Merit and Transparency in Recruitment Processes at the level of the Department/Directorates/Field Formations


Traditionally, in the recruitment processes the departments/directorates/field formations and government owned autonomous institutions have been hiring services of private testing agencies like NTS, BTS, UTS, OTS etc. However, in the recent past a number of instances and scandals surfaced in the media regarding leakage of papers and other reported favoritism on part of the testing agencies coupled with serious credibility issues. Resultantly, questions are being raised from public quarters on the state of merit and transparency in recruitment being done at departments’ level. This has made the government authorities more conscious and precautionary measures are being in demand from the concerned quarters.


In wake of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Public Service Commission (amendment) Act 2017, besides others the following amendments have been made;
That instead of positions in BS-11 & above, the PSC shall now onward be able to make recommendations of suitable candidates against the positions of BS-14 & above except computer operators, assistants, junior scale stenographers.

Due to the reason, the competency of initial recruitment against the posts in BS-14 and below viz-a-viz computer operators, assistants, and junior scale stenographers has now been delegated to the Administrative Departments. This has increased the workload of administrative departments in terms of responsibility of fresh recruitments. Thus, to reduce burden of administrative departments, their directorates and field offices etc, there has been a popular demand to have the services of a government-owned independent/neutral testing agency. By doing so, all issues (if any) especially that of credibility and transparency associated with non-government testing agencies will be done away in a transparent and meritorious way.



An independent body ETEA has been in place since 1998 under an executive order followed by an Ordinance in 2001 for conducting admission tests in professional educational institutes. Initially, ETEA had a limited role and was confined only to conduct entry tests for admissions in/to medical & engineering colleges. Later on in the year 2006, ETEA started provision of screening test services to different government departments. At present ETEA is providing services to 20 different public sector organizations. After a formal consultative meeting held dated 09-03-2018, at PMRU with Higher Education Department and ETEA authorities, as a matter of policy, the following is proposed :

  1. Notify ETEA as an official/government testing agency for initial screening (where required) of the candidates to be recruited against all vacancies meant for initial recruitment falling in the ambit of the departments etc. This shall equally apply on autonomous/semi-autonomous government entities as well
  2. Direct the subject entities to refer cases to ETEA for conduct of screening tests (where required) and subsequent furnishing of results.

Governing Authority

To the extent of this policy in its present state or changes (if any) to be done from time to time, Establishment Department will act as the policy governing authority.


Recruitment on all regular/ad-hoc positions from BPS-7 to BPS-14 and computer operators, assistants, and junior scale stenographers specifically shall involve initial screening through ETEA. The same shall also apply to project positions from BPS-7 till BPS-17 or as the case may be.


  1. Positions of purely specialized nature for which the hiring entity expects very limited candidature from the market may in consultation with ETEA shall be exempted from screening test.
  2. Positions involving manual/physical skills shall also be considered exempted.
  3. In case of exigency, the hiring entity shall with cogent reasons inform the ETEA for avoiding the screening test.
  4. In case of in-ability of ETEA to conduct the screening test as per the schedule required to the hiring organization, the departments etc may seek NOC from ETEA to refer the recruitment tests to other private testing agencies. The ETEA may after being convinced, grant NOC (within 7 days) to the effect that private agency shall be selected by inviting at least three quotations directly.

Formation of Test Papers

Prior to the screening test, the subjects/topics or areas wherein abilities of the candidates are required to be tested shall be finalized by ETEA in consultation with the hiring entity. However, preparation of paper shall be the sole mandate of ETEA and the hiring entity shall have no influence to that.

Weightage to ETEA Score

ETEA shall only conduct the initial screening test and furnish the list of all candidates appearing in the test with score obtained. It is up-to the departmental recruitment rules/ criteria whether to use the list so provided for shortlisting or give weightage to the ETEA score in the final selection process or otherwise.


Advertisements inviting applications from the candidates shall be published by ETEA at the expense of the recruiting departments/entities as per the terms & conditions and criteria so communicated.

Admission Fees

ETEA may charge a nominal admission fee from the applying candidates.