If a candidate is unhappy with a decision made during a selection process, believes it was made on incorrect information or that documented procedure was not followed, they can ask for a review under section 7 of the relevant code. The decision may be reversed if it is found to have been incorrect.

A request for review

Reviews are carried out by the public body making the appointment. There are two stages in the review process, informal and formal. A request for a review will usually be handled informally at first.

Informal review

A candidate must ask for an informal review within five working days of being told of the original decision. If there has been an error, this will give you time to take corrective action without delaying the appointment.

However, you are not obliged to stop a selection process if asked for a review.

On receipt of a request, you will appoint a reviewer – someone linked to the selection process.

The informal stage often involves a telephone conversation or a meeting with someone linked to the selection process, usually someone in human resources. This will give the reviewer and the candidate an opportunity to:

  • Discuss in greater detail why they believe the decision was incorrect
  • Talk about the procedures and the information that was assessed during the process
  • Consider whether they think the decision was incorrect, having been given more information

The reviewer will decide if the original decision was made correctly and if documented procedure was followed. The public body will then decide if any action needs to be taken.

If a candidate is not happy with the outcome of the informal review, they can ask for a formal review. A candidate must make this request within two working days of the outcome of the informal review.

Formal review

A candidate must ask for a formal review within 10 working days of being informed of the original decision. If they have already asked for an informal review, they must request a formal review within two working days of the outcome of the informal review.

You will appoint an independent reviewer – someone not linked to the selection process. They will examine the information available. They may also meet members of the selection board to discuss aspects of the process or the decision made.

The reviewer will decide if the original decision was made on the basis of correct information and if documented procedure was followed.

The decision will be outlined in writing and the candidate should be given a copy. You will then decide if any action should be taken.

Timeframes

The timeframes for asking a public body for a review are as follows:

  • Candidates must ask for an informal review within five working days of the selection decision
  • Candidates must ask for a formal review within two working days of the informal review decision, or 10 working days of the selection decision
  • The public body should give candidates the formal review decision within 25 working days of receiving theirrequest

If a candidates makes a complaint outside of these timeframes, they may be refused.