The Codes of Practice apply when appointing someone to a publicly funded position, one that needs to be filled under the Public Service Management (Recruitment and Appointments) Act 2004.

Check here to see if a position must be filled in line with the Act.

If a public body is making an appointment, the selection process must be fair and merit-based, in line with the codes.

'An appointment' means filling a vacancy through an open external selection process or through internal promotion. For an internal promotion, the codes apply only if the role involves higher pay and greater responsibility. They do not apply to internal transfers or secondments.

When do each of the codes apply?

Code of Practice for Appointment to Positions within the Civil Service and Public Service

For most civil and public service appointments, the Code of Practice for Appointment to Positions within the Civil Service and Public Service will apply. It is our primary code and outlines the standards expected at each stage of the selection process.

However, in some cases, particuarly in the case of short-term appointments, a full competitive selection process might not need to be carried out, in line with the primary code. In other cases, the selection process might require extra provisions.

In these situations, and where appropriate, a public body can choose to make the appointment under one of our other codes, which are detailed below.

Code of Practice for Emergency Short-Term Appointments to Positions in the Health Service Executive

This code can be used when the HSE needs to make emergency short-term appointments to deal with critical needs. It lets the HSE speed up or leave out parts of the primary code processes.

The HSE must still ensure that the persons appointed are suitably qualified and fit for the role. It must document appointments made under the code - explaining the circumstances surrounding the selection and the steps taken to fill the role.

It is important to note that these appointments are temporary. If it is decided the position needs to be filled on a long-term basis, a full, competitive recruitment process should be carried out under the primary code.

Appointments are subject to the review and appeal mechanisms outlined.

Code of Practice for Appointments of Persons with Disabilities

This code applies if a public body wants to specifically appoint a person or persons with a disability, as defined in the Disability Act 2005. It also includes provisions to help with accessibility and the treatment of applicants during the appointment process.

The selection process still needs to be full, competitive and merit-based, and it is subject to the review and appeal mechanisms.

Code of Pratice for Atypical Appointments

This code applies if a public body needs to assign a person higher duties on a temporary basis to address critical short-term needs, an acting-up appointment. If a public body needs to make an acting-up appointment, it may do so under this code allowing it to speed up or leave out parts of the primary process.

The public body must still ensure that the person appointed is suitably qualified and fit for the role. It must document appointments made under the code – explaining the circumstances of the selection and the steps taken to fill the role.

If the acting-up position needs to be filled for more than six months, or on a permanent basis, the appointment 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

Appointments are subject to the review and appeal mechanisms outlined.

Code of Practice for Appointment to Positions where the Garda Commissioner has Statutory Responsibilities

This code applies to appointments in An Garda Síochána where the Garda Commissioner is statutorily responsible for the final appointment. This relates to the appointment of Garda trainees and reserves.

While the Commissioner makes the final decision, selection processes are carried out jointly by the Public Appointments Service and An Garda Síochána. The code has separate review and complaint procedures for the parts of the selection process carried out by each organisation.