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 decide, 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 Act requires and proper consideration of the subject matter permit (s.156). Rules of evidence and the 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 in order to decide who is of superior eﬃciency (see 2.7 of this Guide). This includes information about career experience, quality of service, capabilities and approaches to police work. 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
It is important to note that the PRSB role in an appeal is not to make findings about whether there were any errors in that initial process. The role is to re-hear the selection decision and make a fresh decision based solely on "eﬃciency".
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 raised with the relevant party and the 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, as follows.
The PRSB Member may ask about anything from your personal and professional experience, including your career to date, positions and experience outside Victoria Police, qualifications, professional development and other achievements.
Because of changes made to the KSC Submission Form, the PRSB now has your claims to being best suited to the position as part of your application. You will not be asked to present an opening statement or submission.
The PRSB Member will ask each Appellant and Selectee several interview-style questions, usually two or three depending on the position and issues. If any Appellant was not interviewed, there are likely to be at least three 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 seniority of the position. Questions will focus on the same key selection criteria and values 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.
Values Based Questions
Values Based Interviewing is an approach which seeks to test values and related behaviours by focusing on how a person works and what drives them, rather than solely testing for experience, skills and competencies. Values-based questions will be open, probing and focus on the values most needed in the position.
VBI questions are probing and open; have clear criteria for assessing answers, and focus on the values most needed in the position.
- Being objective and impartial is an important part of policing. Can you tell me what this means to you? Can you give me an example of a time when being objective and impartial was important in getting an appropriate outcome?
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 and can help predict your enthusiasm in engaging with the challenges of the position.
- What interests you most about this position? What are your longer term career ambitions?
- The new sergeant will need to re-build the team’s morale. How would you go about that?
Organisational engagement questions
The PRSB Member may explore your knowledge of Victoria Police policies and strategies, contemporary policing issues, as well as your leadership style and approach to your learning and development (and for supervisors, your team’s learning and development).
- 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 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.