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Home > Administration of the civil service >> Civil service reform

Civil Service New Entry System

Recruits to the Civil Service used to be mostly appointed on permanent and pensionable terms with a probationary period of two years. With a view to introducing more flexibility in the civil service appointment system, the Government implemented on 1 June 2000 a new entry system and a new set of terms of appointment and conditions of service for new appointees to the Civil Service.

Under the new entry system, most recruits to the Civil Service will be appointed initially on probationary terms or agreement terms for a specified observation period before they could be considered for appointment on the prevailing permanent terms, subject to meeting relevant criteria and requirements as may be specified for the grade. Individual civil service grades may formulate their own recruitment policy and adopt different entry systems for new recruits, i.e. different observation period and terms of appointment, to cater for their management needs or operational requirements.

Departmental and grade management is responsible for ensuring vigilance in monitoring and managing probationers and agreement officers, observing their performance, abilities and potential, and enforcing suitability standards. Stringent standards are applied to ensure that only those recruits who are considered suitable in all respects are offered permanent terms and those who are unsuitable will not be offered further appointment.

Departmental and grade management is also provided with greater flexibility to consider, having regard to job requirements, operational needs, experience level and other circumstances of the grade concerned, on whether, when and how to expand the pool of candidates to other grades in the Civil Service or to outside candidates. This helps to widen the pool of candidates for selection to fill vacancies in higher ranks, and to bring in skills, expertise and experience otherwise not available within the department and grade where necessary and appropriate.

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