A NSW Government website
Senior Executive Fundamentals

Development and capability

Building your professional development and capability is an ongoing process for all senior executives.

Development opportunities

As a senior executive there are formal and informal opportunities available for your professional development within your agency and across the sector. You are required to enter into a performance agreement with your employer, and have your performance reviewed at least annually. Further information about these requirements are set out in your employment contract as well as the Performance Development Framework.

Goal-setting sits at the heart of high performance. You are encouraged to have goal-setting conversations to guide your own, as well as your team’s performance.

You are responsible for your professional development. You should seek out networking and educational opportunities. Your agency will have internal learning and development policies and you should reach out to your HR business partner to learn more about these options.

Informal development opportunities include taking secondments in other public sector agencies to promote collaboration, knowledge sharing and professional growth.

NSW Leadership Academy

The Leadership Academy offers development programs for executives across all bands in the NSW public sector, connecting you with other senior executives through their development programs and events.

Learn more about the NSW Leadership Academy

Communities of Practice

These communities bring together professionals from across the sector to discuss current issues and trends based on specific subject matter areas and are open to all employees.

Learn more about the Communities of Practice

Setting strategic direction

As a senior executive you are responsible for setting strategic direction in your agency and in your team. There are key frameworks and resources you can use to develop your strategic capabilities.

Strategic workforce planning

Use this framework to plan and prepare for your workforce needs using this principles based approach.

Learn more about Strategic workforce planning

Strategy mapping guide

This guide will support you to drive organisational performance and define clear customer focused objectives.

Learn more about Strategy mapping guide

Policy capability

As a senior executive you are responsible for developing policy capability in your agency. When developing policy advice, consider ways to:

  • demand a clear evidence base for all policy proposals at any stage of development
  • ensure that policy options are developed in close consultation with all relevant stakeholders and subject-matter experts, including:
    • cross sector representatives
    • across government
    • public stakeholders
    • knowledge-based institutions and policy think tanks.
  • collaborate with your internal business partners and subject-matter experts
  • balance the need to respond to short-term issues, with the importance of addressing long-term strategic objectives.

You also play a vital role in encouraging the development of effective policy skills within your staff.  You can do this by:

  • providing opportunities for staff members to attend policy-based discussions and sessions hosted by external policy think tanks
  • encouraging staff members to participate in professional development activities that focus on building research, analytical and critical thinking skills
  • supporting mobility processes and encouraging staff members to build broad experience bases
  • recruiting widely while focusing on relevant skills within the NSW Public Sector Capability Framework.


Capability Framework

The NSW Public Sector Capability Framework is used to assess all roles across the NSW public sector. It is important you show how you meet each core capability when applying for a role. The behavioural indicators in each capability can be used to identify potential areas for professional development. Behavioural indicators illustrate the degree of knowledge, skill and ability required for effective performance.

Access the Capability Framework