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 aims the immediate or future filling of estimated and unoccupied jobs in a public employer's staff list;
  • Centralised - for the formation of recruitment reserves for future use by a set of public employers.

Common Competition Procedure

Common recruitment procedures are, as a rule, restricted to workers with a public employment relationship of an indefinite term. In the absence of such candidates, the public employer, preceding favourable opinion given by the members of the Government responsible for finance and public administration areas may recruit a candidate with a fixed-term employment relationship or without a public employment relationship.

In open competition procedures to which candidates without a previous public employment relationship are admitted, the legal quota of 5% of existing vacancies reserved for people with disabilities (60% or more degree of functional incapacity) is applied.

The top manager of each organisation taking into account the strategy, the objectives set, the organic units' responsibilities, and the available financial resources, decides the opening of a recruitment procedure.

Prior to the opening of any procedure for the recruitment of a worker, either for an indefinite term or for a fixed term, without prejudice to the mobility regime, the public employer's top manager must carry out a prior recruitment procedure of workers in a professional valorisation situation for the functions or jobs in question.

The recruitment is also conditioned to the existence, in the organisation in question or in the Centralized Recruitment Entity (CRE), of candidates in a recruitment reserve for the job(s) to be filled.

Assumptions in Recruitment

  • Existence of a job on the public employer staff list
  • Current or foreseeable need (in the case of the constitution of a recruitment reserve) to occupy it 
  • Demonstration of budgetary availability
  • Impossibility of ensuring the job by general mobility instruments
  • The non-existence of a recruitment reserve

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 ranking list of approved candidates is drawn up. The selection board is responsible for ensuring that the procedure is carried out, even if, by initiative or decision of the top manager, the procedure may be partly carried out by a specialised public or private entity.

Open competitions are compulsorily published in the Official Gazette, on the dedicated recruitment platform, and on the organization's webpage. Other means of dissemination may also be used such as national coverage newspapers.

The recruitment procedure's notice shall include a reference to the number of jobs 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 competent entity to authorize the holding of the open competition states, in each case and in the notice, the opening date and the deadline for submission of applications, with a minimum of 10 and a maximum of 20 working days calculated as of the date of the notice's publication.

General admission requirements:

  • Candidates shall be at least 18 years of age
  • To hold the qualification level and the training area required for the job
  • Physical robustness, aptitude and psychological profile
  • Not to be inhibited from exercising public functions
  • Nationality is not, as a rule, a requirement for the performance of public duties                            

Applications shall, as a rule, be made in an electronic format through the filling in of a standard form.

After applications have been received, the selection board reviews them, checking admission requirements. Excluded candidates 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 candidate, who has the right to lodge a hierarchical appeal before the competent body.

Selection Methods

The selection methods shall be initiated within 5 to 10 working days, counting from the end of the applications' analysis.  For reasons of procedural speed, the selection board may summon 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 taking into account the employment relationship to be formed (open-ended or short term employment relationship), and the recruitment procedure scope (without prejudice to particular selection methods provided for in specific legal texts).

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

Candidates may exclude the aforementioned methods through written declaration. In this case, the methods provided for the other candidates are applied to them.

Complementary Selection Methods

Other selection methods may be optionally or additionally adopted namely:

  • The mandatory selection methods may also be used as complementary ones;
  • Competencies assessment by Portfolio;
  • Physical tests;
  • Medical examination;
  • Specific training course.

Centralised Recruitment

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

The members of the Government in charge of Finance and Public Administration are responsible for the decision to initiate a centralised recruitment procedure. Such a decision is made by a joint order and shall be carried out 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 the members of the Government responsible for Finance and Public Administration areas

Recruitment Area

  • Open to everyone that complies with the general and specific requirements


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

Selection board

Appointed by the CRE top manager to be responsible for all the centralised recruitment operations


  • Applications' submission, as well as all communication and notifications are carried out by electronic means, on the platform dedicated to Centralised Recruitment (CR)
  • Time limit for applications' submission set by CRE between 10 to 15 working days as of opening notice publication    
  • Excluded candidates shall be notified for a prior hearing

Selection Methods

Knowledge tests; psychological assessment

Recruitment reserve final ranking list

  • It is presented in descending order of the knowledge test rating, for each professional profile, expressed on a scale from 0 to 20 scores
  • It is drawn up within the time limit of two working days as of the psychological appraisal completion    
  • All applicants are notified, including those excluded in the selection methods application, for stakeholders' hearing purpose

Approval of the final ranking of the reserve candidates list

  • The final ranking list is submitted to CRE's top manager, within the time limit of two working days after the stakeholders' hearing, for approval
  • Approval shall be made within two working days    
  • All candidates are notified of the approval and it shall be published on the platform dedicated to CR    
Establishment of a recruitment reserve
  • The recruitment reserve integrates approved candidates for each professional profile, as per their ranking
  • The recruitment reserve is valid for 18 months as of the final ranking list approval date   

Placement Offer Procedure Phases



Use of the recruitment reserve

Top managers of public bodies or services who intend to recruit workers with the professional profiles identified in the recruitment reserve shall communicate that intention to the CRE, accompanied by information on the placement offer

Jobs publicising

CRE publishes the placement offers, indicating:

  • The public bodies or services that intend to recruit
  • The number and characterisation of each job
  • The workplace

Expression of interest

  • Candidates express on the platform dedicated to CR, within three working days of the jobs publicising, their preferences regarding the public bodies or services whose needs have been publicised
  • CRE draws up a list of candidates ordered by reference to the final ranking list   
Skills appraisal interview
  • Public bodies or services summon the candidates for a skills appraisal interview, successively in the order of their ranking in the list and, whenever possible, in a number three times higher than the number of jobs to be filled
  • Each candidate may attend up to a maximum of 10 interviews per placement offer procedure   
  • The weighting of the skills appraisal interview for the final evaluation is 25% (knowledge test = 75%; appraisal interview = 25%)    

Candidate's notification

All candidates taking part in the skills appraisal interview are notified of the placement offer list for stakeholders' hearing purposes     

Approval of the placement offer list

After the stakeholders' hearing, the placement offer list is approved by the top manager of the body or service responsible for recruitment, within the time limit of two working days. This act may be administratively challenged 

Starting of functions communication

Public bodies or services communicate to the CRE the conclusion of an employment contract in public functions within the time limit of five working days after the placement offer conclusion. Such a procedure aims at excluding candidates from the recruitment reserve list     

Candidates excluded from the placement offer list shall remain in the reserve final ranking list keeping the corresponding rating.

The placement offer procedure is repeated as long as there are candidates in the recruitment reserve and work posts that have not been filled