According to the Portuguese Constitution, the public employment relationship is established, as a rule, by way of an open competition procedure, which can take the following forms:

  • Common, whenever it is aimed at immediate recruitment to fill job positions foreseen, and not occupied, in the personnel charts of the organs or services;
  • For the constitution of recruitment reserves, when it is aimed at the constitution of personnel reserves to satisfy future needs of the public employer;
  • Centralized recruitment to satisfy the needs of a group of public employers, which encompasses the procedure for constituting a recruitment reserve in a centralized entity and the procedures for placement offers opened as a result.

Common Competition Procedure

Common recruitment procedures are intended for immediate recruitment to fill in posts provided for and not occupied in the staff charts of an organisation. However, they may also assume the form of constitution of reserve lists procedures when such recruitment is intended to cover for medium term needs beyond the immediate ones.

Common recruitment procedures are restricted to public employees' holders of an open-ended contract. In the absence of such candidates, the public employer, preceding favourable opinion given by the Government members responsible for finance and Public Administration areas, may recruit public employees with temporary public employment relationship or without prior public employment relationship, by way of an external open competition procedure.

The opening of a recruitment procedure is decided by the top manager of the organisation taking into account the strategy, the established objectives, the organic unit's responsibilities and available financial resources.

The competition procedure is publicized by the responsible entity to carry it out through:

  • Publication in the 2nd Series of the Official Gazette of the recruitment procedure notice (full text);
  • Posting on the Public Employment Pool website ( for 10 days;
  • Posting on the entities' website (notice summary);
  • Publication of the recruitment procedure's notice summary in a national wide coverage newspaper or other media (optional).

The recruitment procedure's notice shall include reference to the number of work posts to be filled and respective characterization, in accordance with responsibility, competence or activity, career, category and, where appropriate, the corresponding academic or professional training area.

The organisation's top manager shall make the appointment and set up a selection board with competencies to conduct the recruitment procedure until the final list of the approved candidates is drawn up. The selection board is responsible for ensuring that the procedure is carried out, even if, on the initiative or decision of the organisation's top manager, the procedure may be partially carried out by a specialised public or private body.


The competent entity to authorize the holding of the open competition states, in each case and in the notice, the opening date and time limit for submission of applications.

General admission requirements:

- Applicants must be at least 18 years of age;
- To hold a certain academic level or degree or the required qualifications;
- Physical robustness, ability and psychological profile;
- Not to be inhibited or disqualified from holding public office;
- Nationality is not, as a rule, a requirement for performing public functions.

The selection board reviews applications verifying admission requirements. Excluded applicants are notified and they can appeal of it. The appeal is analysed by the selection board that shall take the final decision, which is communicated to the applicant. A hierarchical or tutelary appeal may be lodged against such exclusion, which is merely optional, i.e. it does not suspend the progress of the procedure.

Selection Methods

The selection methods will be initiated within 5 working days from the end of the procedure for the examination of applications.  For procedural celerity reasons, the selection board may invite admitted candidates, as well as excluded candidates, who have lodged an appeal, to take part in the selection methods, which does not prevent the subsequent confirmation of the exclusion of these candidates.

Different selection methods are applied in order to select applicants with suitable skills profile for the performance of the work post functions. They take into account the employment relationship to be formed (for an indefinite period of time or for a fixed or unfixed term temporary employment contract), the applicants' characteristics and the recruitment procedure scope (without prejudice to particular selection methods provided for in specific legal text).

Compulsory Selection Methods  

Employment contract

External access

Internal access



With the same

category and

functional identity

Without the same

category and/or

functional identity

Open-ended contract


Knowledge tests


Psychological assessment

CV assessment

Knowledge tests


Short-term contract


CV assessment




CV assessment

The aforementioned methods may be excluded by applicants through written declaration; in this case the methods provided for the other applicants are applied to them.

Complementary Selection Methods

Other selection methods may be optionally or additionally adopted namely:

  • The professional internship;
  • Selection occupational interview;
  • Portfolio competencies assessment;
  • Physical tests;
  • Medical examination;
  • Specific training courses.

