Capability framework

What are place-based approaches?

Place-based approaches are initiatives which target the specific circumstances of a place, and engage the community and a broad range of local organisations from different sectors as active participants in developing and implementing solutions.

Place-based approaches tackle interconnected factors at the local level, rather than responding to individual issues. They require government to work differently and share decision making with communities.

They are community driven and take a holistic approach, leveraging existing government investment and services to build authentic cross-sector collaborations to tackle the root causes of local challenges.

They are different because they start with the community at the centre. The community decides what it wants to achieve then uses local data, knowledge and expertise to determine how. Partners such as government, philanthropic organisations, service providers and business work flexibly together with the community to implement actions.

Different places around Victoria have different needs, so place based approaches tailor their actions to local circumstances, evolve over time as local needs change and build community leadership, strength and resilience.

About the place-based capability framework

What is the Place-based capability framework?

The Place-based capability framework defines and describes the capabilities required by the Victorian Public Service (VPS) to work effectively with place-based approaches, and to use the Place-based Framework which provides a common starting point for understanding place-based approaches within the VPS.

Who is the Place-based capability framework for?

The Place-based capability framework is designed for use by VPS employees who work with place-based approaches - and their managers, to support the development of capabilities required for their role. As government has been increasingly partnering with place-based approaches across Victoria in recent years, employees working in policy and strategy roles would also benefit from using the capability framework and developing capabilities in place-based approaches.

How is the Place-based capability framework used?

Like the VPS capability framework, the Place-based capability framework can be used in different ways – for example, recruitment staff may use it to assist in developing position descriptions and interview questions, or a manager might use it to support the onboarding of an employee or to assess where their team requires development. Implementation quick guides and Behaviourally Anchored Rating Scales have also been developed to support the use of the capability framework.

Why was a Place-based capability framework developed?

The Place-based Reform and Delivery team at the Department of Jobs, Skills, Industry and Regions commissioned the Victorian Public Sector Commission to develop a Place-based capability framework. This is part of the Whole-of-Victorian Government Place-based Agenda to enhance the capability and confidence of VPS employees to work with place-based approaches and to use the Place-based Framework.

How was the Place-based capability framework designed?

The Place-based capability framework has been co-designed by stakeholders and subject matter experts across government who work with place-based approaches.

The Place-based capability framework aligns with the format of the VPS capability framework and describes four levels of proficiency (Foundational, Applied, Accomplished, Leading).

It is designed to be used alongside the VPS capability framework and should also be read in conjunction with the VPS Enterprise Agreement and the Classification or Value Range Descriptors contained in the agreement.

Place-based capability framework

Adaptive and facilitative leadership

  • Demonstrates adaptive and facilitative leadership
  • Helps move a group of people towards a goal
  • Promotes a test and learn culture
  • Encourages an iterative, learning approach

Balancing power and sharing accountability

  • Awareness of own power
  • Shared accountability and trust
  • Flexibility during co-creation
  • Awareness of power dynamics

Information and data sharing

  • Information and data sharing advocacy
  • Accessing information and data through others
  • Improving data access, quality and relevance
  • Adherence to relevant legislation

Joined up work

  • Connecting and convening
  • Working better in government

Knowledge and application of place-based approaches

  • Application of place-based knowledge, tools and methodologies
  • Enabling place-based approaches
  • Flexible funding models

Place-based monitoring, evaluation and learning

  • Implementing place-based monitoring evaluation and learning
  • Leveraging lessons learned
  • Communicating the benefits

Capabilities from the VPS capability framework that enable place-based work

Authentic relationships

  • Influence and persuasion

Meaningful outcomes

  • Systems thinking
  • Partnering and co-creation

People leadership

  • Develop capability

Personal attributes

  • Promote inclusion
  • Working collaboratively

Detailed capabilities

Adaptive and facilitative leadership

Contribute to and foster a culture of iteration and learning from successes and failures.

Uses adaptive and facilitative leadership

  • Foundational: Applies the basic principles of adaptive and facilitative leadership to proactively learn about the viewpoints of various stakeholders.
  • Applied: Appropriately exercises own authority to vary from own organisation's agenda.
  • Accomplished: Creates an environment where all government and community stakeholders have an equal voice and contribution to decision making.
  • Leading: Leads the development and implementation of organisational frameworks and structures that enable adaptive and facilitative leadership to thrive.

Helps move groups of people toward a goal

  • Foundational: Identifies a common goal as a first priority and articulates associated benefits.
  • Applied: Facilitates diverse stakeholders towards a common goal.
  • Accomplished: Balances diverse group motivations, needs and values to find common ground.
  • Leading: Puts the needs of the group as a whole above the needs of any group member to help people move towards a goal.

