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Policy quality

A policy practitioner uses the Policy Quality Framework's paper scoring template

Good advice is the foundation of good decision-making. 

The refreshed Policy Quality Framework

The Policy Quality Framework has been refreshed to incorporate the best elements of the original Policy Quality Framework and other policy quality frameworks in use. The refreshed framework provides the policy community with a common set of standards that specify what good quality advice looks like. Agencies can use the standards to hold themselves accountable for the quality of their advice, and support better government decision-making.

From 1 July 2019, all agencies with a policy appropriation will be required to use the refreshed Policy Quality Framework to assess the quality of their policy advice after its delivery, and report on their results in the Estimates and their agency’s Annual Report. The refreshed Policy Quality Framework can also be used in the development of policy advice.

Policy Quality Framework: standards for quality policy advice

Policy Quality Framework

The summary version of the framework can be downloaded here.

The full version of the framework provides more detail on the standards of the Policy Quality Framework.

How to use the Policy Quality Framework

The Policy Quality Framework can be used by:

  • Individuals developing advice or providing peer review
  • Policy managers commissioning or reviewing policy advice
  • Panels or others assessing the quality of the advice before (ex-ante) or after it has been delivered (ex-post).

The following resources have been developed to support using the Policy Quality Framework:

1. Developing papers with the Policy Quality Framework – Checklist for reviewing papers in development 

This checklist provides a set of questions to ask and things to do when you are developing a paper or reviewing a paper for someone else.

2. Using the Policy Quality Framework to assess papers – A guide on panels and processes

This guide provides advice on how to run a panel-based assessment of policy and other advice papers after their delivery (an ex-post assessment process). The guidance includes advice on how to set up and run panels, and assess and score papers. It also provides a paper scoring template.

3. Policy Quality Framework paper-scoring template 

It can be used by panel members to record their preliminary assessment of each paper they read. This has also been provided as an appendix in the guide on panels and processes.

The benefits of a universal framework

A universal framework and set of standards for quality policy advice will promote greater cohesion across agencies. The refreshed Policy Quality Framework provides agencies with a learning tool that they can use to help improve their policy performance, by building it into their policy project planning and quality assurance processes.

Having public service-wide standards for the quality of policy advice enables agencies to benchmark the quality of their advice over time, and relative to their peers.

Policy practitioners won’t need to relearn quality standards when they move from agency to agency.

The refreshed Policy Quality Framework incorporates up-to-date expectations for how policy advice will reflect the Māori Crown relationship.

Support in using the refreshed Policy Quality Framework

The Policy Project is available to run agency workshops on using the Policy Quality Framework. Please contact us at


Last updated: 
Monday, 22 August 2016

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