General information on promotion review
What is a promotion?
A promotion is the ongoing movement of an APS employee to a job at a higher classification level. A move to a higher classification within an agency’s broadband is not a promotion.
Publication of promotions
Promotion decisions are published in the APS Employment Gazette (www.APSjobs.gov.au). Promotions normally take effect four weeks after the promotion has been published in the Gazette, subject to any promotion reviews.
Grounds for review
The only ground for a review of a promotion is merit. The review applicant needs to demonstrate that they have stronger claims, in terms of skills and other work-related qualities, to the particular job than the person who was promoted. A review applicant who is only able to demonstrate that they have equal claims to the job will not be successful in overturning the original promotion decision.
Promotion Review Committee
Promotion reviews are conducted by an independent and impartial committee established by the Merit Protection Commissioner.
The committee consists of three members:
- a convenor nominated by the Merit Protection Commissioner
- a nominee from the relevant agency
- a third member nominated by the Merit Protection Commissioner.
The convenor will be an employee of the Commission with special training in merit-based staff selection. The third member will be an APS employee who has the relevant skills and experience to undertake merit based staff selection.
The following mechanisms help ensure the independence of the Promotion Review Committee (PRC):
- Each member is required to sign a declaration of impartiality.
- A PRC cannot be directed when carrying out their duties. This means that they need to form their own judgement about candidates.
- PRCs need to follow the binding instructions which the Merit Protection Commissioner has issued to guide PRCs.
Who is entitled to seek review?
A. Active reviews
If you have applied for a promotion to a particular job(s) but have been unsuccessful, you may apply to have the decision reviewed by a PRC under the following circumstances:
- you are an ongoing APS employee who has applied for promotion to the job(s)
- the job(s) is at the APS 2 to 6 classifications
- the successful candidate is an ongoing employee of the APS who will be promoted to the job, or is an ongoing Parliamentary Service employee to be ‘engaged’ in the APS at a higher classification than their current level
- the promotion decision was not made on the recommendation of an Independent Selection Advisory Committee
- the promotion decision did not result from a review conducted by a PRC.
B. Protective reviews
Some selection exercises fill multiple job vacancies and result in a number of people being promoted. Candidates whose promotions are published in the Gazette in this circumstance and who expect other candidates to seek a review of their promotion are able to lodge ‘protective’ applications for review. This involves lodging review applications against other persons whose promotions have been published in the Gazette from the same selection exercise.
How to apply / Who to contact
You will need to provide the information required in the application form. Applications can be submitted either online, by fax or post to:
The Review Team
Australian Public Service Commission
PO Box 20636
World Square Post Office
Sydney NSW 2002
Fax: (02) 6267 4944
Applications for review must be received by 5pm on the 14th day after the date the promotion appeared in the Gazette (www.APSjobs.gov.au).
Notification of a review application
Commission staff will determine the validity of applications and advise the agency and the parties to the review. The parties to the review are the review applicants and the promotees nominated by the review applicants.
Information on agencies whose promotions have attracted review applications is posted on the Commission website on the day following the due date for applications. This usually occurs each Friday by 2pm (AEST).
How the promotion review is conducted
The Promotion Review Committee considers written information provided by:
- the agency about its original promotion decision(s) and
- the parties to the review about their claims for promotion to the job.
The PRC may interview the parties to test their claims for promotion and may request additional information from the parties, the agency or other people such as referees.
The PRC process is transparent and parties to the review will have access to all relevant information considered by the PRC in the decision-making process.
For more information see: Information for review applicants and promoteesWhat does the PRC assess?
The PRC assesses the relative merit of the person promoted and each person who has validly applied for review of that promotion decision.
Relative merit means deciding who is most suitable to perform the duties of the job successfully.
The PRC can also take into account other considerations (than merit) in deciding who should be promoted. One such consideration may be a person’s availability to take up the job. In such situations, the PRC will give a person affected the opportunity to comment before taking such a consideration into account.
The promotion review decision
The PRC makes an independent decision about which person(s) shall be promoted. Under law, agencies are bound to implement PRC decisions.
There is no further right of administrative review under the Act or the Regulations.
To take the matter further, you would need to apply to a court for judicial review, under the general law or the Administrative Decisions (Judicial Review) Act 1977. In such cases, it would be prudent to seek legal advice.