The Ministry of Justice’s Expert Design Group defines the difference between guidelines for capability and competence as:

A competency framework sets the minimum standards of competence. A capability framework sets out how individuals and organisations need to adapt, grow and continuously improve to achieve the highest standards of practice[1].[CD1]

We are creating a Workforce Capability Framework for the SVPP and SVP sector. It identifies and outlines a base level for capability and the progressions to take workers and organisations to higher-level activities.

·       The framework supports workforce development and consistent practice and quality across the country.

·       It considers the importance of entry and volunteer level capability development for people who are passionate about the service but might not have formal or relevant qualifications.

·       It offers an overview of the suggested capabilities for each level of workforce development.

The values the framework is based on (3.2) mark the point where SVPP and SVP work meets with local communities. The six Principles of Practice (3.3) are woven through all levels of practice. The framework is designed to model the changes necessary to help communities thrive and create the conditions under which sexual violence and intimate partner violence do not exist.

Each competency strand in the framework contains a list of capabilities seen as desirable for people involved in SVPP and SVP organisations and activities. These came directly from the experiences of people in the sector – those with lived experience, service staff at all levels, and from past research. They form the starting point for this Workforce Capabilities Framework which, as a living document, we want to see change, grow and improve with use. The strands are:

Recruitment and baseline knowledge – capabilities that assist agencies to develop and review their recruitment strategy because we recognise that identifying and recruiting competent people to the SVPP and SVP sector is problematic.

New Worker/Volunteer – capabilities that demonstrate that workers and volunteers have appropriate attitudes, skills and knowledge to ensure the safety of everyone involved in SVPP and SVP activities.

Experienced Worker – capabilities that assist agencies to develop and review their structures and pathways for turning a ‘new worker’ into an ‘experienced worker’, and when recruiting someone from outside into a role requiring a higher level of expertise and skills than an entry-level new worker.

Leadership – capabilities that assist leaders to set up organisational cultures that model respectful relationships and the values and principles of SVPP and SVP work, share power and expertise, and support workers to grow and thrive.

Agency/Organisation – capabilities that assist agencies and organisations to develop the highest standards in service delivery, community resources and workforce culture at the structural level (Board of Trustees, vision statements, strategies, policies and procedures and so on).

Government and funder level – capabilities that assist funders to create secure, safe and effective services in the SVPP and SVP sector, well-resourced research and evaluation projects to test and improve the ideas and practices emerging from the sector, and create sustainable change in the shape and delivery of services.

Aotearoa New Zealand currently lacks a specific training pathway where SVPP practitioners can specialise and develop their competencies. Therefore, we propose the development of a NZQA-recognised SVPP workforce pathway as a central part of the Workforce Capability Framework.

This framework is an active work in progress and will expand and increase its utility based on experience and feedback. We invite SVPP and SVP organisations, researchers and communities of origin and interest to develop and test out organisational development ideas, staff training packages, service projects and programmes, and creative outreach beyond the sector, based on the ideas and practices outlined in this framework.

In particular, we are aware that fully incorporating Māori, Pacific and other cultural specific understandings of SVPP and SVP were beyond the time and resources given to the project to this point. We want to see work expanded to give diverse cultural groups of origin and interest the opportunity to explore and develop their understanding of what good and promising sexual violence prevention practices look like. It is our intention that this framework is tested widely in the sexual violence sector to see if the principles of practice are robust when put into action, and to explore what is working and what needs further development.