Transfer at level procedure

Version number 2.4 | Version effective 07 December 2021
Transfer at level procedure


All permanent departmental employees (school based and non-school based) with the exclusion of teachers and cleaners.


This procedure outlines the steps that an employee needs to take to apply for a transfer at level (TAL), the process to assess eligibility, and the steps taken when considering employees on the transfer at level list.


TAL is the process by which employees can nominate their interest in a transfer from their current position to another business unit/work location at the same classification.

TAL may provide opportunities to support employee’s needs for flexibility due to changes in personal circumstances, professional development needs and business requirements.

TAL applications:

  • may be considered when there is vacancy
  • are based on a priority using the transfer categories
  • are based on minimum service requirements, except where compassionate circumstances exist.

TAL decisions will be made taking into account all circumstances, including but not limited to workforce planning, personal circumstances and availability of vacant roles. Applying for a transfer at level provides no guarantee of transfer.

The following situations are managed outside the TAL process.

  • Departmentally required transfers and employees who have been registered as affected by workplace change. These employees will be given priority over an employee requested transfer at level. Departmentally required transfers are managed outside the TAL process as they are not employee initiated. Refer to your local Human Resources (HR) contact for more information.
  • Placements in another location as a result of domestic and family violence (DFV). Further detailed information can be found in the department’s Supporting staff affected by domestic and family violence policy (DoE employees only). 

The intention of the TAL process is to enable employees to move work location and is not intended to replace other arrangements to increase hours at the same site or across multiple incumbencies.  An employee seeking to increase their work hours should liaise directly with their supervisor. Teacher aides seeking to maximise their hours should do so through the process outlined in the Department of Education Teacher Aides’ Certified Agreement 2018.



  • Discuss transfer at level application with their manager, principal or supervisor.
  • Complete the transfer at level application form annually.
  • Advise change in circumstances affecting the transfer application.

Manager, principal, supervisor

  • Endorse or reject the transfer at level application and advise the employee of this outcome.
  • Offer support services such as the employee assistance program as appropriate to the circumstances.

Selection panel

  • Consider high priority transfer at level applications through suitability assessment process as part of recruitment activity by completing the suitability assessment form (DoE employees only)
  • Consider requested transfer at level category applications in recruitment and selection processes, by at a minimum inviting those employees to apply on merit for advertised vacancies.

Regional HR

  • Note transfer at level requests for school based employees.

Recruitment Services unit, HR

  • Assess eligibility of employees for a transfer at level.
  • Identify the transfer category for the employee based on their transfer application.
  • Consider human rights when making a decision about employee eligibility, determining the transfer category and accepting the application.
  • Maintain the transfer at level list.
  • Ensure the transfer at level list is available to selection panels.


A graphical representation of the 7 steps taken during the transfer at level process.

Image 1 Transfer at level process flow chart

1. Employee considers eligibility for transfer at level

Employees interested in a TAL must consider their eligibility before submitting an application.

To be eligible an employee must complete a minimum service period of two years in their current role type and classification at the business unit/school to which they are appointed before a transfer may be requested.

Exceptions to this include:

  • where the department has determined that it is unreasonable for a particular employee to serve longer in a business unit or location/geographic area
  • applications with compassionate circumstances (exceptional hardship or pressing personal circumstances)
  • departmental initiated placements (including required transfers)
  • teacher aides, as they are only required to serve the three month probationary period before being eligible to submit a TAL application
  • employees seeking priority consideration for rural and remote service after serving three years in the location (but can be listed as a requested transfer category after two years).

An employee, who has been temporary or casual in the same position and location for two years with no break in service prior to being appointed to that location on a permanent basis, will be considered to have satisfied the minimum service period.

