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Report conduct and performance data from your agency

Agencies provide data on:

  • conduct and performance management – number, category (Categories 2 and 3), action to be taken, details of investigations, costs, duration, and outcomes
  • suspensions – number, type, duration, costs, reasons, and outcomes
  • discipline cases – number, timeframe, grounds, and outcomes.

More about conduct and performance reporting

Access the Conduct and Performance matters reporting guide (PDF, 397 KB)

Case categories and benchmarks framework

Inappropriate conduct and poor performance falls into 3 categories, from least to most serious:

  • Category 1
  • Category 2
  • Category 3

When you are deciding the category, you should consider:

  • particular context, including whether the behaviour is repeated
  • seriousness and impact
  • possible and likely outcomes if the concerns are substantiated.

For example, interpersonal conflict could fall into Category 1, Category 2 or Category 3, depending on the circumstances.

CaPE can help you decide the right category, for matters which are not corrupt conduct.

Download the case categorisation and benchmarks framework (PDF, 360 KB)

Category 1

These matters involve:

  • inappropriate interpersonal conduct with colleagues, clients, or other stakeholders
  • inappropriate behaviour relating to minor management matters
  • performance requiring improvement.

Category 1 behaviour must be addressed promptly, and a record made of any action taken and the reasons for it.

Minor management matters or matters involving personality clashes should be addressed by using the performance management system or a dispute resolution processes (such as mediation or counselling). It is not appropriate to undertake extensive investigation of matters involving personality clashes. Minor types of management or conduct matters, if unaddressed, may be repeated and/or escalate to more serious issues.

If matters within this category continue or be repeated, consider categorising the continuing matters as Category 2.

Category 2

These matters involve:

  • conduct that would otherwise fall within Category 1, but warrants treatment as Category 2 due to its ongoing or repeated nature
  • minor misconduct: conduct or behaviour that is inconsistent with conduct standards expected of a public sector employee as described in the but is not wilful or malicious
  • careless or negligent performance of duties, rather than unsatisfactory performance due to lack of skill.

Matters within Category 2 should generally be dealt with through training and development or remedial action in the workplace, however this does not preclude an agency from implementing a discipline process where considered appropriate. However, theft may represent a significant breach of trust and warrant termination of employment or demotion.

Minor misconduct does not include matters of underperformance or singular instances of interpersonal conflict. In the first instance, such matters should be dealt with through timely and appropriate management. If it continues, this may warrant the matter to be addressed using other mechanisms.

A complaint that is initially assessed as a Category 2 matter may be elevated to Category 3 on the recommendation of the manager or decision maker.

Category 3

These cases involve:

  • serious misconduct: conduct or behaviour that is inconsistent with conduct or professional standards and practices expected of a public sector employee as described in the , and that is wilful, reckless, or malicious
  • conduct that, if proven, will warrant the commencement of a discipline process
  • conduct that, if proven, reasonably raises the possibility of termination of employment
  • conduct that is a breach of criminal law
  • serious neglect of performance of duties.

This category is for serious neglect of performance, duties or serious breaches of conduct expectations, where the behaviour does not meet the definition of corrupt conduct in the Crime and Corruption Act 2001 (PDF, 1.18MB).

Serious misconduct can occur in an official capacity or otherwise and could reasonably raise a question of employment suitability.

Criminal proceedings may result from an employee's behaviour in the workplace as well as from private actions.

Category 3 criminal cases involving police and courts could be lengthy. However there may be administrative action that can be undertaken concurrent with an investigation. In these instances, CaPE will provide expert advice and assistance.

CaPE will contact agencies with Category 3 cases that continue beyond 150 days.

CaPE will review Category 3 cases that continue beyond 200 days.


The benchmarks are as a guide; all timeframes specified are maximum acceptable benchmarks.

However, all cases should be managed in a timely manner and agencies are expected to reach targets over time.

CategoryMaximum evaluation periodMaximum investigation periodDecision makingMaximum time from notificationPercentage target
CaPE reporting benchmarks
Category 1 (informally managed)N/A7 days (conciliation or management action)N/A7 daysN/A
Category 1 (formally managed)7 days7 days (conciliation or management enquiries)7 days28 days75% of matters completed within the benchmark
Category 214 days:
7 day initial assessment period
7 day full evaluation period
30 days (management enquiries or internal investigation)7 days51 days75% of matters completed within the benchmark
Category 3a (likely outside criminal law)28 days:
7 day initial assessment period
21 day full evaluation period
90 days (management or other internal or external investigation)21 days139 days
Matters over 150 days trigger CaPE contact
Matters over 200 days trigger review by CaPE
75% of matters completed within the benchmark
Category 3b (possible breach of criminal law)28 days:
7 day initial assessment period
21 day full evaluation period
90 days (management or other internal or external investigation)21 daysPending police or court timeframes
To be considered at 200, 290, and 350 days