Community Housing Workforce Capability Framework


Capability Framework

Your guide to strengthening workforce capability

4 Groups + 70 Capabilities

The CHWC Framework comprises four core groups of desired attributes, skills and knowledge that are valued and commonly required of key Community Housing employees: Personal, Interpersonal, Technical & Operational, and Leadership & Management. Groups and capabilities are relevantly aligned to each stage of an employee’s typical lifecycle through varying Learning and Development Journey Maps by area and role type, for which three levels of competency can be assessed. To further support individual development, a range of learning options, tools and resources are also accessible. 

Click on each section below to view the full list of capabilities and their descriptions.  

To view specific capabilities mapped by Community Housing Workforce area and role type according to each stage of an employee’s lifecycle, proceed to the Capability Profile Tool. 

12 Personal


Personal attributes and internal abilities and behaviours that help manage emotions, cope with challenges and learn new information. Essential to each role and often require ongoing development.

  • Adaptable

    Able to change or be changed in order to fit or work better as situations arise.

  • Agility

    Being responsive and flexible with the ability to adapt to changing conditions.

  • Coachability

    Capable of being easily taught and trained to improve and demonstrating a willingness to accept feedback.

  • Compassion

    Demonstrate a sympathetic awareness of others’ distress or misfortune with a desire to assist.

  • Emotional Intelligence

    Ability to understand and manage your own emotions and those of the people around you.

  • Empathy

    Ability to understand what other people feel, to see things from their point of view and imagine yourself in their situation.

  • Flexible

    Ability and willingness to respond and adjust to changes by being open-minded, optimistic and looking ahead.

  • Open-Minded

    Willing to listen to other ideas and opinions and being open to change.

  • Resilience

    Ability to develop and engage with strong resources and support networks to manage stress and conflict.

  • Self Care & Boundaries

    Ability to take care of your mental, emotional and physical health to achieve balance across your personal and work life.

  • Social Responsibility

    Being aware that your actions and decisions impact what is going on around you. It often reflects your ability to be informed, being active in the community, sensitive to others’ needs, and taking care of your environment.

  • Values

    Identifying what you believe is important in the way you live and work.

10 Interpersonal

Skills & Knowledge

Behaviours and tactics used to effectively interact, communicate, and work with others. Critical to each role and sometimes require ongoing development.

  • Collaboration

    Actively build relationships and work with other people, agencies and services to share information and resources, and achieve common goals.

  • Communication

    Transfer information to another person, group or place with the ability to be understood or understand. Deliver effective and clear communication using a range of techniques, including listening, non-verbal cues, approachable tone, being open-minded, respectful of others, showing empathy, and reciprocating feedback.

  • Conflict Resolution

    Communicate effectively with clients and others to prevent, de-escalate or resolve situations where conflict may arise. This involves resolving the difference or conflict through negotiation so all parties have been heard with their point of view given due consideration.

  • Critical Thinking

    Ability to think about a topic or issue in an objective and critical way, including making observations, analysing outcomes, interpreting results, reflecting on issues, evaluating to problem solve, and providing direction or employing decision making skills.

  • Cultural Awareness & Diversity

    Awareness and positive recognition of diversity in the workplace by acknowledging the individual strengths of each person and allowing them to reach their full potential.

  • Cultural Safety

    Demonstrate an understanding and awareness of the needs for individuals, organisations and systems to be culturally safe and the impact your own culture and cultural values may have onAboriginal and Torres StraitIslander people. This includes ensuring all people feel comfortable, supported and respected within their environment.

  • Growth Mindset

    Ability to identify opportunities to grow the business and solve problems creatively. It involves proactively embracing challenges and framing them as opportunities for change and growth.

  • Language, Literacy & Numeracy

    Ability to effectively read, write, speak and numerate information, text, ideas and data in the workplace.

  • Managing Difficult Behaviour

    Clearly and concisely communicate with the ability to de-escalate conflict, negotiate, problem solve, and understand underlying factors that may lead to difficult and challenging client behaviours.

