You should be in a position to plan your staffing needs, including the filling of temporary posts, through workforce planning activities.

In some cases, however, it may be necessary to appoint someone to a civil service position on a temporary basis, outside of the requirements of the Public Service Management (Recruitment and Appointments) Act 2004. In such cases, you can apply to us for an excluding order for the position.

If we grant the order, the appointment is temporarily excluded from the requirements of the Act. This means you can make an appointment without a full selection process under the Code of Practice.

We usually approve excluding orders only for specific short-term initiatives or in exceptional circumstances. Circular 37/2007 sets out the rules governing applications for excluding orders, the types of positions covered by an order, how to apply for an excluding order and generally excluded positions.

When is an order required?

We grant excluding orders only for temporary positions within the Civil Service.

They are usually only granted when appointing someone to a specific short-term initiative or as ministerial office staff. Apart from this, we will grant an order only in exceptional circumstances.

We do not usually give an order to replace someone who is on sick leave, on annual leave or retiring. These vacancies should be filled through normal workforce planning and in line with the Code of Practice.

We may grant an excluding order in the cases outlined below:

1. Work experience and student placements

You need an excluding order for internships and student placements. College courses often require students to go on placements, usually to get work experience or to do research.

If you are asking for an order in these cases, you should explain how you will select students based on the course requirements and the benefits of the placement to your organisation.

You also need an excluding order for appointments under the Willing and Able Mentoring (WAM) programme and for Traveller placement initiatives.

2. Ministerial appointments

You need an order for appointments within a minister’s private office, such as personal assistant, personal secretary and civilian driver. The order will last for the minister’s term of office.

You do not need an excluding order for the post of special adviser because this is covered under excluded positions.

3. Specialist professional/technical skills

The appointment of specialist professional/technical staff usually takes place through normal workforce planning and in line with the Code of Practice.

However, you may ask for an excluding order in exceptional circumstances if:

  • You have an urgent and critical need to hire someone while a selection process under the Code of Practice is under way 
  • You need someone to work on a short-term project where the timeframes involved do not allow for a regular selection process
  • You need to appoint someone with specialised skills and a regular selection process would not be practical
  • You have a valid business reason to appoint someone before pre-employment checks are completed

You should send a detailed business case when applying for an excluding order for professional/technical roles.

4. Other

In some other cases, we will consider a request for an excluding order if you believe there are exceptional circumstances. You must include the circumstances and a detailed business case in your application.

In these cases, excluding orders will not usually be granted for periods of more than three months.

How can I apply for an order?

1. Draft a business case

Include a business case in your application for an excluding order. If your application relates to internships/student placements/WAM, give details about

  • The role
  • The number of people to be appointed
  • How long the post will last
  • How/why you selected the people to be appointed
  • The initiative/programme supporting the appointment
  • The work to be carried out

If your application relates to professional/specialist skills and other cases, you should give details about:

  • The role
  • The number of people to be appointed
  • How long the post will last
  • How the position came about
  • The efforts taken to fill the post through normal recruitment procedures
  • How/why you selected the  people to be appointed
  • The efforts being made to fill the role on a permanent basis, if this is relevant

2. Request sanction for filling of the post

When a position is not subject to delegated sanction, you should request sanction to fill the position from your expenditure vote in the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform.

3. Request sanction to apply to the Commission 

You must also get sanction from the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform to approach the Commission for an excluding order. You can ask for this online at:

Or send your request to the Strategic Resource Unit, Personnel and Remuneration Division, the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, Merrion Street, Dublin 2.

You should include details about the nature and duration of the post, as well as the business case and a copy of the proposed contract.

4. Apply to the Commission

If you apply for an excluding order, you should include a detailed business case to support your request and a copy of the sanction from the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform. You can apply online here.

Or you can send your application to the Commission for Public Service Appointments, 6 Earlsfort Terrace, Dublin 2, D02 W773.

You should apply at least a month in advance of the intended start date. You must not make an appointment until an excluding order has been granted.

We cannot grant an excluding order retrospectively.

Positions excluded under the Act 

There are a number of roles that are automatically excluded from the requirements of the Act and the Code of Practice. An excluding order is not needed for these positions.

More information on excluded positions can be found here.

If you are not sure if an excluding order process applies to a position, you can contact us.