Commission Advice 2013/09: Legislative changes to recruitment and selection

Last updated: 28 Jun 2013

This page is: archived

Overview

The Australian Public Service Commission (the Commission) has developed a series of ‘Advices’ to assist Australian Public Service (APS) agencies implement the changes made by the Public Service Amendment Act 2013 (the Amendment Act) to the Public Service Act 1999 (the PS Act) and changes to the subordinate legislation. The Advices are available on the Circulars and advices page of the Commission’s website.

This Advice provides information on changes relating to recruitment and selection contained in the new Australian Public Service Commissioner’s Directions 2013 (the Directions), and changes made to the Public Service Regulations 1999 (the Regulations) on non-ongoing employment.

The commencement date for the amended Act, amended Regulations and the Directions is 1 July 2013. The changes will become part of Commonwealth law on that date. Agencies will need to take action to prepare for these changes before the commencement date.

Why are these changes being made?

The amendments to the Act revise the APS Values and introduce APS Employment Principles (subsection 10A(1)) to provide, among other things, that:

The APS is a career-based public service that:

  • makes employment decisions with a fair system of review; and…
  • makes decisions relating to engagement and promotion that are based on merit.

The Employment Principles are binding and are the basis for employment decisions in the APS.

Merit as defined in the Act continues to apply to promotion and engagement decisions.  All other employment decisions are required to be fair, rather than merit-based, which is a more relevant test. The amendments are aimed at reducing the scope for confusion about the nature of the process required in dealing with relatively straightforward matters, such as selection of participants for a training course. 

The new Directions consolidate in one chapter (Chapter two—Recruitment and selection) provisions that were previously contained in several chapters of the old Directions, including the former chapters two (APS Values), four (Merit in employment) and six (Senior Executive Service (SES) employment).

Chapter two of the new Directions (see Attachment A) is aimed at ensuring that the APS incorporates and upholds the APS Employment Principle 10A(1)(c), which requires decisions relating to engagement and promotion to be based on merit, and determines the scope or application of that Employment Principle. Chapter two also consolidates in one place some employment matters that were previously contained in the Regulations, including gazettal of employment decisions, and dates of effect of promotions and ongoing moves at level between agencies.

The amendments to the Regulations relating to the engagement of non-ongoing employees (see Attachment B) are aimed at addressing concerns raised by agencies that the current non-ongoing employment provisions are overly prescriptive and complex.

What changes are being made?

There is a new section 10A of the Act which sets out the APS Employment Principles (see Advice 2013/4:  APS Values, Employment Principles and revisions to the APS Code of Conduct).

APS Employment Principle 10A(1)(c)

A key difference between the current Act and the new provisions is that it is now clear that ‘merit’ only applies to engagement and promotion decisions, rather than all employment decisions. These other employment decisions are required to be ‘fair’ in accordance with APS Employment Principle 10A(1)(a).

Subsection 10A(2) explains the meaning of merit in this context. It reads:

(2) For the purposes of paragraph (1)(c), a decision relating to engagement or promotion is based on merit if:

(a) all eligible members of the community were given a reasonable opportunity to apply to perform the relevant duties; and

(b) an assessment is made of the relative suitability of the candidates to perform the relevant duties, using a competitive selection process; and

(c) the assessment is based on the relationship between the candidates’ work-related qualities and the work‑related qualities genuinely required to perform the relevant duties; and

(d) the assessment focuses on the relative capacity of the candidates to achieve outcomes related to the relevant duties; and

(e) the assessment is the primary consideration in making the decision.

The provisions combine the two fundamental components of merit previously contained in the APS Values—that eligible members of the community are given a reasonable opportunity to apply and that a competitive selection process is undertaken.

Section 22 of the Act has not changed and continues to provide that people may be engaged as ongoing APS employees; or as non-ongoing APS employees for a specified term or for the duration of a specified task, or for duties that are irregular or intermittent. The stipulation that the usual basis for engagement is as an ongoing APS employee continues, and the provisions relating to conditions of engagement remain unchanged.

Engagement and promotion – standard provisions

Part 2.1 of Chapter two of the Directions sets out the minimum requirements for a merit-based selection process for engagement or promotion, and the requirements for notifying a vacancy in the Public Service Gazette (the Gazette).

Apart from being rewritten in clearer language and being consolidated in one place, there is little change to the existing provisions. The provisions that are new or have changed are:

  • Clause 2.8 describes secondary considerations that may be relevant to the selection decision (the assessment of merit remains the primary consideration) to include such factors as a candidate's ability to start by a particular date for operational reasons, willingness to relocate or ability to meet other reasonable agency requirements.
  • Clause 2.9 requires that vacancies are to be notified with a closing date for applications of at least seven calendar days after the notification, unless otherwise approved by the Australian Public Service Commissioner (the Commissioner). This provision takes into account that vacancies may now be notified in the Gazette on a daily basis, rather than weekly, and is a minimum requirement (the default closing date for applications remains as two weeks).
  • Clause 2.9 also provides that the Commissioner’s agreement is now required before a vacancy at a non-SES classification may be notified in the Gazette as open only to people who are APS employees at the time of the notification. Agencies are still not able to restrict vacancies at SES, APS Level 1 and training classifications to existing APS employees.

Engagement and promotion—exceptions to standard provisions

Part 2.2 of Chapter two of the Directions sets out the exceptions to the standard merit provisions contained in Part 2.1. Some of the circumstances in which the standard provisions may be modified (i.e. exempted from the requirement to notify a vacancy, the requirement to conduct a competitive selection process, or both requirements) are listed below:

  • Exempted from requirement to notify vacancy in Gazette and from competitive selection process:
    • engagement on a short-term, irregular or intermittent basis, i.e. specified term or specified task employment of 12 months or less and irregular or intermittent employment of any duration
    • affirmative measure—person with disability unable to participate in competitive selection process
    • engagement of person from state or territory jurisdiction (a new provision made in the Regulations)
    • re-engagement of election candidates (previously contained in the Regulations)
    • engagement of an ongoing Parliamentary Service employee as an ongoing APS employee.
  • Eligibility to apply may be restricted in Gazette notification, competitive selection process required:
    • affirmative measures—Indigenous employment, or intellectual disability.

Again, these are existing provisions (with the exception of the engagement of people from a state or territory jurisdiction) which have been written in a clearer language and consolidated in one place. The key changes for specified term and specified task vacancies of 12 months or less, and for irregular or intermittent duties regardless of duration, are as follows:

  • The Directions continue the provision that gazettal of the specific vacancy is not necessary. The Directions also make it clear that a competitive selection process is not required. As a minimum requirement, agency heads must be satisfied that the person to be engaged has the work-related qualities genuinely required to perform the relevant duties. This does not prevent the agency head from conducting a competitive selection process if desired.
  • There is a specific requirement to make such opportunities available to the community (for example by providing access to a non-ongoing employment register).