  • Workplace Boundaries & Bullying

    Understand concepts of bullying, providing a safe work environment, establishing boundaries, and being cognisant of the Fair Work Act of NSW with regard to physical, emotional and communication boundaries.Managers and supervisors must also understand how and why boundaries are important within the workplace.

38 Technical & Operational

Skills & Knowledge

Skills, knowledge and abilities needed to perform specific tasks. Vary by role type and area and sometimes require ongoing development.

  • Ageing Support

    Sound knowledge and understanding to support the housing needs of ageing tenants. This includes building effective relationships with health and aged care services and ensuring properties are accessible to meet current and emerging requirements.

  • Antisocial Behaviour

    Advanced understanding of the Residential Tenancies Act with the ability to apply negotiation and problem solving skills and deescalation strategies to the antisocial behaviour of tenants or applicants that may cause alarm, distress or harassment to others.

  • Asset Management

    Ability to develop, own and manage housing assets for the purpose of supplying well maintained rental properties to people on very low and low incomes. Demonstrate a planned approach to asset acquisitions, disposals and risk to meet set property management standards, and have asset management policies and procedures in place in accordance with the National Regulatory System for Community Housing.

  • Building Skills

    Effective coordination, outsourcing and management of main maintenance and building development to contractors aligned to asset policies and procedures. Demonstrate comprehensive understanding of building regulations, other asset performance standards and information according to the National Construction Code, Building Code of Australia and Community Housing Industry Association Schedule of Rates.

  • Challenging Behaviour

    Ability to apply organisational policies and procedures in deescalating and negotiating an incident where culturally unacceptable behaviour and the physical safety of others is placed, or likely to be placed, in serious harm.

  • Child Protection

    Sound understanding of the Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act 1998, emphasising the care of children and young people is a responsibility shared by families, government and the agencies working in partnership. This includes holding a Working with Children Check and undergoing training as a Mandatory Reporter, whom are required by law to report suspected child abuse and neglect to the appropriate government authorities.

  • Community Engagement

    Demonstrate effective strategies to ensure communities participate in decisions affecting them and at a level which meets expectations to help strengthen relationships between organisations and tenants. This includes the ability to coordinate and facilitate events and activities, apply a strengths based approach to engagements, communicate effectively, and adapt to changing requirements.

  • Complex Needs & Vulnerable Clients

    Ability to recognise applicants and tenants with complex needs spanning across health and social issues and respond to or refer them appropriately as required. This includes communicating effectively, networking and collaborating with other support services, and an understanding of implementing a strengths based approach.

  • Contract Management

    Effective management of contracts through exploration of the contract lifecycle – from tendering and negotiating, to managing risk and administering contracts. It requires fostering solid working relationships with suppliers and contractors to manage their performance, manage variations and resolve disagreements.

  • Contractors & Tenants

    Ability to effectively communicate with tenants regarding contractor and maintenance arrangements. This includes clear explanation of how repair requests will be responded to, tenant requirements for providing access to maintenance staff to undertake repairs, informing tenants of the standards of behaviour expected of contractors while at the property, and complaints processes if standards are not met.

  • Customer Service

    Consistently comply and adhere to Community Housing Provider values and expectations to ensure clients are treated and serviced with dignity. Demonstrate accountability to ensure customers are fully informed of their rights, including maintaining personal boundaries.

  • Disability

    Understand how to address barriers and encourage active participation in an impaired clients community by providing appropriate housing and support to maintain a sustainable tenancy and environment.

  • Domestic & Family Violence

    Understand how to deal with survivors of domestic violence and/or the perpetrators including support services available in the local community, the impact of trauma on survivors, and the strengthening of Residential Tenancy Act in NSW for survivors of Domestic and Family Violence (DFV).

  • Emergency Preparedness

    Ability to implement emergency procedures in the event of a crisis such as weather impacts, government health directions, law enforcement, or internal malfunctions within the office or housing environment. This involves maintaining up to date information and understanding of the emergency procedures and practices required to support clients and workplaces, as well as the roles staff may be assigned in case of an emergency.

