Guidance and information on recruitment
This information relates to the application of the principle of merit in the Australian Public Service (APS). Merit is a key part of APS employment and is underpinned by legislation. The APS Employment Principles in section 10A of the Public Service Act 1999 (the Act) provide that the APS makes decisions relating to engagement and promotion based on merit.
Recruitment is about attracting and selecting the right person for the job. Recruitment processes do not need to be complex. They need to support sound, evidence-based decision making.
The Public Service Gazette (the Gazette) contains notices required to be published under sections 20 and 34 of the Australian Public Service Commissioner's Directions 2016 (the Directions). Notices include vacancies and certain employment decisions, such as promotions.
A list of suitable candidates may be established whenever an agency conducts a competitive selection process. This is often referred to as a 'merit list'. An agency may establish a merit list to fill the same or similar vacancies for 12 months from the date the initial vacancy was notified in the Public Service Gazette (the Gazette). This is provided by section 20(1) of the Australian Public Service Commissioner’s Directions 2016 (the Directions).
There are arrangements applying in the Australian Public Service (APS) which limit the subsequent employment of people who have received a redundancy benefit.
In February 2008, the Australian Government introduced a policy implementing transparent and merit-based assessment in the selection of most Australian Public Service (APS) agency heads and other statutory offices working in, or in conjunction with, agencies which operate under the Public Service Act 1999.
Where a decision maker has the authority to engage, promote or move an employee under the Public Service Act 1999 (PS Act), then the decision maker has the authority to revoke or vary the decision before it comes into effect.