The existing requirement in the Directions, that all specified term and specified task opportunities that are to extend beyond 12 months must be notified in the Gazette and a competitive selection process undertaken, has been retained.

Assignment of duties and movement between agencies

Part 2.3 of Chapter two of the Directions sets out new minimum requirements for decisions relating to assignment of duties at or below classification. These decisions under section 25 of the Act were not previously addressed in the Directions and are not covered by the merit principle. The minimum requirement is that decisions relating to the ongoing or temporary assignment of duties are based on an assessment of the employee’s work-related qualities and the work-related qualities genuinely required to perform the relevant duties, taking into account efficient and effective organisational performance.

The existing provisions for decisions relating to the temporary assignment of duties at a higher classification have been rewritten for clarity, and have the same minimum requirement outlined above.

Part 2.3 also contains the provisions relating to the date of effect of moves between agencies previously contained in the Regulations. Apart from specifying where certain decisions and agreements are to be in writing, and that the movement date may be affected where there is an unresolved matter such as a Code of Conduct investigation (see Advice 2013/7 – Handling misconduct), the provisions are largely unchanged.

Gazettal of employment decisions and date of effect of promotions

This provision has been moved to Part 2.4 of the Directions from the Regulations and is largely unchanged. The minor changes are:

  • the specified employment decisions must be notified in the Gazette within 3 months after the decision is made (no time period was stipulated previously)
  • an agency head may, with the approval of the Commissioner (who will consult the Merit Protection Commissioner in the case of a non-SES employee), decide that the name of the employee should not be included in the notification of the employment decision, because of the person’s work-related or personal circumstances (for example, the work is of a security-related nature)
  • dates of effect of promotions may be affected where there is an unresolved matter such as a Code of Conduct investigation as set out in Advice 2013/7 – Handling misconduct.

Summary of changes to non-ongoing employment

The current Regulations 3.5 and 3.6 have been replaced with a new Regulation 3.5. The new Regulation continues to deal with the engagements of people as non-ongoing employees (at classification levels below the SES) for a specified term or the duration of a specified task. The major changes relate to streamlining the grounds under which agencies can engage people as non-ongoing employees on a specified term basis, and include:

  • removing the requirements in the current Regulation 3.5 compelling an agency to provide an opportunity to ongoing employees to express interest and be considered for certain non-ongoing opportunities
  • including a standard three year time limit for non-ongoing specified term employment to replace the variety of time limits now in the Regulations (although a maximum initial period of engagement of 18 months will still apply in most circumstances)
  • removing the specific requirement that an agency head may only extend the employment of a specified term employee in certain circumstances if the agency head certifies that the extension is in the public interest
  • giving the Commissioner the power to extend non-SES specified term employment beyond three years in special circumstances (for up to a further 12 months)
  • introducing new provisions which specifically relate to the engagement of state/territory public servants as non-ongoing APS employees for a specified term.

Specified term employment

Sub-regulations 3.5(3) to (6) are relevant to the engagement of people for a specified term. Under the new provisions, an agency head will be able to engage a person for a specified term in the following circumstances:

  • where there is a vacancy for a limited period and the need for the person to perform those duties will not be required after that period; or
  • where, because of the particular skills, knowledge or experience required to perform particular duties, it is considered appropriate to engage a person who has recently worked in an industry that is relevant to the performance of those duties; or
  • the purpose of the employment is to assist the person to gain skills or experience under a particular scheme approved by either the agency head (under Regulation 3.3) or by the Commissioner (note that the Commissioner has not as yet approved any such schemes); or
  • the person has received a written offer of ongoing employment but prefers to be engaged as a non-ongoing employee; or
  • the person is an ongoing Parliamentary Service employee.

The ground set out in (a) above is likely to remain the most common reason for engaging a person as a specified term employee and encompasses most of the existing grounds listed in the table in current sub-regulation 3.5(2). For example, this ground would be used where an agency has: a temporary increase in its workload; a temporary demand for employees with particular skills; a need to replace an ongoing employee who is on leave or on temporary assignment elsewhere; or pending the filling of a vacancy on an ongoing basis.

The ground set out in (b) above is a new provision which is intended to be used in specific circumstances which relate to the particular skills, knowledge or experience required to perform the role. This provision relates to the skills of the person to be engaged— i.e. the person has recent industry experience which will benefit the APS/agency, and the person will return to the industry after the period of APS employment has ended. An example of where this provision could be used, is where an agency wants to nominate a representative for an international body and it is considered desirable to employ a person from the relevant industry who has the necessary skills and background to perform the role. In these circumstances, the duties themselves may not be time limited, but the agency has decided to fill the role on a specified term basis. In some circumstances the role could be filled by assigning the duties to an existing ongoing employee while in other circumstances it might be desirable to engage a person from outside the APS to perform the duties for a specified period.

The grounds set out in (c), (d) and (e) above are essentially unchanged from the current Regulations.

Engagement of state/territory employees

Sub-regulation 3.5(6) is a new provision which enables an agency head to engage, as a specified term employee, a person who is an employee of a state or territory public service, where the agency head has entered into an agreement with the relevant state or territory authority to engage the person.

Many agencies currently use secondment arrangements to obtain the services of such people and this will still be an option that agencies may choose to use. However, some agencies have indicated that they would prefer to enter into a direct employment relationship in these circumstances and the amendments to the Regulations will enable this to happen.

The engagement of people as specified term employees in these circumstances will not be subject to the time limits specified in the regulations for specified term employment nor the usual rules regarding advertising and competitive selection as set out in the Directions, even where the engagement is to be for more than 12 months.

Specified term – periods of engagement

Under the Regulations, a particular set of duties cannot be filled under the specified term provisions if the duties are to extend beyond the time limits set out in Regulation 3.5.

The maximum period that an agency head can engage a person for specified term employment in all cases (excepting engagement of State/Territory employees) is three years. There is a new provision which enables the Commissioner to authorise an extension beyond this three year maximum by a period not exceeding 12 months where:

  • the agency head considers that the engagement is necessary for the agency’s operations; and
  • the Commissioner is satisfied that special circumstances exist.

It is important to note, however, that in the circumstances listed in (a) and (b) above (i.e. vacancy is for a limited period and need for person to perform those duties not required after that period, or because of the skills etc. required a person with recent industry experience is appropriate), the maximum initial period of engagement is 18 months, after which the agency head may extend the engagement by a further period of 18 months.

As is the case currently, where the specified term vacancy is for 12 months or more, or taking into account that likely extensions of the engagement will exceed 12 months, then in accordance with Part 2.1 of the Directions, the vacancy must be advertised in the Gazette and a competitive selection process undertaken.

Specified task employment

Sub-regulation 3.5(2) sets out the arrangements under which an agency head may engage a person to perform a specified task. 

There continues to be no minimum or maximum time limit on such engagements and the only requirements that need to be satisfied are that, at the time of the engagement, the agency head must:

  • be able to reasonably estimate the duration of the task, and
  • be satisfied that the services of the person are unlikely to be required after the task is completed.

As is the case currently, where it is estimated that the engagement of a person for a specified task is for 12 months or more, or taking into account likely extensions of the engagement will exceed 12 months, then in accordance with Part 2.1 of the Directions, the vacancy must be advertised in the Gazette and a competitive selection process undertaken.

Irregular or intermittent employment

The Act will continue to provide that an agency head may engage a person (as a non-ongoing APS employee) for duties that are irregular or intermittent. While neither the Act nor Regulations set out any more detail in relation to this type of engagement, the types of duties covered by this category of employment would generally include:

  • one-off short term tasks/duties that do not fit within either the specified term or specified task categories, or
  • circumstances when duties need to be performed on an intermittent basis but where there is no regular pattern of work and part-time work is therefore inappropriate, or
  • people on call or on a relief roster.

There are no time limits specified in the Regulations for such engagements. Clause 2.12 of the Directions provides that agency heads must ensure, as far as is practicable, that irregular or intermittent vacancies are brought to the notice of the community in a way that gives eligible members of the community a reasonable opportunity to apply for them. The agency head must also be satisfied that the person to be engaged has the work-related qualities genuinely required to perform the relevant duties.

Agencies can meet this ‘reasonable opportunity to apply’ requirement by establishing non-ongoing employment registers for the filling of irregular or intermittent vacancies.

What transitional arrangements need to be put in place?

Gazettal of vacancies

Clause 2.9 of the new Directions introduces some changes relating to the notification of vacancies in the Gazette, including the new seven calendar day minimum notification period and the requirement to obtain the Commissioner’s approval to restrict vacancies to existing APS employees.

Transitional provisions to be included in the Directions will provide that for vacancies advertised before the commencement date of these Directions, i.e. before 1 July 2013, the provisions of clause 2.9 of these Directions do not apply and the relevant provisions of Chapter 4 of the 1999 Directions continue to apply.

Moves between agencies

Clause 44 of Part 13, Schedule 4 of the Amendment Act provides that the continuity of an inter-agency temporary move made before the commencement date under subsection 26(1) of the Act is not affected by the Amendment Act.

Right of return of election candidates

Clause 45 of Part 13, Schedule 4 of the Amendment Act continues the provisions of section 32 of the Act and Division 3.2 of the Regulations prior to their amendment to a person who, before the commencement time resigned as an ongoing APS employee in order to contest a prescribed election (within the time limits prescribed in the Act) and who subsequently failed to be elected.

Non-ongoing employees

Clause 34 of Part 9, Schedule 4 of the Amendment Act sets out certain transitional provisions in relation to non-ongoing APS employees.  It provides that where an agency head has engaged a person for a specified term or a specified task, or for irregular or intermittent duties, and either:

  • the engagement was in effect before 1 July 2013 and is to continue after 1 July 2013; or
  • the engagement was to take effect after 1 July 2013;

then former Regulations 3.5 and 3.6 (i.e. those in force before 1 July 2013) continue to apply to the person’s engagement.  However, any extension of the engagement, or a subsequent engagement, would be made under the new provisions.

What do agencies need to do?

Agencies should review their existing recruitment and selection policies and procedures to take account of the legislative amendments, including policies relating to the engagement of non-ongoing employees to take account of the amendments. The Commission will prepare revised guidelines taking these changes into account, including a checklist to assist agencies in reviewing their recruitment and selection policies. Those guidelines will be finalised and available before the changes to the Act come into effect.

Further information

The Amendment Act, the Public Service Amendment Regulation 2013 and the Australian Public Service Commissioner’s Directions 2013 are available on the Comlaw website.

Please also see the following Advices:

Enquiries from agencies’ corporate services staff can be made by email at ethics@apsc.gov.au or by telephone on 02 6202 3737.

APS employees who have queries about how the changes will affect them are asked to contact the HR area in their agency.

Owen Livermore
Group Manager, Employment Policy and Participation Group
Australian Public Service Commission

April 2013


Attachment A: Australian Public Service Commissioner’s Directions 2013

CHAPTER 2 RECRUITMENT AND SELECTION

In accordance with subsection 11A(1) of the Act, the Australian Public Service Commissioner (the Commissioner) may issue directions in writing about a range of employment matters relating to APS employees.

In accordance with subsection 11A(2) of the Act, the Commissioner may issue directions in writing in relation to any of the APS Employment Principles for the purpose of ensuring that the APS incorporates and upholds the Principles, and determining where necessary the scope or application of the Principles.

Section 10A of the Act reads:

APS Employment Principles

  1. The APS is a career-based public service that:
    1. makes fair employment decisions with a fair system of review; and
    2. recognises that the usual basis for engagement is as an ongoing APS employee; and
    3. makes decisions relating to engagement and promotion that are based on merit; and
    4. requires effective performance from each employee; and
    5. provides flexible, safe and rewarding workplaces where communication, consultation, cooperation and input from employees on matters that affect their workplaces are valued; and
    6. provides workplaces that are free from discrimination, patronage and favouritism; and
    7. recognises the diversity of the Australian community and fosters diversity in the workplace.

The introductory phrase to these Employment Principles states that the APS is a career-based public service. Implicit in this is the expectation that an Agency Head will put in place measures to ensure that the Agency is staffed on a basis that sustains core knowledge, expertise, and standards of professionalism and behaviour.

Summary of this Chapter

APS Employment Principle 10A(1)(c) requires decisions relating to engagement and promotion to be based on merit.

Part 2.1 provides the minimum requirements Agency Heads must meet in upholding this Principle in decisions relating to most promotions and most ongoing and long-term non-ongoing engagements. It defines the relevant terms, including the meaning of work-related qualities that may be taken into account in assessing the relative suitability of candidates to perform the relevant duties. It outlines the requirements of a merit-based competitive selection process, including the requirement to notify a vacancy in the Public Service Gazette, and provides additional requirements for a selection process to fill a Senior Executive Service (SES) vacancy.

Part 2.2 provides directions on the minimum requirements Agency Heads must meet in relation to engagement or promotion decisions in short-term engagements and in other circumstances where APS Employment Principle 10A(1)(c) is modified.

