Course Title: Uphold and support the values and principles of public service

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2012

Course Code: HWSS5407C

Course Title: Uphold and support the values and principles of public service

School: 365T Global Studies, Soc Sci & Plng

Campus: City Campus

Program: C4240 - Certificate IV in Government (Court Services)

Course Contact : Lauren Weaver

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 4622

Course Contact

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Nominal Hours: 40

Regardless of the mode of delivery, represent a guide to the relative teaching time and student effort required to successfully achieve a particular competency/module. This may include not only scheduled classes or workplace visits but also the amount of effort required to undertake, evaluate and complete all assessment requirements, including any non-classroom activities.

Pre-requisites and Co-requisites

No pre-requisite is required for this unit of competency, however this unit is part of an Industry based program, offered to trainee Court Registrars.

Course Description

This course covers the ethical conduct required of those in public service and the responsibility to encourage ethical conduct in others – colleagues or supervised staff. It includes contributing to an ethical public sector workplace and participating in ethical decision making.

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

PSPETHC401A Uphold and support the values and principles of public service


1. Contribute to an ethical public sector workplace

Performance Criteria:

1.1 Information on the ethical values and principles of the workplace is accessed, its interpretation confirmed with others and applied accordingly
1.2 Application of ethical values and principles is discussed with senior management and colleagues to ensure common understanding and application
1.3 Others are assisted to access and use public sector ethics legislation and guidelines to ensure their work practices comply with requirements
1.4 The differences between public sector ethics/values and personal beliefs/values are explained to others to encourage understanding and compliance
1.5 Hypothetical work practices that would constitute unethical conduct are identified and discussed with work colleagues, and strategies to avoid or deal with them are identified in accordance with organisational policy and procedures


2. Participate in ethical decision making

Performance Criteria:

2.1 Real and potential ethical problems are identified, and decision making processes are used to resolve or refer them in accordance with organisational policy and procedures
2.2 Information is regularly accessed to ensure currency in ethical knowledge, and ethical judgment is developed through involvement in workplace discussions or ongoing professional development related to ethical standards and practices
2.3 Other staff are supported as necessary to contribute to ethical discussions and problem solving to develop their ethical judgment
2.4 Processes for preventing and reporting unethical conduct are used and others are assisted in their application

Learning Outcomes

 See Elements.

Details of Learning Activities

This unit covers the ethical conduct required of those in public service and their responsibility to encourage ethical conduct in other colleagues or supervised staff.
It includes contributing to an ethical public sector workplace and participating in ethical decision making.
In practice, ethical conduct is demonstrated in the context of other generalist or specialist work activities such as applying government processes, delivering and monitoring services to clients, using resources, conducting interviews, giving evidence, awarding contracts and so on.

Teaching Schedule

Students take part in a one-day workshop exploring the concepts of ethical decision making as a public service, and Courts and Tribunals Employee. 
The session is closely linked in with the delivery of training around the unit PSPLEGN 401A Encourage Compliance with Legislation, where the concepts of ethical decsion making in a legal environment are explored.

Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts


Other Resources

All resources for this unit can be found on the RMIT Blackboard system 

Overview of Assessment

Assessments will incorporate a variety of methods including one or more of the following: written test, open book exam, case studies, class presentation, group project, role play scenarios, practical demonstrations, observations, reports, quizzes, and fieldwork assignments.  

Assessment Tasks

Attendance in class.
Participation in class activities
The assessment for this unit is combined with the assessment for unit PSPLEGN401A Encourage complaince with legislation. Students are assessed on their response to a range of legislation and policy based questions, as well astheir response to scenarios related to value based and ethical behaviour as a puclic service employee.  

Assessment Matrix

Assessment for the Certificate IV in Government (Court) Services program falls under Table 1.2 b - Nationally Recognised Training Package qualifications and State accredited courses delivered in accordance with competency-based assessment.

Competency Achieved
Used where competency-based assessment applies

Not Yet Competent
Used where competency-based assessment applies – This is always a Final Grade

Did Not Submit for Assessment.

This grade is only to be used where a student enrols in a course and does not withdraw and does not participate in assessment, regardless of whether the student is of ‘confirmed’ status or not.

All written work must adhere to the following criteria:

1. Written reports, research projects or essays are to demonstrate an understanding of the concepts and familiarity with the prescribed or negotiated topics

2. It is expected that all submitted work will be well written, with clear and consistent grammar, expression and punctuation. It must be well structured and cogently address the issues raised in the chosen topic in a logical, ordered and organised manner

3. The concepts must be well defined and demonstrate a critical analysis of the chosen topic

4. Written submissions must demonstrate appropriate preparation, reading and research

5. Double or 1.5 spacing and a font size of 10-12 must be used in font style Aerial or Times New Roman.

Other Information

Extensions will not be granted by teachers or Administrative staff.
In accordance with RMIT policy, students may apply for an extension where there have been unexpected or extenuating circumstances, e.g.

a) Hospital admission, serious injury, severe asthma, severe anxiety or depression. This does not include minor illness such as a cold, period pain or hay fever.

b) Loss or bereavement – e.g. death of a close family member, family/relationship breakdown.

c) Hardship/trauma – e.g. victim of crime, sudden loss of income or employment, severe disruption to domestic arrangements.

Students requiring extensions for 7 calendar days or less (from the original due date) must complete and lodge an Application for Extension of Submittable Work (7 Calendar Days or less) form and lodge it with the Program Coordinator/ Program Manager. The application must be lodged no later than one working day before the official due date. The student will be notified within no more than 2 working days of the date of lodgment as to whether the extension has been granted.
Students seeking an extension of more than 7 calendar days (from the original due date) must lodge an Application for Special Consideration form under the provisions of the Special Consideration Policy, preferably prior to, but no later than 2 working days after the official due date.

Assignments submitted late without approval of an extension will not be accepted or graded.
Students must keep a copy of their paper until the graded essay has been returned or marks have been posted.


Plagiarism is the presentation of the work, idea or creation of another person, without appropriate referencing as though it is one’s own. It is a form of cheating and is a very serious academic offence that may lead to expulsion from the University. Plagiarised material can be drawn from, and presented in, written, graphic and visual form, including electronic data, and oral presentations. Plagiarism occurs when the origin of the material used is not appropriately cited.
You must acknowledge the use of another person’s work or ideas. If texts or ideas are reproduced they are to be clearly acknowledged in one of the conventional ways, such as by use of quotation marks, indentation for longer passages and clear citation of the source. Failure to separate one’s own contribution from that of another constitutes plagiarism, which may result in course failure to University expulsion.

Course Overview: Access Course Overview