Unit of competency details

PSPGOV606A - Prepare high-level/sensitive written materials (Release 3)


Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by and equivalent to PSPGEN071 - Prepare high-level written communicationUnit code updated. Unit title changed. 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 Assessment Requirements created drawing upon specified assessment information from superseded unit. 06/Mar/2016

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

Training packages that include this unit

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 columnRelease
PSP60504 - Advanced Diploma of Government (Management)Advanced Diploma of Government (Management)1-2 
PUA60806 - Advanced Diploma of Public Safety (Defence Public Affairs)Advanced Diploma of Public Safety (Defence Public Affairs)
PUA60110 - Advanced Diploma of Public Safety (Emergency Management)Advanced Diploma of Public Safety (Emergency Management)
PSP61312 - Advanced Diploma of Government (Road Transport ComplianceAdvanced Diploma of Government (Road Transport Compliance
TLI60110 - Advanced Diploma of Materiel LogisticsAdvanced Diploma of Materiel Logistics1-2 
TLI60215 - Advanced Diploma of Deployment LogisticsAdvanced Diploma of Deployment Logistics
TLI60115 - Advanced Diploma of Materiel LogisticsAdvanced Diploma of Materiel Logistics1-2 
PSP60512 - Advanced Diploma of Government (Management)Advanced Diploma of Government (Management)
CSC60107 - Advanced Diploma of Correctional ManagementAdvanced Diploma of Correctional Management
DEF60812 - Advanced Diploma of Defence Public AffairsAdvanced Diploma of Defence Public Affairs
Items per page 10 | 20 | 50 | 100
Displaying items 1 - 10 of 18


SchemeCodeClassification value
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 100705 Written Communication 

Classification history

SchemeCodeClassification valueStart dateEnd date
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 100705 Written Communication 24/May/2005 
The content being displayed has been produced by a third party, while all attempts have been made to make this content as accessible as possible it cannot be guaranteed. If you are encountering issues following the content on this page please consider downloading the content in its original form

Modification History


TP Version 




Unit descriptor edited.



Layout adjusted. No changes to content.



Primary release.

Unit Descriptor

This unit covers high-level written communication including the preparation of complex, sensitive materials. It includes preparing for high-level written communication, critically analysing other positions and preparing persuasive written communication.

In practice, preparing high-level/sensitive written materials may overlap with other generalist or specialist public sector work activities such as acting ethically, complying with legislation, applying government systems, managing change, managing diversity, etc.

This is one of 5 units of competency in the Working in Government Competency Field that deal with written communication. Related units are:

  • PSPGOV208A Write routine workplace materials
  • PSPGOV313A Compose workplace documents
  • PSPGOV413A Compose complex workplace documents
  • PSPGOV513A Refine complex workplace documents
  • 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 . Prepare for high-level written communication 

1.1 Communication objectives  are clarified, stakeholders are identified and political or other sensitivities are determined.

1.2 Research is undertaken to anticipate the likely attitudes of and positions of stakeholders  on the matter/s under consideration.

1.3 Subject matter is researched/organised , key messages to be conveyed are distilled and tactics are planned to utilise written materials to maximise outcomes for the organisation in accordance with legislation, policy and guidelines .

2 . Critically analyse other positions 

2.1 Other positions are considered critically to evaluate complex levels of meaning in written communication and to identify impartiality, bias or unsupported argument.

2.2 Written materials are examined for subtext, significant inclusions and exclusions, socio-cultural values, attitudes and assumptions.

2.3 Complex concepts and ideas are explored to clarify understanding, and justify, or challenge interpretations based on underlying assumptions, beliefs and values.

2.4 Evidence is compared and contrasted and sources referred to are evaluated for reliability and authenticity.

2.5 Evidence is used to test other positions and draw conclusions about their validity and strengths.

3 . Prepare persuasive written communication 

3.1 Communication approach  is chosen and used to positively influence and remove barriers to understanding for the given audience.

3.2 Risk assessment is undertaken and risk management is implemented in relation to document preparation and content.

3.3 Input information/documents provided by others are analysed for fit with the chosen approach and to ensure consistency of values, attitudes and opinions.

3.4 Information is synthesised and complex documents  are prepared in accordance with organisational requirements , legislation, policy and procedures.

3.5 Feedback from others is obtained on the documents' effectiveness for the purpose intended, outcomes are assessed and lessons learnt are articulated and used to underpin future writing.

3.6 Feedback is provided to contributors of information/documents to improve future input in a manner that provides learning opportunities for the contributors.