Part 2.3 provides directions relating to the ongoing or temporary assignment of duties under section 25 of the Act (other than promotion) and ongoing or temporary moves between Agencies under section 26 of the Act.

Part 2.4 provides directions relating to the gazettal of employment decisions and the dates of effect of promotions.


Part 2.1 Engagement and promotion—standard provisions

The merit principle in engagement and promotion

This Part determines the scope or application of APS Employment Principle 10A(1)(c), in circumstances relating to most promotions and most ongoing and long-term non-ongoing engagements. It reads:

  1. The APS is a career-based public service that:
    1. makes decisions relating to engagement and promotion that are based on merit; and

Subsection 10A(2) explains the meaning of merit in this context. It reads:

  1. For the purposes of paragraph (1)(c), a decision relating to engagement or promotion is based on merit if:
    1. all eligible members of the community were given a reasonable opportunity to apply to perform the relevant duties; and
    2. an assessment is made of the relative suitability of the candidates to perform the relevant duties, using a competitive selection process; and
    3. the assessment is based on the relationship between the candidates’ work‑related qualities and the work‑related qualities genuinely required to perform the relevant duties; and
    4. the assessment focuses on the relative capacity of the candidates to achieve outcomes related to the relevant duties; and
    5. the assessment is the primary consideration in making the decision.

Division 1 Preliminary

2.1 Purpose of Part 2.1

The purpose of this Part is:

  1. to determine the scope or application of APS Employment Principle 10A(1)(c), relating to engagement and promotion decisions based on merit, in circumstances relating to most promotions and most ongoing and long-term non-ongoing engagements; and
  2. to determine the minimum requirements that an Agency Head must meet in upholding that Principle.

Note: Part 2.2 provides modifications of and exceptions to the requirements in this Part for certain kinds of engagement and promotion decisions.

2.2 Meaning of promotion

  1. For these Directions, a reference to a promotion is a reference to the ongoing assignment of duties to an ongoing APS employee at a higher classification than the employee’s current classification, in the same or another Agency, other than:
    1. the allocation of a higher classification in a broadband to an ongoing APS employee already within the same broadband in the same Agency; or
    2. the allocation of an operational classification to a trainee under the Classification Rules.

Note: The following are not promotions:

  1. following a voluntary temporary reduction in an ongoing APS employee’s classification—the ongoing assignment of duties to the employee at the original classification;
  2. the temporary assignment of duties to an APS employee at a higher classification than the employee’s current classification.

2.3 Meaning of vacancy

For these Directions, a vacancyexistsin an Agency when a decision has been made that:

  1. a specified group of duties need to be performed; and
  2. it is appropriate to consider engaging a person or promoting an APS employee to perform the duties.

Note: A vacancy may also be filled by the movement of an APS employee at the employee’s current classification.

2.4 Meaning of Senior Executive Service (SES) vacancy

For these Directions, SES vacancy means a vacancy at a SES classification as set out in theClassification Rules.

2.5 Meaning of similar vacancy

For these Directions, a vacancy is similar to a notified vacancy if:

  1. it is in:
    1. the same Agency as the notified vacancy; or
    2. if the notified vacancy relates to a function that was moved to another Agency after the notification by a machinery of government change—the Agency to which the function was moved; and
  2. it is the same category of employment (ongoing or non-ongoing); and
  3. it comprises similar duties; and
  4. it is at the same classification; and
  5. it is to be performed in a similar location.

2.6 Meaning of work-related qualities

For these Directions, work-related qualities that may be taken into account in making an assessment of candidates’ suitability to perform duties in accordance with paragraph 10A(2)(c) of the Act include the following:

  1. skills and abilities;
  2. qualifications, training and competencies;
  3. standard of work performance;
  4. capacity to produce outcomes by effective performance at the level required;
  5. relevant personal qualities, such as honesty and integrity;
  6. potential for further development;
  7. ability to contribute to team performance.

Division 2   Merit in engagement and promotion—application of APS Employment Principle 10A(1)(c)

2.7 How an Agency Head upholds APS Employment Principle 10A(1)(c)

An Agency Head upholds APS Employment Principle 10A(1)(c) in relation to a decision to engage or promote a person in that Agency by ensuring that the decision is based on a selection process that meets:

  1. the requirements of this Division; or
  2. for a decision to which Part 2.2 applies—the requirements of this Division as modified by that Part.

Note: This Division sets standards for merit-based selection and requires a vacancy, or a similar vacancy, to have been notified in the Gazette within the previous 12 months.    

2.8 Merit-based selection process for engagement or promotion

  1. A competitive selection process for a decision to engage or promote a person to fill a vacancy meets the requirements of this Division only if the following apply:
    1. the aim and purpose of the selection process is determined in advance and information about the process is readily available to applicants;
    2. the vacancy is notified in accordance with clause 2.9;
    3. the selection process is applied fairly in relation to each eligible applicant;
    4. the selection process is transparent and appropriately documented;
    5. merit is the primary consideration in making the engagement or promotion decision, in accordance with subsection 10A(2) of the Act;
    6. the selection process is free from discrimination, patronage and favouritism, consistent with APS Employment Principle 10A(1)(f);
    7. in the case of a decision to engage a person—the engagement would comply with the restrictions on engagement of redundancy benefit recipients in clause 7.1.

Note 1: Part 2.2 provides modifications of and exceptions to the requirements in this Part for certain kinds of engagement and promotion decisions.

Note 2: The Regulations (regulations 3.4 and 3.5) provide for matters regarding the engagement of non-ongoing employees.

  1. For paragraph (1)(e), secondary considerations that may be relevant to the selection decision include such factors as a candidate’s ability to commence by a particular date, willingness to relocate or ability to meet other reasonable Agency requirements.

2.9 Notification of vacancy in the Public Service Gazette

Basic requirement for notification of vacancy

  1. Subject to this clause, a selection process for a decision to fill a vacancy meets the requirements of this Division only if:
    1. the vacancy, or a similar vacancy, in the Agency was notified in the Public Service Gazette within a period of 12 months before the written decision to engage or promote the person; and
    2. the vacancy was notified as open to all eligible members of the community; and
    3. the vacancy was notified with a closing date for applications of at least 7 calendar days after the notification (unless otherwise approved by the Commissioner).

Note: Part 2.2 provides modifications of and exceptions to the requirements in this Part for certain kinds of engagement and promotion decisions.

Notification of SES vacancies—external advertising

  1. A vacancy at an SES classification must be notified in the Public Service Gazette and advertised externally (for example on a recruitment website) as open to all eligible members of the community.

Note: The Department of Finance and Deregulation has issued a policy on non-campaign recruitment advertising.

