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Issuing Recruitment Licences

The Commission for Public Service Appointments grants recruitment licences to certain public service bodies who wish to carry out their own recruitment to positions as defined in the Public Service Management (Recruitment and Appointments) Act 2004.

There are four options open to heads of public service bodies who wish to appoint staff from an external source. These are:

  • Apply for a recruitment licence and, on receipt of the licence, carry out the recruitment themselves
  • Apply for a recruitment licence and, on receipt of the licence, retain the services of a private sector recruitment agency specifically approved by the Commission to assist with some of the tasks connected with selection under the licence held. However, the final selection of candidates for appointment and the placing of candidates on a panel for appointment will always be the responsibility of the licence holder
  • Apply for a recruitment licence and, on receipt of the licence, delegate part of the task of recruitment to the Public Appointments Service (the centralised recruitment agency for public service recruitment)
  • Request the Public Appointments Service to carry out the recruitment function, in which case there is no need to apply for a licence.

Please note that the Commission does not issue recruitment licences to Recruitment Agencies which is a matter for the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation. Only when a Recruitment Agency has been approved and issued with a licence by the Department can they approach the Commission to be included on the list of approved Recruitment Agencies published on the website.

When is a recruitment licence necessary?
It is always necessary for an office holder (i.e. the head of the organisation) proposing to carry out recruitment directly or with the assistance of a listed recruitment agency approved by the Commission to have a recruitment licence.

What positions are covered by a recruitment licence?
A recruitment licence may be granted either generally or in respect of one or more particular positions.

How is an application for a licence made?
An application for a recruitment licence must be made on the appropriate form which can be obtained from the Commission by contacting us at 01-6395750 or at info@cpsa.ie.  The completed application form should be submitted to the Secretary, Office of the Commission for Public Service Appointments, 18 Lower Leeson Street, Dublin 2.

How is an application evaluated?
The information provided on the application form is evaluated against specified criteria.

  • The applicant must be a designated office holder (i.e. the head of the organisation)
  • The applicant must demonstrate that he or she has the capacity to carry out the selection process in line with best practice.

All decisions of the Commission are communicated in writing and are binding.

What is the duration of a recruitment licence?
There is no time limit attached to a licence. However, the Commission may terminate a licence in certain circumstances..

Public bodies who hold a recruitment licence issued by the Commission: