Selection processes

The ACTPS is committed to applying the principles of merit-based selection, equity and diversity and procedural fairness in our recruitment process. We aim for a 40 working days time to hire, from the time of advertising to the successful applicant receiving an offer.

Selection Committees

Applicants are entitled to a fair and unbiased assessment. To support this, selection committees must be at least three people, with a mix of genders and at least one person from outside the business unit.

Positions identified for Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islanders or people with Disability will have another Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person or person with Disability on the panel wherever possible.

Committee members must be employed at the equivalent level or higher than the position level being recruited to, and all chairs must be employed at a higher level.

Joint Selection Committees must have a union representative on them. Alternatively, a Selection Advisory Committee can form consistent with all other committee requirements without a union representative. Selection Committees make a recommendation to a delegate for making a decision.


The selection committee will assess all applications. This includes screening for meeting eligibility requirements and assessment of suitability for the role based on information submitted. Further assessment may be required.

Excess officers in the ACT Public Service who apply to an advertised vacancy which would be equivalent to a transfer at level have absolute preference. Excess officers must be considered first, in isolation from, and not in competition with, applicants who are not excess. The consideration of an excess officer should be a genuine assessment of whether the officer is suitable for the vacancy, or may be suitable within a reasonable time including with reasonable training (generally three to six months), and should be conducted in a manner demonstrably similar to that which would apply to other officers if no excess officer had applied. Where more than one excess officer applies, a merit selection process should first be conducted between the excess officers.

Further assessment

Each selection process may use a variety of assessment methods. The selection committee will determine the most appropriate method of assessment for each role. One or more of the following techniques may be used:

At interview and in assessments, demonstrate to the selection panel that you have reviewed and understand the position requirements and that your technical and professional skills, knowledge, experience, qualifications, and behavioural capabilities will enable you to perform well in the role. Providing specific evidence-based examples of your experience will provide the selection panel with insight about your abilities.

Examples of Evidence-based questions
  • Describe a situation where...
  • Tell us about a time when...
  • Explain how you have recently...
  • Give an example of...

Ratings and rankings

You will be assessed against the capabilities required to successfully perform the duties and responsibilities of the role, as described in the position description. The rating scale used by referees in referee reports is used by selection committees as well.

In some instances, an order of merit may be created, which ranks candidates who are considered suitable for the role. Orders of merit are valid for 12 months from the date the delegate approved the selection report.

A candidate that is placed on an order of merit may not be offered the original role but can be offered a role that has the same duties, position level and employment type (permanent or temporary) as what was originally advertised within 12 months of the advertisement.

Offers and outcomes

Committees will prepare a report on their assessments and recommendations for the delegate. Successful applicants will receive an offer to accept, and unsuccessful applicants will be notified of the outcome. If you would like feedback on your application, please discuss with the contact officer or chair.