PAS | Appeals and requests for review Information and guidelines prior to 08 March 2017

Review Process

Review process

Information on the guidelines for dealing with appeals/requests for review. Where a candidate is unhappy with an action or decision in relation to their application he/she can seek a review under Section 7 of the code of practice governing the recruitment process by a person in the recruiting body (initial reviewer).

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 main principles of the codes are that of probity, merit, equity and fairness.

Guidelines for dealing with appeals/requests for review

The Public Appointments Service will consider requests for review in accordance with the provisions of the codes of practice published by the Commission for Public Service Appointments (CPSA). Where a candidate is unhappy with an action or decision in relation to their application he/she can seek a review under Section 7 of the code of practice governing the recruitment process by a person in the recruiting body (initial reviewer). Where a candidate remains dissatisfied following this initial review, he/she may seek to have the conduct of the initial review examined by a "decision arbitrator".

As an alternative to the above, it is open to a candidate to seek to have the matter resolved on an informal basis, as set out below. If the candidate remains dissatisfied following any such discussion it is open to him/her to seek a formal review.

Informal process:

  • The candidate can avail of the informal review within 5 working days of notification of the initial decision, and should normally take place between the candidate and the person who communicated the decision (or relevant person).
  • Where the decision being conveyed relates to an interim stage of a selection process, the request for informal review must be received within 2 working days of the date of receipt of the decision.
  • Where a candidate remains dissatisfied following any such informal discussion, he/she may adopt the formal procedures set out below.
  • If the candidate wishes the matter to be dealt with by way of a formal review, he/she must do so within 2 working days of the notification of the outcome of the informal review.

Formal process: Initial Review

  • The candidate must address his/her concerns in relation to the process in writing to the Chief Executive, setting out those aspects of the action or decision in relation to his/her candidature that he/she wishes to have reviewed.
  • A request for review must be made within 10 working days of the notification of the initial decision. Where the decision relates to an interim stage of a selection process, the request for 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 must generally be notified to the candidate within 20 working days of receipt of the complaint or request for review. The candidate will receive the outcome of the review by means of a written report.
  • Should a candidate be dissatisfied with the outcome of the initial review, he/she may request a review by a decision arbitrator of the conduct of the initial review.

Review by the decision arbitrator

The decision arbitrator is appointed by the Chief Executive. The decision arbitrator is unconnected with the selection process and he/she will adjudicate on requests for review in cases where a candidate is not satisfied with the outcome of the initial review. The decision of the decision arbitrator in relation to such matters is final.

  • A request made to the decision arbitrator must be received within 7 working days of the notification of the outcome of the initial review.
  • The outcome of the investigation must be notified to the candidate in the form of a written report within 10 working days.

Where a candidate believes that an aspect of the process breached the CPSA's Code of Practice, he/she can have it investigated under Section 8 of the code of practice

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

  • If you are requesting a formal review you must write to the licence holder (Chief Executive, Public Appointments Service), providing details of the breach of the code of practice and enclosing any relevant documentation that might support the allegation.
  • The outcome must generally be notified to the candidate within 20 working days of receipt of the complaint or request for review. If a decision cannot be made within this timeframe, the reviewer will keep the candidate informed of the status of the review.
  • Should a candidate be dissatisfied with the outcome of this review, he/she may request a further review by referring the matter to the Commission for Public Service Appointments in the form of an appeal of the review of the licence Holder. He/She must write to the Commission for Public Service Appointments within 10 working days of receiving the outcome of the licence Holder's review.

The Codes of Practice are available below:
Code of Practice for Appointment to Positions in the Civil Service and Public Service
Code of Practice for Appointment to Positions where the Garda Commissioner has Statutory Responsibilities
Code of Practice for Emergency Short term Appointments to Positions in the Health Service Executive
Code of Practice for Appointment of Persons with Disabilities to Positions in the Civil Service and Certain Public Bodies
Code of Practice for Atypical Appointments to Positions in the Civil Service and Certain Public Bodies 

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.

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