Manage public affairs


This unit describes the skills required to manage public affairs. It includes contributing to public affairs scope and direction, planning and managing public affairs programs, developing crisis management strategies and handling high-profile events.

This unit applies to those working in the public sector managing public affairs.

The skills and knowledge described in this unit must be applied within the legislative, regulatory and policy environment in which they are carried out. Organisational policies and procedures must be consulted and adhered to.

Those undertaking this unit would work independently supervising others, while performing complex tasks in a range of contexts.

No licensing, legislative or certification requirements apply to unit at the time of publication.

Elements and Performance Criteria



Elements describe the essential outcomes

Performance criteria describe the performance needed to demonstrate achievement of the element. Where bold italicised text is used, further information is detailed in the range of conditions section.

1. Contribute to public affairs scope and direction

1.1 Conduct an environmental scan to identify public affairs issues and needs for the organisation.

1.2 Identify target audiences for public affairs action.

1.3 Develop public affairs objectives and programs in line with the organisation’s business and strategic plans.

1.4 Develop criteria and measures for assessing objectives.

1.5 Identify resourcing requirements and negotiate the scope of public affairs activities in accordance with organisational priorities and resource constraints.

2. Plan and manage public affairs program

2.1 Develop operational plan for public affairs to integrate strategies and coordinate communications and activities.

2.2 Develop schedules for communications and activities that are flexible enough to provide for contingencies and emerging issues.

2.3 Define responsibilities and accountabilities, and identify reporting requirements and benchmarks for monitoring the program.

2.4 Implement and monitor public affairs program to ensure progress or make changes to achieve the program objectives.

2.5 Evaluate results in terms of media coverage, penetration and desired audience response, identify reasons for variations and make changes to improve results.

3. Develop crisis management communication strategies

3.1 Assess organisational activities and operations to identify potential crisis factors and evaluate risk management strategies.

3.2 Explore and determine the composition of a crisis communication team in terms of required specialist knowledge and guidance.

3.3 Identify training needs for potential spokespersons and organise media training.

3.4 Identify individuals and groups who must be contacted in crisis situations, establish lines of communication and confirm their roles and responsibilities.

3.5 Develop crisis management action plan and submit for approval.

4. Handle highprofile events

4.1 Undertake public affairs strategic planning for high-profile events.

4.2 Involve outside groups, partners, the media and business in sponsoring/supporting special events as required.

4.3 Apply and explain protocol standards to others as required to ensure a positive organisational outcome from high-profile events.

4.4 Oversee and support the involvement of managers, staff and government representatives in high-profile events.

4.5 Prepare speeches and statements for management and other officials for special events or in times of crisis.

Evidence of Performance

Evidence required to demonstrate competence must satisfy all of the requirements of the elements and performance criteria. If not otherwise specified, the candidate must demonstrate evidence of performance of the following on at least one occasion.

applying legislation, regulations and policies relating to public affairs

planning and setting objectives

undertaking strategy development

documenting crisis management communication strategies and protocols, including post crisis communication to inform crisis management action plans

establishing and maintaining relationships inside and outside the organisation

communication including consulting, negotiating and liaising with diverse groups

applying procedures relating to work health and safety and the environment in the context of public affairs

Evidence of Knowledge

Evidence required to demonstrate competence must satisfy all of the requirements of the elements and performance criteria. If not otherwise specified, the depth of knowledge demonstrated must be appropriate to the job context of the candidate.

public sector legislation including work health and safety and the environment, regulations, policies, procedures and guidelines relating to public affairs

public affairs capability and how this relates to organisational objectives

event management

requirements of crisis management communication strategies

Assessment Conditions

This unit contains no specific industry-mandated assessment conditions. Guidance on suggested and recommended conditions and methods can be found in the Implementation Guide.

Assessors must satisfy the NVR/AQTF mandatory competency requirements for assessors.

Foundation Skills

Foundation skills are embedded within the elements and performance criteria of this unit.

Competency Field