Selection advisory committee guidelines

1 August 2014

These guidelines have been prepared by the Recruitment Section (RCS), Corporate Management Division in line with the Australian Public Service Commission (APS) publication Better, Faster: streamlining recruitment in the APS and Recruitment and selection in the Australian Public Service.

Example of a Standard Selection Process

  1. In line with APS redeployment policy, RCS reviews APS redeployment register to assess whether there are employees in the database suitable for DFAT’s vacant position(s).
  2. Applications open in Gazette.
  3. Staffing Branch (SFB) nominates an Independent Selection Advisory Committee (ISAC)/Selection Advisory Committee (SAC).
  4. Committee has briefing session with RCS/SFB
  5. Committee receives application binders within two days of the closing date for specialist rounds and one week for bulk rounds.
  6. Committee shortlists applicants on the basis of their written statements against the selection criteria and in comparison with the other applicants for the position(s).
  7. Committee produces a shortlist for interview (scribe attends this meeting).
  8. Committee provides RCS with draft interview questions for approval.
  9. HR provider schedules interview times for candidates shortlisted and notifies those not shortlisted.
  10. Interviews and referee checks conducted with scribe in attendance.
  11. Scribe prepares draft report for review by the Committee.
  12. Committee submits hardcopy and soft copy of final report to RCS. Conduct and Ethics and Security checks are sought for ranked candidates. After a final check by RCS the SAC report is submitted to the Delegate for approval.
  13. Upon receiving approval from the Delegate, RCS notifies successful candidates. The HR provider notifies applicants who are ranked on the order of merit and those who are unsuccessful.
  14. RCS arranges Administrative Circular advising outcome (only for bulk rounds)
  15. Feedback process is coordinated by HR provider in consultation with RCS and the Committee.

General Principles

  1. The department is guided in its employment practices by the relevant articles of the Public Service Act 1999 and accompanying regulations and directions. Foremost amongst these is one of the APS Values which states that “the APS is a public service in which employment decisions are based on merit” (see para 10(1)(b) of the Act).

  2. Under subsection 10(2) of the Act, a decision is based on merit if:

    • an assessment is made of the relative suitability of the candidates for the duties, using a competitive selection process; and
    • the assessment is based on the relationship between the candidates’ work-related qualities and the work-related qualities genuinely required for the duties; and
    • the assessment focuses on the relative capacity of the candidates to achieve outcomes related to the duties; and
    • the assessment is the primary consideration in making the decision.
  3. Selection committees are critical to the integrity of DFAT’s selection procedures. All our selection processes must be fair, consistent and transparent not least because they provide important signals to staff about the management standards of the department.

  4. Before a selection process commences, committee members must sign a Declaration of Impartiality by which they agree not to favour or discriminate against any of the applicants. The signed declaration must be passed to RCS for inclusion in the final Selection Advisory Committee (SAC) or Independent Selection Advisory Committee (ISAC) report.

  5. The Privacy Act requires that all information in relation to selection processes be treated as ‘staff-in-confidence’ and handled with appropriate discretion.

  6. Applicants must be Australian citizens to be eligible for engagement. Applicants who have been assessed as eligible for citizenship but are awaiting a citizenship ceremony may apply; however, they would need to finalise their citizenship before being engaged by the department.

  7. While it is a requirement that all successful applicants gain a security clearance before engagement, an applicant’s current clearance level should not influence the selection process.


  1. Committees should be aware of the department’s commitment to providing equal employment opportunities, access, equity and social inclusion for the following four (4) key workforce target groups:

    • Indigenous Australians;
    • Women;
    • Non-English speaking background; and
    • People with disability.
  2. Workplace diversity is a core management goal for the department and our selection processes are a front line opportunity for the department to express this commitment. Mutual respect, good communication and team work are essential elements of workplace diversity.

