How the selection process works

Updated: 3 August 2016

The Selection Process

The Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) selects candidates for public service positions through the assessment of applications against selection criteria, duty statements and work expectations of specific positions.

The assessment is generally carried out by a "selection panel" which comprises of 2 to 3 people who are responsible for making a balanced judgement on the relative merit of each applicant. They do this through a combination of assessment techniques which include written applications, interviews, provision of work samples (if requested), referee comments and other relevant assessment methods.

What is merit?

Merit is the capacity of a person to perform particular duties, having regard to the person's work related qualities which include:

  • skills and abilities
  • qualifications, training and competencies
  • standard of work performance
  • capacity to produce outcomes from effective performance at the level required
  • relevant personal qualities
  • demonstated potential for further development, and
  • ability to contribute to team performance.

The Assessment Process

The merit assessment process is chosen to suit the circumstances of the vacancy, the business environment in which it operates and generally includes the following steps:

The Application – Applicants provide written evidence of their qualifications, skills, knowledge, experience, and ability to fulfil the duties of the position supported by examples from the applicant provided against the selection criteria or questions.

Shortlisting – Shortlisting is undertaken by the selection panel to identify those applicants who the selection panel evaluate as requiring further assessment for suitability for the position.

Assessment Process – The selection advisory panel considers the applications shortlisted and obtains as much 'other' information as they require, in order to make an informed assessment. This may include inviting applicants for interview and/or contacting referees.

Contacting referees – Referee comments are sought to provide information relevant to the position applied for only. Applicants should choose referees who can comment effectively on their skills and abilities, experience or work performance, against the selection criteria.

Selecting the best applicant

The panel evaluates all evidence gathered in order to determine whom, in their judgement, has provided evidence of the ability to fulfil the duties of the position.

The panel then makes a recommendation to the Electoral Commissioner or Delegate, with copies of the evidence used to inform the recommendation, for their approval.

Time Frame

The selection process is dependent on the availability of a number of parties, i.e. selection advisory panel, applicants and referees. Although all efforts are taken to complete the process in as short a time frame as possible, unforeseen circumstances may prolong the procedure.

Successful applicants

Once a selection is made by the panel and approved by the Electoral Commissioner or Delegate, the successful applicant is advised and a letter formally offering the job is sent to them.

Unsuccessful applicants

Applicants for both Ongoing and Non-Ongoing APS positions who have not been successful will be advised in writing.

Feedback

Post-selection feedback is an integral part of the selection process and is available to applicants for both ongoing and non-ongoing APS positions.

If requested the selection panel will provide feedback only to those applicants who were interviewed. Applicants who did not proceed to interview may also request feedback on their application from the Recruitment Team.

What if I am unhappy with the selection process?

If you are unhappy with any aspect of the selection process you should contact the Recruitment Team in the first instance to seek advice and to discuss your options.