Capability Dictionary – Victorian Public Sector Commission


  • Victorian Public Sector Commission
  • August


The Victorian Public Sector Commission (VPSC) was established to strengthen the efficiency, effectiveness and capability of the public sector to meet existing needs and deliver high quality services. The VPSC achieves these objectives by assessing, researching and providing advice and support on public sector governance, service delivery and workforce management and development. They wanted to find a way to streamline these processes, make writing position descriptions and interviewing candidates more efficient. The solution? Take what used to be a static deck of cards and create an online resource that’s the go-to when recruiting for government roles.

Key Features


The Victorian public sector is one of the biggest employers in the state. Given the thorough process involved in vetting prospective candidates for public service, there’s no doubt that recruiting for government roles is an involved process. The VPSC Capability Dictionary makes the process of writing position descriptions and interviewing candidates more efficient. We took an outdated static deck of cards and created an interactive online resource: a digital card deck. The Capability Dictionary is useful for all managers in the public sector who need to develop a position description, interview framework, or better understand career development skills.


Taking the dictionary resource online helps the Victorian public sector to operate more efficiently and transparently. Users can select and build position descriptions by simply clicking on the relevant cards and adding them to a shortlist. Once a user has created a position, they can simply review and email it out. With intuitive click-and-compile functionality instead of the painstaking process of handwriting or typing positions, the public sector save significant amounts of time and money on staff candidacy processes. In turn, this improves the capability of the public service sector overall.


The Capability Dictionary is now a key element in multiple aspects of the VPSC’s operations. Based off huge amounts of data compiled through thorough research, the digital card set is the primary resource used in determining the specific skills and capabilities required for a particular role. Candidate suitability is then judged against the framework of skills described by a certain card set. The Capability Dictionary is also highly accessible. People can access the application via mobile, tablet or desktop with a consistent, responsive experience. It is also compliant with WCAG 2.0 AA guidelines, to cater for people with a range of abilities and accessibility requirements.


As a piece of work, the Capability Dictionary came on the back of a prior wider website redesign. Throughout this greater process, innovation came in the form of digitising a cavalcade of outdated physical government resources. It was largely a task of establishing balance – retaining the intent and application of paper-based tools, while nudging them towards modernity and digital convenience. The Capability Dictionary was no different. To enable significant, organisation-wide productivity, we had to give staff the same familiarity of experience the legacy cards provided, but with the enhanced benefit of digital accessibility, sharing and collaboration. The same idea, digitally.

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