PAS | Appeals and requests for review Information and guidelines

Review Process

The Review Process detailed below relates to campaigns which have been advertised on or after 8 March 2017. For campaigns that were advertised before 8 March 2017 you can find the details here.

A candidate who is seeking feedback on a decision reached about their candidature should obtain this feedback from the recruitment unit. They do not need to invoke a Section 7 or Section 8 review.

Codes of Practice

  • The Codes of Practice have been created by the CPSA to set out guidelines and standards for all those carrying out internal and external recruitment in the Public Service. The five recruitment principles as laid out in the Code of Practice are;

    1. Probity
    2. Appointments made on merit
    3. An appointment process in line with best practice
    4. A fair appointment process applied with consistency
    5. Appointments made in an open, accountable and transparent manner

Guidelines for dealing with appeals/requests for review

  • The Commission for Public Service Appointments (CPSA) recommends that the Public Appointments Service (PAS), subject to the agreement of the candidate, should try to satisfy the complainant through an informal process before making use of the formal review procedures. The two processes are explained below.

  • Where a selection process is reviewed under Section 7, a candidate cannot then also make a complaint about the same selection process under Section 8, other than in exceptional circumstances. Such exceptions will be determined by the CPSA at its sole discretion.

  • Before submitting a request for review under Section 7 or complaint under Section 8, candidates should determine which procedure is most appropriate to their circumstances.

Review Process – Section 7

  • A candidate can have an action or decision made in relation to their candidature reviewed by the PAS as set out in Section 7 of the Code of Practice.

    The CPSA has no role in a review process conducted under Section 7 of the relevant code and has no remit to investigate complaints from candidates that do not amount to a breach of the Code of Practice.

Informal process

  • When making a request for review, the candidate must support their request by outlining the facts that they believe show that the action taken or decision reached was wrong. A request for review may be refused if the candidate cannot support their request
  • The informal stage can provide PAS and candidate alike with an opportunity to review the factors that gave rise to the action taken or the decision reached. If PAS determines that an error may have occurred we are in a position to intervene quickly, to take corrective action or to seek a suspension of the appointment process.
  • A request for an informal review of the selection and appointment process must be made within five working days of notification of the decision. 
  • At the interim stage of the selection process a request for review must be received within two working days of receipt of the decision.
  • Where a candidate remains dissatisfied following any such informal discussion, they may adopt the formal procedures set out below.
  • To initiate a formal review, they must request this within two working days of receiving notification of the outcome of the informal review.

Formal process

  • The candidate must address their concerns in relation to the process in writing to the Chief Executive. The candidate must support their request by outlining the facts that they believe show that the action taken or decision reached was wrong. A request for review may be refused if the candidate cannot support their request
  • A request for a formal review must be made within 10 working days of the candidate receiving notification of the selection decision. However, where the decision relates to an interim stage of a selection process, the request for formal review must be received within 4 working days.
  • Any extension of these time limits will only be granted in the most exceptional of circumstances and will be at the sole discretion of the Chief Executive.
  • The outcome of the formal review must be notified to the candidate within 25 working days of PAS receiving the request. If the investigation does not produce a decision within this time, the reviewer must keep the candidate informed of the status of the review and the reasons for the delay.

Review Process – Section 8

Where a candidate believes that an aspect of the process breached the CPSA's Code of Practice, they can have it investigated under Section 8 of the Code of Practice.

The Commission may find that an office holder has not adhered to the standards set out in the principles of this Code of Practice. In this case, the Commission may make recommendations, offer advice or issue an instruction that an office holder must take account of in future appointment processes. The Commission cannot instruct an office holder to reverse a decision taken in the course of the appointment process.

Informal process

  • The CPSA recommends that the candidate avail of the informal process to try to resolve the matter with the recruiting body. If the candidate is still dissatisfied he/she may resort to the formal process within 2 working days of receiving notification of the informal process.

Formal process

  • A formal complaint in relation to a breach of the Code of Practice must be made in writing to PAS without delay. The complainant should provide details of the allegation and support this with facts that the complainant believes show how the principles of the Code have been infringed.
  • The outcome of PAS’s investigation of a formal complaint must be notified to the complainant within 25 working days of receipt of the complaint. If the investigation does not produce a decision within this time, PAS will keep the complainant informed of the status of the review and the reasons for the delay.
  • Should a candidate be dissatisfied with the outcome of this review, they may request a further review by referring the matter to the CPSA in the form of an appeal of the review of the licence Holder. They must write to the CPSA within 10 working days of receiving the outcome of the PAS’s review.

The Codes of Practice are available below:
Codes of Practice

How to initiate a Request for Review

Informal Reviews:

A candidate should email the relevant recruitment unit. On the front cover of the campaign Information Booklet you will find the contact details for the Recruitment Unit.

Formal Reviews:

A candidate looking for a formal review should contact the CEO on

Candidates' Obligations

Candidates should note that canvassing will disqualify and will result in their exclusion from the process.
Candidates must not:

  • knowingly or recklessly provide false information
  • canvass any person with or without inducements 
  • interfere with or compromise the process in any way

A third party must not impersonate a candidate at any stage of the process.

Any person who contravenes the above provisions or who assists another person in contravening the above provisions is guilty of an offence. A person who is found guilty of an offence is liable to a fine/or imprisonment.

In addition, where a person found guilty of an offence was or is a candidate at a recruitment process, then:

    • where he/she has not been appointed to a post, he/she will be disqualified as a candidate; and
    • where he/she has been appointed subsequently to the recruitment process in question, he/she shall forfeit that appointment.

Deeming of candidature to be withdrawn

Candidates who do not attend for interview or other test when and where required by the Public Appointments Service, or who do not, when requested, furnish such evidence as the Public Appointments Service require in regard to any matter relevant to their candidature, will have no further claim to consideration.

Quality Customer Service

We aim to provide an excellent quality service to all our customers. If, for whatever reason, you are unhappy with any aspect of the service you receive from us, we urge you to bring this to the attention of the unit. This is important as it ensures that we are aware of the problem and can take the appropriate steps to resolve it. You can send your comments to the email address below;

Data Protection Acts 1988 & 2003

When your application form is received, we create a computer record in your name, which contains much of the personal information you have supplied. This personal record is used solely in processing your candidature.
Such information held on computer is subject to the rights and obligations set out in the Data Protection Acts, 1988 & 2003. You are entitled under these acts to obtain, at any time, copy of information about you, which is kept on computer. You should address your request quoting your name and candidate ID to:


Certain items of information, not specific to any individual, are extracted from computer records for general statistical purposes.

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