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Selection process

This section outlines the stages of a selection process, and provides information about what you can expect at each stage.


Selection for all advertised employment opportunities is made on the basis of merit. Merit is defined in the Public Service Act 1999 as follows:

Rating scale

All applications, and where applicable, interviews, referee comments and testing, will be assessed using the following rating scale:

HS – Highly Suitable The applicant possesses exceptionally well developed and relevant skills and abilities and appropriate personal qualities in relation to this criterion; and their performance is outstanding.
VS – Very Suitable The applicant possesses highly developed and relevant skills and abilities and appropriate personal qualities; and would perform consistently well against this criterion.
S – Suitable The applicant possesses relevant skills abilities and personal qualities and would be generally effective against this criterion.
ND – Needs Development The applicant possesses relevant skills abilities and personal qualities but is unable to demonstrate that they would be effective at this level against this criterion. After a period of developmental assistance the applicant is likely to be considered suitable against this criterion.
US – Unsuitable The applicant is unable to demonstrate possession of adequate skills abilities and/or personal qualities in relation to the criterion at this time.

Assessment of written application

Applicants’ claims against the selection criteria and the information provided in their CVs are assessed against the position profile. A short-list of candidates to proceed to the next stage is prepared.

Note: Selection panels are not obliged to accept late applications. Applicants who are unable to lodge a full application on time should discuss their circumstances with the Contact Officer. If the Contact Officer agrees to accept a late application, they will nominate another date for receipt of a full application. Applications received after that date will be excluded from further consideration.


Depending on the nature of the role, short-listed candidates may be required to do a test. Tests could include one or more of the following: psychometric test, work sample test, practical assessment, demonstration and/or presentation.

If testing is part of a specific selection process, candidates will be provided with relevant information—such as the type of test, timeframe and location—at least two working days before the scheduled assessment.

Candidates who need special arrangements—such as mobility assistance or an interpreter—should note this on the Application Cover Sheet or speak to the nominated Contact Officer.


Interviews may not necessarily be held for every selection process. A selection panel may make its decision on the applications and referee reports (and/or testing if applicable).

If interviews are to be held, the selection panel will assume candidates are available to attend an interview from the date applications close—even if they are on leave. As such, candidates should ensure they provide appropriate contact details on the Application Cover Sheet.

Short-listed candidates will be given at least two working days notice of a scheduled interview. Reasonable attempts will be made to cater to candidates’ commitments. However, candidates should not assume that the selection process will be delayed to accommodate their availability.

Candidates who need special arrangements—such as mobility assistance or an interpreter—should note this on the Application Cover Sheet or speak to the nominated Contact Officer.

Referee reports

Written referee reports are not usually required to be submitted with applications for positions with ComSuper. Instead, applicants are asked to provide the names and contact details of two referees on the Application Cover Sheet.

The exception to this general rule is where a selection panel member is the nominated referee for an applicant. In this situation—in order to reduce the potential for a conflict of interest—the panel member is required to provide a written referee report on that applicant before seeing any other applications or information on other applicants; and to inform their co-panel members of the particular circumstances.

Nominated referees should be in a position to comment on and assess the applicant’s work performance. One of the nominated referees should be the applicant’s current supervisor/manager.

Generally, selection panels will seek referee comments on only the most competitive candidates for a position. However, selection panels may request a written report or seek oral comments from referees at any stage of the selection process. For example, the panel may seek referee comments to assist in short-listing.

Where oral reports are obtained from referees, comments will be documented. Referee comments, whether written or documented oral reports, will be provided to the applicant to whom the comments relate. Should the applicant wish to respond to any of the referee comments, their response will be taken into account by the panel in its assessment of the applicant’s claims provided the response is submitted to the panel in a timely manner.

Note: ComSuper reserves the right to contact any of an applicant’s past or present employers in order to obtain background information regarding an applicant’s suitability for the advertised position.

Delegate approval

The selection panel prepares a selection report containing recommendation(s) based on its assessment of the relative suitability of each candidate for the requirements of the position.

The Delegate of ComSuper’s CEO receives and considers the selection report and decides on the preferred candidate.

Placement and Orders of Merit

Each selection exercise potentially results in the creation of an Order of Merit which remains valid for twelve months from the date the employment opportunity was advertised. Should similar vacancies arise within that period, the delegate may use an existing Order of Merit to make another offer of employment.

Candidates assessed as suitable, but not offered a position in the first instance, will remain on the Order of Merit unless they advise in writing that they wish to withdraw from further consideration. A candidate may decline an offer of employment but remain on the Order of Merit.

Advice and feedback

All applicants will be advised whether or not they have been successful in obtaining a position. The selection panel will offer feedback to applicants.


If an applicant wishes to withdraw from the process at any stage, they should advise the Contact Officer in writing either by email or post.


Last updated June 24, 2014