About Professional and Ethical Standards (PES)

PES' role is to investigate allegations of misconduct made against employees and provide guidance and support to workplace managers and school leaders managing employee underperformance. We also lead a range of projects focused on improving the way complaints are managed.

Image: Creating a safe learning environment for students and staff.

Helping schools manage staff conduct

Schools manage most conduct issues. Where a threshold of misconduct is reached, PES may assist the school manage the issue or take responsibility for its review. In limited circumstances, external bodies like Police and Department of Communities and Justice (DCJ) may become involved.

In all matters PES manages risk. PES also ensures that the department's statutory responsibilities are met including notifying reportable employee-related child protection matters to the Office of the Children's Guardian (OCG).

PES' focus is the health, safety and wellbeing of both students and staff.

Helping schools manage teacher performance

PES supports and advises workplace managers and school leaders to address staff performance and development concerns. This may include implementing improvement programs. In addition, PES manages the Employee Performance Management Improvement (EPMI) project, which supports principals to improve the quality of school based staff through addressing underperformance early and effectively.

Helping schools and corporate areas manage complaints from staff about workplace issues

The department is constantly improving the way that it works. A specialist team within PES supports the department's information systems for capturing and reporting on staff complaints data and supports the ongoing staff complaint handling improvement program.

We want our staff to be able to raise workplace issues, and any complaints from staff to be managed promptly, effectively and consistently. The department expects staff to identify and raise workplace concerns as informally as possible, as most concerns are resolved quickly at the local level. Where a staff member continues to have concerns after raising them through usual communication processes, they can consider making a staff complaint. PES supports workplace managers and school leaders to address staff complaints.

Staff complaints (staff only) contains further information about the department’s processes for resolving staff complaints.

Contact PES

PES welcomes your feedback. If you would like to tell us about your PES experience, please email us at: feedback.pes@det.nsw.edu.au.

If you would like to speak with one of our staff about a particular case, PES Officers are available Monday to Friday from 8:30am to 5:00pm on 02 7814 3722 and pes@det.nsw.edu.au. We generally aim to respond to emails within three working days.


  • Education support operations
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