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Elements and Performance Criteria

  1. Apply ethical standards
  2. Deal with ethical problems

Required Skills

This section describes the essential skills and knowledge and their level required for this unit

Required skills

Look for evidence that confirms skills in

applying objective and impartial evaluation of conflicting requirements

using ethical decision making

preparing written advice and reports requiring accuracy of expression

accessing legislation and codes of ethics electronically or in hard copy

tailoring communication to suit different audiences

responding to diversity including gender and disability

applying occupational health and safety procedures relating to ethical work practices

Required knowledge

Look for evidence that confirms knowledge and understanding of

the nature of ethics and ethical values

fundamental ethical principles such as justice respect for persons procedural fairness confidentiality responsible care

values of public sector office

natural justiceprocedural fairness

equal employment opportunity equity and diversity principles

where to access ethical decision makingproblem solving models organisational codes and procedures

procedures for declaring conflicts of interest

protocols for reporting fraud corruption and maladministration

occupational health and safety procedures relating to ethical work practices

Evidence Required

The Evidence Guide provides advice on assessment and must be read in conjunction with the Performance Criteria Required Skills and Knowledge the Range Statement and the Assessment Guidelines for the Training Package

Units to be assessed together

Prerequisite units that must be achieved prior to this unitNil

Corequisite units that must be assessed with this unitNil

Coassessed units that may be assessed with this unit to increase the efficiency and realism of the assessment process include but are not limited to

PSPGOVB Build and maintain internal networks

PSPGOV303B Build and maintain internal networks

PSPGOVB Access and use resources and financial systems

PSPGOV305B Access and use resources and financial systems

PSPGOVB Organise workplace information

PSPGOV307B Organise workplace information

PSPGOVB Work effectively with diversity

PSPGOV308B Work effectively with diversity

PSPGOVA Address client needs

PSPGOV309A Address client needs

PSPGOVA Use workplace communication strategies

PSPGOV312A Use workplace communication strategies

PSPGOVA Contribute to conflict management

PSPGOV314A Contribute to conflict management

PSPIMA Process claims

PSPIM301A Process claims

PSPLANDA Investigate tenure and land use history

PSPLAND302A Investigate tenure and land use history

PSPLEGNB Comply with legislation in the public sector

PSPLEGN301B Comply with legislation in the public sector

PSPOHSA Contribute to workplace safety

PSPOHS301A Contribute to workplace safety

PSPPROCA Undertake basic procurement

PSPPROC302A Undertake basic procurement

This unit should be coassessed with other units to supply the context for ethical behaviour

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

ethical conduct in a range of or more contexts or occasions over time where contexts may be generalist or specialist work activities such as building and maintaining networks delivering client services using financial resources procuring goods or services etc

Resources required to carry out assessment

These resources include

ethicsrelated legislation and guidelines

codes of conduct and codes of ethics

public sector standards procedures and protocols

ethical decision makingproblem solving models

managermentornetwork who role models ethical conduct

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 working ethically in a public sector environment including coping with ambiguity difficulties irregularities and breakdowns in routine

ethical conduct in a range of or more contexts or occasions over time where contexts may be generalist or specialist work activities such as building and maintaining networks delivering client services using financial resources procuring goods or services etc

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


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 or more of

case studies




simulation or role plays

authenticated evidence from the workplace andor 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 relates to the unit of competency as a whole. It allows for different work environments and situations that may affect performance. Bold italicised wording, if used in the Performance Criteria, is detailed below. Add any essential operating conditions that may be present with training and assessment depending on the work situation, needs if the candidate, accessibility of the item, and local industry and regional contexts.

Ethical values and principles may include:

respect for the law











respect for persons

responsible care


economy and efficiency

natural justice/procedural fairness, that is:

the right to be heard/put your case

the right to be informed of a complaint or case against you

the right to know the outcomes/recommendations of an investigation involving you

the right to know reasons for decisions affecting you

the right to privacy

the right to representation

the right to silence

the decision maker should not be a judge in his/her own cause

Work practices may include:



relationships with work colleagues, external individuals and organisations

the manner in which work activities are carried out

Legislation and guidelines may include:

legislation for public sector management

freedom of information

privacy legislation

equal employment opportunity and anti-discrimination law

public sector standards

Ministerial directions

State/Territory or Commonwealth codes of ethics

organisational codes of conduct

sets of values

organisational mission and values statements

organisational policy, procedures/guidelines

government policy

professional codes of ethics and conduct

equity guidelines, workplace diversity guidelines

Public resources may include:







Use of public resources includes:

effective use

efficient use - avoiding/minimising waste

not for private use

Conflicts of interest may include:

potential, perceived and actual conflicts


improper use of official information

improper use of resources, including plant and equipment

acceptance of gifts


previous and outside employment, including voluntary work

favours for friends and/or relatives

memberships of organisations

political activity

pecuniary and non-pecuniary conflicts

Ethical problems which may need to be referred rather than resolved at this level may include:

conflict between public sector standards and personal values

conflict between public sector standards and other standards such as professional standards

conflict between public sector standards and directions of a senior officer or Minister

tension between two 'rights', for example, the right to privacy versus the right to freedom of information

conflict regarding issues of personal and organisational intellectual property

Referrals of ethical problems may be made to:

line management

chief executive officer

public service commissioner

public sector standards body

organisational ethics committee

internal grievance mechanisms, including identified officers

confidant programs (whistleblower protection programs)

organisational professional reporting procedures

unions and professional bodies



Processes for resolving ethical problems may include:

accessing relevant standards and other information

withdrawing from a situation

using models of ethical decision making/problem solving

reflection, discussion, seeking clarification from others.

Unethical conduct may include:

fraud, corruption, maladministration and waste

unauthorised access to and/or use of information, money/finances, vehicles, equipment, resources, time

improper actions during contractual processes, such as release of intellectual property, infringing copyright, release of tender information, inappropriate disclosure during tender process

improper public comment on matters relating to the government and/or the organisation

falsifying records

giving false testimonials


improper use of plant and equipment, credit cards, frequent flyer points, telephones, email and Internet

extravagant or wasteful practices

personal favours

preferential treatment

putting barriers in place, hindering, blocking action

compromising behaviour including sexual harassment

lack of confidentiality

directing others to act unethically

oppressive/coercive management decisions

resorting to illegality to obtain evidence