Building Public Sector Capability through the 70:20:10 Framework: A Masterclass

Building Public Sector Capability


Course Overview:

The 70:20:10 framework is widely used across the Australian public sector to assist organisations to develop capability.  Although the framework is popular and well regarded, there is little research into its effectiveness.  Researchers from the Public Service Research Group have spoken with 145 public sector managers to understand the effectiveness of middle management development programs aligned to the 70:20:10 framework.

During the program, we will share the findings of our research and offer recommendations to improve the return on investment and transfer of learning from management and leadership programs to the workplace, through a more effective use of the 70:20:10 framework.

At the end of the masterclass, participants will gain a better understanding of:

  • the experiences of middle managers attending development programs;
  • what is and what is not working well in management and leadership development;
  • the ideal training that public sector managers seek;
  • the biggest blockers of learning transfer for middle managers; and
  • how the 70:20:10 framework can more effectively build management and leadership capability.

Who Should Attend:  

This masterclass is designed for people who play a role in management and leadership development in the public sector. 

Course Outline:


Registration and Coffee


Introductions and course outline

The 70:20:10 Framework: what it is and why it has potential. The PSRG Study.


The 70:20:10 framework:

  • a brief history, explanation & purpose
  • the framework and learning transfer
  • challenges with the framework. Discussion


The 70:20:10 Principle and Social Learning Theory: discussion


Research Background: the PSRG and the 70:20:10 study


Morning Tea


Research findings: group work discussion 1: experiences with formal training programs

  • introduction
  • research discussion (group work)
  • group briefing


Research findings: group work discussion 2: experiences with social learning

  • introduction
  • research discussion (group work)
  • group briefing




Research findings: group work discussion 3: experiences with experiential learning

  • introduction
  • research discussion (group work)
  • group briefing


Practical Solutions: new ways to implement the 70:20:10 framework (group work)

  • Understanding the role of social learning
  • Identifying practical ways to better implement the framework


Open Forum: questions and discussions regarding capability development, public sector performance and PSRG research

  • Professor Deborah Blackman
  • Dr Samantha Johnson


Wrap up


Delivery Mode:  

This knowledge sharing will be run in an informal, friendly and supportive manner.  PSRG researcher, Dr Samantha Johnson, will present and discuss the findings of her research into management and leadership development and the results of her analysis of the 70:20:10 framework.

During the workshop, participants will engage in discussions with each other, identifying and addressing the challenges and successes that they have experienced in management and leadership development and in the implementation of the 70:20:10 framework.

Open forum discussions will allow participants to raise and discuss points of interest in relation to building management and leadership capability in the public sector.



The Boathouse, Canberra


Standard Price: 

$550 per person


What you will receive:  

Morning tea, lunch, afternoon tea


Samantha Johnson

Dr Samantha Johnson

Samantha Johnson is a lecturer in public sector leadership and a member of the Public Service Research Group at UNSW, Canberra.

She researches public sector capability development in management and leadership and public sector performance. The common theme of her work is building capability and performance in the public sector for today and for tomorrow’s public service. Research projects have included a project in middle management experiences in management and leadership capability development and managerial capability in the Royal Australian Navy.

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