Promoting a ‘test and learn’ culture

  • Foundational: Develops plans that include possibilities of failure and what the positive outcomes of those may be.
  • Applied: Creates opportunities for stakeholders to share successes and failures and learn from them.
  • Accomplished: Creates an environment where people feel safe to ‘test and learn’ and take appropriate risks.
  • Leading: Fosters a ‘test and learn’ culture by placing value on and promoting innovative approaches, lessons learned and trying new ways of working.

Encourages iterative, learning approach

  • Foundational: Uses self-reflection to identify ways to improve the current state.
  • Applied: Consistently adopts an iterative approach and learning mindset to problem solving and learning.
  • Accomplished: Encourages and participates in regular review discussions to evaluate lessons learned and apply these to next steps.
  • Leading: Creates and leads a culture of continuous improvement and learning.

Balancing power and sharing accountability

Understand and utilise power dynamics to share accountability and build trusting relationships with government and community partners.

Awareness of own power

  • Foundational: Identifies own power in each interaction and acts accordingly.
  • Applied: Declares own agenda to help make power dynamics more transparent.
  • Accomplished: Balances dynamics of power to ensure all stakeholders are empowered to make decisions.
  • Leading: Role models effective use of own power to create a culture where power-sharing is expected and embraced.

Shared accountability and trust

  • Foundational: Outlines how transparency and shared accountability can build trust.
  • Applied: Consistently delivers on commitments to build and maintain trusting relationships.
  • Accomplished: Role-models respectful and trusting relationships amongst stakeholders, encouraging shared accountability.
  • Leading: Fosters a culture of shared accountability and transparency by prioritising community needs to build and maintain trusting relationships.

Flexibility during co-creation

  • Foundational: Discusses the importance of collaborative engagement principles and how they relate to place-based approaches.
  • Applied: Demonstrates openness when working with new ideas or suggestions during collaborative engagement.
  • Accomplished: Encourages openness and flexibility when collaborating under challenging circumstances.
  • Leading: Acts as a role model for collaboration by owning mistakes and encouraging similar openness and flexibility in others.

Awareness of power dynamics

  • Foundational: Articulates and maps intersecting power dynamics.
  • Applied: Uses understanding of power dynamics to get better outcomes for a place-based initiative.
  • Accomplished: Supports others to understand power dynamics and their impact on place-based initiatives.
  • Leading: Holds others to account for the ethical use of power dynamics to achieve effective place-based outcomes.

Balances government and community needs appropriately

  • Foundational: Balances listening with contributing, in order to represent government and community appropriately.
  • Applied: Balances government priorities with community needs and opportunities when making recommendations.
  • Accomplished: Advocates for government priorities while seeking alignment amongst diverse stakeholder groups.
  • Leading: Anticipates how changing government priorities may impact various stakeholder groups and manages these relationships accordingly.

Information and data sharing

Improve information and data quality and sharing in line with privacy standards and other relevant legislation.

Information and data sharing/advocacy

  • Foundational: Describes information and data sharing requirements and restrictions, and why these exist.
  • Applied: Appropriately accesses and shares information and data internally and externally.
  • Accomplished: Proactively shares information and data with relevant internal and external stakeholders.
  • Leading: Leads or contributes to a culture of greater data transparency and efficiency and influences information and data sharing protocols both within and across organisations and communities.

Accessing information and data through others

  • Foundational: Knows how and where to find relevant information and data and shares appropriately.
  • Applied: Confidently works with relevant internal and external stakeholders to obtain, share and interpret information and data.
  • Accomplished: Proactively develops and maintains relationships with government and community stakeholders to build a culture of information and data sharing.
  • Leading: Leads, champions or enhances sustainable and ongoing information and data sharing arrangements between government and community data custodians.

Improving data access, quality and relevance

  • Foundational: Recognises the importance of quality and relevance when collecting information and data.
  • Applied: Prepares carefully considered data requests to relevant stakeholders to ensure that data received is appropriate and relevant.
  • Accomplished: Identifies data access, quality and relevance issues, flagging concerns or seeking to influence change where possible.
  • Leading: Leads or contributes to a culture of continuous improvement in data access, quality and relevance.

Adherence to relevant legislation

  • Foundational: Describes how seeking and sharing information is impacted by privacy standards and other relevant legislation.
  • Applied: Appropriately applies and communicates privacy standards and other relevant legislation related to own work.
  • Accomplished: Complies with privacy standards and other relevant legislation, flagging or addressing concerns.
  • Leading: Promotes compliance with government standards to create an expectation of legislation-informed practice.

Joined up work

Balance government and community needs to deliver effective place-based outcomes.