Competition Procedure for Establishing a Reserve Recruitment List

The organisation may advertise a competition exclusively for the constitution of a recruitment reserve, provided that there are no candidates in reserve. As under the common competition procedure, if the advertised final ranking list, duly approved, contains more successful candidates than the number of posts to be filled, an internal recruitment reserve is established, to be used whenever, within a maximum period of 18 months after its approval, there is a need to fill identical posts.

Centralised Recruitment

The centralised recruitment procedure was regulated in April 2019 and is defined as a strategic instrument that allows global planning and recruitment on a multi-annual basis, according to the needs identified by each governmental area. The main objective is the constitution of a recruitment reserve to meet the needs of various public employers, as well as to provide the Public Administration with qualified human resources, safeguarding merit, efficiency and transparency.

The members of the Government responsible for finance and Public Administration are responsible for the decision to initiate a centralized recruitment procedure. Such decision is made by joint order and the procedure shall be assured by the Directorate General for Administration and Public Employment (DGAEP), in its capacity as the Centralized Recruitment Entity (CRE).

Recruitment Reserve List Constitution Phases




Decided by joint order of Government members responsible for finance and Public Administration areas

Recruitment Area

  • Open to all who meet the general and specific requirements.
  • A quota is set by reference or set of references, i.e. competence profiles that, as a minimum, identify the required functional and skill's areas.


  • In the Official Gazette
  • On the Public Employment Pool website (PEP) (
  • On the centralised recruitment entity website.
  • The CRE publishes a detailed notice on the phases to be carried out for the recruitment reserve list constitution.

Selection board

Is set up to conduct the procedure until the recruitment reserve list approval. It shall be composed of CRE experts.


  • Applications' submission, as well as all communication and notifications are carried out by electronic means, mainly through the PEP.
  • Excluded candidates shall be notified for a prior hearing.

Selection Methods

Knowledge tests (70%); psychological assessment (30%)

Final recruitment reserve order list

  • It is presented in descending order of the successful applicants' classification, expressed on a scale from 0 to 20 points.
  • All applicants are notified, including those excluded in the selection methods application, for a prior hearing purpose.

Final recruitment reserve order list homologation and constitution of the recruitment reserve

  • The final recruitment reserve order list is submitted to the CRE's top manager homologation within 2 working days after the conclusion of the prior hearing.
  • After homologation, the final recruitment reserve order list is published in the PEP.
  • The homologation of this list may be administratively challenged.
  • The recruitment reserve is constituted, after the first approval of the final recruitment reserve order list, according to the reference defined in the opening announcement and is valid for 24 months, counting from the date of the knowledge test.

Placement Offer Procedure Phases



Job identification

Once the recruitment reserve has been constituted, the posts to be filled are defined by organisation covered according to the needs verified at each moment and the references that are the subject of the procedure.

Jobs publicising

The CRE publishes the offers, by organ or service, indicating:

  • The reference
  • The organisation and respective posts
  • The workplace.

Expression of interest

Candidates shall express on the PEP, within 3 working days following the publication of the offers, their preference list in relation to the organisations whose needs have been advertised.

Offer placement list

  • Taking into account the preferences expressed, the CRE draws up the organisations' offer placement list containing the admitted and excluded candidates, ordered by reference to the final recruitment reserve order list.
  • The candidates are notified of the offer placement list for the purposes of a prior hearing, to be held within 10 working days.

Offer ranking lists and the offer placement list homologation

Once the prior hearing is concluded, the offer ranking lists and the offer placement list shall be homologated by the CRE's top manager within two working days, and an administrative appeal may be lodged against this act.

Subsequent placement offer procedure

  • The ECR will open a new placement offer procedure for the same reference, according to the needs expressed by the organisations as long as there are candidates on the reserve list, during the respective validity period.
  • Also included in the new placement offer are posts that were not filled in a previous placement offer procedure, as well as posts advertised in an offer that have not been accepted or remain vacant due to failure to complete the trial period.

Notification of assumption of functions

Once the placement offer procedure is concluded, the organisations communicate to the CRE the signing of the employment contract in public functions or the signature of the acceptance term, within five working days after its conclusion, for the purposes of exclusion from the final recruitment reserve order list.