Guiding principles for engagement and participation (“Principles”)

The framework could set out a number of principles to guide the way that the APS will engage with the wider community. 

They include for the APS to:

  • Listen
  • Be real and
  • Be open


  • We understand that there is expertise in the community that can help deliver outcomes and we are committed to listening more than telling.
  • We will engage the right people as early in our processes as we can.
  • We will try to remember what has gone before and not keep asking the same questions.


  • We will be clear on our objectives and chose ways to engage that match our intent. We won’t waste people’s time.
  • We will create the time and space for people to engage and when we can we will engage in real time.
  • We will articulate the value we see in working together.
  • When we engage people we will provide feedback that closes the loop.


  • We will be clear about what we are trying to achieve, the scope of our challenge and the potential for people be influence outcomes.
  • We will use simple language.
  • We will be open about our limitations and constraints.
  • We will tell you what we are doing with your input and where your information is going. 


Why the contribution is important

The principles will assist the APS to ensure that engagement with the community is framed in an appropriate way. 

by ProjectTeam on April 13, 2018 at 12:22PM

Current Rating

Average rating: 3.6
Based on: 3 votes


  • Posted by yoyo April 20, 2018 at 11:28

    These principles are important. But actually doing them is even more important. Are the principles an educational tool for the public service (less useful) or will they inform concrete actions which the APS will take in engaging (more useful)?
  • Posted by ProjectTeam April 20, 2018 at 12:08

    We definitely intend for it to inform concrete actions, but we are also thinking about enforcement mechanisms. How do we make sure people adhere to it and follow it, and let it guide their engagement actions? Do we embed it into KPIs, get the Secretaries APS Reform Committee to endorse it...etc.

    We are open to ideas on this too!
  • Posted by diisisit April 20, 2018 at 13:58

    This is a useful start, but a couple of things come to mind.

    Is having an approved set of engagement principles so formulaic as to prescribe how the APS engages with the public? For example, the Murray Darling Basin Plan report was burnt on camera by those the public service had "consulted".

    The application of these principles are context dependent - especially if you are dealing with wicked problems. This might mean throwing away the rule book that so many APS practitioners rely on and building a relationship with someone whose life and work is directly impacted by a government decision.
Log in or register to add comments and rate ideas