Connecting and convening

  • Foundational: Identifies the roles of local government and community in place-based approaches.
  • Applied: Acts as a conduit between government and community to ensure the communities needs are met.
  • Accomplished: Connects and convenes across government organisations and communities to provide seamless solutions for partners.
  • Leading: Uses convening and influencing skills to promote collective buy-in and influence the agenda for how community needs can be met.

Working better in government

  • Foundational: Identifies the nuances of the relationship between government and community when undertaking place-based work.
  • Applied: Effectively uses organisational politics to achieve effective community-led outcomes.
  • Accomplished: Leverages lateral relationships to achieve effective community-led outcomes.
  • Leading: Effectively breaks down silos internally to improve community-led outcomes.

Knowledge and application of place-based approaches

Apply specialised knowledge to establish, support and successfully enable place-based approaches

Application of place-based knowledge, tools and methodologies

  • Foundational: Researches and discusses the basic principles and stages of place-based and place-focused approaches.
  • Applied: Applies knowledge of place-based approaches, tools and methodologies to identify and interpret emerging trends.
  • Accomplished: Applies in-depth knowledge of place-based approaches, tools and methodologies to address emerging trends and to support community-led work.
  • Leading: Draws on own expert knowledge of place-based approaches, tools and methodologies to support community-led work in diverse settings.

Enabling place-based approaches

  • Foundational: Recognises when place-based approaches might be useful to a community.
  • Applied: Supports government and community partners to enable the delivery of place-based approaches.
  • Accomplished: Enables place-based approaches, proactively modifying the approach or cycling back to earlier stages in the process as needed.
  • Leading: Identifies local strengths as well as local capability and capacity gaps to ensure the success of place-based approaches.

Flexible funding models

  • Foundational: Articulates the importance of flexibility, security, and coordination in place-based funding models.
  • Applied: Identifies opportunities associated with potential funding partners, seeking flexibility and alignment where possible.
  • Accomplished: Proactively partners with funders from other organisations or jurisdictions to influence and align flexible funding agreements.
  • Leading: Advocates for changes to government funding systems and processes to ensure best practice flexible funding principles are met.

Place-based monitoring, evaluation and learning

Conduct monitoring, evaluation and learning of place-based approaches

Implementing place-based monitoring, evaluation and learning

  • Foundational: Discusses the importance of monitoring, evaluation and learning when supporting place-based approaches.
  • Applied: Undertakes monitoring, evaluation and learning in a way that is informed by the needs and interests of community stakeholders.
  • Accomplished: Discusses and develops monitoring, evaluation and learning approaches with a variety of stakeholders to enhance outcomes and to strengthen this capability in others.
  • Leading: Promotes monitoring, evaluation and learning practice and approaches that enhance outcomes and responds to local context including the diverse needs of stakeholders.

Leveraging lessons learned

  • Foundational: Carefully listens to and reviews partners’ feedback to identify and address opportunities for continuous improvement.
  • Applied: Proactively and confidently uses lessons learned to identify and address opportunities for continuous improvement.
  • Accomplished: Shares lessons learned to anticipate community partner concerns and leverage opportunities for continuous improvement.
  • Leading: Leads and promotes a culture of continuous improvement alongside community partners based on lessons learned through monitoring, evaluation and learning.

Communicating the benefits

  • Foundational: Describes the benefits of monitoring, evaluation and learning for place-based approaches.
  • Applied: Clearly documents and communicates monitoring, evaluation and learning outcomes for a variety of stakeholder audiences.
  • Accomplished: Proactively shares monitoring, evaluation and learning outcomes with the community so that all parties can benefit equally.
  • Leading: Uses evidence gained from shared monitoring, evaluation and learning to advocate the value of lessons learned.

Authentic Relationships

Influence and Persuasion

Adapt the content style and message or tone of communications to suit the audience to gain agreement to proposals and idea using an effective written and verbal communication skills

  • Foundational: Understands the pros/cons of a different approaches; Uses direct logical persuasion in a discussion or presentation by using concrete examples, facts and figures to support their argument.
  • Applied: Consistently adapts the content, style, message or tone of a presentation to suit the audience and plans how to tackle objections; Applies own ideas by linking them to others’ values, needs and goals.
  • Accomplished: Gains agreement to proposals and ideas; Builds behind the scenes support for ideas to ensure buy-in and ownership; Uses chains of indirect influence to achieve outcomes; Involves experts or other third parties to strengthen case.

