Frequently Asked Questions

Who does the Public Appointments Adviser answer to?

Public Appointments Advisers (PAAs) are appointed by the Commissioner and are answerable to him for their professional conduct and competence. They do not answer to Ministers or their directorates, nor to any of the public bodies. The PAA's involvement in the process depends on the level of risk attached to the appointment and this is decided on by the Commissioner for every appointment to every regulated public body. This is explained in the guidance on application of the Code of Practice.


For high eisk appointments the PAA acts as a panel member throughout the competition and for medium risk rounds the PAA oversees all of the planning for the round. For low risk rounds there is no contemporaneous oversight although all appointment activity can be audited or reviewed at the discretion of the Commissioner. The PAA's involvement in appointment activity is one of the ways that the Commissioner has of overseeing appointments with a view to ensuring that they are fair and open.