Restricting applications to APS employees (other than APS Level 1 and training classifications)

  1. If the Agency Head decides that, for reasons of cost or operational efficiency, a vacancy at a non-SES classification should be filled by a person who is already an APS employee, the vacancy may, with the agreement of the Commissioner, be notified in the Public Service Gazette as open only to persons who are APS employees at the time of the notification.
  2. Subclause (3) does not apply in relation to a vacancy at the APS Level 1 classification or a training classification, and these must be notified as open to all eligible members of the community.

Multiple Agency notification

  1. An Agency participating in a multiple Agency selection process must ensure that there is adequate notification of the vacancy under its own Agency name in the Public Service Gazette (for example a heading followed by a link to multiple Agency notification).

External advertising

  1. If a vacancy notified in the Public Service Gazette as open to all eligible members of the community is also advertised externally (for example on a recruitment website) the external advertising must take place within 4 weeks before or 4 weeks after the Gazette notification.
  2. If:
    1. a vacancy is notified in the Public Service Gazette as open only to persons who are APS employees; and
    2. it is subsequently decided to advertise the vacancy externally as open to all eligible members of the community;
    the vacancy must be re-notified in the Public Service Gazette with the changed eligibility provision.

Meaning of APS employee

  1. In this clause:
    APS employeemeans a person who:
    1. is a current ongoing APS employee or ongoing Parliamentary Service employee; or
    2. was, at the time of the relevant Public Service Gazette notification, a non-ongoing APS employee or non-ongoing Parliamentary Service employee.

2.10 Additional requirements for SES engagement or promotion decisions

A selection process that results in a decision to engage or promote a person as an SES employee meets the requirements of this Division only if the following also apply:

  1. a representative of the Commissioner was a full participant in the selection process;
  2. at the end of the process:
    1. the representative certified that the selection process complied with the Act and these Directions; and
    2. the Commissioner endorsed the representative’s certification of the process.

Note: Clause 2.9 requires the decision to be made within 12 months after the vacancy notification in the Public Service Gazette on which the selection process was based, including in relation to the same, or similar, vacancies. In relation to SES engagement or promotion decisions, the Commissioner must have endorsed the certification of that process before any engagement or promotion action may proceed.


Part 2.2 Engagement and promotion—exceptions to standard provisions

This Part determines the circumstances in which the merit principle in engagement and promotion (Employment Principle 10A(1)(c)) may be modified.

These circumstances include:

  • engagement on a short-term, irregular or intermittent basis
  • engagement of non-ongoing APS employee as ongoing employee in exceptional circumstances
  • engagement of ongoing SES employee as non-ongoing SES employee
  • affirmative measure—Indigenous employment
  • affirmative measure—intellectual disability
  • affirmative measure—engagement of person with disability unable to participate in competitive selection process
  • engagement of person from state or territory jurisdiction
  • re-engagement of election candidates
  • promotion on completion of an appointment to a statutory office
  • engagement of non-APS employee following a machinery of government change
  • engagement of an ongoing Parliamentary Service employee as an ongoing APS employee
  • re-engagement of a former APS employee.

2.11 Purpose of Part 2.2

The purpose of this Part is to modify the requirements of Part 2.1 and the scope and application of Employment Principle 10A(1)(c) in relation to engagement and promotion decisions in specific circumstances where this is appropriate.

2.12 Engagement on a short-term, irregular or intermittent basis

  1. An Agency Head may engage a person to perform duties as a non-ongoing employee without complying with Part 2.1 if:
    1. the engagement is for a specified term or the duration of a specified task and the period of employment is 12 months or less; and
    2. taking into account any expected extension of the engagement, the period of employment will not be for more than 12 months.
  2. An Agency Head may engage a person to perform duties as a non-ongoing employee without complying with Part 2.1 if the engagement is for duties that are irregular or intermittent.
  3. An Agency Head must ensure as far as practicable that a vacancy in the Agency to which this clause applies is brought to the notice of the community in a way that gives eligible members of the community a reasonable opportunity to apply for it, for example by advertising and providing access to non-ongoing employment registers.
  4. As a minimum requirement, the Agency Head must be satisfied that the person to be engaged has the work-related qualities genuinely required to perform the relevant duties.

Note: The Regulations (regulations 3.4 and 3.5) provide for matters regarding the engagement of non-ongoing employees.

2.13 Engagement of non-ongoing APS employee as ongoing employee in exceptional circumstances

  1. An Agency Head may, in writing, ask the Commissioner to authorise the engagement by the Agency Head of a non-ongoing APS employee as an ongoing APS employee without complying with Part 2.1, if the Agency Head is satisfied that:
    1. the duties of the relevant employment are more appropriately undertaken by an ongoing APS employee; and
    2. the person to be engaged as an ongoing APS employee has the work-related qualities genuinely required to perform the relevant duties; and
    3. the engagement as an ongoing APS employee is at the person’s classification (or equivalent) as a non-ongoing APS employee; and
    4. the original engagement of the person as a non-ongoing APS employee, or an extension of the engagement of the person as a non-ongoing APS employee, complied with all aspects of Part 2.1; and
    5. the engagement is necessary for the Agency’s operations.
  2. The Commissioner may authorise the engagement if the Commissioner is satisfied that exceptional circumstances exist to justify the engagement.

2.14 Engagement of ongoing SES employee as non-ongoing SES employee

An Agency Head may engage a person who is an ongoing SES employee to perform duties as a non-ongoing SES employee without complying with Part 2.1 if:

  1. the person is to be engaged for a specified term or specified task; and
  2. the person resigns as an ongoing SES employee in order to commence the engagement as a non-ongoing SES employee for a specified term or specified task; and
  3. the engagement as a non-ongoing SES employee for a specified term or specified task is at the same classification as the person’s current SES classification or at a lower SES classification.

Note: Engagement of non-ongoing SES employees is subject to the provisions of the Regulations (regulation 3.4).

2.15 Affirmative measure—Indigenous employment

  1. In notifying a vacancy in accordance with clause 2.9, an Agency Head may, consistently with Commonwealth law, identify a vacancy as open only to Aboriginals or Torres Strait Islanders within the meaning of the Racial Discrimination Act 1975.
  2. The Agency Head must ensure that, in all other respects, a decision to fill the vacancy is made in a way that meets the requirements of Part 2.1.
  3. The Agency Head must ensure that the selection process for a vacancy identified under this clause accepts as applicants only persons who:
    1. are of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander descent; and
    2. identify as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander; and
    3. are accepted by their community as being Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander.

