The Commission recognises that in some circumstances it may be right to allow appointments to be made outside of the principle of selection on merit on the basis of fair and open competition. Any such exception should not undermine this fundamental principle.
Such appointments by exception are usually short-term; for example secondments which promote the exchange of ideas and experience.
Under the Recruitment Principles, departments may in most cases apply the exceptions themselves. The Commission’s approval is, however, required for appointments by exception at SCS Payband two and above and in some circumstances for those at less senior levels.
In October 2013, the Commission introduced a new exception to the Recruitment Principles to enable the appointment of staff to Extended Ministerial Offices including new recruits from outside the Civil Service where they would be personally appointed by, and accountable to, the Minister.
In rare cases departments and agencies may need to request that an appointment made as an exception to the Recruitment Principles be extended for a limited period beyond the initial term. The Commission will only consider such a request if the appointing department or agency provides a strong business case. When submitting a business case to the Commission, departments and agencies should refer to Guidance and Pro Forma for Exceptions Business Case to ensure that they have included all the relevant information.