When does it apply?

This code applies to specific short-term ‘acting-up’ appointments in:

  • The Civil Service
  • An Garda Síochána (up to inspector level)
  • Local authorities (technical and professional roles)
  • The Health Service Executive
  • Public bodies where appointments fall under the Public Service Management (Recruitment and Appointments) Act 2004

Short-term acting-up positions are usually for a period of less than six months. If the appointment is for a longer duration, it should be made under the primary code.

This code can also apply if:

  • An appointment requires that a person is moved from the grade they are in to another grade of an equivalent level
  • It is decided the selection process should be confined to unestablished civil servants

What does it mean?

Acting-up appointments

If a public body needs to assign a person to higher duties on an immediate but temporary basis, it may not be in a position to carry out a selection process in line with the primary code. If the appointment is for a duration of less than 6 months, an acting-up appointment can be made under this code which allows the public body to speed up or leave out parts of the normal selection process.

Appointments should be made under this code only to address short-term critical needs. If the role needs to be filled for more than six months, or on a permanent basis, a recruitment process should be run under the primary code.

Regrading of civil servants

It may be necessary, on rare occasions, for the Civil Service to regrade a person to another grade at an equivalent level. This code lets the person move to a regraded position without having to carry out a full, merit-based process under the primary code.


It may be necessary, from time to time, for an appointment process to apply only to unestablished civil servants. This code allows for this. It would be considered too restrictive under the primary code.

Application of the code

While appointments made under this code are not always subject to the full selection process, the public body must ensure the person appointed is suitably qualified and fit for the role.

It must also document appointments made under this code – explaining the circumstances of the selection and the steps taken to fill the role.

Appointments made under this code are subject to the review and appeal mechanisms.