Public Service Management (Recruitment and Appointments) Act 2004

Codes of practice and requirements for appointment, etc.

24.—(1) Without prejudice to subsection (2), every code of practice to which this section relates shall include requirements relating to—

(a) knowledge and ability to enter on the discharge of the duties of the post concerned,

(b) suitability on the grounds of character,

(c) suitability in all other relevant respects for appointment to the post concerned.

(2) In respect of—

(a) one or more local authorities, the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government,

(b) one or more health boards, the Minister for Health and Children,

(c) one or more vocational education committees, the Minister for Education and Science, or

(d) one or more public service bodies to which paragraph (a), (b) or (c) do not relate, the Minister,

may, from time to time, specify requirements he or she considers necessary for applicants to comply with in respect of any particular post or class of posts specified by that Minister.

(3) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (2), specified requirements in respect of the post concerned may include—

(a) the minimum amount of practical experience, or type or types of practical experience, required of candidates for the post concerned,

(b) the academic or professional qualifications required to be possessed by candidates,

(c) subject to the Employment Equality Act 1998 , the health and age of candidates.

(4) Where—

(a) requirements have been specified under subsection (2) in respect of a post or class of posts, and

(b) the Commission has obtained the written consent of the Minister concerned in respect of the recruitment process for such post or for some or all of such class of posts,

then the Commission shall, in respect of the post or class of posts to which the written consent relates, do either or both of the following, as it considers appropriate, to take account of those requirements:

(i) prepare one or more codes of practice;

(ii) amend one or more existing codes of practice.

(5) (a) Where a Minister of the Government referred to in subsection (2) specifies, or has specified, requirements for the purposes of that subsection, then such Minister may also specify optional matters to be provided for in respect of the post or class of posts concerned.

(b) Where paragraph (a) applies, then subsection (4) shall also apply to such optional matters as if it were referred to in that subsection.

(6) (a) Where a code of practice relates to the recruitment process for an unestablished position within the Civil Service it may provide that a person appointed to such position may, in circumstances specified in the code, be subsequently appointed to a specified established position within the Civil Service.

(b) This subsection shall cease to have effect on such day as the Minister by order appoints.

(7) In preparing or amending a code of practice to which this section relates, the Commission—

(a) shall consult with the Chief Executive of the Service in a case to which paragraph (a), (b) or (c) of subsection (2) relates, and

(b) may seek the assistance of the Public Appointments Service or any other licence holder.

(8) If in respect of a code of practice a question arises as to whether a candidate is or is not qualified for appointment to a post to which that code relates, it shall be decided upon by the licence holder responsible for the competition concerned.

(9) Only candidates who have successfully completed the recruitment or promotion process under this Act, including compliance with the code of practice concerned, shall be eligible for appointment.

(10) Subject to subsection (11), a person shall be selected for appointment to a post in the order of merit as determined by the recruitment process.

(11) A candidate shall not be appointed to a post unless—

(a) he or she agrees to undertake the duties attached to the post concerned and to accept the conditions under which those duties are, or may be required to be, performed, and

(b) he or she is fully competent and available to undertake, and fully capable of undertaking, the duties attached to that position, having regard to the conditions under which those duties are, or may be required to be, performed.

(12) Nothing in this section shall be read as affecting the application of the Employment Equality Act 1998 in circumstances where that Act applies.