Eligible employees continue to step 2

2. Employee submits an application

  • Employee to inform their manager, principal or supervisor that they will be submitting an application for a transfer.
  • Employee to complete the transfer at level form. In completing the form, the employee must indicate the transfer category they are applying for:
    • Compassionate – exceptional hardship (EH)
      Employees are able to apply for a compassionate TAL where exceptional hardship exists in respect to the employee or their immediate family.
      There is no minimum length of service required for a compassionate EH transfer.
      The employee is to submit documentation to support the initial application and again if their circumstances change (as each employee’s circumstances are different, the documentation provided to support a TAL application may vary). The employee is to inform HR Branch should the compassionate circumstances cease.
      Information provided in support of a compassionate EH transfer request will not be disclosed to parties outside those involved in administering the TAL. Information may be provided to the receiving work unit once the appointment has been confirmed should it be deemed necessary e.g. reasonable adjustments required.
      The granting of a transfer for compassionate EH reasons does not preclude a future transfer in accordance with the provisions of this procedure. 
    • Rural and remote
      Employees are able to apply for a rural and remote TAL after three years of service in identified locations has been served, in accordance with the Leave and travel concessions – isolated centres (Directive 14/18).
    • Compassionate – pressing personal circumstances (PPC)
      An employee may apply for a compassionate PPC transfer, providing sufficient details on their application to justify their request.  Compassionate PPC requests will be managed in the same manner as requested transfers, however there is no minimum length of service required for a compassionate PPC transfer.
      Information provided in support of a compassionate PPC transfer request will not be disclosed to parties outside those involved in administering the TAL.  Information may be provided to the receiving work unit once the appointment has been confirmed should it be deemed necessary e.g. reasonable adjustments required.
    • Requested transfer
      Employees can apply for a requested transfer for any reason subject to completing minimum service requirements.

For noting: Unattached employees have priority consideration only for movement in the business unit / branch / region in which they hold a substantive position. This should occur through placement of the employee outside the transfer at level process. Where the unattached employee is seeking transfer to another business unit / branch / region, those preferences will be treated as a requested transfer.

  • Employee to obtain manager, principal or supervisor endorsement and email to:
    • For school applications: Regional HR team (DoE employees only)
      The Regional HR teams will note your intention and forward the application to Recruitment Services unit, HR and where appropriate include any additional information to support the application.
    • For non-school applications: Recruitment Services unit, HR (email contact at bottom of form).
  • Applications remain current up until 31 December each year, and must be resubmitted at the start of each calendar year.
  • An employee can withdraw their application for a transfer at level at any time during the year by notifying Recruitment Services unit, HR.

3. Eligibility confirmed

  • HR Branch assesses the eligibility of the applicant based on minimum service requirements.
  • If the employee meets the minimum service requirements, HR branch assess the eligibility of the applicant based on their current employment circumstances. An employee will not be eligible for a transfer when:
    • a managing unsatisfactory performance (MUP) process is in place, unless the transfer is recommended as part of the MUP process
    • a formal investigation into the employees conduct is in progress
    • disciplinary action is in progress, unless the transfer is recommended as part of the disciplinary action
    • a rehabilitation case is in progress / the employee remains on sick leave / a graduated return to work has not yet been finalised / the employee does not have clearance to work due to a medical condition.
      Note: A TAL application may be considered as part of a return to work plan should it be recommended by the treating practitioner.
    • they are on leave due to medical reasons
    • they are subject to a current probationary period.
  • Employees with any of the above circumstances are able to submit an application for transfer but a transfer movement will not be considered until the circumstances have been resolved.
  • If an employee is required to be transferred by the department, and they fall under any of the above listed circumstances, the TAL can be approved as long as both the departing work unit and the receiving work unit are aware of the issues. This means full disclosure of the employee’s status by the departing work unit and acceptance of that status by the accepting work unit.
  • HR Branch will inform any ineligible employee that they have not been included on the transfer at level list and the reason why.

4. Employee registered on the transfer at level list

  • Recruitment Services unit, HR will register employees who meet the eligibility requirements on the transfer at level list.
  • Employee requested transfers are prioritised based on the transfer category in the following order:
    • compassionate EH
    • rural and remote
    • compassionate PPC
    • requested transfer.
  • Being registered on the transfer at level list does not guarantee transfer.

