The committee's main functions include:
- assessing the risk of extinction of a species in Australia and deciding which species should be listed as critically endangered, endangered, vulnerable or extinct in NSW
- for species that are not listed as threatened species, deciding if there are populations of those species that should be listed as threatened in NSW
- assessing the risk of extinction of an ecological community in Australia and deciding which ecological communities should be listed as critically endangered, endangered, vulnerable or collapsed ecological communities
- deciding which key threats to native plants and animals should be declared key threatening processes under the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 (BC Act)
- reviewing and updating the lists of threatened species, populations and communities and key threatening processes in the schedules of the BC Act.
The NSW Threatened Species Scientific Committee does not make decisions about threatened fish and marine plants. This is the responsibility of the NSW Fisheries Scientific Committee.