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Order of Merit


In accordance with the Office of the Civil Service Commissioners' Recruitment Code, appointments to the NICS are made under the ‘merit principle’, where the best person for any given post is selected in fair and open competition.

Visit the NICS Commissioners' website to view the Recruitment Code.

Those candidates who meet the required standard(s) and pass mark will be deemed suitable for appointment. Those suitable for appointment will be listed in order of merit with the highest scoring candidate ranked first. HRConnect will allocate a candidate (or candidates) to a vacancy (or vacancies) in the order listed. 


Pre Offer Checks


Candidates who have been found suitable in a recruitment competition and are high enough on the merit list to be allocated to a vacancy, will progress to pre offer stage.  At this stage in the process, HRConnect carry out checks on candidates such as validation of ID, nationality and qualifications as well as processing the appropriate security vetting required by the post.


There are 4 levels of vetting as follows: -


1.  Baseline Standard (BS) This is a check of a candidate’s identity, Employment history, Nationality and Immigration Status and Criminal Record Check (CRC).


There are three levels of disclosure carried out by Access NI each representing a different level of check:-


  • Basic Disclosure - This certificate will show details of all convictions considered to be unspent under the Rehabilitation of Offenders (NI) Order 1978, or state that no such convictions were found; 


  • Standard Disclosure – This certificate will show details of spent and unspent convictions and cautions, this level of vetting is required for certain positions such as, for example, Accountants, Vets, Barristers.


  • Enhanced Disclosure – An enhanced disclosure contains all of the information in the Standard Disclosure as well as any other relevant information held in police records. This level is mainly for positions that involve contact with children or vulnerable adults.   


Further information on the above disclosures can be obtained by checking the Access NI website


  The following levels of vetting 2, 3 and 4 are processed through the Defence Business Services (DBS), National Security Vetting system.


2.  Counter Terrorist Check (CTC): as point 1 plus check of Security Service records.


3.  Security Check (SC): as point 2 plus credit reference check.


4.  Developed Vetting (DV): as point 3 plus subject interview and field investigation.  



Offers of Appointment 


Once all these checks have been successfully completed, candidates will be issued with a formal offer of appointment.  This offer contains details of the post, terms and conditions including salary, pension information along with reporting details for the first day of work.  Also included is an acceptance slip which candidates should complete and return to HRConnect as soon as possible after receiving the offer, this confirms that the candidate is content with the details enclosed and are intending to start work on the day requested.


It is NICS policy that, except in very exceptional circumstances, candidates will only receive one offer of appointment from a competition which, if not accepted, will result in the candidate being withdrawn from the competition.