The appeal will be heard either in-person or through Microsoft Teams (s.158A). The decision as to which method will be used will be made by the President, taking into account the location of positions, the location of the parties, the complexity of the hearing, the number of parties, current demands on police resources and any other relevant factors or requests.

The method of hearing will be published in the hearing list and all parties will be notified.

Traditionally the PRSB conducted appeals in person at 155 Queen Street Melbourne. In recent times, the development of new technology and the wide-spread use of Microsoft Team in Victoria Police has made it easy for the PRSB to conduct appeals fairly and efficiently through Microsoft teams. This saves travel and staff time and reduces the impact on Police service delivery and rostering.

From 2021 the PRSB will conduct most appeals using Microsoft teams. The hearing notice sent to you will notify if the appeal will be in-person or by Microsoft Teams. Any party can request to participate by Microsoft teams, rather than in-person.

CCRs will always attend remotely (either by teleconference or through Microsoft Teams) unless there are special reasons for attending in person (for example, issues about eligibility or conduct/probity).

If you are rostered for duty, you should speak to your supervisor about arrangements for your attendance. If you are on afternoon or night shift, consider requesting the hearing is held on Microsoft Teams to manage fatigue. It is important that you do not drive when tired and that you are adequately rested before your next shift.

If you are the Appellant and are unable to attend either in person or by Microsoft Teams, you may either withdraw your application or have it determined in your absence (s.145(4)).

For both Appellants and Selectees, if an unforeseeable event prevents your participation in the appeal either in person or by Microsoft Teams, you can seek leave to make a written submission (see 4.4 of this Guide).

A Member of the PRSB Review Division hears appeals, usually sitting alone. The President allocates PRSB Members to each appeal. For senior or specialist positions, complex or multi-party matters or for training of PRSB Members, the appeal may be heard by two Members (at least one of whom must be the President or Deputy President (section 143)).

The PRSB Member hearing the appeal will make sure they do not have any conflict of interest. The hearing list is published online and shows which PRSB Member has been allocated to your appeal. This may be subject to late change for example, due to illness.

The Chief Commissioner is entitled to be represented in the appeal (by teleconference or through Microsoft Teams unless required to appear in person). Usually, the LPR undertakes this role but it may be another person. The CCR assists the PRSB Member with any questions about the position, the work location and the selection process.

It is also valuable for the local manager to hear the appeal to understand the experiences and claims of the candidates.

The Appellant and Selectee cannot be represented by any other person.

In-person and Microsoft Teams appeals are open to the public, unless the PRSB Member orders the hearing (or part of it) to be closed. This might occur if the position is sensitive (for example, a covert position) or if there is to be a discussion of a sensitive matter (such as a probity or health issue) (s.157). You can request the PRSB Member to close the hearing.

Any person wishing to observe an appeal being conducted on Microsoft Teams can request the PRSB to send a meeting invitation. They can join the meeting and will be requested to turn off their camera and be on mute.

Unless otherwise advised, in-person hearings are held at the PRSB office at Level 6, 155 Queen Street Melbourne (corner of Bourke Street). There is a waiting area and adjoining conference room that you may use.

Please be conscious of noise levels as there may be another hearing in progress.

There is limited on-street parking (1 and 2 hour) but there are several local parking stations. Nearby train stations are Flagstaff, Southern Cross and Flinders Street.

The closest tram is Stop 4 (Bourke Street/Queen Street) on Routes 86 and 96. Other nearby routes are 58 along William Street; 11, 12, 48 and 109 along Collins Street; and 19, 57 and 59 along Elizabeth Street.

If you have access to a Victoria Police device, you should have access to Microsoft Teams with your Victoria Police log in information. If you do not have access to a Victoria Police device, please email review@prsb.vic.gov.au with your personal email address. You will need to have access to this email address on a device that supports video calls and the Microsoft Teams app. This can be a laptop, computer with webcam, tablet or smartphone. Prior to the appeal you will need to access your device’s app store and download the Microsoft Teams app. You do not need to try to log in or have access granted. You only need to have the app downloaded on to your device. At the appointed time, join the meeting by clicking the link in the calendar invitation from the PRSB.

No. You are not permitted to record the hearing but you may take notes. Failure to comply with this direction may be in contempt of the PRSB (s.162).

If an Appellant cannot attend in person or participate by  Microsoft Teams, they may elect to have the appeal heard and determined in their absence or withdraw (s.145(4) and s.158A).

Additional documents or written submissions may only be lodged by an Appellant or on behalf of the Chief Commissioner if the PRSB Member finds that exceptional circumstances exist (s.145(2)). You will need to ask for leave (permission) and provide an explanation of the exceptional circumstances (for example, a significant operational matter, illness or travel).

A Selectee who cannot attend or participate by Microsoft Teams may seek leave to submit a written statement. If leave is given, the PRSB Member may give directions on interview-style questions or issues to be addressed in the written submission.

The PRSB Member may request a party or the Chief Commissioner to provide additional documents if they are important to the making of the decision.

A special Practice Note may request parties to lodge a written submission. For example during the COVID-19 pandemic or in appeals with a large number of parties.