2.16 Affirmative measure—intellectual disability

  1. In notifying a vacancy in accordance with clause 2.9, an Agency Head may, consistently with Commonwealth law, identify a vacancy as open only to persons with intellectual disability.
  2. The Agency Head must ensure that, in all other respects, a decision to fill the vacancy is made in a way that meets the requirements of Part 2.1.
  3. The Agency Head must ensure that the selection process for a vacancy identified under this clause accepts as applicants only persons with an appropriate referral or assessment by a registered medical practitioner or a disability employment service provider.

2.17  Affirmative measure—engagement of person with disability unable to participate in competitive selection process

  1. This clause applies in relation to a person with disability who has been assessed by a disability employment service provider as likely to be unable, because of their disability, to compete successfully on merit in a competitive selection process that complies with Part 2.1.
  2. An Agency Head may engage the person as an APS employee to fill a vacancy where that vacancy is designed and created for, or identified as suitable for, the person in consultation with the disability employment service provider, without complying with Part 2.1.

Note: If the engagement is to be as a non-ongoing APS employee for a specified term, or for the duration of a specified task, the requirements of regulation 3.5 of the Regulations apply to the engagement, including requirements relating to the grounds for the engagement and the term of the engagement.

2.18 Engagement of person from state or territory jurisdiction

An Agency Head may engage a person as a non-ongoing APS employee for a specified term without complying with Part 2.1 if:

  1. the person is an employee of a State or Territory, or of an authority of a State or Territory; and
  2. the Agency Head has entered into an agreement with the State or Territory, or the authority of the State or Territory, to engage the person as a non-ongoing employee for a specified term.

2.19 Re-engagement of election candidates

  1. If an Agency Head acts under section 32 of the Act (right of return for election candidates) and Schedule 1 of these Directions to engage a person as an APS employee, Part 2.1 does not apply in relation to the engagement.
  2. For paragraph 32(1)(a) of the Act, the following are specified elections:
    1. an election for a member of a House of the Parliament of the Commonwealth or of a State;
    2. an election for a member of the Legislative Assembly of the Australian Capital Territory or the Northern Territory;
    3. an election for a member of the Torres Strait Regional Authority established under Division 5 of Part 3A of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Act 2005.

2.20 Promotion on completion of an appointment to a statutory office

  1. An Agency Head may, in writing, request the Commissioner to authorise the promotion of an ongoing APS employee without complying with Part 2.1 if the following apply:
    1. the employee was granted leave without pay for appointment to a statutory office of a kind that requires the Commissioner, or a representative of the Commissioner, to be a participant in the selection process for the office;
    2. the employee’s appointment to the statutory office has not expired, or expired no more than 3 months before the Commissioner was asked to authorise the promotion;
    3. the duties to which the employee is to be assigned are assessed by the Agency Head as being at an APS classification that is equivalent to, or lower than, the duties of the statutory office;
    4. the Agency Head is satisfied that the employee has the necessary work-related qualities to perform duties at the APS classification to which the employee is to be promoted.
  2. The Commissioner may authorise the promotion, and in deciding whether to do so may also take into account the following:
    1. how long the employee was appointed to the statutory office;
    2. the selection process for the appointment to the statutory office; and
    3. any other matter the Commissioner considers relevant.
  3. If the Commissioner authorises the promotion, the Agency Head may promote the employee.

2.21 Engagement of non-APS employee following a machinery of government change

If the Commissioner acts under paragraph 72(1)(c) or (d) of the Act to engage a person, or determine that a person becomes engaged, in a specified Agency, Part 2.1 does not apply in relation to the engagement.

2.22 Engagement of an ongoing Parliamentary Service employee as an ongoing APS employee

An Agency Head may engage a person who is an ongoing Parliamentary Service employee as an ongoing APS employee without complying with Part 2.1 if the person is to be employed at a comparable classification or lower, as set out in Schedule 2.

2.23 Re-engagement of a former APS employee

  1. The relevant Agency Head may engage a former employee as an ongoing or non-ongoing APS employee without complying with Part 2.1 if the Agency Head is satisfied that it is appropriate because:
    1. following an investigation of the circumstances in which the person’s former employment ended, the Agency Head is satisfied that it should not have ended; or
    2. the engagement gives effect to a settlement of an application for relief in relation to the termination of the employee’s employment; or
    3. an appropriate authority has recommended or ordered the reinstatement of the person, for example:
      1. the Federal Court of Australia;
      2. the Fair Work Commission;
      3. the Australian Human Rights Commission.
  2. An engagement under this clause must be on the same basis (ongoing or non-ongoing) as the person’s former employment and must be at the same or a lower classification.

Part 2.3  Assignment of duties and movement of employees between agencies

This Part makes Directions under section 11A of the Act dealing with the assignment of duties to employees under section 25 of the Act, other than promotions, and the movement of employees under section 26 of the Act. Those sections read:

25 Assignment of duties

An Agency Head may from time to time determine the duties of an APS employee in the Agency, and the place or places at which the duties are to be performed.

26 Voluntary moves between Agencies

  1. An Agency Head may enter into an agreement in writing with an APS employee for the employee to move to the Agency Head’s Agency from another Agency.
  2. Subject to Commissioner’s Directions made under subsection 11A(1), the agreement has effect according to its terms, by force of this section.

In making decisions in these matters, Agency Heads must comply with the APS Values and the APS Employment Principles.

2.24 Minimum requirements for decisions relating to assignment of duties at or below classification

The Agency Head must ensure that decisions relating to the ongoing or temporary assignment of duties to an employee under section 25 of the Act at or below the employee’s classification level (including where this involves a temporary movement from another APS Agency):

  1. are based on an assessment of the employee’s work-related qualities and the work-related qualities genuinely required to perform the relevant duties; and
  2. take into account efficient and effective organisational performance.

    Note 1: Subsection 23(4) of the Act restricts the circumstances where an employee’s classification may be reduced without their consent.

Note 2: Part 2.1 imposes additional obligations in relation to promotions.

2.25 Minimum requirements for decisions relating to the temporary assignment of higher duties

  1. The Agency Head must ensure that decisions relating to the temporary assignment of duties to an employee at a higher classification level (including where this involves a temporary movement from another APS Agency):
    1. are based on an assessment of the employee’s work-related qualities and the work-related qualities genuinely required to perform the relevant duties; and
    2. take into account efficient and effective organisational performance.
  2. Decisions under subclause (1) must also take into account the following matters:
    1. the duration of the vacancy and whether it would be more appropriate to fill the vacancy on an ongoing basis;
    2. the relative importance to the Agency of the duties to be performed at the higher classification and the other duties to be performed in the Agency;
    3. the expected cost to the Agency of the employee performing duties at the higher classification;
    4. the need for APS employees to be given the opportunity to gain experience in performing duties at a higher classification.

