7.1 Composition and Role of the Selection Panel

The composition of the selection panel will depend on the type of public entity to which an appointment is being made. Panels may include the Minister, a Minister’s delegate, the departmental secretary, other senior departmental staff, Board Chairs and an independent expert. The composition of the selection panel should be agreed upon by the responsible governance officer(s) and the relevant Minister at the start of the appointment process.

The role of the selection panel is to short-list and interview candidates and to recommend a preferred candidate or candidates to the Minister for consideration.

Table 22: Role of the selection panel
Theme Action Responsibility
Role of the selection panel Ensure that appropriate short-listing of applicants, for example, reviewing of applications, has occurred and that the Office of Women’s Policy has been consulted at the start of the recruitment process. Selection panel.
Examine the balance of personal qualities, character and reputation, knowledge, skills and specialist expertise on the Board as well as any future Board requirements to help inform all decisions. Taking into account any role analysis that has been undertaken. Selection panel.
Ensure that if a candidate is known to any members of the selection panel, that this is declared at the start of the recruitment process to whoever is responsible for the process, particularly if it could be perceived as a conflict of interest. Responsible governance officer(s) AND Selection panel.

7.2 Short-listing

Short-listing is used to identify the strongest candidates for a vacant position. It requires determining which candidates best meet the selection criteria to perform the role satisfactorily. This section examines good practice short-listing techniques.

Table 23: Short-listing
Theme Action Responsibility
Short-listing Consider using a standard application form to ensure consistent information is obtained from candidates. Selection panel.
Each application should be assessed against the selection criteria. Selection panel.
Rank the candidates who meet the selection criteria. Decide which is the short-listed candidate(s) on the basis of meeting and exceeding the selection criteria. Selection panel.
Decide on a course of action where no candidate(s) are suitable. Selection panel.
Advise the non short-listed candidates (as per earlier agreement on notification procedures). Selection panel or responsible governance officer(s).
Where possible, a pool of suitable but unsuccessful candidates should be developed, that may be suitable for an alternative position in the future. Responsible governance officer(s).

7.3 Interviewing

Interviewing is the most commonly used selection technique. Short-listed candidates should be interviewed irrespective of whether they have been referred by a Minister, departmental secretary or others or in cases where a position has not been advertised.

Strict confidentiality processes should be in place for all interviews being conducted. This section examines the processes that should be considered when interviewing potential candidates.

Table 24: Interviewing
Theme Action Responsibility
Interviewing Develop an approach that allows for interviews to be conducted in an effective way with clear criteria to ensure fair comparisons can be made. Responsible governance officer(s).
Give the selection panel clear instructions about their role and responsibilities during the interviewing process. Responsible governance officer(s).
Assess the short-listed or referred candidates against an effective set of selection criteria (that are consistent with the role description) to ensure they have the appropriate personal qualities, character and reputation, knowledge, skills, specialist expertise, experience and qualifications for the position. Selection panel.
Document decisions arising from interviews with potential candidates. Selection panel.

7.4 Referee Checking

The selection panel should consult with a short-listed applicant’s or referred candidate’s nominated referees, regardless of whether an individual has been referred or a position advertised.

Referee reports should be obtained for short-listed or referred candidates to clarify, confirm and counterbalance information already obtained by the panel. Referee checks and reports should be undertaken in a confidential manner.

Table 25: Reference checking

Theme Action Responsibility
Reference checking Develop an effective and structured approach for reference checking. Responsible governance officer(s).
Ask each candidate to nominate two to three referees that can attest to their abilities. Selection panel.
Information obtained from referees is to be shared with the selection panel to help inform their decision. Selection panel.

7.5 Probity Checks

Short-listed or referred candidates for government appointments must have a history of integrity. Probity checks are undertaken to ensure this is the case.

Probity checks must be undertaken for all appointments to Boards, including re-appointments, co-opted members and proxies appointed by Government.

The candidate’s completion of a Statutory Declaration attesting to their integrity does not negate the requirement for probity checks.

Probity checks can take a number of weeks to complete, particularly if a candidate has a common name. Candidates should be notified that probity checks can take time. They should also be notified if there is a hold up or delay with their checks.