  3. Committees are encouraged to exemplify in their own demeanour and processes the fundamental principles of workplace diversity as well as bear them in mind when assessing candidates. These principles include:

    • RESPECT – recognise and value the differences in culture, experience and background of colleagues and others;
    • INCLUSIVITY – always act to encourage participation and cooperation among colleagues and others;
    • COURTESY – treat colleagues and others civilly and equitably; and
    • EQUITY – eliminate harassment and discrimination.
  4. In concrete terms, the department’s commitment to diversity and inclusivity means that where a selection round includes candidates with particular requirements to enable them to compete on an equal footing with other candidates, the Mentoring Performance and Diversity Section (MPS) is available to provide advice on reasonable adjustments to the process requested or necessary to comply with the Disability Discrimination Act 1992.
  5. DFAT has agreed to pilot the APSC RecruitAbility scheme. The RecruitAbility scheme provides an opportunity for job applicants with disability to automatically progress to further recruitment assessment stages, provided certain conditions are met. Applicants must declare a disability; apply under the scheme; meet the minimum standard against the selection criteria; and meet any eligibility requirements for a role, such as a mandatory qualification. To ensure the scheme’s integrity, there should be no displacement of other applicants from the shortlist who would otherwise have been shortlisted. Also, the final selection of a successful candidate/s must be made on merit.
  6. Committees should be aware that, in support of the Government’s Closing the Gap: Indigenous Economic Participation Agreement, the department is committed to increasing recruitment of Indigenous Australians. RCS and MPS can advise on any adjustments requested or appropriate in relation to this commitment.

Selection committees

  1. Selection committees for non-SES selection processes are appointed by Director RCS or AS SFB. RCS endeavours to assemble committees of at least three members. The committee chairperson will be at least one substantive classification level higher than that of the position(s) being filled. The other two members will be at least the same substantive classification as the position. The committee will be gender balanced and, where relevant, will include a member with the specialist knowledge being sought for the advertised position(s). A member of MPS may be consulted or called to sit in on interviews with Indigenous Australians and people with disability.

  2. The department uses two main forms of selection committee. An Independent Selection Advisory Committee (ISAC) is a committee where the Convenor (Chair) of the process is a nominee of the Merit Protection Commissioner and a second member of the committee is a departmental officer who is nominated and trained to represent the Merit Protection Commissioner. The third member is nominated by the department. The department may use ISACs for bulk selection processes at the APS 2 to 6 levels.

  3. If the delegate accepts the recommendation of the ISAC, any resulting promotions are not subject to the promotion review procedures detailed in Division 5.2 of the Regulations.

  4. The majority of the department’s selection processes are conducted using a standard three member Selection Advisory Committee (SAC).

Selection processes may be subject to review (appeal)

  1. The recommendations of SACs at the APS 2-6 levels are reviewable (appellable) on the basis of merit. This means applicants in APS 2-6 selection processes may apply to have the outcome of the selection process reviewed by a Promotion Review Committee under the following circumstances:

    1. the person is an ongoing APS employee who has applied for promotion to the job(s);
    2. the job(s) is at one of the APS 2 to 6 classifications;
    3. the successful candidate is an ongoing employee of the APS who will be promoted to the job, or is an ongoing Parliamentary Service employee to be ‘engaged’ in the APS at a higher classification than their current level;
    4. the promotion decision was not made on the recommendation of an Independent Selection Advisory Committee;
    5. the promotion decision did not result from a review conducted by a Promotion Review Committee.
  2. Promotion Review applications are made directly to the Australian Public Service Commission (APSC).
  3. Selection processes at levels EL1 and above are not appellable on merit. A candidate may, however, seek a review of action on grounds of perceived flaws in the process.
  4. The legislation requires that an APS employee applies to his or her agency head for review in the first instance for the majority of employment-related decisions and actions. Reviews conducted within agencies are called primary reviews. Applications for primary review are made under Public Service Regulation 5.24.
  5. When an agency receives a valid review application it is required to:
    • review the action and attempt to resolve the employee’s concern;
    • advise the employee in writing of the outcome; the reason for the decision; and any action the agency intends to take; and
    • advise the employee of their right of review by the Merit Protection Commissioner.
  6. If the employee is dissatisfied with the outcome of the agency’s review, or the agency has advised that the matter is not reviewable, the employee may make an application for secondary review to the Merit Protection Commissioner. Applications for secondary review are made under Public Service Regulation 5.29.


