According to the Constitution of the Portuguese Republic the public employment relationship is established, as a rule, by way of an open competition procedure.

Thus, recruitment in public administration is made by open competition procedure which may have the following forms:

  • Standard, whenever aiming at immediate recruitment to fill in planned and vacant services workforce lists positions;
  • Constitution of recruitment reserve lists, whenever aiming at the setting up of reserve pools to meet future public employer or a set of public employers’ staff needs.

The opening of a recruitment procedure is decided by the top manager of the service taking into account the strategy, the established objectives, the organisational 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 ( );
  • Posting on the entities’ website (notice summary);
  • Publication of the recruitment procedure’s notice summary in a national wide coverage newspaper

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 service top manager shall make the appointment and set up a selection committee with competencies to conduct the recruitment procedure until the final ordering of approved applicants has been issued.

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).

The compulsory selections methods applied to procedures aiming at the formation of an employment contract for an indefinite period of time are as follows:

a) In the recruitment of applicants who are not carrying out responsibility, competence or activity characterizing the work post in question:

- Knowledge tests, intended to appraise technical competences needed to the fulfilment of the function;
- Psychological assessment, intended to assess other competences required for the fulfilment of the function.

b) In the recruitment of applicants who are fulfilling or carrying out responsibility, competence or activity characterizing the work post in question:

- Curricular assessment, focusing particularly on the functions fulfilled in the category and in the fulfilment and carrying out of the responsibility, competence or activity in question and the performance level therein attained;
- Assessment interview of competences required for the fulfilment of the function.

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.

The curricular assessment method may be the only selection method applied in the case of open competition procedures for the formation of a temporary public employment relationship.

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.