5. Employee considered for transfer

  • When filling a vacancy, the Recruitment unit, HR will provide the selection panel with the transfer at level list. Details for employees for which required transfer is being effected, may be provided to the panel separate to the transfer at level list.
  • The selection panel will assess through a suitability process the following TAL applications prior to advertising a vacancy:
    • departmentally required transfers. Required transfers will be given priority over an employee requested transfer at level. These employees will often have a dedicated contact, in most cases their supervisor, who the selection panel can speak to in the first instance regarding their suitability for the position.
      Consideration of a departmentally required transferee is mandatory when the employee:
      • has permanent or partial incapacitation from a medical condition
      • is displaced as a result of changes to school staffing allocation
      • is displaced through loss of position as a result of restructure or job redesign.
    • employees affected by workplace change (formerly Employees requiring placement (ERP))
    • compassionate EH
    • rural and remote (priority consideration).
  • It is at the panel’s discretion to consider requested transfer applications, and as such after consideration of employees in the above TAL categories, the selection panel may review requested transfer applications (below categories) prior to advertising a vacancy.
    • compassionate PPC
    • requested transfer.
  • If the panel chooses to advertise a vacancy following consideration of TAL applicants (excluding compassionate PPC and requested transfer category), the selection panel will contact requested transferees and invite them to apply for the advertised vacancy and be considered on merit.

6. Employee transferred to a role

  • Should an employee be successful in gaining a transfer at level through this process, the selection panel informs the Recruitment Services unit, HR.
  • The Recruitment Services unit, HR processes the transfer and removes the employee from the transfer at level list.
  • Transfer expenses are not provided in cases of compassionate transfer (EH and PPC). Consideration may be given to granting transfer expenses to an employee where they have completed the minimum required service period. In these circumstances, the transfer will be recorded as a requested transfer to enable the employee to claim transfer expenses where applicable. Refer to the relocation entitlements (appointments and transfers) (DoE employees only) guide for further information about transfer expenses.

7. Transfer at level list updated

  • Employees will only remain registered on the transfer at level list for the current calendar year.
  • Should an employee wish to continue to be considered for a TAL, they must submit a new application at the start of each calendar year.
  • An employee whose application has been categorised as compassionate, EH or PPC, should ensure Recruitment Services unit, HR is provided with updated information should their circumstances change during the period their application is active by emailing changed details, and where relevant providing supporting documentation to

8. Appeals




Departmentally required transfers

Required transfers are department initiated and are a result of a departmental decision (e.g. business unit closure), supporting employees affected by change or unattached employees.

Exceptional hardship (EH)

EH grounds include:

  • Serious medical circumstances and/or the disabilities of an employee and/or immediate family i.e. documented specialist advice on a medical condition that requires the employee to live in a particular location, or documented specialist medical evidence that the existing location’s environmental conditions are a catalyst for a chronic medical condition.
    Note: Only specialist (not general practitioner (GP)) medical evidence will be accepted and considered for the purposes of supporting an application for an exceptional hardship transfer. The department reserves the right to contact a specialist medical practitioner directly, with the approval of an employee.
  • A demonstrated/ documented hostile environment arising from factors such as potential religious, racial or sexual persecution, or harassment.

Immediate family

Immediate family includes:

  • A spouse (including a former spouse, a de facto spouse and a former de facto spouse) of the employee; and
  • A child (including an adult child, an adopted child, a foster child, a step child or an ex-nuptial child), parent, grandparent, grandchild or sibling of the employee or spouse of the employee

Pressing personal circumstances (PPC)

PPC grounds include but are not limited to:

  • geographical separation from partner
  • lengthy travel requirements, due to departmental transfer, over an extended period;
  • serious medical condition not classed as exceptional hardship, or
  • transfer of a partner in their employment (partner employed outside of Queensland Government).

Applications categorised as PPC are treated as requested transfers and do not receive higher priority consideration.

Requested transfers

Requested transfers are where employees submit a TAL application subject to completing minimum service requirements.

Rural and remote service

Service undertaken in identified locations, in accordance with the Leave and travel concessions - isolated centres (Directive 14/18).



Other resources

Superseded versions

Previous seven years shown. Minor version updates not included.

2.0 Transfer at level

Review date

08 June 2020
Attribution CC BY