Role descriptions

A role description (RD) is a high level overview of a job. A role description explains:

  • why the role exists
  • what the role delivers
  • the context in which the role operates, and
  • how it operates

The role description development guidelines explain what should be included in role descriptions. A range of tools and resources including a library of sector role descriptions and a web based role description builder are also available to use when developing role descriptions.

Role review

Before you begin to update an existing role description, you should review the role, to determine if there is a continued need for the role in its current form, if the role’s contribution to organisational objectives should change, if the selection of focus capabilities is still appropriate, etc. (See: Strategic workforce planning).

Role analysis

Before creating a new role description, you should undertake a role analysis. A role analysis is a systematic examination of the purpose, responsibilities and scope of a role in supporting business objectives.

Creating a new role description

When creating a new role description:

  • Look for commonality across roles to identify if a role description can cover more than one role.
  • Describe outcomes instead of processes or tasks.
  • Avoid duplication within the role description.
  • Include information that is likely to stay the same over time and that will be understood by both internal and external applicants.
  • Select capabilities using the NSW Public Sector Capability Framework and Occupation Specific Capability Sets where relevant.
  • Consult the Capability Comparison Guide for assistance in determining capability levels.
  • Include key knowledge and experience requirements.
  • Use the Work Level Standards as the basis for Senior Executive Roles.

Need more help creating role descriptions?

Visit the role description resources page for more supporting tools.