Unit of competency details

PSPGOV201B - Work in a public sector environment (Release 3)


Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by and equivalent to PSPGEN001 - Work in a public sector environmentUnit code updated. Content and formatting updated to comply with the new standards. All PC transitioned from passive to active voice. Assessment Requirements created drawing upon specified assessment information from superseded unit. 06/Mar/2016
Supersedes PSPGOV201A - Work in a public sector environment 04/May/2009

ReleaseRelease date
3 (this release) 01/Nov/2012
(View details for release 2) 07/Mar/2012
(View details for release 1) 05/May/2009

Qualifications that include this unit

CodeSort Table listing Qualifications that include this unit by the Code columnTitleSort Table listing Qualifications that include this unit by the Title columnUsage RecommendationRelease
DEF51512 - Diploma of Military LeadershipDiploma of Military LeadershipSuperseded1-2 
PUA41506 - Certificate IV in Public Safety (Defence Paralegal Services)Certificate IV in Public Safety (Defence Paralegal Services)Superseded
PSP20112 - Certificate II in GovernmentCertificate II in GovernmentSuperseded
PUA51509 - Diploma of Public Safety (Military Leadership)Diploma of Public Safety (Military Leadership)Superseded
DEF42812 - Certificate IV in Defence Paralegal ServicesCertificate IV in Defence Paralegal ServicesSuperseded
PUA42209 - Certificate IV in Public Safety (Military Leadership)Certificate IV in Public Safety (Military Leadership)Superseded
DEF41512 - Certificate IV in Defence Paralegal ServicesCertificate IV in Defence Paralegal ServicesSuperseded
DEF21115 - Certificate II in Military SkillsCertificate II in Military SkillsCurrent1-2 
DEF51115 - Diploma of LeadershipDiploma of LeadershipCurrent
PSP20104 - Certificate II in GovernmentCertificate II in GovernmentSuperseded1-2 
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SchemeCodeClassification value
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 080313 Public And Health Care Administration  

Classification history

SchemeCodeClassification valueStart dateEnd date
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 080313 Public And Health Care Administration  05/Jul/2004 
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Modification History


TP Version




Unit descriptor edited.



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Primary release.

Unit Descriptor

This unit covers the requirements for entry into/working as a trainee in the public sector. It includes compliance with the principles of public sector legislation and guidelines, the use of public sector and organisational procedures when dealing with others at work, respect for individual differences and career planning.

In practice, working in a public sector environment may overlap with other generalist or specialist public sector work activities such as communicating with others, delivering client service, using resources, handling information.

The unit serves as the introductory unit of competency in the Working in Government competency themes of Effective Work and Diversity, and in the Competency Fields of Ethics&Accountability, and Legislation&Compliance, so provides the introductory unit for:

  • PSPGOV301B Work effectively in the organisation
  • PSPGOV308B Work effectively with diversity
  • PSPGOV310A Work in and with small, regional and remote organisations
  • PSPETHC301B Uphold the values and principles of public service
  • PSPLEGN301B Comply with legislation in the public sector
  • No licensing, legislative, regulatory or certification requirements apply to this unit at the time of publication

Application of the Unit

Not applicable.

Licensing/Regulatory Information

Not applicable.


Not applicable.

Employability Skills Information

This unit contains employability skills.

Elements and Performance Criteria Pre-Content

Elements are the essential outcomes of the unit of competency.

Together, performance criteria specify the requirements for competent performance. Text in bold italics  is explained in the Range Statement following.

Elements and Performance Criteria



1 . Access and use legislation and guidelines 

1.1 The range of legislation  and guidelines  common to employment in a public sector organisation is accessed.

1.2 The key principles  contained in the legislation and guidelines are identified.

1.3 Information is clarified in order to confirm own understanding.

1.4 Work is undertaken in accordance with the principles contained in legislation and guidelines.

2 . Access and use organisational information 

2.1 The staffing and organisational structure is identified.

2.2 Procedures for dealing with staff at all levels of the organisation are identified and clarified.

2.3 Procedures for dealing with clients  are identified.

2.4 Sources of assistance  are identified, and types of assistance available from each source are identified.

2.5 Work is carried out within organisational procedures .

3 . Work with diversity 

3.1 Appreciation of the differences  between colleagues  is demonstrated through workplace behaviour.

3.2 Communication styles are used to take account of workplace diversity and reflect the principles of emotional intelligence .

3.3 Contribution to the workgroup is made to utilise personal strengths and take any opportunities provided to develop new competencies.

3.4 The requirements of multicultural awareness and anti-discrimination legislation are met.

4 . Investigate career options 

4.1 Personal working and learning styles, values and attitudes are identified and weighed against the requirements of current and potential work opportunities.

4.2 Personal work goals are identified and prioritised.

4.3 Advice  is obtained on future work/career options.

4.4 A range of possible career paths is identified and initial planning undertaken to map out broad competency areas and experiences required to pursue them.

4.5 Personal development is planned to prepare for career options.

4.6 Learning opportunities are sought and accessed in line with personal work goals.

Required Skills and Knowledge

This section describes the essential skills and knowledge and their level, required for this unit.