  • Engagement

    Effectively interact with people, stakeholders and business partners to achieve desired outcomes between parties. This includes inviting others to take an active role in activities, having a high regard for their involvement in decision making and the ability to work well together.

  • Governance

    Understand the framework of rules, relationships, systems and processes by which authority is exercised and controlled within organisations, including adherence to all policies and procedures. Managers and supervisors are also responsible for ensuring their governance represents best practice.

  • Hoarding & Squalor

    Understand the differences between hoarding and squalor, including support services available to assist tenants health and safety issues and requirements of the Residential Tenancies Act.

  • Housing Policies

    Understand the organisational policies and principles that guide your area of work to ensure successful implementation and management of related processes and procedures.

  • Income Assessment

    Understand eligibility guidelines on income and assets with the ability to make assessments according to the Community Housing Rent Policy guidelines as a percentage of income, including wages, statutory payments, self employment earnings and accessible supplements.

  • Information & New Technology

    Currency and knowledge in the use of technology in the workplace to drive business operations and improve communication, efficiency and performance. This includes emailing, digital conferencing, word processing, search engines and management systems, whilst being open to changes and learning new programs, software, hardware and other infrastructure.

  • Judgement & Decision Making

    Ability to objectively assess situations or circumstances using all relevant information and apply past experience in order to come to a conclusion or make a decision.

  • Mental Health

    Ability to work with clients experiencing mental illness that interferes with their cognitive, emotional and social abilities by demonstrating an understanding of language, strengths based practices and the recovery model.

  • National Disability Insurance

    Understand the role of the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) in implementing and managing the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) by providing support and funding to people with disabilities, their families and carers. When registered as a Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) provider, this includes offering a range of housing designed with accessible features to assist people registered and approved by the NDIA.

  • NSW Civil & Administrative Tribunal (NCAT)

    Advanced understanding of the Residential Tenancies Act (2010) with the ability to represent an organisation at the Tribunal, undertake investigations, demonstrate effective communication and negotiation skills, and prepare cases for the tribunal to resolve disputes between tenants and landlords.

  • Reflective Practice

    Ability to stop and think about how we work, how we respond to customers and colleagues, and how we look after ourselves as the initial building block of wellbeing. This includes sound skills for general staff members to reflect on their work, whilst managers demonstrate the skills and determination to ensure their teams are given the opportunity to undertake reflective practice as part of their role.

  • Rent Assessment & Calculation

    In accordance with the Community Housing Rent Policy and the NSW Affordable Housing Ministerial Guidelines, effectively determine the rent tenants are asked to pay, how it is calculated and the situations where rent is being recalculated or changed, including the level of Commonwealth Rent Assistance applicable. Understand and implement relevant policies and procedures associated with rent calculations and communicate this clearly to tenants during signup.

  • Residential Tenancy Act (RTA)

    Demonstrate an effective working knowledge of the RTA (2010) terms of agreement and matters for upholding sections of the Act. This includes understanding how the law affects landlords, the tenant relationship, how to manage tenancies and keep tenants informed, and deal confidently with tenant disputes to existing and future residential tenancy agreements in respect of residential premises.

  • Risk & Compliance

    Ability to assess, plan and manage factors that might adversely affect operations of an organisation or business as well as demonstrating compliance with established rules and regulations. This includes having an understanding and knowledge of regulatory frameworks and how they apply to individual roles.

  • Scoping

    Effectively conduct assessment of property conditions against agreed standards with comprehensive understanding and compliance of the NSW Land and Housing Corporation (LAHC) Asset Maintenance Framework and/or the Community Housing Industry Schedule of Rates (CHISOR).

  • Sector Context & History

    Understand the sectors work environment with particular reference to community housing values and purpose, development and changes in social housing policy, the range of client groups, and role of housing in society and our local communities.

  • Stakeholder Management

    Effectively engage, organise, monitor and improve relationships with stakeholders to successfully deliver projects and initiatives.

