Civil Service Commission

Recruitment Principles

The Recruitment Principles 2018  explain the legal requirement that selection for appointment to the Civil Service must be on merit on the basis of fair and open competition. They also:

  • Set out the circumstances in which appointments can be made as exceptions to this requirement; and
  • Describe the responsibilities of departments and agencies in meeting this requirement.

The current version of the Recruitment Principles came into operation on 1 April 2018.   They replace the Recruitment Principles 2015 (April)

If you need to ask the Commission’s approval to use an exception to the Recruitment Principles 2018 please use the Exception Forms.

Departments and agencies are free to develop their own approaches to recruitment as long as they are consistent with the Recruitment Principles.


The Civil Service Commission is committed to the principle of appointment on merit.

We believe a diverse workforce, appointed on merit through a fair and transparent process, greatly enhances effectiveness and performance by better reflecting the aspirations, experiences and needs of the people they serve.

The Civil Service Commission therefore promotes and supports efforts to get the best candidates drawn from a strong and diverse field.