1. Information for people with a disability
1.1 If I have a disability, can I still apply?
Yes, of course! The Public Appointments Service has a key role to play in attracting candidates from all sectors of society, ensuring that routes to career opportunities are accessible to all who are interested. We are committed to equality of opportunity for all candidates.
If you have a disability or need reasonable accommodations made during the selection process, we strongly encourage you to share this with us so that we can ensure you get the support you need. Reasonable accommodation in our selection process refers to adjustments and practical changes which would enable a disabled candidate to have an equal opportunity for any competition. Examples of adjustments we provide include the use of assistive technology, extra time, scribes and/or readers or a range of other accommodations.
Please be assured that having a disability or requiring adjustments will not impact on your progress in the selection process; you will not be at a disadvantage if you disclose your disability or requirements to us. Your disability and/or adjustments will be kept entirely confidential.
Should you be successful, the disclosure of a disability for the recruitment process will not be passed onto the employing department unless you request that we do so.
1.2 What accessibility and reasonable accommodations are available?
The purpose of the report is to provide Publicjobs.ie with information to act as a basis for determining reasonable accommodations, where appropriate. The information within these reports that is useful for us to see includes the outcome of any diagnostic tests conducted by your psychologist/doctor, and their summary of recommendations in relation to your requirements. You may redact (block out) parts of medical reports/psychologist’s reports that you feel are sensitive or unnecessary for the decision to make reasonable adjustments.
Refer to the information booklet for the competition you have applied to for guidance on timelines that reports must be submitted by.
For further information on the accessibility of our service, please follow this link to the Accessibility page.
2. Password, login, downloads, and other technical issues
2.1 Need help updating or accessing your account?
If you have forgotten your username or password, please click on the link to ‘forgot my username or password’ and follow the on-screen instructions.
If you are contacting us for assistance with your login, or need help with your account (e.g., creating a job alert, deleting a duplicate account, updating your contact information etc.), please have your email address, date of birth and PPS number to hand so that we can locate your profile and update your details as required.
2.2 I am trying to reset my password but the answer to my security question was not accepted.
Please note that the answer to your security question is CASE SENSITVE. If the answer is, for example, your PPS Number or your mother’s maiden name, please try entering it in an alternative format (e.g., in all lowercase if you entered it with uppercase letters, etc). When setting the answer to your security question, please consider surnames with apostrophes, spaces, or multiple uppercase letters.
2.3 My PDF application form won’t download or open
If you are encountering difficulties downloading or opening the Detailed PDF form;
Check that Adobe is set as your default PDF reader. It may be that you have not got Adobe 7.0.5 (or higher) set as your default PDF reader. In your settings menu, manually set Adobe as your default PDF reader. This should solve the problem.
If it does not, and you are using the “Google Chrome” web browser, try the following:
If, when you attempt to download the PDF application form, you are seeing a white page containing the message 'please wait...’ you may be encountering an issue with Chrome. Whilst Chrome will download and save the PDF application form, it does not open PDF’s using Adobe, it tries to open PDFs as a tab within the web browser, causing the PDF to crash.
To work around this issue, please follow these steps;
1. Ensure Adobe has been set as your default PDF Reader.
2. Shut Chrome down temporarily.
3. Navigate to the “Downloads” folder on your computer. The PDF application form will have saved to this location.
Double click on the PDF application form icon and Adobe should open it (alternatively, right click on the PDF application form icon and select “Open With” from the drop down menu, then select “Adobe”).
To a lesser extent this problem sometimes occurs with IE and Firefox, but the above steps will also resolve it for those browsers.
2.4 What is a Candidate ID/Number?
Your Candidate ID is generated when you register on www.publicjobs.ie. It can be found in the personal details page of your www.publicjobs.ie profile. This is a unique number linked to your profile. You can quote this number when interacting with our office. You also must enter this number on your detailed/PDF application form and any online application forms. This must be entered correctly, or you will be unable to move forward in the application process.
2.5 My application form won’t save with my candidate ID included.
When entering your Candidate ID into the application form, please ensure that you are typing it in carefully and correctly. Please do not copy and paste this ID number from another location as this may insert a blank space before or after a number. This space is counted as a character by our system and would cause your Candidate ID to be seen as incorrect.
3. Who are the civil service and what jobs are available?
3.1 What are the civil service grades, and do I need a degree?
Entry to the Civil Service depends on your level of education, skills and experience. Some entry points require qualifications at certain levels on the NFQ, but not all. We have a wide range of opportunities available for school leavers, graduates and professionals.
For a comprehensive overview if the Civil Service grade structure, Civil Service career path and a breakdown of the typical role and entry requirements at each grade, please follow this link to the Civil Service Career Path page.
3.2 Who do publicjobs.ie recruit for and what kind of roles do you offer?
Publicjobs.ie is the centralised provider of recruitment services for the Civil Service. We also provide recruitment services for the most senior roles in Local Authorities, leadership positions and Medical Consultant roles for the HSE, An Garda Síochána, and a range of specialist professional and technical roles throughout the Public Sector. We also support the appointments, by Minsters, to State Boards through our website at Stateboards.ie.