  1. A scribe is allocated to each committee by our HR provider. The scribe’s role is to record the committee’s discussion of candidates’ applications, candidates’ responses at interview and discussions with referees. Scribes use their notes to prepare the ISAC/SAC report which details the committee’s recommended order of merit list as well as an individual assessment for each candidate interviewed. The report is submitted to the delegate who makes the final decision on offers.

  2. In addition to informing delegates’ decisions, individual assessments form a very important part of the feedback to candidates and are a key resource for Staffing Branch when placing staff. The scribe, therefore, has a critical role in ensuring accurate and detailed records are made of the committee’s assessment of the relative suitability of candidates.

Selection Process

Selection Criteria

  1. Committees must use the selection criteria as the basis for assessing which candidates are the most suitable. Committees should take a broad view when interpreting candidates’ claims against each criterion, especially in the case of non-departmental applicants.

Written Application

  1. The written application is the committee’s first exposure to a candidate (for the purpose of the selection process) and the first source of information to draw on in compiling a shortlist for interview. Strong applications will use concrete, contextualised examples to support claims, identify clearly the applicant’s personal contribution to outcomes, and project the applicant’s ability to work at the advertised level.

  2. When assessing applications it is useful to take written notes, particularly in a large round. More detailed notes should be compiled against each candidate at the interview stage. This will assist in fine-tuning rankings later in the process and will be useful in providing feedback to unsuccessful candidates.


  1. The number of candidates on the shortlist should not be more than twice the number of positions being filled. Interviews should never be used as consolation prizes for applicants who are not highly competitive.


  1. While there is no legal requirement to conduct interviews, in the vast majority of cases, interviews are seen as a useful means to rank shortlisted applicants. The department considers interviews should be used to confirm assessments made by the committee during the shortlisting process.

  2. Applicants should be given at least 48 hours’ notice of their interview. Interviews will generally take from 20 to 45 minutes. If the applicant is interstate or overseas, the common practice is to interview by phone. However, some applicants may wish to make their own arrangements to attend an interview in person.

  3. A standard list of questions, cleared by RCS, should be used, but committees may ask follow-up questions as appropriate. The aim of all questions should be to enable the committee to assess applicants’ claims against the selection criteria.

  4. Some committees allow candidates to review the interview questions for 5-15 minutes before their interview. This allows candidates to collect their thoughts, plan their answers and manage their interview time more efficiently. Alternatively, some committees provide a written copy of the questions for the applicant to refer to during the interview. In either case, the committee must ensure the candidates leave the question sheet behind. Attaching them to a clipboard can help prevent candidates inadvertently returning home with the question sheet.

Placements policy

  1. Committees should clearly explain to interviewed candidates the placement policy relevant to the advertised position(s). The three categories of placement policy are as follows:

    • all external recruits through the bulk selection processes must work in a division or state office for two years prior to being eligible to apply for transfer elsewhere in the department or overseas;

      Applicants’ attention should be drawn to the department’s policy on recruitment or promotion to specialist positions. Staff recruited to these positions will be required to remain in their area of specialisation, i.e. passports roles, for the duration of their employment with the department, unless they are successful in a subsequent merit-based selection process. Specialists are expected to serve three years in the position to which they were recruited before transferring to another position within their area of specialisation.
    • all recruits to professional specialist positions (medical officers, staff counsellors etc.) must remain in their position for the duration of their tenure with the department (unless the applicant is successful in a subsequent merit-based selection process).

Referee Reports

  1. While referee checks are not mandatory in APS selection processes, the department considers at least one referee check is important to assess the individual's suitability for employment with the department. The applicants’ current or recent supervisor should be contacted.

