APS Job Description Guide

To get started on identifying your career with the Australian Government, below is a list of common jobs, descriptions, and the skills and knowledge you would need to have:

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A

Job role
Description
Indicative Skills/Knowledge Requirements
Accounts receivable/payable

Monitor creditor and debtor accounts and undertake related routine documentation

May include accounts payable and receivable and wages and salaries, reconciling invoices, keeping financial records etc

Basic knowledge of accounting procedures

Knowledge of general office and accounting software

Actuary

Analyse mathematical, statistical, demographic, financial or economic data to predict and assess the long-term risk involved in financial decisions ad planning

Knowledge of mathematics, statistics, economics, accounting, finance and investment and law

Skill in analysing and interpreting information, and drawing conclusions

Knowledge of software including databases, spreadsheets, presentation programs and programming languages

Archivist

Analyse and document records and plan and organise systems and procedures for the safekeeping of records and historically valuable documents

Help people to access records

Knowledge of how to organise, store and find archival information

An understanding of the historical and potential research value of materials to be archived

Sound analytical and research skills

Good communication and people skills

Organisational and time management skills

Audit and evaluation

Examine, verify, evaluate and report on financial, operational and managerial processes, systems and outcomes to ensure financial and operational integrity and compliance

Ability to manage projects

Superior accounting and auditing skills

Ability to build sound relationships with team members and clients

Ability to prioritise work tasks and work under time pressure

Knowledge of governance frameworks and requirements for major administrative functions

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B

Job role
Description
Indicative Skills/Knowledge Requirements
Border enforcement operations

Undertake various roles to ensure that passengers, cargo and imported items entering Australia are safe and permitted under law

Knowledge of the relevant legislation, regulations and standards depending on the role

Knowledge of the use of various technical equipment depending on the role

Good communication and people skills

Knowledge of general office software

Mobility may be required in some roles

Budgets

Plan, organize, direct, control and coordinate the financial and accounting activities within an organisation

Experience with or knowledge of Financial Information System

Practical knowledge of budgeting and forecasting methodologies

Experience in Microsoft Excel

Experience working with accounting teams

Business process analysis/design

Perform analysis of business processes, systems and policy; build and maintain effective relationships with key business areas of the agency

For ICT professionals: as above plus definition of user requirements, leading to design of agency ICT systems

Understanding of the methodology favoured by the agency (e.g. Prince2 Project Management)

Demonstrated experience in business analysis including stakeholder engagement, documenting business cases, user requirements and design documents

Well-developed liaison and interpersonal skills

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C

Job role
Description
Indicative Skills/Knowledge Requirements
Communications and public relations

Plan, develop and implement public relations and communications strategies that create understanding and favourable views of an organisation's goods and services and its role in the community

Able to develop and maintain strong working relationships within the agency, and with media, parliamentary and external stakeholders

Able to produce written and other media communications to agency standards

Able to work to deadlines and under time pressures

Highly developed written and oral communications skills

Compliance and investigation

Monitor compliance of people and organisations with various legal requirements and investigate specific matters

Knowledge of the relevant legislation pertaining the matter under investigation

Understanding of law relating to evidence

Skills in planning, conducting and documenting investigations

Knowledge of risk management techniques and processes

Customer liaison/counters

Receive and welcome visitors, patients, guests and clients and respond to inquiries and requests face to face

Respond to personal, written and telephone inquiries and complaints; provide information and refer people to appropriate sources

Excellent verbal communication and customer service skills

Good level of computer literacy

Able to research and absorb information quickly

Ability to work co-operatively in a team environment

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D

Job role
Description
Indicative Skills/Knowledge Requirements
Data analyst

Perform statistical analysis or modelling data with the purpose of understanding or making conclusions from the data for decision making purposes and presenting data in a variety of meaningful forms

Sophisticated knowledge of statistical reporting and modeling techniques

Written and oral communication skills

Databases

Administer, monitor and maintain databases

Knowledge of and/or experience with data modeling, data systems and architecture, database design, testing and administration, appropriate to level

System administration skills to support databases on platforms used within the agency

Development and programming

Create, test, and document new and amended programs and software from supplied specifications in accordance with agreed standards

Able to design, create, test and document new and amended programs

Able to provide expert advice on programming matters

Able to plan, estimate and implement systems programming to industry standards

Able to plan, design, manage, execute and report tests using industry standards e.g. ISO 29119

