Leadership is an inherit quality within the Army. It is a tenet embedded into the core nature of military service and plays a pivotal role within its culture. Regardless of rank, position or task at hand, leadership is at the forefront of everything we do. The notion of leadership is built upon sound ethical and moral decision making; a necessary component in building integrity in one’s self and trust from those around you. Having the trust of others allows a leader to motivate, inspire and influence others to overcome adversity and achieve the most challenging of tasks. Effective leadership builds upon the capability of Army and the capacity of its people.

Army is an advocate for leadership in the workplace. It sees the unequivocal value in investing significant time and resources towards the development of leadership skills and knowledge in its people. Army needs effective leaders across all roles. This requirement sees leadership training and education integrated across the all-corps training continuum to foster and develop the leadership behaviours of all Army personnel. Career progression within Army exposes its people to leadership development opportunities via formal training, professional development and workplace experience. The culmination of these pathways provides the tools necessary to develop Army’s current and future leaders.

Training and workplace experience in the Army provides the underpinning leadership and management skills, knowledge and attitudes that are aligned to a national standard. Headquarters Forces Command has established a recognition program that aims to award a Certificate IV in Leadership and Management, in an effort to formally acknowledge the leadership and management capability of its people. Via recognition of prior learning and current competency, workplace leaders have a legitimate pathway to attain a nationally accredited qualification.

The recognition program has been operating in varying formats for several years; however, a streamlined recognition process has been serving Army personnel since 2019. The streamlined application process has resulted in a marked increase in application rates and has enabled the issuance of over 2,300 Certificate IV in Leadership and Management qualifications. The following graphs show the issuance rate over time and issuance by rank:








The figures suggest that after an initial surge of applications in 2019, Headquarters Forces Command process approximately 100 applications per month with the majority of qualifications being issued to junior leaders and senior non-commissioned officers. If Army personnel were to apply for recognition of prior learning to an external Registered Training Organisation, a Certificate IV in Leadership and Management could cost upwards of $1,400; however, Army’s recognition process is zero cost to the applicant. When considering the cost of the qualification and the number processed to date, this initiative has saved Army people over three million dollars.

As of 2021, the qualification being offered via recognition has been updated to the BSB40520 Certificate IV in Leadership and Management. This is the latest version of the qualification that reflects the role of individuals working as emerging leaders and managers across a range of enterprises and industry sectors. The BSB40520 Certificate IV in Leadership and Management is comprised of a number of subjects, known as Units of Competency. The competencies that form the qualification are as follows:

  • BSBLDR411 Demonstrate leadership in the workplace
  • BSBLDR413 Lead effective workplace relationships
  • BSBOPS402 Coordinate business operational plans
  • BSBXCM401 Apply communication strategies in the workplace
  • BSBXTW401 Lead and facilitate a team
  • BSBLDR412 Communicate effectively as a workplace leader
  • BSBLDR414 Lead team effectiveness
  • BSBPEF402 Develop personal work priorities
  • BSBSTR401 Promote innovation in team environments
  • BSBCRT412 Articulate, present and debate ideas
  • BSBCMM411 Make presentations
  • PSPGEN036 Provide workplace coaching

The selected competencies address the spectrum of expected leadership functions and managerial tasks that are conducted by Army personnel. They reflect the workplace requirement to effectively lead, coach and mentor team members by employing clear and meaningful communication and workplace strategies. They also demonstrate that individuals are able to manage competing priorities, organise and monitor the output of teams and achieve assigned tasks by applying solutions to an array of procedural and complex problems in a range of working environments.

To be eligible for the BSB40520 Certificate IV in Leadership and Management you must have:

  • Completed the First Appointment Course, SSO or Subject 1 for Corporal course or higher all-corps promotional courses. Equivalent Army Reserve courses are also applicable.
  • Held the rank of Corporal or above for a minimum of two years.
  • Supervised at least one subordinate.
  • A completed PAR from the last two years, covering a minimum six month reporting period. The PAR must denote at rank or effective for the following items:
    • Army ethos (Defence ethos equivalent for officers)
    • Leadership
    • Job competence
    • Interpersonal relations (Interpersonal style equivalent for officers)
    • Teamwork
    • Judgement
    • Initiative (Adaptability equivalent for officers)

It is well worth your while to pursue this qualification. It helps formally encapsulate your leadership and management experience in the Army in the form of a nationally recognised qualification. If you meet the eligibility criteria and wish to apply for recognition of your leadership and management experience, contact hqforcomd.rtocell@defence.gov.au for a recognition kit.