Capability Framework

The NSW Public Sector Capability Framework is a tool that supports the public sector to attract, recruit, develop and retain the public sector workforce:

The Capability Framework provides a base for:

  • standardised job design and role descriptions
  • recruitment practices
  • performance development practices
  • mobility
  • learning and development activities
  • career planning conversations and activities
  • workforce planning.


Watch this video below to understand the NSW Capability Definition tool and then importance of applying against the NSW Capability Framework. 

The Capability Framework has 16 capabilities organised into four groups:

  • Personal Attributes
  • Relationships
  • Results
  • Business Enablers

There are also four capabilities in the People Management group. 

Each capability has five levels: foundational, intermediate, adept, advanced and highly advanced.


  • the knowledge (understanding of a subject),
  • skills (proficiencies developed through training, experience or practice) and
  • abilities (qualities of being able to do something)

relevant to a role.

All NSW Government role descriptions set out the accountabilities for the role and the capabilities that are required to perform the role.

 ‘Focus Capabilities’ are considered to be essential to the role and need to be demonstrated in your application. ‘Complementary Capabilities’ are an important standard for the role but do not need to be assessed during the recruitment process.

We have a Capability Definition Tool designed to help you understand and use the capability framework when applying for a position. 

To watch a demonstration on how to use the Capability Definition Tool click here.