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E

Job role
Description
Indicative Skills/Knowledge Requirements
Economist

Perform economic research and analysis, develop and apply theories about production and distribution of goods and services and people's spending and financial behaviour, and provide advice to government on related policy issues

Able to undertake high level economic research and apply economic theory to policy issues in one or more areas such as industry, agriculture, labour market, fiscal and monetary policy, taxation, employment, imports and exports, interest and exchange rates

Able to produce reports and high level briefing

Highly developed written and oral communications skills

Able to work to deadlines and under time pressures

Engineer

Design, plan, organise and oversee the construction of engineering projects

Able to identify and resolve issues in managing, developing and maintaining engineering projects

Able to use agency database and other technological tools for project management

Able to define, design and develop, integrate, test and evaluate engineering projects

Able to identify, negotiate and deliver engineering products/outcomes for stakeholders

Highly developed writing skills

Executive assistance and support

Provide liaison, coordination and organisational tasks in support of managers, professional sand other staff and colleagues

Organisation skills including ability to prioritise tasks according to changing work demands

Effective at liaising between staff and clients at all levels

Well developed written and oral communication skills

Able to manage multiple tasks and to complete all tasks on time

Able to deal with changes to work schedules and priorities

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F

Job role
Description
Indicative Skills/Knowledge Requirements
Finance (general accounting)

Monitor creditor and debtor accounts, undertake related routine documentation, and calculate and investigate the cost of wages, materials, overheads and other operating costs

Able to undertake essential accounting processes such as reconciliations, and fringe benefit tax return preparations

Able to use the Financial Management Information System (FMIS)

Strong written and oral communication skills

Able to explain accounting and compliance requirements in lay terms

Strong numerical skills

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G

Job role
Description
Indicative Skills/Knowledge Requirements
Gallery or museum curator

Plan and organize a gallery or museum collection by drafting collection policies and arranging for acquisition of pieces

Knowledge of art/history relevant to the agency's function

Ability to research, develop and present curated exhibitions and collection displays of the highest quality working to deadline and budget

Excellent written and verbal communication skills

Well developed interpersonal, negotiation and liaison skills with the ability to work successfully with key stakeholders, contractors and staff

Administrative and project skills to meet deadlines; prioritise duties and effectively manage resources

Graphic design

Design information for publication and display using print, film, electronic, digital and other visual media; includes text, symbols, pictures, colours, layout; to communicate effectively with intended audience

Able to produce complex graphic design including print and on-line publications

Able to prepare specifications for printers and external service providers

Able to meet deadlines

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H

Job role
Description
Indicative Skills/Knowledge Requirements
Helpdesk/support

Manage and resolve incidents and problems throughout the information system lifecycle

Assist clients with agency computer and other systems software and hardware issues, including printing, installation, word processing, electronic mail and operating systems

Able to articulate technical matters and procedures in plain business language

Able to prioritise jobs to ensure quick and lasting resolution of problems

Human resources

Provide staffing and personnel administration services in support of the agency's human resources policies

Knowledge of human resources policies and practices in one or more of:

  1. recruitment and selection
  2. workforce relations
  3. pay and associated conditions such as working hours, leave, advancement, redeployment, compensation
  4. permanent and temporary employment conditions
  5. performance management and management of underperformance
  6. occupational health and safety regulations, policies, agreements, guidelines and procedures

sufficient to provide sound, reliable information, advice and direction to clients

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I

Job role
Description
Indicative Skills/Knowledge Requirements
Information/ knowledge management

Study organisational structures, methods, systems and procedures to assist organisations to achieve greater efficiencies

Demonstrated skills in an information management role

Ability to use information technology resources efficiently and effectively

Ability to respond to differing user needs and behaviours in information use

Sound knowledge of collection control and management as well as an appreciation of current and emerging trends in technology

Ability to maintain information management system software

Information security

Operate information security controls to maintain confidentiality and integrity, including authorisation and monitoring of and access to IT facilities or infrastructure

Strong technical background in information security technologies and tools

Ability to develop and implement information security risk management programs using best practice tools and frameworks

Acute awareness of inherent risks in conducting agency operations

Strong understanding of agency security policies and their IT implications

Ability to articulate technical risks and security requirements in business language

Infrastructure and facilities

Administer, monitor and maintain ICT infrastructure and facilities

IT operations – knowledge and application of infrastructure maintenance, change and problem resolution, all to industry, regulatory, legal and professional standards; able to monitor and assess contribution of systems to business performance

