A key role for the public sector is to shape, draft and implement public policy through active engagement with the wider community.

Not all managers in the Victorian public sector are directly involved with the development of public policy. However, a considerable number of managers are involved with public policy either through contributing to policy formation consultations or in implementing the actions identified as part of a policy response. So a good understanding of how policy is developed and how to implement and review public policy is valuable for a management career in public service.

The development topics, overleaf, follow the ‘life cycle’ of public policy, from identifying the issue to evaluating the effectiveness of the policy response.

Some of the knowledge, skills and behaviours addressed here are similar to those covered in

Development Guide#6 – Overseeing Operations, Projects and Resources in the Victorian Public Sector, especially the focus on building business cases and reviewing achievement of business outcomes.

Individual organisations are likely to have their own policy processes, protocols and documentation templates. So the emphasis here is on developing the underpinning knowledge, skills and behaviours relating to public policy processes in general.

What should a development activity cover?

The checklist that follows outlines the core content that development activities focusing on this subject area ought to cover in order to build the knowledge, skills and behaviours required for success in any Victorian public sector management role.

Accompanying the checklist is a list of resources. Use of these resources in the design and delivery of a development activity will help build knowledge, skills and behaviours that are of immediate and clear value in any management role in the Victorian public sector.

Some of these resources describe specific knowledge, skills or behaviours, while others provide information about the context in which Victorian public sector managers operate. In most cases, the resources do not address the topic in full. Additional material will still be required to provide comprehensive development in the relevant content area.

Most resources listed are freely available as downloads from the websites indicated.

Core Content / Resources

Establishing the Context

Understanding ‘public value’ in the context of public policy formation and delivery

Understanding the policy cycle:

  • Identifying a public policy issue.

Techniques for identifying a problem in the wider community for which a public policy response may be appropriate.

  • Undertaking research and analysis.

Understanding what constitutes evidence in a public policy context.

Techniques for:

  • The collection and assessment of quantitative and qualitative data
  • Forecasting, including scenarios and impact analysis.

Techniques for the effective use of:

  • Community engagement in the research and analysis processes
  • Australian Bureau of Statistics data in the research and analysis processes
  • Consultants and other technical specialists in the research and analysis processes.


Forming and Assessing Public Policy Options

Techniques for developing policy options

Understanding and applying:

  • Decision making frameworks within a public policy context
  • Cost-risk benefit analysis in a public policy context.

Techniques for the effective use of:

  • Community engagement in the assessment processes
  • Consultants and other technical specialists in the research and analysis processes.


Writing Public Policy

Techniques for drafting public policy to ensure adoption and impact.

Evaluating public policy.

Techniques for:

  • Evaluating the effectiveness of public policy responses in terms of the original issue and in light of changing circumstances
  • Reporting on policy effectiveness

Seeking Assistance

Understanding when and how to seek support to assist with the development or implementation of public policy.