Capability Framework

LGNSW has developed a capability framework for local government to define the core knowledge, skills and abilities expected of elected members and local government employees.

The framework will deliver a more consistent approach to developing people in our sector - from workforce planning and creating structures and roles to recruitment, performance management and career and development planning.

The framework will be available online from early September 2017, and implementation tools and resources will be available by December 2017.

Aims and benefits

LGNSW’s aim is to develop a framework that will support NSW councils to:

  • align the workforce and elected members in delivering community outcomes
  • improve performance and capacity
  • attract and retain highly capable people
  • provide a shared basis for workforce planning
  • provide broader career options and develop the next generation of leaders in NSW
  • provide a common basis for  the professional development in local government.

NSW councils will choose whether to use the framework. However, the benefits to individual councils and to the sector will increase with large-scale adoption.

Current status

During June and July the project team consulted on the design with over 200 elected and council representatives from 75 councils through face-to-face workshops in regional and metropolitan locations and through the Mindhive online forum.

I am very pleased to be able to advise that the final version of the capability framework which reflects the broad stakeholder feedback has been approved by the LGNSW Board and is now available for viewing in two formats, a PDF version: Local Government Capability Framework (PDF, 3MB) and an interactive version:

We will be making the framework available online and in hard copy to Councils in October. The project team is now working with virtual teams and council stakeholders to jointly develop a range of additional tools and resources to assist councils to make the best use of the framework. Those tools and resources are:

  • Implementation and change management guide
  • Online position description builder
  • Recruitment and selection guide
  • Performance management guide and template
  • Workforce planning guide
  • ‘PD in a box’ professional development resource for elected members.

LGNSW will develop these resources from August to December 2017 together with virtual teams of council representatives.

LGNSW advises councils that the LGNSW Capability Framework does not displace or override the Local Government (State) Award 2017 (“the Award”) and is not linked to the Award. The Award is the enforceable industrial instrument setting the minimum terms and conditions for the majority of local government employees in NSW.  The framework does not alter councils’ obligations to:

  • Evaluate positions in their structure in accordance with the Award's skill descriptors; and
  • Ensure progression through councils’ salary systems based on the acquisition and use of skills, or employee performance, provided that progression beyond the entry level based on the acquisition and use of skills is also available.

LGNSW recommends that councils not implement the framework as it relates to employees covered by the Award until the implementation tools and resources have been developed and published.

For further advice on implementing the framework in compliance with the Award's provisions please contact the LGNSW Industrial Unit on 02 9242 4142.

More information

Updates on the project’s progress will be provided via LGNSW's Weekly newsletter.

If you are interested in receiving regular project updates or in joining a virtual team, please contact: