Policy capability framework

Following a recommendation of the Economic Audit Committee to build the policy capacity of the public sector, the Public Sector Commission led a project to develop the Policy capability framework.

The development of the framework has been a collaborative effort, incorporating a wide range of perspectives and needs from senior policy practitioners, senior executives, directors general and chief executive officers across the sector.

The framework details the capabilities required to develop evidence-based policy, helping policy officers establish and maintain policy competency. Guiding career progression pathways, the framework contributes to a more highly skilled policy workforce able to respond to new and evolving demands placed on the sector.

The framework identifies and defines four interrelated core capabilities designed to build the capabilities of policy officers and the policy function.

These are:

  • Strategic alignment
  • Critical thinking
  • Communication and engagement
  • Policy implementation and evaluation

The framework is based on national and international research. It complements the sector’s capability frameworks, Capability profile: levels 1–6 and the Leadership capability profiles (level 7 to class 4). The framework supports the objectives of Strategic directions for the public sector workforce 2009–2014.

The capabilities are as applicable to a policy specialist as they are to a generalist.

The framework provides:

  • a view of the capabilities and their application to the policy function
  • individual and comparative views of the capabilities and their application for policy  practitioners at all levels

There are resources to help you implement the framework.


Page last updated 11 May 2016