Human Resources

University Policy on Selection for Appointment

Policy No.
Human Resources
Authoring Organisational Unit
HR Services - Human Resources
Date Approved
30/09/2010 Revised 01/04/2012
Next Review Date
Approving Body
Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor And Registrar

The University of Western Australia

University Policy on: Selection for Appointment

Purpose of the policy and summary of issues it addresses:

This policy defines the principles of the University's open and transparent recruitment process for managers and supervisors appointing employees through competitive selection.


"Approved Delegate" means a position granted authority to act on behalf of the Vice Chancellor with varied levels of authority in line with the University's Delegations.

"Close relative" means the relationship of parent and child, wife and husband, including de-facto relationships, same sex partners and siblings.

"Competitive Selection Process" means the determination of relative merit against selection criteria ensuring the best possible choice of applicant to fill a vacant position. Calls for expressions of interest do not constitute a competitive selection process.

"Employee" means a person employed by the University who has an ongoing, fixed term or casual contract under the terms of the Academic, General, Childcare and ELICOS Staff Agreements (as amended or replaced from time to time).

"Supervisor" means the person who is responsible for the day-to-day supervision of the employee

"University" means The University of Western Australia.

Policy statement:

Process Map: Overview of Recruitment Process

Process Map: Selection

Process Map: Appointment

A strategic priority of the University is to recruit the highest quality staff. A merit based selection process administered by Selection Committees is expected to maximise the potential for selecting the best person without unlawful discrimination.

This policy provides a common selection framework for the whole University, however the selection and recruitment of staff to fill vacant positions is the responsibility of individual work areas.

As soon as a person has accepted an offer of employment (either verbal or written) from a representative of the University, a contract of employment exists. It is therefore essential that while the work area will prepare a Selection Report which is to be signed by the Chair and panel members of the Selection Committee, it will be Human Resources' responsibility to make a formal offer to the successful applicant upon receipt of the Selection Report and Recommendation to Offer New Employment Contract Form.

A separate process exists for appointment to the University Executive and at the level of senior executive, Dean and Winthrop Professor. Recruitment is undertaken by the Senate Selection Committee, chaired by the Vice-Chancellor. The selection process is co-ordinated by the Executive Support Manager.

In addition, the Fast Track Appointment process allows managers and supervisors to fast track the appointment of eligible employees up to two levels higher than their substantive classification. Fast Track Appointment provides an alternative appointment process to the standard competitive selection process.

The policy is supported by the following selection and appointment guides that detail the selection process and techniques to be used by the Selection Committees -

Academic Staff Appointments

Professional Staff Appointments

1 Selection Criteria

1.1 Selection criteria are essential to the selection process as they provide the basis on which a Selection Committee can assess the relative merit of applicants. The criteria ensures the assessment when shortlisting, interviewing and reference checking is made on the same basis for all applicants to a position. Applicants are assessed on their merit and the extent to which they meet or exceed defined selection criteria.

1.2 Selection criteria must be prepared for every vacant position.

1.2.1 Academic Staff

Selection criteria should be based on the University's Minimum Standards for Academic Levels (MSALs) detailed in Schedule F of the Academic Staff Agreement. They should include requirements related to teaching and research and be consistent with the MSALs appropriate to the level of the position.

Selection criteria will be prepared by the Head of School or equivalent and authorised by the Approved Delegate.

1.2.2 Professional Staff -

Selection criteria form part of the Position Description that must be created for a position to be classified and advertised. Selection criteria should be work-related and will normally cover the following four categories:

  • qualifications or training
  • relevant skills and abilities
  • relevant knowledge
  • relevant previous work experience

and must be authorised by the Approved Delegate.

The following position description templates are available for use.

Position Description form - A

Position Description form - B

2 Selection Committee

2.1 To achieve the University's strategic priority to recruit the highest quality staff, vacancies will wherever possible be filled from a diverse field of applicants. The composition of the Selection Committee should reflect gender and cultural diversity.

2.2 A Selection Committee is established by the Chair (usually the vacant position's manager) and should comprise -

  • Academic Staff appointments
  • Dean of the Faculty as Chair (this role may be delegated to Head of School/Centre or nominee for Levels A & B and Research Academic positions),
  • two other members of the School/Centre,
  • the Head of School/Centre or nominee,
  • one member from outside the School/Centre (a member of academic staff at equivalent or higher level)


  • if the appointment is to a clinical or para-clinical department in a teaching hospital it is usual to co-opt the chairperson of the Hospital's appointments committee or nominee.
  • Professional Staff appointments -
  • at least three members
  • at least one person with detailed working knowledge of the requirements of the position, preferably the supervisor, and
  • at least one member from outside the immediate work area.

