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Public Service Commission

Sector role description guide

Detailed guide to completing a role description.

Sector role description guide

This guide should be used in conjunction with the: 

Sector role description section  How to complete/adapt the section 
Role title Customise only if necessary for agency context
Cluster/agency Agency to complete
Division/branch/unit Agency to complete
Role number Agency to complete
ANZSCO code Agency to complete
PCAT code Agency to complete
Primary purpose of the role Retain unchanged
Key accountabilities
  • Retain existing accountabilities 
  • Agency may add accountabilities of similar scope and complexity 
  • Recommended maximum of 8 accountabilities in total 
Key challenges
  • Retain existing challenges 
  • Agency may add challenges of similar complexity and scope eg internal to agency, whole of sector 
  • Recommended maximum of 3 challenges in total 
Key relationships
  • Retain existing relationships 
  • Agency may add to this section. Additions should be similar in relationship level (eg Minister, Business Managers) and purpose (e.g. consultation, networking, advising) 

Role dimensions (decision making, reporting line, direct reports, budget/expenditure) 

  • Agency to complete
  • Refer to Role Description Development Guidelines Section 3.7  
  • Re-evaluate if the role dimensions appear inconsistent with the indicative grade 
Key knowledge and experience
  • Agency to complete. Refer to Role Description Development Guidelines Section 3.8 
  • Limit to one or two criteria critical for the role. 
  • Express in terms of depth, breadth and context rather than as a length of time.  
  • When included, knowledge and experience requirements need to be assessed at recruitment.  
  • Delete section if there are no requirements 
Essential requirements
  • Agency to complete  
  • Refer to Role Description Development Guidelines Section 3.9 
  • eg. qualifications or certifications essential to performing the role 

Capabilities for the role 

(separated into focus capabilities and complementary capabilities) 


  • Refer to Questions 8 and 9, Sector Role Descriptions FAQs
  • Retain existing capability levels. These are considered necessary to perform the key accountabilities. 
  • Change the Focus capabilities as required 
  • Add or subtract People Management Capabilities as