Probity checks are not compulsory for every individual who applies for a Board position, only short-listed or referred candidates are required to undertake these checks.

On occasions Ministers may approve, on a case by case basis, the waiver of probity checks for appointments to any body that does not have formal decision-making responsibilities over policy, service delivery or public funds. In such instances, the Minister must be briefed on the reasons why the probity checks have not been undertaken.

Further information on probity checks and requirements can be found in the Appointment and Remuneration Guidelines for Victorian Government Boards Statutory Bodies and Advisory Committees.

7.5.1 Declaration of Private Interests

This sub-section examines the declaration of private interests requirements. Once completed it must be submitted to Cabinet as part of the Cabinet Submission process.1

Table 26: Declaration of private interests
Theme Requirements
Declaration of private interests Appointments and re-appointments are contingent upon nominees completing a Declaration of Private Interests to the satisfaction of the relevant Minister.
The standard Declaration of Private Interests pro-forma should be used for this purpose. A Declarations of Private Interest is to be completed on initial appointment or re-appointment, annually during their term of appointment or if a Board Director has a relevant change in their interests. It can be found in the Appointment and Remuneration Guidelines for Victorian Government Boards Statutory Bodies and Advisory Committees.

7.5.2 Minimum Probity Requirements

This sub-section examines minimum probity requirements that a responsible governance officer(s) must obtain from short-listed or referred candidates as outlined in the Appointment and Remuneration Guidelines for Victorian Government Boards Statutory Bodies and Advisory Committees.

Table 27: Minimum probity requirements
Theme Requirements
Minimum probity check requirements for short-listed or referred candidates National Criminal Record check.
Check of the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) Register of persons prohibited/disqualified by ASIC under the provisions of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth).
Check of the Insolvency and Trustee Service Australia (ITSA) National Personal Insolvency Index which contains information about proceedings and administrations under the Bankruptcy Act 1966 (Cth).

Once completed, these documents must be submitted to Cabinet as part of the Cabinet submission process. There are circumstances where departmental secretaries may approve the waiver of police checks on any appointment/re-appointment to an unpaid Cemetery Trust or Committee of Management where the departmental secretary considers that the operation and assets of the public entity do not pose a significant financial or non-financial risk to the State.2

7.6 Making a Selection Decision

Appointment to a public entity Board should be based on merit and evidence to support claims about the ability to perform the role, using fair selection procedures. This section outlines the issues to consider when making a selection decision.

Table 28: Making a selection decision
Theme Action Responsibility
Making a selection decision Rate each candidate against a consistent set of selection criteria (that is also consistent with the role description), considering all evidence gathered from interviews, referee checks and written application. Selection panel.
Provide the Minister with a briefing seeking approval for the appointment of recommended candidates. Responsible governance officer(s).

7.7 Feedback to Candidates

To ensure potential candidates are kept well informed throughout the appointment process, feedback about how they are progressing should be provided to them throughout the cycle. Keeping them informed ensures that they do not become dissatisfied with the appointment process and therefore reluctant to nominate themselves for Board positions in the future. A well run process protects the reputation of the public entity and government.

Table 29: Feedback to candidates
Theme Action Responsibility
Feedback to candidates At the start of the process advise candidates how long the recruitment and appointment process is likely to take and if and when they will be notified during the process. Selection panel OR Responsible governance officer(s).
Keep the candidates informed of their progression through the recruitment process. Selection panel OR Responsible governance officer(s).
As soon as possible, notify candidates that they have not progressed to the next stage of the recruitment process. Selection panel OR Responsible governance officer(s).
As soon as possible after the successful candidates have been notified and accepted, notify unsuccessful short-listed candidates not appointed by the Minister to a Directorship. Selection panel OR Responsible governance officer(s).

Footnotes

  1. Department of Premier and Cabinet, as updated, Appointment and Remuneration Guidelines for Victorian Government Boards, Statutory Bodies and Advisory Committees, Department of Premier and Cabinet, Victoria.
  2. Department of Premier and Cabinet, as updated, Appointment and Remuneration Guidelines for Victorian Government Boards, Statutory Bodies and Advisory Committees, Department of Premier and Cabinet, Victoria.