Core Skills for Work Developmental Framework

On this page

In August 2013, the Australian Government released the Core Skills for Work Developmental Framework (CSfW).  It provides a mechanism for training package developers, curriculum writers and those who develop standards and learning and assessment resources to more clearly articulate the employability skills needed for work. It can also be used by trainers, educators and those who work with job seekers to more explicitly address the development of these skills.
The CSfW is available for download below.

[Return to top]

Skill Clusters and Areas

The CSfW describes a set of non-technical skills, knowledge and understandings that underpin successful participation in work. These skills are often referred to as generic or employability skills and in the CSfW are described in three Skill Clusters:

Within the three Skill Clusters are ten Skill Areas, which are a combination of:

  • Knowledge – what someone knows about in a theoretical or abstract sense,
  • Understanding – how they link it to their personal experience, and
  • Skills – how they put their knowledge and understanding into practice in work settings.

You can access the ten Skill Areas through the Skill Clusters links above.

[Return to top]

Stages of Performance

The CSfW uses a developmental approach to describe these skills at five different stages from novice through to expert. The definitions of each stage of performance is available at Stages of Performance

Stage 1: A Novice performer
Stage 2: An Advanced Beginner
Stage 3: A Capable performer
Stage 4: A Proficient performer
Stage 5: An Expert performer

[Return to top]

Performance Features

Performance Features are used to describe what someone knows, understands and can do, in relation to each of the ten Skill Areas. The descriptors are grouped together under Focus Areas and span each of the five Stages of Performance.

A Performance Features table has been developed for each Skill Area. These tables are found in the CSfW or can be accessed via the Skill Clusters and Areas link.

The detailed Performance Features describe the kinds of behaviours that an individual might demonstrate when they are operating at a particular Stage of Performance in a particular Skill Area. They can be used to identify what stage an individual is at in their skill development at a particular point in time and in a particular context, in order to: 

  • articulate and build on an individual’s current strengths
  • establish the stage at which an individual is currently performing so that learning and development activities can focus on any skill gaps
  • provide a guide as to what individuals might do to continue their development in particular Skill Areas
  • develop shared and realistic expectations about the appropriate Stage of Performance for an individual in a particular context and timeframe
  • identify the nature and degree of support required, and the types of practical experience and challenges that might facilitate further learning and development

As the CSfW is applicable across a broad range of diverse contexts, the Performance Features are deliberately generic. It provides a generic basis upon which learning products (such as programs, curriculum, learning resources and diagnostic and self-assessment tools) and processes can be based.

[Return to top]

Influencing Factors

Performance in a work situation is dependent not only on the skills and knowledge that an individual possesses, but on a range of factors that affect how well they are able to apply their skills and knowledge to perform work tasks and whether they are able to demonstrate their skills and knowledge. For example, someone may have highly developed decision-making skills, but if they are not given the autonomy or their job role does not require them to exercise these skills, their demonstrable performance in this Skill Area may reflect a lower stage performance. 
Further information is available at Influencing Factors.

[Return to top]

Contact Us

Any enquires regarding the CSfW should be directed to

Share this Page