IT management – manage IT infrastructure outlined above. May include services brought from outside the agency. Includes continual service improvement to support business needs

Security administration – able monitor and authorise access to IT infrastructure and facilities, consistent with established policy; includes investigating unauthorised access

Asset management – able to manage IT asset lifecycle to minimise operating costs while maintaining services

Knowledge of international standards such as ISO/IEC 19770-1

Intelligence analyst

Collect and analyse information and data to produce intelligence for an organisation to support planning, operations, and human resource functions

Able to undertake research and complex analysis across a range of information systems and intelligence sources

Able to produce written intelligence assessments, reporting and advice for operational and strategic decision-makers

Identify and analyse complex factors, such as national security risks

Ability to liaise with other areas of agency, external agencies and international partner agencies, where necessary

Ability to work effectively as a member of a small team against tight deadlines

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L

Job role
Description
Indicative Skills/Knowledge Requirements
Learning and development professional

Plan, develop, implement and evaluate training and development programs to ensure management and staff acquire the skills and develop the competencies required by an organisation to meet organisational objectives

Able to use a variety of presentation techniques and technology to educate, engage, target client groups

Understand and can apply principles of adult learning in workplace settings

Understand how to evaluate training and other education programs

Able to quickly establish rapport with target client groups

Excellent communication skills such as paraphrasing, listening, questioning

Lawyer

Provide legal advice, prepare and draft legal documents, conduct and coordinate negotiations and litigation on behalf of agency on matters associated with the law

Strong working knowledge of the law, regulations and other legal authorities under which the agency operates

Highly developed written and oral communication skills

Librarian

Provide library and research services to an agency including hard copy and electronic products.  Develop, organise and manage library services such as collections of information, recreation resources and reader information services

Able to provide library, research services to agency staff

Able to use most commonly available information resources and systems

Able to catalogue hard copy and electronic resources
Able to use library management systems such as SIRSI or similar

Logistics

Coordinate the purchasing, receipt, recording, monitoring, and distribution of goods and services, and the clearance and collection of imported cargo, and shipment of cargo for export

Understanding of logistics and/or Project Management

Ability to analyse and interpret information and make sound and effective recommendations and/or judgments

Ability to work individually and as a member of a multi-disciplinary team planning and managing acquisition / implementation activities

A high level of communication skills, both verbal and written, and the ability to liaise with contractors

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M

Job role
Description
Indicative Skills/Knowledge Requirements
Ministerial and parliamentary support

Establish and facilitate communication between different community groups, organisations and governments

High level analytical skills and ability to identify priorities and sensitive matters

Ability to prepare and review complex correspondence and briefings

Capacity to meet tight deadlines and work in a dynamic environment

Knowledge of Cabinet and Parliamentary processes

High-level communication, negotiation and inter-personal skills

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N

Job role
Description
Indicative Skills/Knowledge Requirements
Networks and telecommunications

Responsible for the operation and control of all LAN, WAN Telecommunications equipment

Capacity to prioritise work and respond quickly to problems

Strong analytical skills applied to solving technical problems

Ability to translate technical problems into lay language for the benefit of clients experiencing technical problems

Ability to work independently as well as with team members and clients

Currently posses or have capacity to quickly develop, strong working knowledge of agency LAN, WAN and other telecommunication products

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O

Job role
Description
Indicative Skills/Knowledge Requirements
Occupational health and safety advisor

Develop, implement, and evaluate risk management policies and programs, train employees in occupational health and safety procedures, monitor and audit the workplace, record and investigate incidents to ensure safe and healthy working conditions

Understand the occupational health and safety laws, regulations and industrial agreements pertaining to the agency

Highly developed writing skills – able to prepare policy statements and briefing papers and to provide advice for all levels of agency employee

Presentation and training skills
Highly developed interpersonal skills and ability to deal tactfully with all stakeholders including unions and managers

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P

Job role
Description
Indicative Skills/Knowledge Requirements
Patents examiner

Investigate and report on patent applications to assess their compliance with the requirements of the Patents Act

Able to assess the validity of a patent application in field such as physics, electrical/medical or related technology areas

Highly developed analytical abilities

Highly developed report writing skills

Payroll

Use systems to prepare payrolls and related records for employee salaries and statutory record-keeping purposes

