This page belongs to: APS framework for engagement and participation

Engagement standards

While the principles outline the vision, and underlying truths to guide behaviour during an engagement, and the ways of engaging provide different approaches, the standards establish a shared expectation.

Below are standards that provide guidelines of expected behaviour from a public servant when they are dealing with external stakeholders.

The Australian Public Service is expected to:

Define the objective

Clearly define the engagement’s objectives, which may include understanding the problem and what expertise should be tapped.

Choose the right approach

Make sure the way of engaging matches the problem at hand.

Manage expectations

Be honest about what is on the table. That is, what is yet to be decided and what has already been decided.

Choose the right people for the job

Ensure participants with suitable expertise, skills and knowledge are being engaged for the problem.

Be transparent

Explain the objectives and process to participants at the outset.

Provide sufficient information

Ensure information that is essential to participants’ roles is made available to them.

Provide opportunities to be heard

Be inclusive and ensure diverse voices are heard - not just the loudest, eg: use plain English, offer multiple feedback channels, proactively seek appropriate participants and remove barriers to participation.

Understand all views

Ensure the views presented are fairly considered at the decision making stage.

Close the loop

Explain how participants’ contributions were taken into account in a timely manner.

Continuous improvement based on feedback

Ensure that there is a feedback mechanism to capture lessons learnt.