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APS Integrated Leadership System and the AFP

Developing leaders for the Australian public sector

Integrated Leadership System

The Integrated Leadership System (ILS) links all leadership aspects that can impact the Australian Public Service (APS) by:

  • balancing the relationship between leadership, management and technical skills in public sector careers
  • listing capability descriptions and desired behaviours for APS 1 to 6, Executive Level 1 to 2 and SES 1 to 2 positions.

How the ILS translates to our work environment

The ILS and the AFP Work Level Standards do correlate, as shown in this table:

Integrated Leadership System descriptors

AFP Work Level Standard descriptors

  • Shapes strategic thinking
  • Achieves results
  • Cultivates productive working relationships
  • Exemplifies personal drive and integrity
  • Communicates with influence
  • Contributes to strategic thinking
  • Achieves results
  • Cultivates productive working relationships
  • Shows personal drive and integrity
  • Communicates with influence

For AFP Band 1 to 5 roles, we have combined some descriptors to reduce the selection criteria that apply for positions at this level. These descriptors have been combined to form the descriptors of:

  • organising your work
  • making sound decisions and achieving outcomes
  • communicating and working effectively with other people.
Organising your work and communicating effectively

Translating AFP and APS classifications

We have translated the AFP classification structure to the APS classification structure for AFP Bands 1 to 8 and Executive Level roles.

AFP band

APS classification

No equivalent AFP Band


AFP Band 1


AFP Band 2


AFP Band 2 to 3


AFP Band 3 to 4


AFP Band 4 to 5


AFP Band 6 to 7

APS6 to EL1

Band 8

EL1 to EL2

Executive level

EL2 to SES Band 1

SES Band 1 (Manager)

SES Band 1

SES Band 2 (National Manager / Assistant Commissioner)

SES Band 2

Understanding these differences will help you to determine which APS classification profile you should be reviewing.

For AFP SES 1 and 2 levels positions, refer to the APS SES Band 1 and 2 profiles.

The AFP Technical Specialist Classification should refer to the EL2 and above APS classification descriptors for generic capability definitions and behavioural indicators. Other specialist technical information (such as specific subject matter expertise for legal or IT roles) is not available.

The Australian Public Service Commission (APSC) provides detailed ISL profiles for classifications APS1 to SES2. These profiles clearly list capability descriptions and behavioural indicators required for each classification level.

Using this information in your job application

Self-assessment tools enable you to assess your current capability level against the capabilities required for the position. You can use this information to:

  • determine which work situation or example might be most appropriate to include in your pitch
  • strengthen your application and resume content with selection-ready descriptors
  • help you understand the requirements for each classification level and determine the position level you might be suitable for
  • guide you on the behaviour and capability areas that you might need to develop to enable you to transition to the next classification level
  • help your referees understand the position's requirements in simple, easy-to-understand language.

The Australian Public Service Commission (APSC) provides self-assessment tools for each ILS profile.


If a position you are applying for included the selection criteria 'Communicating and working effectively with other people', you could:

  • check and map the role's AFP classification to the relevant APS classification
  • open the relevant ILS profiles for that APS classification
  • review the 'Communicates with influence' information in the profile, including the detailed capabilities and behavioural indicators for that ILS descriptor (communicates clearly; listens, understands and adapts to audience; negotiates confidently)
  • review the 'Supports productive working relationships' information in the profile and detailed capabilities and behavioural indicators for that ILS descriptor (nurtures internal and external relationships; listens to, understands and recognises the needs of others; values individual differences and diversity; shares learning and supports others)
  • identify relevant work or other examples that best showcase where you have demonstrated these behavioural indicators and include them in your pitch or interview examples.

Learn more about how to join our team


AFP Recruitment

You can contact us by phone from Monday to Friday 8 am to 4 pm Canberra time.