5.1 What will happen during the appeal hearing?
The appeal is a ‘re-hearing’ (s.144). This means that the PRSB Member will consider all the information in the Selection File and obtained from the hearing; and will then make a decision, independently and afresh.
The PRSB is not a court, and is required to act with as little formality and technicality, and as much speed, as the requirements of the Act and proper consideration of the subject matter permit (s.156). Rules of evidence and practices of courts do not apply (s.159).
Participants usually stand when the PRSB Member enters the room, but there is no need to bow. The PRSB Member will address parties as Mr or Ms and you may address the Member in the same way.
The aim of the PRSB Member in an appeal hearing, is to learn more about the candidates, including career experience, quality of service, capabilities and approaches to police work, to decide superior efficiency
The PRSB Member will not try to ‘trip you up’ but will give 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 will welcome participants, make introductions and provide a brief outline of the process and order of questioning. The Member will remind you to address your claims to the needs of the position and to avoid repeating information in the Selection File.
The Member will ask the LPR about the location, nature, duties and needs of the position, and may ask about the selection process.
Stage 2: Preliminary issues (r.54, issues about the selection)
Preliminary issues may include argument about whether an Appellant meets the eligibility and other requirements for the position, and if not, whether they should be permitted to appeal (regulation 54). 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
The PRSB will also ask whether any party wants to raise issues about the regularity of the selection process. If the Selection File raises probity or conduct issues, these may be dealt with at the preliminary or final hearing stage. The hearing will usually be closed and the issue will be raised with the relevant party and LPR.
Stage 3: Question for appeal participants
The Appellant(s) will go first, then the Selectee(s). If there are several Appellants or Selectees, they will go in alphabetical order. The PRSB Member will attend to each person in turn, and ask a series of questions
Questions about your career and service history
The PRSB Member may ask about your career to date, including positions and experience outside Victoria Police, qualifications, professional development and other achievements.
Key claims for the position (5 to 8 minutes)
The PRSB Member will then invite each person to present their key claims to being of superior efficiency (or equal efficiency and greater seniority) for the position. Your presentation, of about five to eight minutes, should focus on how your experience, knowledge, capabilities and other qualities will help you to fulfil the needs of the position and perform strongly. In presenting your key claims, think about what the local manager is looking for, read the Position Profile and Position Description carefully and pay attention to anything said by the LPR at the start of the appeal.
To ensure fairness and manage the hearing schedule, the PRSB Member may limit your presentation time.
Your key claims should be clearly structured and highlight the main reasons why you are of ‘superior efficiency’ for the position. If you are seeking promotion, you also need to demonstrate that you have the required capabilities of the relevant rank.
It is recommended that you focus on about three to five key subject areas which are important for the position, and then describe your experience and capabilities in those areas. For example, the Position Profile may indicate that the position requires strengths in performance management, mentoring, emergency management and responding to volume crime. In this situation, it is suggested that you focus on those relevant areas, rather than seeking to summarise everything you have done in your career.
Make sure you demonstrate (prove) your claims by reference to your experience and achievements (my expertise in volume crime initiatives is shown by…). Point to any relevant information in the Selection File(….this>
Don’t just say I can do it or I’m great at thisSuch bare claims don’t count for much. You need to show the PRSB Member how you have done it before.
You are welcome to read from prepared notes, but are encouraged not to ‘speed-read’ as important information is likely to be lost. The PRSB Member may ask you follow-up questions during your presentation or seek to clarify or verify any matter. Remember, the PRSB Member will have read the Selection File, so you don’t need to repeat your previous positions, but you should highlight any relevant experience.
Answer Interview-Style Questions
The PRSB Member will ask interview-style questions, usually between one and three, depending on the position and the 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.
The PRSB Member will decide the number, nature and order of the questions, having regard to the duties and the seniority of the position. 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. You may be asked follow-up or clarification questions.
Stage 4: Final issues
Probity or conduct matters may be raised as a final issue. There will be an opportunity for parties to raise any final issues in response, but no ‘closing statements.’
5.2 What kinds of questions will be asked of me?
You will be asked questions similar in style to the questions asked by the Panel, but they will not be the same questions. 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 questions (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:
What you did in the situation to accomplish the task or deal with the situation:
Explore the result or outcome:
Scenario (or hypothetical) questions
You might be asked what you would do in a hypothetical scenario. This could be 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 management of welfare or ethical issues.
- What would you do if a suspicious vehicle appeared to be engaged in surveillance of your station?
This kind of questioning explores your motivation for seeking the position, tests whether you have accurate and realistic expectations, which 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 questions
The PRSB Member may explore your knowledge of Victoria Police strategies, policies 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
5.3 How should I prepare for the Hearing?
Both Appellants and Selectees will need to prepare in advance for the appeal.
Read the Guide carefully, even if you have been involved in an appeal before, it is recommended that you read this Guide carefully. Exploring the section on 'Tips and Traps' will help you put your best case forward.
Prepare your key claims, as outlined in part 5.1, you will be asked to present your key claims as to why you are of superior efficiency for the position. Ensure you have prepared and can confidently present these claims.
Prepare for interview-style questions relating to the Key Selection Criteria (KSC) and Position Profile. You will not receive advance advice of which KSC will be the subject of questions. Questions are likely to focus on the most important needs for the position, so think about the specific needs of this position and the work location as set out in the Position Profile.
It is a good idea to practise answering questions. Read the Transfer and Promotion Unit Guide to Behavioural Interviews which includes sample questions (links open in Victoria Police intranet). Ask a colleague, friend or family member to help you practise answering some questions and seek feedback.