You will find further information by following this link to the Who We Recruit For page.
3.3 Is there a general exam for joining the civil service?
There is no general exam for joining the Civil Service. If you are interested in multiple competitions or roles, you must apply for each competition individually and complete the assessments for each competition as required.
3.4 Do you have information for post-primary guidance counsellors, TY coordinators and teachers?
For a deep dive, check out our dedicated schools microsite. You’ll find everything you need to support your students in exploring the public sector and the careers they can access - all in one place. There are 6 dedicated lesson plans that include a wealth of teachable moments for TY, LCA and LCVP classes and help to demystify the public sector in a fun, convenient and engaging way.
Want to learn more? Follow this link to the Public Jobs Schools Resource Kit.
3.5 Do you facilitate work experience or internships?
We don't have a centralised scheme in place for transition year work experience, work placements or internships in the Civil & Public Service. However, if you are interested, it's a good idea to contact any government department or office directly with your query. You should also talk to you course coordinator too.
4. Recruitment process and application advice
4.1. How do I set up a job alert?
1) Log in to/register your Public Jobs account.
2) Once you have logged in successfully you will be brought to your candidate portal. Click “My Job Alerts” on the left side of the page.
3) Scroll down to “Create Job Alert”.
4) Fill in the section that states “Assign a Name to this Job Alert”. You can choose any name for the alert, but it must be a singular word containing no special characters (e.g., Clerical, Garda etc.).
5) Select a category from the “Job Category” drop-down menu (e.g., “Administrative”, “Security/Emergency Services” etc.).
6) Once you have selected a category, the relevant sub-categories will be available in the “Job Sub-Category” drop-down menu. (e.g., for “Administrative”, the following sub-categories are available: “Clerical”, “General Administration”, “Other”, and “PA”; for “Security/Emergency Services”, the following sub-categories are available: “Firefighter”, “Garda”, “Garda Reserve”, “Other”, and “Prison Service”).
7) Click “Add Alert” to complete the process.
You can repeat this for any job categories and sub-categories in which you may be interested. If you are interested in a particular campaign (e.g., Garda Trainee, Clerical Officer etc.), but it does not appear in our Job Search function, it means that the specific campaign is not accepting applications at present. Therefore, we would recommend you follow the above steps to set up a job alert to be notified via email when the campaign is next advertised.
4.2 How do I apply for jobs?
1) Begin by registering an account on publicjobs.ie.
2) Once registered, use the “job search” function to locate the campaign you want to apply for and click on the “Job Details” button to read the information booklet.
3) When you are ready to apply, click the grey “APPLY NOW” button on the job advertisement.
4) You will be prompted to log into your Public Jobs account before accessing the application form.
5) Complete the application form with your details and follow the on-screen prompts to upload your form.
6) If your application has been completed and uploaded correctly, you will be able to view your application form in the “My Applications” tab of your publicjobs.ie account.
4.3 What is the recruitment process and how long does it take?
A summary of the stages of the recruitment process for any recruitment competition, along with provisional dates, is outlined in the information booklet for that competition.
For a comprehensive overview of stages in our recruitment process, typical recruitment timelines and a glossary of terms, follow this link to the Our Recruitment Process page.
4.4 Can I upload a CV as supporting documentation to my application?
Unless requested, a CV is not required as supporting documentation to your application form. All information required to process your application will be requested on your application form.
Publicjobs does not accept unsolicited CVs. For information on our application process follow this link to the Application Advice page.
4.5 Do I need to sign my application?
It is not required for you to sign the application form, typing your name in will suffice.
4.6 How do I access an old application form?
To access an old application form:
1) Log into your Publicjobs account.
2) Click the “My Applications” tab on the left-hand side of the page.
Please note: under GDPR guidelines, application forms are only available for a period of up to three years.
4.7 How do I know if my application has been received?
If your application has been completed and uploaded correctly, you will be able to view your application form in the “My Applications” tab of your publicjobs.ie account. You may also receive an email confirmation that your application has been received.
4.8 Can I withdraw an application?
You can withdraw your application at any stage of the selection process. You can do this via your public jobs profile.
5. Test and interview advice
5.1 What are the tests and how long do they take?
If you are invited to a test, all details will be issued to you in familiarisation material before your test date.
For an overview of the typical test process and some useful tips, follow this link to the Test Advice page.
5.2 What is the format of the interview and how long does it take?
If you are invited to interview, all details will be issued to you in familiarisation material or in the interview call up letter before your interview date.
For an overview of the typical interview process and some useful tips, follow this link to the Interview Advice page.
5.3 When will the results be available?
Depending on the number of candidates sitting the test, results are normally posted to your message board between three to four weeks after the closing date for sitting the test. For any queries on test results, please contact the relevant unit you are being tested for. Contact details should be found in the information booklet.