  2. Where a current supervisor is not a nominated referee or where the candidate’s relationship with the referee is unclear, committees should have the HR provider contact the applicant to seek clarification. For internal candidates, the HR provider should inform them that their current supervisor will be contacted, and for external candidates permission will be sought to do so.

  3. The HR provider will provide referees with the selection criteria and assessment table. Committees should ask questions and engage in less structured discussion with the referee to obtain the best possible appreciation of each applicant’s skills, experience and personal qualities. This may be particularly important for external referees who are not familiar with DFAT processes and standards.

  4. Committees are encouraged throughout the process to seek the views of any others well positioned to comment on or corroborate an applicant’s abilities or make comparative rankings. For internal candidates this would include relevant branch and division heads. The HR service provider will provide the committee with a list of referees nominated by more than one applicant in the selection process. It can be useful to ask referees for more than one applicant to make a comparative assessment of those applicants.

  5. For applicants serving at an overseas post, as a locally engaged staff member or with another agency, comments should be sought from the Head of Mission about the candidate’s personal attributes, abilities and performance.

  6. If an adverse comment is made in a referee report, and if that comment has a significant bearing on the outcome of the selection process, a Selection Advisory Committee (SAC) must give the applicant concerned an opportunity to respond to the criticisms made by the referee. In the case of Independent Selection Advisory Committees (ISACs), the committee is required to inform the candidate of any adverse information, whether it is significant or not.

Orders of Merit

  1. At the end of the process, committees must produce an order of merit list. The list should be based on the committee’s assessment of the quality of the field of candidates and not the number of vacancies. It is important that the committee’s report gives a true indication of the quality of the field. Committees may choose not to rank candidates at the bottom of the field even though they have been assessed as ‘suitable’ or even ‘very suitable’.

  2. For non-ISAC rounds, the order of merit should be structured according to the Assessment Table descriptors Highly Suitable, Very Suitable and Suitable with candidates grouped in the relevant category based on their overall score. If a single vacancy is to be filled, the Committee may elect to use a numerical order of merit to separate the candidates or use a hybrid form whereby the preferred candidate is ranked against one descriptor and the remaining field is grouped against one or more lower order descriptors.

  3. Where fields are strong, committees are asked to prepare an order of merit which will be used to fill initial vacancies as well as any additional vacancies that might arise within the life of the order of merit (12 months from the date of the original gazettal of the vacancy/ies).

Selection Report Format

  1. All selection reports must be cleared through RCS before being passed to the delegate.

  2. The report explains how the committee reached its conclusions about the relative suitability of the ranked candidates and seeks the delegate’s agreement to the recommended order of merit. Attached to the report should be a table listing those candidates not short-listed for interview and the reasons why. Also attached are individual assessments for each candidate interviewed.

  3. In the rare circumstance that the committee is unable to agree on the most suitable applicant or any other matter of substance, the dissenting committee member(s) may submit a minority report. This should set out clearly the reasons for disagreement and should be forwarded with the SAC report to the Director RCS. This will then be a matter for the delegate to resolve.

  4. RCS will check that the draft report complies with legal requirements and consult with Conduct and Ethics Unit and Security Policy and Clearance Section on whether there are any records which would impinge upon the suitability of any of the ranked candidates.

  5. The report is then compiled in hard copy and submitted to the delegate.

Employment Offers

  1. Following approval from the delegate, RCS will inform successful candidates by telephone. RCS also arranges for candidates on the order of merit and unsuccessful candidates to be notified. The committee’s decision must be held in confidence until an Administrative Circular is issued (A/C will be issued only for bulk rounds).

  2. A letter is subsequently sent to the successful candidate(s) formally advising them that they have been successful in the selection process. Following successful security and medical clearances, non-APS employees will be made an offer of ‘engagement’. APS employees are offered either a ‘permanent movement’ or ‘promotion’ to the position. Promotions may be subject to review (appeal), engagements and permanent movements (transfers at level) are not.

