The Commission for Public Service Appointments was established on 19 October 2004 under the terms of the Public Service Management (Recruitment and Appointments) Act 2004.

The Commission is the principal regulator of recruitment and selection processes within the public service. It has a statutory role to ensure that appointments in the organisations subject to its remit (that is, those that fall under the authority and scope of the Commission) are made on candidates’ merit and as the result of fair and transparent appointment processes.

Appointment processes for recruitment to all positions within the remit of the Act are subject to Codes of Practice published by the Commission. The Codes set out the regulatory framework for such appointment processes and centre on five recruitment principles. These are

  • Probity
  • Merit
  • Best Practice
  • Fairness
  • Transparency
  • Examples of the principles in practice are provided in each Code. These illustrate the Commission’s views on the application of the principles. The examples also indicate the parts of the selection and appointment process that the Commission will seek to review through its audit function.
  • The Codes of Practice also set out requirements in relation to the conduct of candidates in the selection process. This ensures that a standardised approach to recruitment is adopted by all participants.
  • The Commission recognises that recruitment practices need to evolve in response to changing work and social environments and to keep in line with best practice. The Codes therefore reflect the Commission’s current views on the various elements of the appointment process and provide a principle-based approach that acknowledges and encourages the dynamic nature of recruitment systems.

The Code of Practice for Appointment to Positions in the Civil Service and Public Service sets out the principles to be observed in respect of both external and internal appointments to positions in

  • The Civil Service
  • An Garda Síochána
  • The Health Service Executive
  • Any other public body to which the application of the Public Service Management (Recruitment and Appointments) Act 2004 has been extended on foot of primary legislation or by order of the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform
  • Those positions in local authorities to which the Local Authorities (Officers and Employees) Act 1926 applies (“Internal” candidates are already employed by the organisation. “External” candidates are not.)
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