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6. Appendixes

Appendix A: Embedding the APS Values: Framework

Building a fair and robust environment to inspire public trust, give APS employees confidence and improve organisational performance.

The current APS Values framework

Promoting the APS Values: A checklist for Agency Heads

The aim of this checklist is to help Agency Heads assess how well the APS Values and Code of Conduct are being integrated into the management and culture of an agency and to identify areas for improvement.

1. Commitment

  • In what ways do senior leaders demonstrate visible and strong commitment to the APS Values?
  • How do senior leaders encourage employees to raise questions about ethical dilemmas?
  • How is it ensured that employees know they will not be victimised for raising ethical issues?
  • How do senior leaders communicate to employees that conduct consistent with the APS Values and Code of Conduct is expected and that misconduct will not be tolerated?
  • Are the Values integrated with strategic direction-setting to allow values-based decision making to cascade through planning and performance frameworks at all levels?
  • Do learning and development programs aimed at leaders and managers include guidance on modelling the APS Values and their responsibilities to staff, and training in coaching and mentoring for values-based decision making?
  • Is information about the APS Values and the Code of Conduct included in induction programs?
  • How are APS employees informed about the standards of conduct expected of them?
  • Are there learning and development programs available to all employees that address their responsibilities under the APS Values and Code of Conduct and handling tensions inherent in the APS Values, develop skills for ethical analysis and reasoning and provide sources of guidance and direction?

2. Management

  • How do management policies and practices reflect the APS Values and Code of Conduct?
  • Are all instructions and guidance to employees, including chief executive instructions, people management rules and guidance, and advice on communications with ministers' offices and the media, consistent with and supportive of the APS Values and Code of Conduct?
  • Is a commitment to the APS Values and Code of Conduct set out in key corporate documents such as the corporate plan, service/client charters and workplace agreements?
  • How is it ensured that the APS Values and Code of Conduct are integrated into the performance management framework?
  • Are relevant legislation and rules clearly set out in instructions and guidance to employees?
  • Where written instructions and guidance create latitude for decision making is reference made to the APS Values and Code of Conduct?
  • Do instructions, advice and guidance actively encourage day-to-day observance of the APS Values and Code of Conduct?
  • Are instructions, advice and guidance aimed at all employees easily accessible? Is there good cross-referencing and, if this is made available electronically, good key word search facilities?

3. Assurance

  • What measures are in place to ensure that internal control systems, such as internal audit, fraud control strategies and risk assessment, are functioning and effective?
  • How is it ensured that the agency's procedures for determining whether an employee has breached the Code of Conduct are effective? How is it ensured that sanctions for breaches of the Code of Conduct are reasonable and have regard to relevant legal principles? How is it ensured that there is broad consistency of decision making with respect to sanctions across the agency?
  • How is it ensured that employees are encouraged to expose wrongdoing without fear of victimisation and are aware of agency whistleblowing procedures?
  • How are decision making review systems (both internal and external) used to provide systematic feedback on agency systems and procedures and their consistent support of the Values?
  • How is it ensured that employees are aware of the agency's review of action scheme? How is it ensured that employees are informed of their review rights, including how to seek a review?
  • How are customer (or client) and staff surveys used to assess how the agency is upholding the APS Values?
  • How is it ensured that tenderers, contractors and suppliers understand what is expected of them and the APS employees they have contact with, in terms of the APS Values and Code of Conduct, and the standards of behaviour they should exhibit when tendering for a contract and in delivering their contractual obligations? How are these expectations enforced?
  • How is it ensured that records are created and maintained that meet accountability requirements (including compliance with legislation), business needs and community expectations? Subject to any limitation required by legislation, how is it ensured that decision making processes are transparent and open to public scrutiny?
  • How is adherence to the APS Values and Code of Conduct monitored within standard corporate reporting and management information systems?

Important note: The action suggested by this checklist is not intended to address all of an Agency Head's responsibilities to promote and uphold the APS Values under the Public Service Act 1999 (PS Act). In particular, Agency Heads must comply with the Public Service Commissioner's Directions 1999 on each of the APS Values.

APS Code of Conduct

The Code of Conduct requires that an employee must:

  • behave honestly and with integrity in the course of APS employment.
  • act with care and diligence in the course of APS employment.
  • when acting in the course of APS employment, must treat everyone with respect and courtesy, and without harassment.
  • when acting in the course of APS employment, must comply with all applicable Australian laws.
  • comply with any lawful and reasonable direction given by someone in the employee's Agency who has authority to give the direction.
  • maintain appropriate confidentiality about dealings that the employee has with any minister or minister's member of staff.
  • disclose, and take reasonable steps to avoid, any conflict of interest (real or apparent) in connection with APS employment.
  • use Commonwealth resources in a proper manner.
  • not provide false or misleading information in response to a request for information that is made for official purposes in connection with the employee's APS employment.
  • not make improper use of:
    1. inside information or
    2. the employee's duties, status, power or authority in order to gain, or seek to gain, a benefit or advantage for the employee or for any other person.
  • at all times behave in a way that upholds the APS Values and the integrity and good reputation of the APS.
  • while on duty overseas must at all times behave in a way that upholds the good reputation of Australia.
  • except in the course of his or her duties as an APS employee or with the Agency Head's express authority, not give or disclose, directly or indirectly, any information about public business or anything of which the employee has official knowledge.