Meaningful outcomes

Systems thinking

Consider the wider context, break complex topics or situations into smaller parts to gain better insights and inform actions required

  • Foundational: Understands and can identify how own work is part of a system that connects to and interacts with other processes, people and structures; Understands systems thinking concepts and the role that systems thinking can play in solving complex problems and apply in own area of work.
  • Applied: Assesses situations and identifies the best systems tools for analysing, understanding the system and addressing problems; Can apply system archetypes to identify common dynamics that appear in different situations; Identifies and understands the impact of particular courses of action on other parts of the organisation or more broadly.
  • Accomplished: Diagnoses trends, obstacles and opportunities in the internal and external environment that connect to own work and teams work; Coaches others in using systems thinking to solve problems and create solutions; Understands the linkages between systems and communities to inform policy; Conceptualises and defines the systems working within the organisation.
  • Leading: Formulates potential courses of action to achieve objectives based on an in-depth understanding of the business environment and its systems; Champions system thinking across the organisation and VPS more broadly acting as a thought leader in this area; Establishes an integrated perspective of the organisation’s systems and identifies the leverage points where intervention will add value.

Partnering and co-creation

Build effective partnerships with the client/ customer/community throughout problem solving process to gain critical insights and develop effective solutions

  • Foundational: Understands the importance of partnering with the customer or community in developing successful strategies, programs or products; Supports the design process by explaining what needs to be done and ensuring people have the necessary information to engage in the process and work effectively; Understands stages of co-design.
  • Applied: Identifies and partners with users/stakeholders/ experts to ensure active collaboration in the design process to understand user needs, obtain ideas, insights and input. Work with stakeholders/users to build prototypes and coordinate testing to validate the strategy, program or product. Ensures decisions are made within agreed timeframes.
  • Accomplished: Builds and maintains partnerships to achieve objectives; Coaches others on the co-creation process and builds team commitment to co-creation by demonstrating personal commitment; Builds trust in partnerships through timely and quality delivery of outcomes; Facilitates discussion and navigates differences of opinion to reach decisions.
  • Leading: Champions the importance of partnership through co-creation approaches; Brings people together to share resources, tools and case studies to build capability and confidence around co-design; Takes the lead in complex and high profile VPS wide co-create activities; Identifies potential issues and setbacks and is aware of the broader political, organisational and demographic landscape that may influence co-design, sharing expertise with others.

Personal Attributes

Promote inclusion

Embrace diversity, draw on insights into the community’s beliefs, needs, and values to inform required actions

  • Foundational: Is respectful, seeks to understand needs, beliefs, ability and values of people from diverse backgrounds; Understands the importance of diversity in successful service delivery to the community.
  • Applied: Pays attention to words, expression and body language; Recognises behaviours that promote a culture of inclusion. Hold self and team accountable towards being inclusive to individuals from diverse backgrounds. Takes corrective actions when behaviours displayed do not promote an inclusive work place.
  • Accomplished: Establishes a workforce that is diverse and takes advantage of relevant knowledge and skills; Creates opportunities to improve knowledge of teams in the area of diversity and inclusion.
  • Leading: Creates a culture that supports and respects the individuality of others and recognises the benefits of diverse ideas and approaches; Communicates well with, relates to and sees issues from the perspective of people from a diverse range of cultures and backgrounds.

Working collaboratively

Builds trust and rapport with others; Sets common goals through a high degree of empathy; Display willingness to share control and responsibility with peers the service, external partners, and community) in the delivery of work and outcomes

  • Foundational: Cooperates and works well with others in pursuit of team goals; Share information and acknowledge others’ efforts; Step in to help others where required.
  • Applied: Build a supportive and cooperative team environment; Engages other teams to share information in order to understand or respond to issues; Support others in challenging situations.
  • Accomplished: Guides others to create a culture of collaboration; Identifies, and works to overcome, barriers to knowledge or information sharing; Identifies opportunities to work with other teams to deliver outcomes.
  • Leading: Build a culture of collaboration across the organisation; Looks for and facilitates opportunities to collaborate with external stakeholders; Identifies and overcomes barriers to communication with internal and external stakeholders.

People Leadership

Develop capability

Improve knowledge, skills, and ability of others to deliver against performance expectations and outcomes for the community

  • Foundational: Shares knowledge to support team capability development; Identifies and improves on own areas of capability for development; Provides constructive feedback.
  • Applied: Actively seeks to improve others’ skills and talents by providing knowledge, constructive feedback, coaching and learning opportunities; Consistently develops team capability; Recognise and develop potential in others.
  • Accomplished: Develops and applies frameworks to develop capability at organisation level; Clearly defines role expectations, monitors performance, provides timely and constructive feedback and facilitates employee development; Empowers others by providing them with the authority and latitude to accomplish tasks; Creates learning opportunities and appropriately delegates responsibilities to further the development of others.
  • Leading: Provides thought leadership and high level advice around capability development at VPS level; Has knowledge of external factors relating to capability development such as demographic trends, skills shortages and future workforce requirements; Appropriately delegates responsibilities to further the development of others; Fosters talent and builds capability of others across the organisation.