Capability Framework

The Local Government Capability Framework sets out the essential knowledge, skills, abilities and other attributes needed to work effectively in local government. It has been designed to give those elected and employed in local government more support to continue their fantastic work, aligning elected members and the workforce to deliver community outcomes by describing capabilities in terms of observable behaviour.

The framework has been designed to support mayors and councillors with their personal and professional development planning, and also provides a common foundation for creating roles, recruitment, managing performance, capabilities development, career planning and more broadly, workforce planning.

It has been developed through an extensive engagement process with many councils across NSW, and we thank all those who participated for their significant contribution and support. You have helped ensure that the framework is well targeted and has applicability across the full spectrum of roles and councils.

Local Government NSW has developed a suite of supporting materials and tools to assist councils in implementing the framework:

Understanding the Capability Framework

Guides for Implementing the Capability Framework

Implementation and Change Management (PDF, 181KB) - Templates (Word, 157KB).

Recruitment and Selection (PDF, 962KB) - Templates (Word, 142KB)

Creating Position Descriptions (PDF, 1,187KB)

Performance Management and Development Process (PDF, 1,058KB) - Template (Word, 98KB)

Workforce Planning (PDF, 977KB) - Templates (Word 106KB).


Tools for Implementing the Capability Framework

  • Online position-description builder - developed to support the development of position descriptions using the Local Government Capability Framework –
  • PD in a Box – A free and confidential portal for mayors and councillors to assess their capabilities and create a personal and professional development plan. Access to the system requires a user name and password which will be sent via email from LGNSW Learning Solutions.  Only the LGNSW system administrator will be able to see the individual self-assessment data and will not share it with any other person in LGNSW or Council.  Council administrators will have access to aggregated and de-identified summary reports of the self-assessments to guide the choice of local development options to offer to councillors.  Council administrators will also receive the individual proposed development plans to review and approve any development options that would be paid from Council budget and to prepare the consolidated report required under legislation -

Capability Framework and the Award

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.