The Transfer and Promotion Unit obtains a referee report from a current or recent supervisor nominated by each short-listed (interviewed) candidates. Referee reports are part of the panel’s assessment of candidates’ relative efficiency, are used to verify information given by candidates and as a final vetting process to ensure suitability for the position.

The PRSB allows Appellants who were not interviewed to also have a referee report considered in the appeal. The Notice of Appeal (VP form 1047) allows a referee to be nominated. This must be a current or recent supervisor with substantial time supervising you. The onus is on the Appellant to make sure the referee is available. The PRSB will contact the referee and request a report in a form provided, which is returned directly to the PRSB by a specified date (usually noon on the Friday before the hearing). If a referee report is not provided in that timeframe, the PRSB may decide the appeal without it. 

Consistent with TPU and PRSB practice, referee reports will not be provided to any of the parties, unless the PRSB Member considers it necessary. For example, as a matter of procedural fairness, the relevant party may be permitted respond to adverse comments.  Victoria Police obtains a referee report for all short-listed candidates. The Selection Panel uses the Referee Report to verify information provided in written KSC responses, in the interview, and as a final vetting process to ensure suitability for the position.

If a Referee Report includes significant information (for example, adverse comments relating to a person’s capacity for the position) the PRSB Member will provide that person with an opportunity to respond.

The Selection Panel is provided with summary probity reports of short-listed candidates using the Register of Complaints, Serious Incidents and Discipline (ROCSID). This information helps the panel to assess ‘good conduct’, as part of the test of ‘efficiency.’ Short-listed candidates are provided with their own ROCSID report prior to the panel interview to review it for accuracy.

Prior to approval of the final selection by the delegate, a further check for any current investigations is undertaken of the preferred candidate. For high-risk positions, a more detailed form of probity check is also undertaken.

The PRSB receives the ROCSID reports for those parties who were short-listed, as part of the selection file. Because the PRSB could overturn the selection, ROCSID reports for any Appellant who was not short-listed are also obtained. The PRSB will email any such report to the relevant appellant before the appeal, so they can consider its contents and correct any errors. For privacy reasons, probity reports are not provided to the other parties (Appellants, Selectees and CCRs).

Victoria Police considers the probity reports, and may make submissions in the appeal about a person’s record of ‘good conduct’; for example, a submission may be made if there are proven discipline matters, a high number of complaints or (unusually) if a yet to be finalised discipline matter or complaint raises concerns about the person’s suitability for the position or rank.

 The PRSB Member may also raise conduct matters and seek submissions from Victoria Police. Generally speaking, unless a submission is made on behalf of the Chief Commissioner, the PRSB gives no weight to any discipline allegation which has not been found proven.

If there is anything adverse in a ROCSID report, the PRSB Member may close the hearing, ask the other parties and observers to wait outside, and provide an opportunity for the relevant person to explain the matter. The CCR will remain and will be asked for their views on the relevance of the information. If any observers are present during a Microsoft Teams hearing  they will wait in the lobby during this time. In some cases, the PRSB Member may seek further information, such as files from Professional Standards or relevant discipline inquiry or PRSB decisions.

If you’ve had a discipline matter, it’s not necessarily the end of your advancement opportunities. Many good people have made mistakes and have gone on to have great careers. The PRSB Member will be looking for you to show how you have reflected upon and learned from the incident.

An extension of time for lodging an appeal or for other steps under the Act may be granted on the application of any party if the PRSB considers that exceptional circumstances exist (s.164).

Apply for an extension of time by email (or telephone, if urgent) to the PRSB Secretary and provide reasons. A hearing date will be adjourned only in exceptional circumstances (such as in the event of a major incident).

Hearings usually take between 60 to 90 minutes but may take longer if there are unusual issues or several Appellants and Selectees.

You do not need to attend in uniform. Neat business-like attire is entirely appropriate. Consider attending in ‘plain clothes’ if possible, to make more efficient use of your time and Victoria Police resources. Members attending in uniform with operational equipment should present to PRSB reception on arrival. You will not be disadvantaged regardless of your choice of dress code. .

The PRSB office does not offer wheelchair accessible toilets (they are inside a stairwell). If you require accessible facilities, please contact the PRSB Secretary when you are notified of the appeal.

Yes. All PRSB hearings are open to the public unless the PRSB Member orders the hearing (or part of it) to be closed (s.157). This may occur if the position is sensitive or covert or there is to be discussion of a sensitive matter (such as a conduct issue).

Non-parties who are on duty who wish to attend in support of a colleague, are required to seek approval from their local management.

Yes, however if you are on duty you will need to obtain approval from your supervisor.

Find the latest hearing list at www.prsb.vic.gov.au (External link) . The list is subject to change without notice, including changing appeals from in-person to Microsoft teams, or the reverse. To avoid disappointment, anyone planning to observe a hearing should check the website as close as possible to the scheduled time. There may not be any appeals listed in a given fortnight.

If the hearing you wish to attend is being heard on Microsoft Teams, please email review@prsb.vic.gov.au (External link) with the time and date of the appeal and you will be sent a meeting invitation. When observing an appeal on Microsoft Teams please ensure your microphone is on mute and your camera is off.

Appeal decisions are not published. A sample decision is available at www.prsb.vic.gov.au (External link) . Remember that every position and appeal is different with different questions asked, so do not rely too much on the sample decision.