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Leadership Unlimited

Services Australia
Talent Assessment and Development


Services Australia (and its predecessor, the Department of Human Services) is at the forefront of the delivery of government services. Whether it’s their work on Medicare, Centrelink, Child Support, or emergency response to bushfires, floods or the COVID-19 pandemic, they are one of the most critical arms of the Australian government’s ability to respond to community needs. In particular, the Agency plays an essential role in supporting Australia’s most vulnerable communities.

Services Australia recognised a number of years ago that to respond to the ever-increasing needs of the Australian community they had to invest in leadership.

A core component of this is investing in developing talent, and as such they sought a robust and reliable methodology to identify and develop EL2 and SES level staff that have the potential to progress to the most senior roles in the Agency. Services Australia was particularly keen to ensure that the assessment process aligned with the Australian Public Service Commission (APSC) strategies and methods for identifying and developing talent. They were also focused on ensuring participants found the experience to be insightful and practical and aligned with individual aspirations.


People are an organisation’s greatest asset, and as such, any talent and feedback process needs to be tailored, motivating and supportive of individuals.

People Measures therefore partnered with Services Australia designing and delivering a development initiative that is more reflective of a coaching intervention rather than just an assessment. People Measures designed a development process based on work we have conducted over many years in partnership with a range of APS departments and agencies and in alignment with APSC talent frameworks.

Participants complete an assessment interview and then receive one on one feedback and a subsequent coaching session focused on refining their individual development plan, in alignment with their aspirations and interests. A report that summarises the key themes from the assessment is provided to the individual and an internal Executive Committee (EC), chaired by the CEO, and the Talent Steering Committee (TSC). People Measures’ team of assessment and development experts have assessed and coached more than 150 participants in this program between 2018-2023.


The participants and Services Australia executives have found the process to be insightful and practical – recent evaluation data suggests that participants find ‘the assessment stage of Leadership Unlimited to be a positive and valuable experience’ (4.38/5). The Leadership Unlimited program has evolved over the years and is considered one of the flagship programs for the Agency, with program nominations far exceeding available places on the program each year.