In accordance with Article 99 of the Basic Law, new recruits appointed to the Civil Service on or after 1 July 1997 must be permanent residents of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, save for those who fall within the exceptions provided in Articles 99 & 101 of the Basic Law.
The entry requirements for civil service grades and ranks are normally set with reference to academic or professional qualifications, technical skills, working experience, language proficiency and other qualities or attributes as required on the basis of the operational need of the grades/ranks concerned.
Language Proficiency Requirements
It is the established policy to maintain a biliterate (Chinese and English) and trilingual (Cantonese, Putonghua and English) Civil Service in order to meet the long-term operational and development needs. The language proficiency requirements of civil service grades are normally laid down as part of the entry requirements for recruitment –
- for degree / professional grades, the language proficiency requirements are normally set at either Level 2 or Level 1 in the two language papers (viz. Use of Chinese and Use of English) in the Common Recruitment Examination, or equivalent;
- for non-degree grades with academic qualification requirements at the Hong Kong Certificate of Education Examination (HKCEE) level or above, the language proficiency requirements are normally at least Level 2 in Chinese Language and English Language subjects in the HKCEE, or equivalent Note;
- for non-degree grades with academic qualification requirements lower than the HKCEE level, the language proficiency requirements are normally aligned with the minimum academic qualification prescribed for the concerned grades; and
- for non-degree grades that do not have any prescribed academic qualification, the language proficiency requirements are also set at a level commensurate with the job requirements of the concerned grades.
Language proficiency requirements of particular grades will be shown at the relevant recruitment advertisements. Applicants are normally required to meet the language proficiency requirements before job applications. Enquiries on the language proficiency requirements and recruitment plan of particular grades can be directed to the recruiting grades / departments.
For civil service appointment purpose, Grade C and Grade E in Chinese Language and English Language (Syllabus B) in HKCEE before 2007 are accepted administratively as comparable to Level 3 and Level 2 respectively in Chinese Language and English Language in the 2007 HKCEE and henceforth. Grade C and Grade D in Chinese Language and English Language in International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) / General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) / General Certificate of Education (Ordinary Level)(GCE O Level) are accepted as comparable to Level 3 and Level 2 in Chinese Language and English Language respectively in the Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education Examination (HKDSEE) / HKCEE for civil service appointments. "Attained" and "Attained with Distinction" results in the Applied Learning Chinese (for non-Chinese speaking students) subject is accepted respectively as meeting the Chinese language proficiency requirements of Level 2 and Level 3 in Chinese Language in HKDSEE.