HR management in civil service

In the Polish civil service (government administration) the human resource management is decentralized, which means that a lot of competencies regarding HR management are given at the level of the individual office. However the personnel decisions must be in line with the Constitution and the Civil Service Act and other pieces of law.


Recruitment process


The recruitment process in civil service shall be open and based on the competition principle. The open character of recruitment to the civil service means that it is common, public and transparent, and offers equal access to all candidates. These fundamental rules are expressed by (among others) the obligation to publish job offers, prepare a recruitment report and present the results of the recruitment. Openness of the recruitment also ensures that every citizen, who meets the requirements specified in the vacancy announcement, can apply.

Recruitment based on a competitive principle means the procedure resulting in choosing a candidate who gives the best guarantees to complete tasks and to reach objectives both of the position and the office. It also requires the same evaluation principles, methods, tools and criteria to every candidate applying for the post, as well as ensuring that every candidate has a chance to present himself or herself. The Director General (DG) is responsible for adopting the rules of recruitment procedure and making the final decision about who will be appointed for the vacant position.

There are some basic requirements that every applicant has to meet in order to become a civil service corps member, such as Polish citizenship (foreign citizens can be employed if the DG decides about vacant position available for foreigners and if the applicant meet additional requirements e.g. Polish language knowledge); enjoying full civil rights, no prior criminal record; holding qualifications required for the given position and enjoying an impeccable reputation.

For candidates to the senior positions in the civil service, which are filled on the basis of appointment, there are also some extra requirements: M.A./M.Sc. degree (or equivalent), no prohibition to work on the management posts in public sector or posts connected with spending public money, possession of managerial skills, fulfillment of other requirements defined in the job description and in separate pieces of legislation. In principle senior positions in the civil service include: directors general of offices, directors of departments or equivalent units in the Chancellery of  the Prime Minister, ministries, central offices, voivodeship offices as well as deputies of the above mentioned. This category includes also senior positions in the National Tax Administration (i.a. heads of tax offices and their deputies).




The remuneration system shows features of the career system and position-based system as well. It provides progression based on time spent in the civil service, however it gives the opportunity for the DG to personalise the remuneration of the employee based on his/her knowledge, personal performance, qualification and experience. Some components of the remuneration (including basic salary) are calculated by using a multiplier system. It means that the level of a given component is defined by applying a multiplier (a coefficient) to a basic amount (a basic reference pay). The basic amount is defined each year in the State Budget Act. The level of the multiplier is decided by the DG.

The DG makes his/her decision by taking into consideration the results of the personal performance appraisal, and other aspects as well (see the recommendations of the Head of Civil Service set forth in the standards of human resource management).

Some components of the remuneration depend on the employment status of the official (civil servant/civil service employee/senior manager). They include i.a. bonus for being a civil servant, position allowance, tax executors special bonus, bonus for long term employment, obligatory and optional awards etc.


Progression in civil service


As it was mentioned, the civil servant status is a special relationship with some additional rights and duties as compared to other civil service corps members.

There are two ways to become a civil servant:

a) One may apply for a vacant position and after a successful recruitment she/he is employed as a civil service employee. Then she/he must work – as a rule – three years in the civil service. Having this work experience the employee may take part in so called qualification procedure (state exam), provided that she/he fulfills some other entry criteria (i.a. knowledge of foreign language, M.A./M.Sc. degree).

b) Being a KSAP graduate is a much faster way to become a civil servant. After an 20 month education (including trainings, domestic and foreign internships) a graduated KSAP student becomes a civil servant automatically. [To read more about KSAP, click here]

Work ethics


The work ethics applicable in the civil service is made up of several types of regulations, principles and guidelines. The members of the civil service corps, in the performance of their tasks, are guided by the law and the civil service rules including inter alia: principle of legality, rule of law, protection of human and civil rights, transparency, rational management of public funds etc.

The members of the civil service corps observe the principles of ethics of the civil service corps. The focus is rather on good behaviour and the protection of values which create the basis for the Polish civil service. These principles are the dignified conduct, public service, loyalty, political neutrality, impartiality, diligence and fairness.

In order to make clear and simultaneously strengthen the values and ethics in civil service, a Code of Conduct was established. It contains the work standards (civil service rules), values (ethical principles mentioned above) and clarification of the rules enshrined in the legislation. As regards the disciplinary liability it is applicable where no action occurred that reaches the level of penal liability.