Assures that effective controls are both developed and maintained to ensure the integrity of the organization.  Holds their self and others accountable for rules and responsibilities and can be relied upon to ensure that projects within their area of specific responsibility are completed in a timely manner and within budget.  Monitors and evaluates plans while focusing on results and measuring attainment of outcomes.


Accountability application ranges from individual responsibility for setting and meeting high standards for personal performance to the very definition of government workers as stewards of the commonwealth.  It is the vehicle through which value is created for the public dollar, and public services are improved.  The accountable individual remains in touch with the changing needs of those who are served, and earns their ongoing trust.  Accountability is a mark of a mature worker and is dependent on each individual being held responsible for achieving agreed upon outcomes.  It is essential to a well-functioning organization that each individual proactively take the responsibility to follow work through to completion, to provide both quality products/services and quality customer service, while meeting commitments in a timely manner and within budget.  Government workers must also hold themselves accountable for protecting the privacy of employees, customers, and members of the public.  The leader is also accountable for the results of their team.

How do First Appointment Leaders Demonstrate This Competency?

First Appointment leaders must prioritize team/project/unit tasks and clearly communicate guidance about the task to include its importance and its elements.  They establish deadlines while maintaining both short- and long-term focus on the completion of tasks.  They use project management skills to set clear and consistent performance expectations for team managers, project managers, and unit groups.  They review performance against standards and established benchmarks, provide feedback and coach subordinate leaders, and address performance problems in a specified timeframe.  They build ongoing review into programs/projects to track progress towards stated goals, identify performance gaps enabling course corrections, and evaluate and measure the success of the programs/projects.

Elements of the Competency and Distinguishing Behaviors


Distinguishing Behaviors

Makes efficient and effective use of resources.

  • Acknowledges strong performance and addresses poor performance among team and group members.
  • Maintains good overview and control of contract performance.
  • Maintains good overview and control of project/group budgets and costs.

Takes responsibility for personal and team/group performance

  • Anticipates and takes action over impending problems.
  • Proactively solves problems without attributing blame.
  • Holds team and project members accountable for achieving results within assigned deadlines.
  • Communicates and counsels team/group members regarding poor performance
  • Recognizes and acknowledges good performance
  • Guides the development of the team/group.

Meets or exceeds standards of excellence

  • Uses a variety of techniques to help the team/group continually improve.
  • Works to build on experience and insights of others.
  • Prioritizes team/project tasks with respect to importance and time available while maintaining focus on end results
  • Develops others to strengthen their sense of pride in and commitment to their work and dedication to the mission of the Service.

Ensures compliance with policies and laws while addressing stakeholder needs

  • Understands organizational and customer expectations and needs.
  • Understands and values the role and input of internal and external stakeholders.
  • Develops effective strategies and achievable programs of action that take into account stakeholder needs.
  • Seeks feedback from stakeholders to ensure our products/services are meeting their needs.
  • Works within the parameters of policies and laws.

Builds performance measures into programs.

  • Defines, communicates and measures progress for successful performance.
  • Applies project management skills.
  • Applies basic evaluation strategies and practices to measure performance.
  • Reviews performance against clear standards and expectations.
  • Provides regular feedback and coaches team/group members about their performance.
  • Addresses performance problems in a timely manner.

Identifies and acts on lessons learned.

  • Identifies lessons learned from successful and unsuccessful performance.
  • Develops clear plans which include necessary adjustments to processes and strategies to improve organizational performance.
  • Disseminates knowledge and lessons learned using a variety of communications tools, group affiliations and networks.
  • Keeps managers informed of valuable lessons learned and project results.
  • Gathers feedback from various sources to improve products, processes, services and delivery.

Assesses and manages risk when making legal and ethical decisions

  • Understands the legal and ethical framework of the civil service.
  • Seeks the input of legal and ethical advisors and balances various assessments of risk before making decisions of critical importance. 

Developmental Activities

There are numerous activities an employee may engage in that provide the opportunity to develop this competency at the First Appointment Leader level.   These activities may include, but are not limited to, on-the-job experience, details, shadow assignments, participating in training as a leader or participant and other life experiences.   These activities provide the opportunity to develop for those dedicated to their individual growth as a leader.  Specific examples of developmental opportunities for this competency include:

Primary Developmental Activities

  • Take the time to learn applicable policies and procedures.
  • Work on setting clear goals with yourself and others, and monitor progress.
  • Follow through with positive and negative rewards and consequences.
  • Consider whether you are successful at multitasking, and if not, focus on one project at a time.

Supporting Developmental Activities

Experiential Developmental Details or Assignments

  • Request permission to shadow an experienced leader you admire.
  • Ask to fill in for your supervisor in an “acting” role when the opportunity exists.
  • Take a 360-degree assessment tool as a way to receive feedback from others.
  • Meet with HR and learn who’s who (roles and responsibilities) and who is responsible for what.
  • Request a detail into a mid-level leadership position.
  • Volunteer to work on a project team that involves multiple stakeholders.
  • Evaluate the impact of your behaviors on others.


First Appointment Leader Competencies