Behavioural capability framework instruction

Instruction statement

RMIT’s Behavioural Capability Framework identifies six behavioural clusters, descriptors and expectations. The Framework provides clearly defined and consistent behavioural expectations for all staff, determined by job type and level to inform professional development and career progression.



Instruction steps and actions


RMIT’s Behavioural Capability Framework has been designed and implemented to

  • support RMIT’s values through actions of how staff work day-to-day
  • clearly describe behavioural capabilities for all job levels at RMIT
  • provide an opportunity to clarify the behavioural capability expectations required to fulfil a specific role and what development activities will assist to improve performance against these behavioural capabilities
  • provide an objective basis for feedback and performance conversations against defined behavioural capabilities focussing on ‘how’ the work is achieved, in balance with ‘what’ is achieved within the role
  • inform development of University learning and development programs in identified priority areas

Performance relies on both technical and behavioural capabilities. Capabilities defined and identified as required for a particular job role provide a basis for performance evaluation and feedback for staff, informing recognition, identification of development needs and programs to support staff performance and career progression.


RMIT’s Behavioural Capability Framework is tailored for three staff cohorts defining the behavioural capabilities for success for staff in (i) Academic, (ii) Professional and (iii) Vocational Education positions.

The six behavioural capability clusters apply across all cohort groups with behavioural descriptors and expectations more specifically defined for each cohort and job level.

Each framework includes the definition of the:

  • Behavioural cluster
  • Behavioural descriptor
  • Level of Role (Academic Professional and Vocational Education staff)
  • Behavioural expectations by job levels

RMIT’s six behavioural capability clusters and their descriptors are detailed below. These descriptors provide a high level summary and are not to be used for reviewing performance.

Behavioural cluster

Behavioural descriptor


  • builds constructive and lasting relationships, and encourages team work

Commitment to excellence (continuous improvement)

  • reviews and evaluates performance outcomes to identify further improvement


  • conceives and plans new approaches that improve the way things are currently done

Outcomes focussed

  • Plans tasks and ensures they achieve intended results

Open thinking

  • understands the connections across disciplines, organisations, countries and cultures


  • demonstrates adaptability, and seeks assistance, support and advice from others

(For the full framework with behavioural expectations per level refer to supporting documents)

The behavioural expectations increase in complexity according to classification levels.

How to use the Framework

The framework provides a basis for performance conversations during the performance cycle between staff and their manager about strengths, good performance and development opportunities. Throughout the performance cycle, it is essential for all managers and staff to have a good understanding of the framework and how it applies to their position.

Staff should:

  • read and understand the behavioural capabilities for their classification level
  • use the framework to seek clarification of expectations and to prepare to discuss their performance, development and career aspirations with their manager at midyear review and end of year appraisal
  • self-appraise their performance against the behavioural expectations and identify relevant development opportunities

In addition, staff are encouraged to use the Behavioural Capability Framework to:

  • identify focus areas to maximise effectiveness in their current role or to inform development for positions they may aspire to
  • document their performance and demonstrate competence against the expected behaviours relevant to their role
  • inform applications for other roles within RMIT

Managers should:

  • provide constructive feedback and support for performance improvement against the Behavioural Capability Framework
  • discuss and document the staff member’s progress at the mid-year review
  • document and discuss performance, based on an objective review, at the end of year appraisal

In addition, managers should use the Behavioural Capability Framework to inform:

  • recruitment and position description writing
  • behavioural interviewing and selection of staff

Supporting Development And Career Progression with the Behavioural Capability Framework

1. Setting the scene

Staff should familiarise themselves with the relevant behavioural capabilities and expectations for their level.

2. Determining the desired and current performance against behavioural capability expectations

For each of the behavioural expectations in step 1, staff should consider the following questions:

a) What do I understand by each behavioural expectation?

b) How does this behavioural capability expectation relate to my job and what particular priority areas should I focus on?

c) How can I assess and demonstrate my capability against this expectation now?

d) How can I be supported to develop this behavioural capability?

Be specific and think through these questions for each of the behavioural clusters, descriptors and expectations for your level.

3. Development planning and approval

Staff should consider the behavioural expectations for their level and use tools (refer to supporting documents) to highlight current performance levels identifying where expectations are met, at strength or development is needed.

Determining where development is needed will help inform suitable development objectives to be discussed at performance conversations (see Professional development procedure).

Development objectives should be recorded in the development section of the Performance Workplan. The objective should describe the development need, what activities will be undertaken and what support is required to achieve that objective. Separate development objectives can be included for each behavioural capability the staff member is seeking to develop or one development objective can cover more than one behavioural capability.

4 Review and appraisal

At the end of year appraisal, managers and staff will review performance against behavioural expectations as discussed in the objective setting phase.




Demonstrated behaviour is a strength

Meets expectation

Demonstrated behaviour meets expectations

Development needed

Development is required to meet expectations.

As with other elements in the end of year appraisal, staff should demonstrate their achievement of, or development against the behavioural expectations in their Performance Workplan.

Staff can demonstrate performance using:

  • Case studies and/or documented examples, e.g. advice to stakeholders that relates to the specific behavioural capability.
  • Emails or feedback from stakeholders commenting on the staff member’s behaviour.
  • Protocols, procedures and or other examples of systems the staff member put in place as a result of a learning activity.
  • Formal assessments

One source of evidence can cover more than one behaviour across more than one capability area.

Note: Certificates of attendance of training events can be included but are insufficient in evidence alone, as they do not describe the application of the knowledge/skill gained.

[Next: Supporting documents and information ]