The Code of Conduct is set out in section 13 of the Public Service Act 1999.

For further information about Embedding the APS Values and The APS Values Framework please contact the APS Commission helpline on (02) 6272 3609.

Appendix B: Further reading

APS Commission resources

APS Commission, 2003, Building capability: A framework for managing learning and development in the APS, Commonwealth of Australia, Canberra

APS Commission, 2003, Developing Leadership—Who? What? Where?, <http://www.apsc.gov.au>

APS Commission, 2003, Draft APS 5 and 6 Capability Framework, Commonwealth of Australia and Centre for Public Sector Management Pty Ltd, Canberra

APS Commission, 2003, Embedding the APS Values, Commonwealth of Australia, Canberra

APS Commission, 2001, Human Resource Capability Model, Commonwealth of Australia, Canberra

APS Commission, 2003, Implementing organisational renewal: Mature aged workers in the APS, Commonwealth of Australia, Canberra

APS Commission, 2003, State of the Service Report 2002–03, Commonwealth of Australia, Canberra

APS Commission, 2000, Senior Executive Leadership Capability Framework, Commonwealth of Australia, Canberra

National Institute of Governance, 2003, Public Service Leadership emerging issues. A report for the Australian Public Service Commission, Commonwealth of Australia, Canberra

Management Advisory Committee reports

Management Advisory Committee, 2003, Organisational Renewal, Commonwealth of Australia, Canberra

Management Advisory Committee, 2004, Connecting Government: whole of government responses to Australia's priority challenges, Commonwealth of Australia, Canberra

Other resources

Australian Human Resources Institute, 2003, HR: Creating Business Solutions, AHRI, <http://www.ahri.com.au>

Larson, Peter E and Coe Amanda, 1999, Managing change: The evolving role of top public servants, Managing the Public Service Strategies for Improvement Series: No 7, Commonwealth Secretariat, Kent

OECD, 2001, Public sector leadership for the 21st century, OECD Publications, Paris

Performance and Innovation Unit, 2001, Strengthening leadership in the public sector: A research study by the PUI, Prime Minister's Strategy Unit, <www.strategy.gov.uk>

Shergold, P, 2003, 'A Change in Leadership What Does it Mean?' presented at an IPAA function, June 2003

State Services Commission, 2002, Occasional Paper No. 26: Report on the Regional Conference on Emerging issues in senior management development in the public sector,<http://www.ssc.govt.nz>

Strategy Unit, 20021, Risk: improving government's capability to handle risk and uncertainty, Prime Minister's Strategy Unit, <www.strategy.gov.uk>

The following documents are accessible to members of the Corporate Leadership Council (CLC) at www.corporateleadershipcouncil.com

Corporate Leadership Council, 2001, Voice of the Leader: A quantitative analysis of leadership bench strength and development strategies

Corporate Leadership Council, 2001, The Leadership Imperative: Strategies for increasing leadership bench strength

Corporate Leadership Council, 2002, Development and application of Leadership Capability Frameworks

Corporate Leadership Council, 2003, Global Leadership Development Trends in the Public Sector

Appendix C: Glossary of terms

AgenciesCommonwealth departments and agencies under the PS Act 1999


Australian and New Zealand School of Government


Australian Public Service

APS Commission

Australian Public Service Commission


Australian Public Service level 1


Australian Public Service level 2


Australian Public Service level 3


Australian Public Service level 4


Australian Public Service level 5


Australian Public Service level 6


Career Development Assessment Centre


Corporate Leadership Council


Executive Level


Executive Level 1


Executive Level 2

HR practitioners

Human resource practitioners


Integrated Leadership System


Leading Australia's Future in Asia


Management Advisory Committee

MAC Report

Management Advisory Committee report No. 4—Connecting Government


The Leadership Pathway

PS Act
Public Service Act 1999

PSM Program

Public Sector Management Program

SELC Framework

Senior Executive Leadership Capability Framework


Senior Executive Service


Senior Executive Service Band 1


Senior Executive Service Band 2


Senior Executive Service Band 3


The APS Values

Appendix D: APS Profile

Taken from Australian Public Service Statistical Bulletin 2002-03, State of the Service Series 2002-03

  • APS 1 - 1507
  • APS 2 - 6352
  • APS 3 - 15585
  • APS 4 - 29124
  • APS 5 - 12766
  • APS 6 - 26969
  • EL1 - 14276
  • EL2 - 10343
  • SES Band 1 - 1392
  • SES Band 2 - 384
  • SES Band 3 - 96
Last reviewed: 
29 March 2018