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:

  • reading and writing at a level to cope with a range of complex and sensitive workplace materials
  • critically analysing and synthesising information to compose complex written documents
  • researching other pertinent information, such as supporting/opposing position papers
  • refining content, structure and sequence according to the required purpose of written material
  • analysing and using language structures and features that influence the interpretation of written communication
  • using spelling, punctuation and grammar for workplace documents at an experienced level
  • providing feedback on other people's work in ways suited to the diversity of the workplace, including creation of learning opportunities to improve research/document input
  • cross-cultural communication requirements
  • implementing ergonomic requirements for office work
  • complying with environmental policies such as those relating to paper use/wastage/recycling

Knowledge requirements 

Look for evidence that confirms knowledge and understanding of:

  • legislation, regulations, policies, procedures and guidelines relating to written communication in the public sector such as privacy, freedom of information, information security, confidentiality, copyright, intellectual property
  • critical analysis of complex information in a government context
  • politically and culturally sensitive documents
  • organisational requirements for complex written documents
  • government style manual requirements
  • persuasive written language devices and their ethical use for calculated effect
  • the ways in which socio-cultural factors, language features and structures combine to influence the interpretation of written information
  • equal employment opportunity, equity and diversity principles
  • public sector legislation such as occupational health and safety and environment in the context of preparing complex/sensitive written materials

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:
  • PSPETHC601B Maintain and enhance confidence in public service
  • PSPGOV601B Apply government systems
  • PSPGOV605A Persuade and influence opinion
  • PSPMNGT605B Manage diversity
  • PSPMNGT608B Manage risk
  • PSPMNGT609B Formulate business strategies
  • PSPLEGN601B Manage compliance with legislation in the public sector
  • PSPOHS602A Manage workplace safety

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
  • preparation of high-level/sensitive written materials in a range of (3 or more) contexts (or occasions, over time)

Resources required to carry out assessment 

These resources include:

  • legislation, policy, procedures and protocols relating to written communication in the public sector
  • examples of complex workplace documents
  • government style guide
  • organisational writing guides
  • case studies and workplace scenarios to capture the range of situations likely to be encountered when preparing high-level/sensitive written materials

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 preparing high-level/sensitive written materials, including coping with difficulties, irregularities and breakdowns in routine
  • preparation of high-level/sensitive written materials in a range of (3 or more) contexts (or 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:

  • portfolios
  • projects
  • questioning
  • scenarios
  • 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.

Communication objectives  may include:

  • influencing opinion
  • share information
  • brief Minister
  • reach consensus
  • shape opinion
  • influence policy
  • represent the organisation's position
  • represent the business unit's position
  • build reputation (of self and organisation)
  • market services
  • obtain funding

Stakeholders  may include:

  • all those individuals and groups both inside and outside the government that have some direct interest in government conduct, actions, products and services, such as:
  • employees at all levels of the public sector
  • government
  • Ministers
  • clients
  • the public
  • other public sector organisations
  • other jurisdictions
  • union and association representatives
  • boards of management
  • international governments
  • international bodies
  • community groups
  • non-government organisations
  • special interest groups
  • key individuals of influence

Organisation of subject matter  may include:

  • identifying features, advantages and benefits and aligning evidence/examples
  • anticipating likely disagreements and structuring material to address these

Legislation , policy and guidelines  may include:

  • State/Territory and Commonwealth legislation, regulations, policies, guidelines and standards relating to high-level written communication in the public sector, such as:
  • ethics and accountability guidelines/codes of practice
  • information security standards
  • principles of equal employment opportunity, equity and diversity
  • confidentiality
  • freedom of information
  • privacy
  • intellectual property
  • fraud standards
  • copyright
  • risk management

Communication approach  may include:

  • consideration of wider organisational/public sector issues
  • consideration of political sensitivities
  • language calculated to appeal emotionally to a particular audience, such as authoritative, serious, informal, informative
  • cultural, ethnic, diversity or equity considerations
  • working within government processes and operational frameworks
  • consultative
  • collaborative
  • assertive
  • reasonable

Complex documents  may include:

  • Cabinet submissions
  • briefing papers
  • speeches
  • media briefs
  • position papers
  • discussion papers
  • business cases
  • reports
  • public policy strategies
  • justification for policy development
  • policy guidance

Organisational requirements  may include:

  • use of plain English
  • style formats
  • acknowledgements
  • particular terminology to be used/not used:
  • acronyms
  • technical terms
  • bureaucratic language
  • abbreviations
  • requirements for minimising jargon in written materials
  • requirements for written material to take account of cultural, ethnic, religious or language differences, disabilities, etiquette
  • guidelines for illustrative items
  • standards for references, acknowledgements, citations, footnotes, endnotes
  • use of particular communication channels
  • private or confidential materials
  • embargoed material
  • politically sensitive materials
  • security standards for government information

Unit Sector(s)

Not applicable.

Competency field

Working in Government.