5.4 Can I reschedule my test or interview date/time?
A request to reschedule must be emailed to the relevant recruitment unit in advance of the allotted date and will only be considered under exceptional circumstances as deemed acceptable by the Public Appointments Service (e.g., Bereavement/Illness). Please note that the Public Appointments Service may request supporting documentation as evidence. Candidates who are afforded an opportunity to reschedule will be processed in the next candidate batch invited to the assessment that has been rescheduled.
Please note that candidates who are permitted to reschedule will be given only one opportunity to do so. If a candidate cannot make their rescheduled assessment, they will be deemed to have withdrawn from the competition.
5.5 Is there any advice on preparing for tests and interviews?
For advice on preparing for tests, follow this link to the Test Advice page.
For advice on preparing for interviews, follow this link to the Interview Advice page.
5.6 I don’t see anything on my message board.
Please keep an eye on your Publicjobs.ie Message Board for updates specific to any competition you have already applied to. If you are awaiting a result and you do not see a message on your public jobs message board; your result has not issued yet.
6. Feedback, complaints and appeals
6.1 Can I request feedback from my interview?
Feedback in relation to the selection process is available on request. Feedback and rechecks may be requested for up to six months after completion of each stage of the competition. However, please note that the Review Process as set out in the Code of Practice is a separate process with specified timeframes that must be observed. Receipt of feedback is not required to invoke a review. It is not necessary for a candidate to compile a detailed case prior to invoking the review mechanism. The timeframe set out in the CPSA Code cannot be extended for any reason including the provision of feedback and/or the outcome of rechecks.
6.2 Can I contact the Board for further feedback?
Each interview board has a Public Appointments Service representative sitting in on it. All feedback and appeals are based on notes made by the Public Appointments Service representative and the interviewing members of the Board. These notes and feedback are readily available, upon request from the recruitment unit. Beyond this, board members cannot be contacted for further feedback.
6.3 Can I appeal my result if I am unsuccessful?
Most competitions conducted by the Public Appointments Service are held in accordance with the CPSA code of practise. The review process will vary for competitions advertised prior to 12 November 2021 and those advertised after 12 November 2021.
Information on the relevant review process and links to the CPSA codes can be found by following this link to the Review Process page.
6.4 How do I lodge a complaint?
The complaints process will vary for competitions advertised prior to 12 November 2021 and those advertised after 12 November 2021.
7. Panels, clearance, and assignments
7.1 What are panels, clearance and assignment?
Being placed on a panel does not mean that you have gotten the job, yet... However, should you be placed on a panel and enough vacancies arise prior to its expiry date, you will be contacted for clearance and assignment.
For a comprehensive overview of the end to end recruitment process, including a glossary of terms, follow this link to the Our Recruitment Process page.
7.2 When does a panel expire?
Panel expiry dates differ for each competition. If there is no panel expiry date outlined in the information booklet, panel expiry is at the discretion of the Public Appointments Service.
7.3 Do I need to inform the Public Appointments Service if my employment circumstances change when I am in the clearance stage?
Yes. We need the most up-to-date information on all candidates for clearance purposes.
7.4 Can the Public Appointments Service help in obtaining documentation for clearance?
As stated in the information booklet, the onus is on the candidate to provide all documents requested by the Public Appointments Service for the clearance process within the timeframe requested. The Public Appointments Service cannot offer any assistance on obtaining clearance documentation.
7.5 Why must I use my present employer as a reference before assignment?
We use your present employer for reference purposes. However, if you are working in the private sector, no contact will be made with your current employer without your prior knowledge.
7.6 Where will I be assigned, and can I choose the department or office?
You cannot choose where you will be assigned to, although you are free to submit a request once you are contacted by the clearance unit. There is no guarantee that this request will be facilitated. To ensure fairness to all candidates, assignments are based on the existing vacancies at the time your order of merit on a panel is reached.
7.7 What happens if I decline or refuse an offer of assignment?
If an offer of assignment is declined, you are deemed to have withdrawn your application and no further offers will be made to you in relation to that competition. Always refer to the information booklet for clearance guidelines.
7.8 What happens once I’ve been assigned and how soon after must I take up duty?
Once you are assigned, a member of the HR staff of the department you have been assigned to will make contact with you to discuss your contract, start date and other details. Your start date is something that will be discussed between yourself and the employing organisation.
7.9 Can I contact someone from the Employing Department/Authority to discuss the role?
The Public Appointment Service is the main point of contact for any queries, including login and application issues, any questions about the role, and the campaign progress. We will also source or find out other information you request, if available.
Once the recruitment process has finished and you have been assigned, a member of our Clearance Unit will provide you with contact details of the HR unit in your new employing department. You will not receive these contact details prior to this.
7.10 Can I negotiate my starting salary?
All information regarding salary can be found in the relevant information booklet.
Have a question we didn't answer, or need to contact us? You’ll find our details on the Contact Us page of this website.
For client queries please visit our dedicated Client Information Hub