Skill requirements 

Look for evidence that confirms skills in:

  • accessing and identifying information
  • scanning techniques to locate main ideas
  • reading written materials such as manuals and codes of practice
  • responding to diversity, including gender and disability
  • using interpersonal communication including negotiating strategies to clarify understanding
  • recognising own and others' emotions in the workplace
  • using information technology and the Internet
  • applying public sector legislation such as occupational health and safety and environmental procedures in the workplace

Knowledge requirements 

Look for evidence that confirms knowledge and understanding of:

  • public sector legislation, regulations and guidelines
  • organisation guidelines and procedures
  • principles of cultural awareness, workplace diversity and emotional intelligence and their application in the workplace
  • codes of conduct
  • equal employment opportunity, equity and diversity principles
  • principles of personal career planning

Evidence Guide

The Evidence Guide specifies the evidence required to demonstrate achievement in the unit of competency as a whole. It must be read in conjunction with the Unit descriptor, Performance Criteria, the Range Statement and the Assessment Guidelines for the Public Sector Training Package.

Units to be assessed together 

  • Pre-requisite units that must  be achieved prior  to this unit:Nil
  • Co-requisite units that must  be assessed with  this unit:Nil
  • Co-assessed units that may  be assessed with this unit to increase the efficiency and realism of the assessment process include, but are not limited to:
  • PSPGOV202B Use routine workplace communication techniques
  • PSPGOV203B Deliver a service to clients
  • PSPGOV204B Access and use resources
  • PSPGOV205B Participate in workplace change
  • PSPGOV206B Handle workplace information
  • PSPGOV208A Write routine workplace materials
  • PSPOHS201B Follow workplace safety procedures

Overview of evidence requirements 

In addition to integrated demonstration of the elements and their related performance criteria, look for evidence that confirms:

  • the knowledge requirements of this unit
  • the skill requirements of this unit
  • application of Employability Skills as they relate to this unit
  • completing work in a range of (3 or more) public sector contexts, such as different work functions or roles (or 3 or more occasions, over time)

Resources required to carry out assessment 

These resources include:

  • legislation, policy, procedures and protocols relating to work in the public sector
  • case studies and workplace scenarios to capture the range of situations likely to be encountered when working in a public sector environment

Where and how to assess evidence 

Valid assessment of this unit requires:

  • a workplace environment, or one that closely resembles normal work practice and replicates the range of conditions likely to be encountered when working in a public sector environment, including coping with difficulties, irregularities and breakdowns in routine
  • completing work in a range of (3 or more) public sector contexts, such as different work functions or roles (or 3 or more occasions, over time).

Assessment methods should reflect workplace demands, such as literacy, and the needs of particular groups, such as:

  • people with disabilities
  • people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
  • women
  • young people
  • older people
  • people in rural and remote locations.

Assessment methods suitable for valid and reliable assessment of this competency may include, but are not limited to, a combination of 2 or more of:

  • case studies
  • portfolios
  • questioning
  • scenarios
  • simulation or role plays
  • authenticated evidence from the workplace and/or training courses.

For consistency of assessment 

Evidence must be gathered over time in a range of contexts to ensure the person can achieve the unit outcome and apply the competency in different situations or environments

Range Statement

The Range Statement provides information about the context in which the unit of competency is carried out. The variables cater for differences between States and Territories and the Commonwealth, and between organisations and workplaces. They allow for different work requirements, work practices and knowledge. The Range Statement also provides a focus for assessment. It relates to the unit as a whole. Text in bold italics  in the Performance Criteria is explained here.

Legislation  may include:

  • anti-discrimination
  • duty of care
  • employee relations
  • employment
  • equal employment opportunity
  • fraud control
  • freedom of information
  • government security management
  • occupational health and safety
  • privacy
  • public sector management
  • whistleblowers protection
  • workplace diversity
  • workplace harassment
  • international legislation/codes of practice

Guidelines  may include:

  • public sector standards
  • relevant public sector code of ethics
  • organisational code of conduct
  • organisational mission and values statements
  • organisational procedures/guidelines
  • government policy
  • Ministerial directions
  • directives from head of organisation
  • standard operational procedures

Key principles  may include:

  • honesty and integrity
  • confidentiality and non-disclosure of official information
  • security of information, resources, facilities and people
  • due care and diligence
  • avoiding conflicts of interest
  • obeying lawful and reasonable direction
  • compliance with the law

Clients  may include:

  • the public
  • private enterprise
  • other public sector organisations
  • internal clients
  • the Minister

Sources of assistance  may include:

  • colleagues
  • immediate supervisor
  • line management
  • human resources personnel
  • workplace representatives/union personnel

Organisational procedures  may include:

  • mission and values statements
  • organisational charts
  • strategic plans
  • business unit and work area plans
  • customer service charters
  • induction materials
  • standard operating procedures
  • relevant workplace agreements
  • disciplinary processes
  • grievance procedures
  • advertising materials
  • Internet and/or intranet web pages

Individual differences  may include:

  • age
  • cultural background
  • disability
  • educational level
  • ethnicity
  • expertise
  • family responsibilities
  • gender
  • interests
  • interpersonal approach
  • language
  • life experience
  • marital status
  • personality
  • physical ability
  • political orientation
  • religious belief
  • sexual orientation
  • socio-economic background
  • thinking/learning styles
  • work experience
  • working styles

Colleagues  may include:

  • peers
  • junior staff
  • internal stakeholders
  • external stakeholders/clients/customers
  • supervisors and senior management

Emotional intelligence  is:

  • widely recognised as the ability of an individual to monitor their own and others' emotions in a social or work environment, to discriminate among the emotions and to use the information to guide their thinking and actions
  • characterised by self-awareness (personal), self-management (personal), social awareness (social) and relationship management (social)

Advice  may include:

  • formal/informal performance appraisals
  • feedback from supervisors and colleagues
  • reflection/comment on personal goals
  • vocational/career counselling

Unit Sector(s)

Not applicable.

Competency field

Working in Government.