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Section 5: Job Families

The Australian Public Service Commission ‘Job Family’ Model groups functionally similar jobs that perform related tasks and require similar or related skills and knowledge. The model classifies jobs at three levels; by Family, Function and Role. There are twenty job families, which are broken down into clusters of job functions and further into job roles. In this chapter, the analysis has focused on the job family and job role.  For more information view the job family model.

As at 31 December 2019, 31 agencies supplied job family data relating to 112,856 (78%) of APS employees. The high number of roles mapped to the job family model to date provides a reliable dataset for statistical modelling and forecasting. 

More than a quarter of the APS work in Service Delivery (27.6%). Other job families that employ significant numbers of APS staff are Compliance and Regulation (12.4%), Administration (9%) and ICT (6.3%) (APSED December 2019 Table 27).

Job Roles

There were 371 distinct job roles in the APS at 31 December 2019. The Call or Contact Centre role remains the most common type of work in the APS (14.6%). Staff working in Call or Contact Centre roles are mostly employed by Services Australia, although the Departments of Agriculture, the Department of Veterans’ Affairs and the Department of Home Affairs also have a relatively large number of jobs in this role. Other common APS job roles include Administrative Support, Programme Advice and Support, Compliance Case Management and Strategic Policy Advice and Development.


Many job families have an uneven gender representation (Figure 5.1). There are a high proportion of women employed in a number of job families including Health (80.3%), Service Delivery (73.7%), Human Resources (71.4%) and Communications and Marketing (70.0%). In contrast, men are more highly represented in technical job families such as Engineering and Technical (81.8%), Trades and Labour (72.3%), Science (70.4%) and ICT (67.1%).

Figure 5.1:  Proportion of men and women by job family, 31 December 2019

Source:  APSED December 2019 Table 27


The geographic distribution of job families across Australia reflects a focus on service delivery to citizens. Figure 5.2 shows those job families with high proportions of employees located outside the Australian Capital Territory. For example, 92.8% of employees working in Service Delivery work outside the Australian Capital Territory. Other job families that are concentrated outside the Australian Capital Territory include Health (90.1%), Compliance and Regulation (88.8%) and Science (78.6%).  Job families commonly represented in the Australian Capital Territory are Strategic Policy (87.8%), ICT (67.0%), Organisational Leadership (59.4%), Project and Programme (56.5%).

Figure 5.2: Proportion of job families located outside the Australian Capital Territory, 31 December 2019

Source:  APSED December 2019 Table 29


Employees at the APS 1 to 4 levels are mostly clustered in the Administration, Compliance and Regulation, and Service Delivery job families (APSED December 2019, Table 30). Almost three quarters (72.2%) of employees at the APS 1 level work in the Administration job family, predominantly in Administrative Support (70.1%) and Customer Support (12.6%) roles.  More than half (52.8%) of APS 2 to 4 staff work in Service Delivery while a further 18.9% are employed in Compliance and Regulation. There is a much greater spread across job families for APS 5 and APS 6 classifications, although a significant proportion are still employed in Service Delivery (18.9%) and Compliance and Regulation (10.9%). Staff at the EL 1 and EL 2 classifications are employed across most job families with a significant proportion working in Strategic Policy (11.4%), ICT (10.8%), Organisational Leadership (9.9%) and Project and Programme (9.9%). The vast majority of SES work in Organisational Leadership (90.7%).

Non-ongoing employees

Most non-ongoing employees work in three job families - Service Delivery (49.9%), Administration (16.0%) and Compliance and Regulation (8.6%). Casual employees are even more concentrated within these three families: Service Delivery (60%), Administration (20.7%) and Compliance and Regulation (10.6%). Casual employees are mostly employed in Call or Contact Centre (39%), Administrative Support (20.2%) or Customer Support (18.8%) roles.

Movement between agencies

Of the 102,177 ongoing employees with recorded job family details at December 2018, 2,610 moved agencies (including temporary movements) during the 2019 calendar year. Analysis shows that more specialised technical roles tend to have lower external mobility than generalist job family roles (Figure 5.3). The Strategic Policy (7.1%) job family had the highest level of mobility, followed by Organisational Leadership (5.4%). The job families with the lowest mobility of less than 1% are Trade and Labour, Science, Engineering and Technical, and Health. Note that not all employees have moved to the same job family in their new agency.

Figure 5.3 Proportion of employees by job family that have moved agencies, 31 December 2019