Answer employee payroll enquiries

Deal with routine and complex queries over the telephone or by e-mail

Provide advice and assistance to staff, managers and external clients on payroll and conditions of service activities

Liaise with staff from across the organisation on payroll and conditions of service related matters

Prepare correspondence and, on a needs basis, gather and report statistics that relate to the work areas' responsibilities

Personnel security – vetting

Review personal documents of applicants and employees government agencies to assess suitability for security clearances

High-level communication and interpersonal skills

Ability to manage own work to meet tight deadlines

Ability to analyse information and make sound and justifiable decisions based on established frameworks

Policy development

Develops and analyses policies guiding the design, implementation and modification of government or commercial operations and programs

Strong analytical and conceptual skills

Oral and written communication skills, including attention to detail

Ability to prepare advice, reports, briefing and other correspondence.

Well developed interpersonal skills, including the ability to consult and negotiate, exercise sound judgement, and to represent the Department in internal and external forums

Initiative, drive, a capacity to learn quickly and adapt to new situations

Procurement and contracting

Plan, organise, direct, coordinate and control financial activities including:

  1. manage tender processes
  2. formulate contracts and grants
  3. prepare purchase orders
  4. negotiate contracts with suppliers
  5. monitor supply sources

in line with the Commonwealth financial policy and regulatory framework

Ability to manage large scale, complex procurement and agreements within the Commonwealth Financial Management Framework including the Commonwealth Procurement and Grants Guidelines

Good interpersonal skills, ability to work co-operatively in teams

Highly effective oral and written communication, negotiation and representation skills

Able to deliver to standard within agreed timeframes

Program management

Plan and undertake administration of contracts, service delivery, special projects and support services

Ability to manage complex project, activities and services to meet deadlines

Problem solving in complex situations

Managing sound relationships with internal and external clients and stakeholders

High level of oral and written communication skills

Understanding of Commonwealth procurement requirements

Ability to undertake basic financial analysis of reports and budgets

Project management

Plan and undertake administration of contracts, service delivery, special projects and support services

Use business analysis and project management tools
Able to redesign business processes to introduce improvements
Familiar with appropriate APS and agency governance and other accountability requirements
Able to deliver on time and to standard

Property and facilities management

Organise, control and coordinate, strategic and operational management, of facilities and property in an organisation

Able to perform a broad range of property management issues including revenue and expenditure leasing, estate management, acquisitions and disposals

Able to work on a range of activities concurrently

Ability to maintain good customer relationships

Public Relations

Plan, develop, implement and evaluate information and communication strategies on behalf of an organisation

Understanding of government information policies and processes

Well developed strategic understanding of agency role and operations

Highly developed written and oral communications skills

Highly developed liaison skills

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Q

Job role
Description
Indicative Skills/Knowledge Requirements
Quality Assurance, technical and procedural

Undertake quality assurance assessments on organisational structures, methods, systems, and procedures

Thorough understanding of administrative and legal obligations of the agency

Understanding of quality assurance practices in an APS or similar environment

Analytical and methodical approach and an eye for detail

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R

Job role
Description
Indicative Skills/Knowledge Requirements
Records manager

Design, implement and administer systems and services to support efficient access, movement, updating, storage, retention and disposal of files and other organisational records

Able to provide records management services in accordance with legislative and policy agreements

Highly developed organisational skills

Well developed interpersonal skills and able to interact effectively with all levels

Well developed writing skills

Able to operate standard software such as MS Word, Excel Outlook, etc

Recruitment/
redeployment

Interview applicants to determine their job requirements and suitability for particular jobs, and assist employers to find suitable staff

Understand the role of recruitment in the APS and the recruitment and selection processes used by APS agencies

Able to provide advice to agency clients about recruitment and selection process.

Ensure all recruitment and selection complies with agency standards and procedures

Rehabilitation officer

Assist physically, mentally and socially disadvantaged people to reintegrate into work and the community

Understanding of the legislative and policy framework supporting workers' compensation and the key principles driving effective case management

Interpersonal and customer service skills

Ability to build productive working relationships with stakeholders in the rehabilitation process

Ability to undertake research, analysis and written skills to undertake complex reporting

Research

Plan, organise, direct, control and coordinate research and development activities within organisations

Able to undertake high quality research in areas of expertise

Effective written and verbal skills

Able to prepare briefs, journal articles presentations and reports

Able to provide technical or scientific research in plain English

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S

Job role
Description
Indicative Skills/Knowledge Requirements
Scientist

Deliver products and/or provide advice to clients and colleagues in your field (e.g. geology, physics, chemistry, veterinary, etc) to advance government funded or supported projects