Note: Part 2.1 imposes additional obligations in relation to promotions.

2.26 Assignment from non-SES classification to SES classification

A decision may be made to assign duties on an ongoing basis at an SES classification to an employee who is not an SES employee, provided that the employee’s classification is in the same classification group as the SES classification. Such a decision may be made only with the agreement of the Commissioner, whether or not the decision is part of a move to another Agency.

Note:  The Classification Rules, which contain the SES Band 1, 2 and 3 classifications, also include a number of classifications in the same Groups as the SES classifications which are not within the SES.

2.27 Moves between agencies

  1. This clause applies to moves between APS Agencies under section 26 of the Act that are not associated with a promotion.
  2. For subsection 26 (2) of the Act, a written agreement between an Agency Head and an ongoing APS employee for the employee to move to the Agency Head’s Agency (the new Agency) from another Agency (the original Agency) has effect subject to this clause and clause 6.8.

Agreement for ongoing move

  1. If the agreement relates to an ongoing move, the move takes effect:
    1. if a date of effect is agreed in writing between the APS employee and the two Agency Heads—on the agreed date of effect; and
    2. otherwise—4 weeks after the employee informs the original Agency Head in writing.

Note: The date of effect of a move that is a promotion is dealt with in Part 2.4.

Agreement for temporary move

  1. If the agreement relates to a temporary move, the following apply:
    1. if the original Agency Head approves the proposed temporary move in writing, the move takes effect on the agreed date of effect;
    2. if the original Agency Head did not approve the proposed temporary move in writing and the employee commences duties in the new Agency, the move takes effect, from the date the employee commences duties in the new Agency, as an ongoing move to the new Agency at the employee’s existing classification

Variation of period of agreement

  1. If paragraph (3)(a) applies to the agreement, and the new Agency Head and the APS employee agree to vary the period of the move, then:
    1. if the original Agency Head approves the variation in writing—the variation has effect according to its terms; and
    2. if the original Agency Head does not approve the variation in writing—the variation has no effect.

Part 2.4 Gazettal of employment decisions and date of effect of promotions

2.28  Purpose of Part 2.4

The purpose of this Part is to:

  1. set out requirements for notifying certain employment decisions in the Public Service Gazette; and
  2. provide for the date of effect of a promotion decision.

2.29 Decisions that must be notified in the Gazette

  1. An Agency Head must notify an employment decision of any of the following kinds in the Public Service Gazette within 3 months after the decision is made:
    1. an engagement of a person as an ongoing APS employee (including under paragraph 72(1)(c) or (d) of the Act);
    2. an engagement of a person as an APS employee for a specified term of more than 12 months or for the duration of a specified task that is reasonably expected to take more than 12 months (including under paragraph 72(1)(c) or (d) of the Act);
    3. in relation to a person who is engaged as an APS employee for a specified term of 12 months or less—an extension of the engagement that results in the term of engagement being more than 12 months;
    4. a movement (other than a temporary movement) by an ongoing APS employee to perform duties in another Agency, if the vacancy was notified in the Public Service Gazette;
    5. an assignment of duties (other than a temporary assignment of duties) to an ongoing APS employee in an Agency, if the vacancy was notified in the Public Service Gazette;
    6. the promotion of an ongoing APS employee;
    7. the promotion of an ongoing APS employee, following the decision of a Promotion Review Committee under subparagraph 5.18(1)(b)(ii) of the Regulations that has not been notified under paragraph (f);
    8. the engagement of an ongoing Parliamentary Service employee as an ongoing APS employee if the engagement:
    9. follows a decision of a Promotion Review Committee mentioned in subparagraph 5.18(1)(b)(iii) of the Regulations; and
    10. has not been notified under paragraph (a);
    11. the termination, and the grounds for termination, of the employment of an ongoing APS employee under section 29 of the Act;
    12. the retirement of an SES employee with the payment of an incentive under section 37 of the Act.
  2. A notification must include the employee’s name unless the Agency Head decides that the name should not be included, because of the person’s work-related or personal circumstances.
  3. The Agency Head may not make a decision under subclause (2), unless he or she has obtained the approval of the Commissioner, who will consult the Merit Protection Commissioner in the case of a non-SES employee.
  4. If a notification that does not include the employee’s name relates to a promotion that is subject to review:
    1. the Agency must, on or before the day of the notification, notify all parties who are eligible to seek review of the promotion so they are aware of their rights of review; and
    2. the Agency must, at the same time as parties are notified, advise the Merit Protection Commissioner that eligible parties have been notified.
  5. If an engagement notified under paragraph (1)(a), or a promotion notified under paragraph (1)(f), was made as a result of a selection process that complied with Part 2.1 in relation to a similar vacancy, the notification of the decision must include a statement to the following effect:
    This engagement/promotion is made following a selection process that complies with Part 2.1 of the Australian Public Service Commissioner’s Directions 2013—similar vacancy previously notified.
  6. If a person whose engagement is notified under paragraph (1)(a):
    1. was an ongoing Parliamentary Service employee immediately before the engagement; and
    2. was engaged at a higher classification than the person’s classification as a Parliamentary Service employee;
      the notification of the decision must include a statement to the following effect:
      This engagement of an ongoing Parliamentary Service employee at a higher classification may be subject to review by a Promotion Review Committee in accordance with Part 5 of the Public Service Regulations 1999.

Note: See Schedule 2 for comparison of Parliamentary Service classifications with APS classifications.

  1. If an engagement notified under paragraph (1)(a) was made under clause 2.13 (engagement of non-ongoing APS employee as ongoing employee in exceptional circumstances), the notification of the decision must include a statement to the following effect:
    This engagement was authorised by the Australian Public Service Commissioner under clause 2.13 of the Australian Public Service Commissioner’s Directions 2013—exceptional circumstances.

2.30 Cancellation decisions that must be notified in the Gazette

  1. An Agency Head must notify a decision (a cancellation decision) to cancel a decision of any of the following kinds in the Public Service Gazette within 3 months after the cancellation decision is made:
    1. an engagement of a person notified under paragraph 2.29(1)(a) or (b);
    2. an extension of an engagement notified under paragraph 2.29(1)(c);
    3. a movement notified under paragraph 2.29(1)(d);
    4. an assignment of duties notified under paragraph 2.29(1)(e);
    5. a promotion notified under paragraph 2.29(1)(f) (whether the cancellation decision is made by the Agency Head, or is the result of a decision of a Promotion Review Committee);
    6. a termination notified under paragraph 2.29(1)(i);
    7. a retirement notified under paragraph 2.29(1)(j).
  2. The notification of a cancellation decision must include the date of effect of the cancellation decision.
  3. The notification of a cancellation decision must include the person’s name unless the original notification did not include the name.

