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This tool gives general guidelines for writing and using Selection Criteria, as well as a range of examples of the selection criteria for general and academic positions.
Selection Criteria form the list of skills, knowledge, experience and attributes:
The Appointment Committee is responsible for drawing up the Selection Criteria, based on the guidelines and having care to ensure that equity and diversity issues are considered. The Committee is also responsible for making sure that the criteria are available to candidates.
The Selection Criteria are recorded on the Selection Criteria proforma.
The purpose of Selection Criteria
Selection Criteria provide both candidates and the Appointment Committee with a definitive list of the skills, knowledge, experience and attributes that a candidate needs in order to undertake successfully the responsibilities and duties of a position. In addition, they assist in ensuring that selection is based on merit.
Their main use is to aid in the selection of staff by creating a measure against which all candidates can be fairly judged throughout the appointment process.
The responsibilities of the Appointment Committee
Before advertising any position, the Appointment Committee should agree on and document Selection Criteria for the position. Establishing Selection Criteria before advertising the position or considering applications means that Selection Criteria are available to candidates, enabling them to:
The Appointment Committee must ensure that the Selection Criteria are available on request to any potential candidates, and distributed to those referees who provide comments on candidates to the Appointment Committee.
Considerations when setting Selection Criteria
The following points should be considered when writing the selection criteria:
Selection Criteria for Academic Staff
The primary duties for academic staff are research, scholarship and teaching. Selection Criteria for academic positions are statements of the attributes necessary to carry out the duties of the position, and relate to the levels of skills and experience needed to perform those duties.
To a degree, academic staff are assumed to possess these attributes by virtue of their professional training. For example, anyone who has completed a PhD could be expected to have written communication skills, the ability to plan and organise work, and the ability to achieve agreed targets under constant work pressure. However since candidates will be measured against these criteria, it is best to list them to avoid confusion.
Selection Criteria for Professional Staff
All professional staff positions should have Duty Statements, which list the duties of the position. However Duty Statements do not specifically describe the levels of skills, knowledge, experience and attributes needed to perform those duties.
Professional staff positions tend to be much more skills based than academic positions, and the skills and attributes required for different positions may vary greatly. Qualifications relevant to general staff positions also vary greatly. The criteria should include reference to any required or desirable qualifications.