Technological advances, increasing customer expectations and demographic shifts are just some of the challenges facing agencies in the NSW Government sector. Having a capable, agile and diverse workforce is critical to ensuring agencies are able to respond to those challenges and deliver the services the people of NSW expect from government, whether they be education, health care, transport, infrastructure, law enforcement or social services. 

Strategic workforce planning is critical to achieving this goal, as it aligns longer-term workforce requirements with an agency’s strategic objectives. 

The Strategic Workforce Planning Framework (the Framework) has been developed to assist agencies across the NSW Government sector to better understand and prepare for their future workforce needs. 

The Framework outlines a practical, principles-based approach to implementing strategic workforce planning, which can be easily adapted to meet the particular circumstances and workforce needs of individual agencies. 

Having the right people in the right roles at the right time, to meet the longer-term strategic objectives of the organisation.

The Framework can be used when undertaking workforce planning in all areas of an agency, and may facilitate cross-sector workforce planning to achieve the best outcomes for the people of NSW. 

Overview of the Framework

The Framework outlines the core requirements and provides examples of better practice to support each of the five stages of the strategic workforce planning cycle. 

  • 1. Align Align organisational strategy and strategic workforce planning priorities. Understand the strategic direction of the organisation and how this will impact the workforce. 
  • 2. Compare Compare options to achieve outcomes. Understand the current and future workforce needs and create scenarios. 
  • 3. Identify Identify gaps. Conduct gap analysis to understand future workforce capability needs. 
  • 4. Implement Develop and implement the plan. Develop strategies to address workforce gaps and align the workforce with future needs. 
  • 5. Review Monitor, evaluate and revise. Implement strategies, evaluate their success and revise as needed. 

High-Level SWP Approach

Informed by organisational strategy and data 

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The Framework also includes definitions, guidance about getting started for each stage, and tips for developing a strategic workforce plan, as well as a summary of strategic workforce planning ‘on a page’ within the additional guidance section. 


Why use the Framework?

The Framework has been developed to assist Departments and agencies in the NSW Government sector with their strategic workforce planning, so they can have the right people in the right roles at the right time. 

There are also legislative requirements for workforce planning. Section 63(2) of the Government Sector Employment Act 2013 provides that a head of a NSW Government sector agency is responsible for workforce diversity within the agency, and for ensuring that workforce diversity is integrated into workforce planning. 

Workforces with greater gender and cultural diversity have been proven to be more innovative, productive, and better able to understand their customer base. 


Intended audience for the Framework

Intended audience includes: 

  • senior executives and managers 
  • workforce planners 
  • human resources function 
  • finance function 
  • service planners.