  • Strategic Thinking

    Ability to think ahead and anticipate potential issues, question or challenge conventional thinking, and demonstrate agility by pivoting when required with reference to past experiences. This involves problem solving, decision making and developing realistic action plans to achieve specific outcomes and goals.

  • Strengths Based Practice

    Effective ability to collaborate between people supported by services and those supporting them by working together to determine an outcome that draws on the individuals strengths and assets.

  • Tenancy Management

    Effective working knowledge and management of tenancies and properties in accordance with the RTA (2010) by demonstrating high level customer service of all matters. This includes lease signings and renewals, rent assessments and reviews, vacant property processes, sustaining tenancies, responding to complex needs of tenants, and referrals as appropriate.

  • Time Management

    Ability to organise, plan and manage yourself and time between different activities including setting goals, identifying priorities, resource allocation and delivery, monitoring progress and reflecting on outcomes.

  • Trauma Informed Care & Practice

    Effectively implement a practice of care by creating an environment of safety, trustworthiness, choice, collaboration and empowerment. This includes using a framework that recognises the impact of power differentials in service settings, maximises self determination, supports autonomy, and empowers individuals to learn about the nature of their injuries to take responsibility in their own recovery.

  • Understand Tenants, Clients & Customers

    Understand and effectively work with the range of people who come to community housing with varied needs, including issues they may be experiencing and the ability to respond appropriately to ensure a sustainable tenancy.

  • Work Health & Safety

    Adept demonstration of skills and knowledge in safe work practices to ensure the health and safety of self and others. This includes when undertaking visits to tenants at their property or when working with applicants and tenants with challenging behaviour. Managers are also responsible for ensuring all organisational policies, procedures and programs are maintained and evaluated in their relevant work area.

10 Leadership & Management

Skills & Knowledge

Individual strengths and abilities to oversee processes and performance while helping guide others and initiatives towards the achievement of goals. Specific to people management and supervisory roles and sometimes require ongoing development.

  • Coaching & Mentoring

    Ability to coach by teaching another staff member knowledge and skills using a time focussed plan, whilst mentoring by guiding mentees work through sharing of own knowledge and experience.

  • Emerging Leaders

    Demonstrating the quality, values and behaviours to enhance knowledge and skills for leading, motivating and inspiring high performing individuals and teams.

  • HR

    Ability to effectively manage all matters related to employees including recruitment and staffing, compensation and benefits, training and learning, labour and employee relations, and organisational development.

  • Leadership

    Consistently model professionalism in the workplace and industry and inspire and motivate others to achieve organisational goals.

  • People Management

    Effective management of people and working collaboratively with internal and external stakeholders, including the practice of recruiting, training, engaging, and retaining employees to optimise talent and productivity.

  • Staff Management

    Ability to identify the purpose, function and role of the team or unit in line with business plans and strategic directions of the organisation, including planning, organising, staffing, leading and controlling.

  • Stress Management for Staff

    Recognise the signs and sources of stress and develop and share stress management techniques to ensure staff are supported as they encounter challenging clients and workloads.

  • Supervision

    Effectively oversee employees by supervising and guiding performance and delivery of their work.

  • Training Staff

    Ability to identify, coordinate and support staff training needs and plans to enhance skills, knowledge and workplace performance. This includes currency with the relevant experience to train and organise a plan through coaching, mentoring, professional development and/or accredited training.

  • Vulnerable & Complex Needs of Staff

    Ability to recognise issues or needs, respond appropriately from a strengths based practice, and refer to more targeted services to assist staff in ensuring a safe and supportive environment.

3 Levels of Competency

Three broad levels of competency can be used to assess an individuals skills, knowledge and ability against each capability according to your own organisational context. Find your personalised Competency Assessment Guide by using the Capability Profile Tool.

  • Introductory

    No or minimal knowledge. May have exposure to skill and understand basic concepts but lack experience.  

  • Proficient

    Competent and skilled with good working and background knowledge of area.

  • Expert

    Highly developed knowledge and skill level. Solid experience and training with advanced understanding of concepts. 

CHWC Framework Capabilities

Have a training enquiry or request? Contact our Learning & Development Team