Department for Culture Media and Sport
The Assessment of Candidates: Sifting applications
Once the deadline for applications has passed we sift the forms with reference to the published criteria, using a scale of A to D where:
A = meets criterion to an exceptional degree
B = meets criterion very well
C = meets criterion to an acceptable degree
D = does not meet the criterion
The sift, whose purpose is to generate a shortlist, is carried out by a panel comprising senior DCMS official (who chairs the process), an Independent Public Appointments Assessor and, when we are seeking members of a board rather than a Chair, the Chair of the body in question or another representative. If it is a Chair vacancy that we are filling, we will invite onto the panel someone knowledgeable about the sector or how our public bodies operate. We brief the members of the sift panel to ensure that they understand what they are required to do, and the results are recorded.
Ministers see and approve shortlists for all appointments, other than trustees of museums and galleries and The British Library. However, they need to have an objective reason for making any changes and may only promote to the shortlist those candidates who have been judged by the sift panel to be "above the line" i.e. they meet the criteria to an acceptable degree or better. OCPA requires us to give Ministers a final choice of appointable candidates, so it is usual to shortlist between three and six people for each vacancy.