and analyse employees’ performance ratings, skills, capabilities and career aspirations.

  • What will be the main inputs and outputs of the new system?
  • How would you approach each of the main sections of the documentation?’

Essential Requirements

Assessments selected

  • Résumé/CV screening for relevant certifications
  • Background screening
  • Referee checks

Example of background screening:

Ask to see the candidate’s certificate of accreditation in a relevant project management methodology, e.g. PRINCE2

Other Attributes

Assessments selected

  • Application questions
  • Behavioural interview questions relating to the required values

Example behavioural interview question:

‘What attracts you to this role?’

Probing questions could include:

  •  ‘A challenge of this role will be to work with stakeholders who are experiencing major change. Can you tell me about your experience of working in an environment where emotions are running high? How did you stay calm in difficult situations?’

Case study example assessments for the role of Problem Manager Grade 9/10

Example assessments for the role of Problem Manager Grade 9/10

Capability Framework

Assessments selected

  • Behavioural interview questions relating to the required capabilities for the role
  • Presentation assessment centre exercise

Example presentation exercise for capabilities Communicate Effectively, Commit to Customer Service and Demonstrate Accountability. The presentation is based on the detailed major incident scenario from the written work sample assessment (see details at right):

As the Problem Manager, you are called upon to present to a group of clients on the progress of problem resolution activities. You have 15 minutes to prepare and deliver a 5-minute presentation to the panel explaining:

  • The causes of the incident
  • How the underlying problem has been addressed to limit the effects on their business
  • What is being done to reduce the risk of the problem recurring.

Occupation Specific (SFIA) Capabilities

Assessments selected

  • Behavioural interview questions relating to the required SFIA capabilities for the role
  • Work sample assessment

Example work sample assessment for SFIA skill Problem Management - Level 5, a written exercise. Detailed scenario materials and a scoring system are required, and may be developed by the agency or by a supplier of SFIA assessments:

‘In the Problem Manager role, you are tasked with post-incident analysis of major incidents. You have 30 minutes to review the attached information relating to a recent incident and write your response to the following questions:

  • What were the root causes of the incident?
  • How would you go about documenting the learnings from the incident?
  • What changes would you implement to limit the risk of the Problem recurring?’

 

Technical Knowledge

Assessments selected

  • Interview questions relating to technical knowledge
  • Work sample assessment

Example interview question for technical knowledge:

‘Please describe a time when you developed and implemented an incident management process:

  • Tell us how you designed the process to be efficient and effective.
  • How did you coach the other ICT staff to consistently apply the process?
  • What was the outcome for your customers?’

Essential Requirements

Assessments selected

  • Résumé/CV screening for relevant certifications
  • Background screening

Example of background screening:

Ask to see the candidate’s certificate of accreditation in a relevant ICT service management methodology, e.g. ITIL

Other Attributes

Assessments selected

  • Application questions
  • Behavioural interview questions relating to the required values

Example behavioural interview question:

‘One of the challenges of this role will be to ensure that a systematic Problem Management process is applied across the organisation. How would you approach this?’

Probing questions:

  • ‘How would you coach others to adopt your recommended process?’
  • ‘How would you respond to any resistance to change?’

The Public Service Commission acknowledges the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation, the traditional custodians of the land on which our office stands.