Perform analytical, conceptual and practical tasks in their field of knowledge

Able to contribute ideas to science based projects in your field

Able to communicate specific science to broad range of stakeholders including the public, international scientific organisations and management

Able to undertake high quality scientific research

Able to produce high quality scientific publications and other products

Secretariat

Provide secretariat services to a committee or other government supported working group

Able to communicate effectively with all levels of agency and stakeholder representative, including management and unions

Highly efficient organisational skills

Highly developed written communication skills

Strong research skills and able to prepare briefing papers on various topics

Able to respond flexibly and at short notice to legitimate needs of committee members

Security (ICT)

Operate information security controls to maintain confidentiality and integrity, including authorising and monitoring access to ICT facilities or infrastructure

Strong knowledge of the APS and agency security environment including responsibilities under relevant legislation and regulations

Able to prepare briefing material and policy papers on relevant security matters

Highly developed written, analytical and oral skills

Statistician

Design and apply statistical principles and techniques for collecting, organising and interpreting quantifiable data, and use statistical methodologies to produce statistical reports and analyses

Knowledge and understanding of the principles and application of mathematical statistics, mathematical sciences, time series analysis, or econometrics

Proven ability to use computer-based systems appropriately for statistical analysis

Demonstrated ability to work with client areas and communicate complex information to non-technical audiences; and

Strong conceptual, analytical and innovative skills, including the ability to critically assess issues and to identify and solve problems

System testing

Test IT components and/or subsystems and their interfaces, to improve quality and ensure they function to specification

Use and maintain testware to measure and improve the quality of software being tested

Integrate and test components and/or subsystems to create operational services

Formally assess the usability of new and existing products or services through trials, expert review, survey and analysis

6 months or more in the IT testing field in a large public or private organisation is usually required for these positions

Systems administration

Install, administer and maintain system software such as operating systems, data management products, office automation products, and other utility software.

Capacity to prioritise work and respond quickly to problems.

Strong analytical skills applied to solving technical problems.

Ability to translate technical problems into lay language for the benefit of clients experiencing technical problems.

Ability to work independently as well as with team members and clients.

Strong working knowledge of agency operating systems software, data management products, office automation products and utility software.

Systems analysis/design

Analyse business project/program needs and design ICT systems that satisfy those needs

Robust working knowledge of configurable systems software and an understanding of the software development process required, to satisfy end user needs

Appreciation of agency operational and functional areas and their typical systems requirements.

Able to accurately document client requirements and specifications

Able to plan and develop processes to deliver clients' business and system needs

Knowledge of IT project methodology and ability to work as part of a team executing complex third party and custom software

Systems integration and deployment

Integrate, release and deploy systems and user interfaces in order to create operational services

Understanding of life cycle planning control and management of documentation, software hardware and firmware assets

Able to identify classify specify appropriate configuration items and interfaces to other processes and data using techniques such as federation

Understand and use industry standard criteria such as ISO 9000 and ISO 20000

Able to suggest and design processes for integration of software products in to existing environments

Able to build, test and deploy changes and updates to systems to ready then for user community

Able to decommission existing systems to industry standards

Able to resolve software and hardware malfunctions

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W

Job role
Description
Indicative Skills/Knowledge Requirements
Web and multi media content development

Author, publish, information in various forms (text, video, graphical), via websites and intranet

Information content publishing - website content management, authoring and website design and graphic experience

Information content authoring - applied knowledge of agency and other commonly used web and intranet authoring tools and software

Usability requirements analysis - able to interact with non-technical users to explain technical limitations and possibilities. Able to translate user needs into web and intranet documents, videos and graphics. Accurately interpret and document client requirements

Workforce planning

Provide staffing and personnel administration services in support of an organisation's human resource policies and programs

Able to write evidence based qualitative and quantitative reports on work force requirements

Able to effectively research and analyse data, including using appropriate research methodologies

Able to conduct consultative data collection processes with colleagues and peers

Workplace relations

Assist in resolving disputes advising on workplace relations policies and problems, and representing industrial, commercial, union, employer or other parties in negotiations on rates of pay and conditions of employment

Sound knowledge of relevant workplace relations legislation

A high level of investigative and analytical skills

The ability to develop and foster productive working relationships with stakeholders

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