Appointing a public service employee to a higher classification level (Directive 13/20)

25 September 2020-1 March 2023
Responsible agency:
Public Service Commission
Superseded by:


The Public Service Act 2008 (PS Act) establishes employment on tenure is the default basis of employment in the public service, excluding non-industrial instrument employees, and sets out the circumstances where employment on tenure is not viable or appropriate.

This directive:

  1. highlights key sections in the PS Act dealing with appointing a public service employee assuming the duties and responsibilities of a position at a higher classification level
  2. supports the opportunity to appoint an employee to a higher classification level where that employee has performed the role for one year and is eligible for appointment having regard to the merit principle
  3. sets out procedures for requests and decisions.

This directive has been updated to support the Review of public sector employment laws. The review was commissioned by the government to ensure Queenslanders have the most responsive, consistent and reliable public service possible.

What has changed in this directive?

What’s new? Previous directive
Employee can request permanent appointment at the higher level at the end of 12 months, and then annually. This is a new requirement of the legislation with no previous corresponding directive or framework.
An employee may also make an additional request for permanent appointment after 12 months if the role becomes substantively vacant.
28 day decision period–otherwise deemed refusal.
Decision can be appealed after two years.

Download the directive

Appointing a public service employee to a higher classification level (Directive 13/20) (PDF File, 2.3 MB)