  3. The granting of a security clearance must occur before a formal offer of employment can be made. While the department endeavours to complete the security clearance process quickly, depending on the background of the candidate, the process can take several months. Once Staffing Operations Section receives advice of the candidate’s clearance, the person is notified and details of their selection are published in the Public Service Gazette. The selection of an ongoing APS employee takes effect in accordance with Public Service Regulation 3.8.


  1. Feedback to applicants is an important part of the selection process. Effective feedback is constructive and provides specific information and guidance for candidates. Feedback should indicate, in relation to the selection criteria, where unsuccessful applicants did well and where they fell short of the standards achieved by those who were successful.

Internal Candidates

  1. Internal candidates who received an interview will receive a written individual assessment. Individual assessments form a substantial part of the feedback process for interviewed candidates. Well written, sufficiently detailed assessments assist applicants to prepare for future selection processes. They are also important resources for Staffing Branch, for example, for placement purposes.

  2. All committee members have an obligation to make themselves available for feedback to unsuccessful departmental candidates. For large processes at the APS1 - EL1 levels, RCS will schedule a general feedback session for interested departmental candidates. The session should cover the committee’s approach to the selection process, what their expectations were in respect of each element of the process and their observations about where candidates tended to fall short. These feedback sessions should be attended by all committee members and a representative from Staffing Branch.

  3. Where individual feedback is provided, sessions are usually 10 – 15 minutes, either in person or by phone with one, two or all committee members. If the committee anticipates that an applicant may have questions regarding the procedures followed in the process, RCS is available to attend the session.

External Candidates

  1. For unsuccessful non-DFAT candidates in a bulk round selection process, a general feedback sheet will be prepared by the committee and will be available upon request through the HR provider. As with internal candidates, external candidates who received an interview will also receive a written individual assessment.

Report on the process

  1. After feedback has been completed, all bulk round selection committees are asked to provide RCS with a short written report on the selection process. While not mandatory for specialist selection processes, all committees are encouraged to submit a report. The report should give an overview of the process, the strength of the field of candidates and any perceived skill gaps in the field, for example, and the key general messages to be given to candidates in the feedback process. Committees should also include their views on how the process might be streamlined or improved.

Selection Advisory Committee Report Guidelines

The committee’s report to the Delegate will be prepared by the scribe. It should include details of the position, a table showing the number of candidates who have applied and the number short-listed for interview, and membership of the committee.

The report makes recommendations to the Delegate arising out of the merit selection process and includes any additional comments the committee may wish to make (e.g. if there was no one suitable from the process and the committee recommends that the position be re-advertised).

The report must be signed by all committee members.

The attachments indicated below should also be included:
Declaration of Impartiality Attachment A
Position profile (duty statement & selection criteria) Attachment B
Assessment Table Attachment C
Schedule of Applicants & Reasons for Non-interview Attachment D
Comparative assessment of applicants interviewed Attachment E
Individual assessment of applicants interviewed, plus applications & referee reports Attachment F
Questions asked at interview (or details of alternative assessment process where relevant) Attachment G
Applications for applicants not interviewed Attachment H

The HR provider will prepare a hardcopy of the selection report for the Committee’s signature and ensure it is passed to the Manager, RCS.

Selection advisory committee report


In line with APS redeployment policy, RCS has reviewed the APS redeployment register and found no employees in the database suitable for DFAT’s vacant position(s).

The Selection Advisory Committee report for the following vacancy is forwarded for action.

Position Details:

Job Reference Number
Duration of vacancy
When advertised
Where advertised

The duties of the position require the successful applicant to possess the aptitude, skills and abilities specified in the attached position profile (i.e. job description, duty statement and selection criteria). The position profile accurately reflects the duties of the position.