2.31 Date of effect of promotions

  1. Subject to clause 6.8, this clause applies to a decision (a promotion decision) to:
    1. promote an ongoing APS employee; or
    2. engage an ongoing Parliamentary Service employee as an ongoing APS employee at a higher classification than the employee’s Parliamentary Service classification, as set out in Schedule 2.
  2. In this clause:
    application period, for a promotion decision, means the period in which an application for PRC review of the decision may be made (including any extension of that period).
    notification, for a promotion decision, means the notification of the decision under clause 2.29.
    PRC review means review by a Promotion Review Committee under Part 5 of the Public Service Regulations 1999.
  3. In this clause, a reference to a date of effectof a promotion decision having been agreedis a reference to a date that has been agreed as the date of effect by:
    1. the employee; and
    2. the Agency Head; and
    3. if the employee is moving from another Agency—the original Agency Head.

Not subject to review

  1. If the promotion decision is not subject to PRC review, the decision takes effect:
    1. if a date of effect has been agreed that is not earlier than the notification—that date; or
    2. otherwise—4 weeks after notification.

No application for review

  1. If the promotion decision is subject to PRC review, but no application for review is made before the end of the application period, the decision takes effect:
    1. if a date of effect has been agreed that is not earlier than the end of the application period—that date; or
    2. otherwise—2 weeks after the end of the application period.

Application for review is withdrawn

  1. If the promotion decision is subject to PRC review and an application for review is made before the end of the application period, but is withdrawn before the PRC makes a decision on the application, the decision takes effect:
    1. if a date of effect has been agreed that is not earlier than the end of the application period—that date; or
    2. otherwise—2 weeks after the Agency Head is notified of the withdrawal of the application.

Application for review lapses

  1. If the promotion decision is subject to PRC review, an application for review is made before the end of the application period and a PRC is appointed, but the application lapses before the PRC completes the review, the decision takes effect:
    1. if a date of effect has been agreed that is after the Agency Head is notified of the lapse of the application—that date; or
    2. otherwise—2 weeks after the Agency Head is notified.

PRC is not appointed

  1. If the promotion decision is subject to PRC review, an application for review is made before the end of the application period, but the Merit Protection Commissioner decides under subregulation 5.10 (1) that it is not necessary to appoint a PRC to deal with the application, the decision takes effect:
    1. if a date of effect has been agreed that is after the Agency Head is notified of the decision of the Merit Protection Commissioner—that date; or
    2. otherwise—the later of:
      1. the day the Agency Head is notified; and
      2. 4 weeks after the notification.

PRC upholds original promotion decision

  1. If the promotion decision is subject to PRC review, an application for review is made before the end of the application period and a PRC is appointed, and the PRC upholds the decision, the promotion decision takes effect:
    1. if a date of effect has been agreed that is after the Agency Head is notified of the decision of the PRC—that date; or
    2. otherwise—4 weeks after the Agency Head is notified.

PRC varies original promotion decision

  1. If the promotion decision is subject to PRC review, an application for review is made before the end of the application period and a PRC is appointed, and the PRC varies the decision, the promotion decision takes effect:
    1. if a date of effect has been agreed that is after the Agency Head is notified of the decision of the PRC — that date; or
    2. otherwise—4 weeks after the Agency Head is notified.

Attachment B: Public Service Regulations 1999

3.5 Engagement of non-ongoing non-SES employees

  1. For subsection 22(4) of the Act, this regulation prescribes circumstances in which an Agency Head may engage a person as a non-SES employee for a specified term or for the duration of a specified task.

Note 1: Paragraph 10A(1)(c) of the Act requires engagement and promotion decisions to be based on merit. Chapter 2 of the Commissioner’s Directions explains how this employment principle is to be applied.

Note 2: The usual basis for engagement of an APS employee is as an ongoing APS employee, see paragraph 10A(1)(b) of the Act. An Agency Head is expected to have regard to that paragraph before engaging a person as a non-ongoing APS employee.

Specified task

  1. If an Agency Head engages a person as a non-ongoing employee for a specified task, the Agency Head must, at the time of the engagement:
    1. be able to reasonably estimate the duration of the task; and
    2. be satisfied that the services of the person are unlikely to be required after the task is complete.

Specified term

  1. An Agency Head may engage a person as a non-ongoing employee for a specified term if:
    1. the duties of the employment are to be performed by the person only for a limited period, and the performance of those duties by that person is unlikely to be required after that period; or
      Examples: The agency:
      1. has a temporary increase in its workload; or
      2. has a temporary demand for employees with particular skills; or
      3. needs to replace an ongoing employee who is on leave or who is assigned to other duties.
    2. the particular skills, knowledge or experience required to perform the duties of the employment can best be met by employing a person who has recently worked in the industry that corresponds to the employment for which the person is being engaged; or
    3. the purpose of the employment is to assist the person to gain:
      1. skills and experience, by participating in the workforce under a scheme approved by the Agency Head or by the Australian Public Service Commissioner; or
      2. a formal occupational qualification, licence, accreditation or registration; or
    4. the person has received a written offer of ongoing employment, but prefers to be engaged as a non-ongoing employee; or
    5. the person is an ongoing Parliamentary Service employee.
  2. If an Agency Head engages a person as a non-ongoing employee for a specified term, as described in subregulation (3):
    1. the period of the engagement:
      1. must be a period that represents a reasonable estimate of the time required for the performance of the duties; and
      2. for a person engaged in accordance with paragraph (3)(a) or (b)—must not be more than 18 months; and
    2. for a person engaged in accordance with paragraph (3)(a) or (b) any extension of the engagement must be for a period that represents a reasonable estimate of the length of time required for the performance of the duties; and
    3. subject to subregulation (5), the total period of the engagement, including any extensions of the engagement, must not exceed 3 years.
  3. The period of 3 years mentioned in paragraph (4)(c) may be extended, for a period of not more than 12 months, only if:
    1. the Agency Head considers that the engagement is necessary for the Agency’s operations; and
    2. the Australian Public Service Commissioner:
      1. is satisfied that special circumstances exist; and
      2. authorises the Agency Head to extend the engagement.
  4. In addition to subregulations (3), (4) and (5):
    1. an Agency Head may engage a person as a non-ongoing employee for a specified term if:
      1. the person is an employee of a State or Territory, or an authority of a State or Territory; and
      2. the Agency Head has entered into an agreement with a State or Territory, or an authority of a State or Territory, to engage the person as a non-ongoing employee for a specified term; and
    2. the period of engagement mentioned in paragraph (a) is the period decided by the Agency Head.