Promotion Reviews

Last updated: 04 Jun 2014

This page is: current

This page provides links to information for APS employees about the promotion review process administered by the Merit Protection Commissioner.

Promotion review services are largely provided by the Review and Casework Team in the Office of the Merit Protection Commissioner located in Sydney.

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 each Thursday in the Public Service Gazette ( 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.

Back to top

What is a Promotion Review Committee

Promotion reviews are conducted by an independent and impartial committee established by the Merit Protection Commissioner.

The Promotion Review Committee (PRC) 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.

Applying to sit on a PRC

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.

Back to top

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:

  1. you are an ongoing APS employee who has applied for promotion to the job(s)
  2. the job(s) is at the APS 2 to 6 classifications
  3. 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
  4. the promotion decision was not made on the recommendation of an Independent Selection Advisory Committee
  5. 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.

Back to top

How to apply

You will need to provide the information required in the online application form. You can also download an application form and fax or post it to the Review and Casework Team.

Applications for review must be received by 5pm on the 14th day after the date the promotion appeared in the Gazette (

Information for promotion review applicants and promotees

Back to top

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).

Back to top

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 fair and transparent. Each party to the review will have an opportunity to comment on information before the PRC that is adverse to the party's claims for promotion.

Back to top

What 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.

Back to top

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.

Back to top

Further review

There is no further right of administrative review under the Public Service Act 1999 or the Public Service Regulations 1999. 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 independent legal advice.