Details of Applicants:

Number of applicants
Number of applicants short-listed ‘in’ for interview
Number of applicants short-listed ‘out’
Number of applicants who withdrew prior to interview
Interview date(s)

Membership of Selection Advisory Committee:

Name Classification Section/Branch/Division

Attached are the following documents:

Declaration of Impartiality Attachment A
Position profile (duty statement & selection criteria) Attachment B
Assessment Table Attachment C
Schedule of Applicants & Reasons for Non-interview Attachment D
Comparative assessment of applicants interviewed Attachment E
Individual assessment of applicants interviewed, plus applications & referee reports Attachment F
Questions asked at interview (or details of alternative assessment process where relevant) Attachment G
Applications for applicants not interviewed Attachment H


The Selection Advisory Committee recommends that the following order of merit be used to fill (…details of position including level and/or position number …) position(s).

Highly Suitable

(name of applicant) recommended level (e.g. EL1 or APS6)

(name of applicant) recommended level (e.g. EL1 or APS6)

Very Suitable

(name of applicant) recommended level (e.g. EL1 or APS6)

(Committee's can also use Highly Suitable (+), Highly Suitable and Highly Suitable (-) etc, to separate candidates on the order of merit).

For ISACs a numerical order of merit is required.

Additional comments (as appropriate):


Approved/Not Approved








Attachment A

Public Service Act 1999

Selection Advisory Committee - Declaration of Impartiality

I, ............................................................................ (full name)

of ...........................................................................(work or other address)

being the Chair / a Member of the Selection Advisory Committee (SAC) for

(position being advertised) in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, declare that:

(a) I do not have and have not had a relationship with a person whose application is to be considered by the SAC of a kind that may cause a reasonable person to suspect that I may be biased, such as:

  1. a family relationship;
  2. a close personal friendship; or
  3. a relationship involving personal hostility.

(b) I do not have and have not had a personal involvement in the matter to be considered by the SAC, including a pecuniary, non pecuniary, interest in that matter - such as advising an applicant in relation to his/her application.

Signature: .................................................. Date: ................................


  1. The purpose of this document is to facilitate proper and efficient operation of the SAC established under the Public Service Act 1999. If a person feels, for any reason, unable to comply with this requirement, he/she should discuss the matter with other members of the SAC or the Manager of the Recruitment and Promotion Unit, with a view to determining whether in all the circumstances of the case, they should decline to serve on the SAC.
  2. 2. Similarly, if a member of the SAC should develop - after making this declaration – arelationship, involvement or interest of a kind described in the declaration, he/she should discuss the matter with other members of the SAC or the Manager of the Recruitment and Promotion Unit, with a view to determining whether in all the circumstances of the case, they should stand down from the SAC.
  3. Failure to act in a manner described above may lead to a person whose application is to be, or was, considered by the SAC, applying under the Administrative Decisions (Judicial Review) Act 1977, for an injunction against or review of the SAC’s decision.

Attachment B

Position Profile

Duty Statement and Selection Criteria

Attachment C

Assesssment table

The rating scale shown on the following page is a fundamental part of the report and must be used. This table is made available to candidates on the website, in Corporate Templates for internal candidates, and provided to referees.

The table includes:

  • the rating scale used for the individual assessment, and
  • the descriptive ranking categories (ranging from ‘Highly Suitable’ to ‘Not Suitable’) for use in some forms of the order of merit
  • indicators of performance at each level.

The category of N/A (not assessed) can be used by committees when there is insufficient information in an application to enable reasonable assessment. It is unlikely this rating would apply to interviews because committees can control the amount of information provided in that forum. If, after considerable prompting at interview, an applicant is unable to answer a question to the committee’s satisfaction, a Marginal or Unsatisfactory rating would be appropriate.

Assessment table

Scale Description Indicators of Performance
13 - 15 Highly Suitable
The applicant possesses exceptionally well developed and relevant skills and abilities, and the appropriate personal qualities in relation to this criterion and their performance is outstanding.

(To be used only in cases where exceptional skills have been demonstrated against this criterion).

