What happens in an appeal hearing?

The hearing is conducted with as little formality and technicality as possible and the rules of evidence and practices of courts do not apply. Participants usually stand when the PRSB Member enters the room (no need to bow). Everyone is addressed as Mr or Ms.

The aim is to learn more about the candidates, including career experience, quality of service, capabilities and approaches to police work, in order to decide who is of superior efficiency. You will  be given you a fair opportunity to put forward your claims and demonstrate your capabilities for the position and rank.

The stages in the appeal hearing are set out below.


Stage 1: Introduction and questions for the Local Panel Representative )

The PRSB Member welcomes participants, make introductions and provides a brief outline of the process and order of questioning. The LPR may be asked about the location, nature, duties and needs of the position, and the selection process.

Stage 2: Preliminary issues (r.54, issues about the selection)


Preliminary issues may include argument about whether an appellant meets eligibility and other requirements, and if not, whether they should be permitted to appeal. In such a case, the PRSB Member will:

  • invite the appellant to argue why they should be allowed to appeal
  • ask the LPR to respond
  • as a preliminary question, determine whether the appellant will be allowed to appeal.

Parties will be asked if they wish to raise any issues about the regularity of the selection process.

If participating by teleconference, the LPR may seek to be excused after this stage.

Stage 3: Questions for appeal participants

About career and service history

You may be asked about your career to date, including positions and experience outside Victoria Police, qualifications, professional development and other achievements.

Present key claims for the position (5 to 8 minutes)

Each person is invited to present their key claims to being of superior efficiency or equal efficiency and greater seniority. Focus on how experience, knowledge, capabilities and other qualities help fulfil the needs of the position. To ensure fairness and manage the hearing schedule, time may be limited.

Answer Interview-Style Questions

Interview-style questions (usually between one and three) may be asked depending on the position and issues. If any appellant was not interviewed, there are likely to be at least two questions, to ensure the same kind of rigorous questioning as occurred during the panel interview.

Questions will focus on the same key selection criteria but will be different for each candidate. Care is taken to make the questions of equal complexity.

Stage 4: Final issues

If the selection file raises probity, performance or conduct issues, these will be dealt with at the final stage. The hearing room will usually be closed and the issue raised only with the relevant party and the LPR.

There will be an opportunity for parties to raise any final issues in response, but no ‘closing statements.’

Kinds of Questions

Questions will be similar to but not the same as those asked by the Panel. The complexity and topics will relate to the duties and be aligned with the capabilities expected for the rank. The questions may be in one or more of the following styles.


Behavioural (using the STAR method)

Situation or Task

Give a specific example of a situation encountered or a task you performed that demonstrates the desired behaviour in the KSC.

  • Tell me about a time when you were required to…
  • Tell me about a situation where you were faced with…

Action taken

What action did you take to accomplish the task or deal with the situation?

  • How did you go about…?
  • Why did you chose this action (to explore your decision-making process)?

Result of action

Explore the outcome: What was the result?

  • What difference did the action make?
  • What if anything would you do differently in the future?

Scenario (hypothetical)

You might be asked what you would do in a hypothetical scenario, to test your understanding of protocols or technical knowledge, or to test your thinking in areas where it might be inappropriate to give a real-life example, such as welfare management or ethical issues. 

What would you do if a suspicious vehicle appeared to be engaged in surveillance of your police station?



This kind of questioning explores your motivation for seeking the position, tests whether you have accurate and realistic expectations and can help predict your level of enthusiasm and engagement.


  • What interests you most about this position?
  • What are your longer term career ambitions?
  • The position profile indicates the importance of the new sergeant re-building morale in this team. If you were successful, how would you go about that?

Organisational engagement

The PRSB Member may explore your knowledge of Victoria Police policies, strategies, and contemporary policing issues, your leadership style and approach to your learning and development (and for supervisors and team).


  • What is your understanding of what is expected of you as a sergeant under the Zero Harm policy?
  • Tell me about what is expected of you as a leader to make sure development opportunities are offered fairly and equally to high-potential members?
  • Tell me about a time when you sought to learn about best practices in policing methods and applied this learning to your work.