Notified promotion reviews

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Information about promotion reviews

Are there timeframes?

Yes there are important timeframes.

It is essential to submit your application for review within the time limit set out in the Public Service Gazette (Regulation 5.9).

Usually you have 14 days from the date the promotion was notified in the Gazette to apply for review. This period may vary, for example during Christmas closedown.

Late applications cannot be accepted. There are no exceptions.

What is a promotion?

A promotion is the ongoing movement of an APS employee to a job at a higher classification level.

Moving to a higher classification within an agency's broadband is not a promotion. However, if you are moving to a higher classification in another agency's broadband, it is a promotion.

Who can apply for promotion review? What types of review are there?

Only currently ongoing APS 1-5 employees can apply for review of promotions to jobs at the APS2 to 6 levels. You must have applied for the job for which you are seeking a review and the successful applicant must have been promoted to the job.

Employees of the Parliamentary Service have a similar review scheme. Parliamentary Service employees can also apply for review of an APS promotion in some situations. 



You can apply for review if:

  1. you missed out on promotion and want to apply for review of someone else's promotion. This is called an active review.
  2. you and at least one other person have been promoted, but you are concerned that someone else may successfully appeal your promotion so you apply for review of the other promotions. This is called a protective review.

Am I eligible to apply for an active review?

You can apply for an active review if:

  • you are an ongoing APS employee
  • you applied for an APS 1-6 level (or at an equivalent level) job
  • the successful candidate is being promoted to the same job vacancy in the same location(s) that you applied for
  • the promotion does not result from an independent selection advisory committee's recommendation
  • the promotion does not result from a promotion review committee decision.

Note: the only ground for review is 'merit' so you need to be able to demonstrate you have strong claims to the promotion.

Am I eligible to apply for a protective review?

You can apply for a protective review if:

  • you were promoted to an APS 1–6 level (or equivalent classifications) job
  • more than one person is being promoted in relation to the same job vacancy in the same location(s) you applied for
  • the promotion does not result from an independent selection advisory committee's recommendation
  • the promotion does not result from a promotion review committee decision
  • you are concerned that another applicant may apply for review of your promotion.

A protective review is really no more than an application for review lodged by a successful applicant against other people promoted out of the same selection exercise. If you make a protective review but no review application is received from an unsuccessful applicant the review will lapse automatically. Your promotion then proceeds.

Note: the only ground for review is 'merit' so you need to be able to demonstrate you have strong claims to the promotion.

I’m still unsure if I am eligible.

If you are still unsure about your eligibility for promotion review, complete the checklist:

  1. I am an ongoing employee of the APS
  2. I applied for promotion to a job at the APS 1-6 level
  3. Someone was promoted to the job I applied for (active application)
    OR
    I was one of a number of people promoted from the same selection exercise and I think other promotees may seek review of my promotion (protective application).

If you have said 'yes' to all three boxes, you are eligible to apply for review.

More information on 'active' and 'protective' applications is available.

If you are still unsure, contact the Review team.

How do I find out if someone has requested a review of my promotion?

This the link to the Notification of promotion review applications webpage. If your agency has received a promotion review application, it will be listed here. It is updated every Friday by 2pm (AEST).


If a promotion review application is received, the Office seeks your contact details from the agency's recruitment area and contacts you directly.

Applying for review of a promotion decision

I meet the eligibility requirements, how do I apply?

To apply for a review, complete the on-line application form and submit it within the relevant timeframes.  A hardcopy application form is also available.

You usually have 14 days from the date of the promotion notice in the Gazette to apply.

The same form is used for both active and protective review applications.

What do I need to demonstrate to be successful in a promotion review?

To be successful in the review, you need to demonstrate that you have stronger claims to the job than the person promoted to the position.

This means stronger skills and other work-related qualities. 

The Commissioner's Directions identify work-related qualities as:

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

What are the grounds for review?

The only ground for promotion review is merit (Public Service Regulation 5.8). More information on the legislative and policy framework for merit is available.


The committee assesses the relative merit of the person promoted and each person who has validly applied for review of that promotion decision.

Relative merit means deciding who is most suitable to successfully perform the duties of the job.


The committee can also include other considerations in deciding who should be promoted. For example, a person's availability to take up the job.

What are the main steps in the review?

The main steps in a review are:

  1. You request a review by completing the application form
  2. If a valid application is received, a promotion review committee is established
  3. The agency is notified and they provide this office with:
    • relevant information from the selection process,
    • an agency nominee to be a member of the committee and
    • contact details for all parties to the review
  4. You will be contacted and asked to provide a statement for the committee's consideration
  5. The committee will consider all the relevant information and make a decision; they make seek additional information.
    For example, further reports from referees and may conduct interviews OR they may decide the matter on the papers only.

The committee has discretion in the way the review is conducted (Division 5.2, Regulations).

Is my statement important?

The statement is an important opportunity to demonstrate your merit-based claims to the job.

Statements do not have any special format requirements or word limits.

You may use the statement to:

  • reiterate your claims against the selection criteria
  • update your claims - for example, any additional experience or new qualifications gained since applying for the job.

It is your responsibility to bring to the committee's attention, through your statement, any matter which demonstrates your claim to promotion.

Include all your claims in your statement. The committee may decide 'on the papers' and NOT proceed to interview.

It is your responsibility to ensure that your statement does not contain information that may be in breach of the privacy principles or the APS Values or the Code of Conduct. For example:

  • you should take care not to breach the privacy of agency clients in any statement you make to the committee
  • you should not make inappropriate or defamatory comments about any applicants for the job.

Who conducts the review?

The Merit Protection Commissioner establishes an independent, impartial promotion review committee (PRC) (Regulation 5.11).

The PRC consists of three members:

  • a convenor nominated by the Merit Protection Commissioner
  • a nominee from the relevant agency
  • a third member nominated by the Merit Protection Commissioner.

The convenor is an employee of the Commission with special training in merit-based staff selection. The third member is an APS employee who has the relevant skills and experience to undertake merit based staff selection.

What happens after the promotion review committee decides about the promotion?

The promotion review committee (PRC) makes an independent decision about which person(s) is promoted.

The agency must implement the committee's decision(s).

Usually the agency nominee advises everyone involved of the outcome. The agency nominee may also provide general feedback from the committee on the reasons for the decision.

The committee is not required to prepare a report or provide written reasons for the decision.

This office will confirm the decision in writing.

What types of outcomes are available?

There are two types of outcomes:

  1. The original promotion is confirmed.
  2. The original promotion is overturned and a new promotion decision made.

Other things I may need to know

What happens if I don’t apply for review within the timeframe?

There is no capacity to extend the timeframe for an individual to apply for promotion review.

There are NO exceptions.

The Merit Protection Commissioner can extend the timeframe for 'a class of employees' if there is a general reason affecting their capacity to apply within the timeframe (Regulation 5.9 (1)(b)(i)(B)).

The usual timeframe is 14 days. You must check the notice in the Gazette in which the promotion appears. Please note, however, the timeframe is usually extended over the Christmas and New Year period each year.

What if I am not satisfied with the outcome from the promotion review?

If you are not satisfied with the outcome, there is no further right of administrative review under the Public Service Act or the Regulations.

Where can I get more information on promotion reviews?

More information about reviews is available from the MPC resources page.

You can also contact the Review team, Australian Public Service Commission.

Tel: (02) 8239 5330

Email: review@apsc.gov.au.