2.3 The Selection Committee must record key elements of the interviews and subsequent deliberations to ensure transparency of the decision making process and be capable of review.

3 Assessment

3.1 Applicants are not required to submit a specific written statement addressing the selection criteria; however, applicants do need to demonstrate they have the required capabilities to meet the selection criteria of the position. Applicants are required to submit their resume and a covering letter to demonstrate they can meet the selection criteria. Applicants can choose to also submit a mini-statement with one or two specific examples or a full statement addressing each selection criterion.

3.2 Short listed applicants are assessed on their merit and the extent to which they meet or exceed defined selection criteria. Assessment is made on the basis of the written application, responses to behaviourally-based interview questions, performance in work tests and/or presentations and the information gained from referees and/or background checks.

4 Confidentiality

4.1 Applications for positions are strictly confidential and access is restricted to those directly involved in the selection process and Human Resources staff.

4.2 Selection Committee members are required to sign the Statement of Confidentiality.

5 Special requirements

5.1 When a Working with Children Check or a National Police Clearance Certificate is required, ensure the applicant is advised at the interview that appointment to the position is subject to this requirement. If the applicant does not provide a copy at the time of interview, they are to apply for a Certificate in a timely manner when directed by the University.

5.2 For some positions a higher level of fitness is required when the duties involve manual tasks. If the selection committee identify that physical fitness to meet the inherent requirements of the position is required, contact the Manager of Injury Management and Wellbeing in UWA Safety and Health on ext. 2784.

5.3 In these situations the applicants should be asked to bring the pre-employment medical questionnaire (PEMQ) to the interview. After all other selection criteria have been applied the PEMQ should be viewed by the Chair only. Information on the PEMQ should then only be divulged to other panel members if there are any concerns. The panel can only rely on objective medical information and further assessment may be required to assess fitness for duty and avoid potential discrimination.

6 Current Employees of the University

6.1 Employees applying for vacancies must supply all information relevant to their application as information on University personal files is not available to Selection Committees.

7 Employment of Close Relatives

7.1 The employment of relatives is only acceptable when the appointment is made in line with this policy.

7.2 A member of staff should not take any direct part in the selection process for an appointment for which a family member is a candidate.

7.3 Prior approval must be sought from the Dean or Vice Chancellor where a staff member is required to directly supervise a relative.

8 Selected Applicant on Rehabilitation or Workers' Compensation

8.1 There may be occasions when the preferred applicant for a position is currently receiving Workers' Compensation benefits and/or is being assisted by a rehabilitation agency.

8.2 In these circumstances, which may apply to internal and external applicants, the University may select one of the following options:

  • Arranging a 'work assessment' period for 1-12 weeks prior to appointment, transfer or promotion during which the selected applicant continues to be paid workers' compensation. The aim of this procedure is to enable the University to ensure the applicant is physically able to cope with the position before appointment or transfer and to prevent the applicant from losing workers' compensation benefits unnecessarily. (For example it may be unclear whether the preferred applicant's back injury would preclude them from completing all Library Assistant duties satisfactorily - a work assessment period allows this matter to be determined to the benefit of both parties).
  • Having a workplace assessment/job analysis completed by a rehabilitation professional to determine whether there is a risk to the selected applicant and whether this may be attenuated by provision of suitable equipment and furniture or reasonable alteration to existing work practices;
  • Arranging provision of suitable furniture and equipment;
  • Arranging short-term training. For example, the preferred applicant may require keyboard or first-aid training to be fully competent in the position. Such training may be provided through rehabilitation funding and arranged through UWA Safety and Health, Human Resources.

8.3 Applicants involved with a rehabilitation agency will generally advise the selection committee during the interview. If possible, the name of the agency and contact person should be obtained.

Related forms: (Link)

Related forms:

Position Description - A
Position Description Template - B

  • Selection and Appointment Guide for Chairs of Selection Committees:

- Academic Staff

- Professional Staff

  • Sample Interview Questions

- Academic Staff

- Professional Staff

TRIM File No:


Contact position:

HR Services - Recruitment

Related Policies or legislation:

University Policy on : Advertising UP07/160

University Policy on: Fast Track Appointment (Professional Employees) UP08/2