Is able to perform at high level without direct guidance for one or more of the following reasons:
- excellent job knowledge;
- exceptionally reliable;
- considerable demonstrated ability in problem solving and the application of change;
- appears to instinctively and effectively deal with all matters relating to the position.
10 - 12 Very Suitable
The applicant possesses highly developed and relevant skills and abilities, and would perform consistently well against this criterion.
Would require little guidance to achieve good results, for one or more of the following reasons:
- would be reliable and responsible;
- well developed (sound) job knowledge;
- would be able to suggest and initiate improvements;
- would be well able to deal with all of the routine and most of the complex matters relating to the position.
7 - 9 Suitable
The applicant possesses relevant skills, abilities and personal qualities and would be generally effective against this criterion.
Would require routine guidance to perform at an acceptable level for one or more of the following reasons:
- reasonable/good job knowledge;
- makes few errors;
- generally reliable;
- would require guidance for more complex situations;
- could carry responsibility but would not seek it;
- could deal with all routine matters involving the position.
4 - 6 Marginal
The applicant possesses some skills, abilities and personal qualities relevant to the criterion, but is limited on others.

S/he would be able to temporarily perform the duties of the position with close guidance, but would require further training and development to meet the standard required against this criterion.

Would require close guidance to perform at an acceptable level for one or more of the following reasons:
- only basic/general job knowledge;
- could follow directions but would require frequent checking/follow‑up;
- could deal with most routine matters involving the position;
- inconsistent work performance.
1 - 3 Unsuitable
The applicant is unable to demonstrate that s/he possesses the adequate skills, abilities and personal qualities in relation to the criterion.

S/he would not be suitable to perform the duties of the position relevant to this criterion even on a temporary basis.

Would be unable to perform the duties and would require constant guidance for one or more of the following reasons:
- limited job knowledge;
- makes frequent errors;
- poor work output;
- would have difficulty carrying responsibility or solving problems;
- would have difficulty dealing with routine matters involving the position.

Not assessed
Where the SAC was unable to determine whether the applicant met the selection criterion from the information provided; or referee comments were insufficient to make an assessment.

Attachment D

Schedule of Applicants and Reasons for Non-interview

Broadband ? (APS Level ?), insert job number e.g. SP0150 Insert position title

No. Name of Applicant Interview
Criteria against which assessed as not competitive Reasons why not competitive against the criteria
1. Adam Smith YES
2.   NO C, D Applicant was not competitive with those on the interview list against criteria C and D.
3.   NO ALL Applicant was not competitive against all criteria.
4. YES

The scribe will prepare the above schedule based on information received from the committee.

The following points should be noted when assessing applications:

  • Failure to demonstrate claims against one or more criteria may be sufficient to exclude an applicant from further consideration. This must be justified based on the information supplied in the application.
  • Candidates cannot be short-listed out only on the basis that they do not have qualifications listed as ‘highly desirable’ in the selection criteria. However, failure to meet those qualifications, along with less competitive claims against one or more other criteria, can be used as a reason for not interviewing a particular applicant. Candidates can be short-listed out if they fail to meet selection criteria listed as ‘essential’.
  • ‘Ability’ to undertake a task does not mean having prior experience.

Attachment E

Comparative assessment

Applicant Written Application Interview Overall Score Overall Assessment/ Ranking

The comparative assessment is used to collate all interviewees and their assessments.

To complete the Comparative Assessment grid:

  • Transfer application, interview and overall rating scores from the Individual Assessment for each applicant interviewed.
  • Using the scale provided at Attachment C, add the corresponding Assessment Table ranking descriptor (ranging from ‘Highly Suitable’ to ‘Not Suitable’) for each applicant in the Overall Assessment/Ranking column. If the committee does not wish to make a judgment on the overall suitability of non-preferred candidates you can insert ‘Not Preferred’ (NP) in the column.
  • Candidates should be ranked from highest to lowest according to their relative suitability in the Overall Ranking column. The committee does not need to rank all candidates if it does not wish to. However, unless candidates are ranked they do not form part of the order of merit from which subsequent positions may be filled. If you do not wish to rank a particular applicant you can insert ‘Not Ranked’ (NR) in the column.
  • Where candidates are ranked equally, the department must either offer positions to all in this group, or justify why one person from within the group is more suitable for the particular role on offer than the others. This can be very useful for bulk rounds where vacancies can be for diverse roles. It can; however, be problematic for specialist roles, particularly if all roles are identical.
Against each selection criteria: Overall Assessment Overall Ranking:

13 - 15: Highly Suitable
10 - 12: Very Suitable
7 - 9: Suitable
4 - 6: Marginally Suitable
1 - 3: Not Suitable
0: Not Assessed

(Refer to Attachment C for detailed explanation of Assessment Table)

HS: Highly Suitable
VS: Very Suitable
S: Suitable
NS: Not Suitable

NB: Selection Advisory Committees need not make a judgment as to the overall suitability of non-preferred applicants if they do not wish to, but should indicate ‘Not Preferred’ (NP).

1 to 10 (highest ranked applicant to lowest ranked applicant)

NB: Selection Advisory Committees do not need to rank all applicants if they do not wish to, but should indicate ‘Not Ranked’ (NR).

Additional comments (as appropriate):

Committees can provide comments on an applicant’s claims and suitability for the position in this box, drawing out the applicant’s strengths and weaknesses against the selection criteria and substantiating their assessment.

Committees may wish to make detailed comments against each of the selection criteria here, although this is not required. One to two paragraphs is sufficient, as long as the delegate receives sufficient information to substantiate the committee’s overall assessment of the applicant.

It is useful for shortlisted candidates (who receive a copy of their Individual Assessment) to be provided comments in this box regarding areas they might work on for future selection processes.

Attachment F

Individual assessment

Name of Applicant:

Selection Criteria Application Interview Committee's Overall Assessment
Scale Description Scale Description
13-15 Highly Suitable 4-6 Marginally Suitable
10-12 Very Suitable 1-3 Unsuitable
7-9 Suitable    

Additional comments to substantiate the Selection Advisory Committee’s overall rating of the applicant against the selection criteria:

Career Summary:

Scribe to complete from the application.

Comments on Application:

When assessing an application committee members are reviewing the candidate’s skills, abilities, experience and personal qualities against the selection criteria. They are not assessing how well the application is written, although this may form part of the assessment of any criteria addressing written communication skills. A brief statement on the application is required in this section.

Comments on Interview:

With the questions framed around the selection criteria, committee members should be able to assess the applicant’s claims against the selection criteria by drawing from the answers provided, and record a brief statement on the individual’s interview performance.

Summary of Referee Comments:

Committees need to record a summary of the referee comments.

Overall Comments:
The Committee needs to recommend the level and overall assessment e.g. The Committee assessed xxx as Highly Suitable to fill the advertised role at the EL1 level or The Committee assessed xxx as Marginally Suitable but Not Ranked to fill the advertised role at the APS6 or EL1 level.

The Individual Assessment provides an assessment of individual candidates against the selection criteria, not against other candidates. Therefore, committees do not make comparative comments in an individual assessment.

Overall Assessment: Once all the columns are completed, the committee can then make an assessment of the applicant’s claims against the selection criteria taking into consideration all parts of the process. In some cases, the Overall Assessment will clearly reflect a standard level of performance across all parts of the process. In others, the committee may feel that although an applicant may have been assessed as having strong claims from his/her application and have strong referee support; their interview performance may not support these assessments. If this were the case, the committee should feel free to reflect their considered overall assessment in the Overall Assessment column. However, you will need to substantiate your assessment in the Additional Comments box.

Attachment G

Questions asked at interview (or details of alternative assessment process where relevant)

Please attach a copy of the questions asked at interview and, where applicable, details of alternative additional assessment processes that were used (e.g. written tests).

Attachment H

Applications for applicants not interviewed

Copies of non-interviewed candidate’s applications should be attached to the SAC report at Attachment H.

Last Updated: 29 August 2014