Depending on the number of candidates you can expect to receive your test results within 3-5 weeks after the last testing day. The results will be uploaded in your EPSO Account.
The test language(s) are defined in the Notice of Competition. You will have to indicate your language (s) at the time of your registration. Be careful when making your choice as under no circumstances you will be allowed to change your choice of languages after you have validated your registration.
I do not have the required number of years of professional experience at the closing date for the online registrations of the competition. However, I will have them soon. May I apply?
You must meet all the eligibility requirements by the closing date for submission of registrations to the competition. The Selection Board is not allowed to take into account professional experience acquired after this date and will therefore be obliged to exclude you from the competition.
There is no age limit to take part in a competition. However, successful candidates will be recruited at the grade stated in the notice of competition irrespective of their age or experience.
You should note that the rules on the retirement age for staff laid down in the Staff Regulations are as follows:
Officials are retired:
- automatically at the age of 65 years,
- or at the official's own request, at the age of 63 years or where the official is between 55 and 63 years of age and satisfies the requirement for immediate payment of a pension,
- exceptionally, at the official's own request and where it is considered to be in the interest of the service, at not later than the age of 67.
You should also take into account that the average duration of an open competition is 7-9 months.
Yes. As a university graduate, you may also take part in competitions for assistants provided that you fulfil the specific requirements of those competitions, as described in the notice of competition. Before applying and in order to avoid a disappointment at a later stage, we would therefore strongly advice you to read very carefully the Notice of competition, especially the requirements for admission as well as the item dealing with the nature of the duties.
In the context of recent AST-competitions in the secretarial field candidates needed to have either post-secondary education attested by a diploma directly linked to the nature of the duties or secondary education attested by a diploma giving access to post-secondary education followed by at least three years' professional experience directly relevant to the nature of the duties.
My degree/diploma will not be awarded until after the closing date for registrations. What can I do?
To be eligible for a competition, you must have gained the minimum entry qualifications by the closing date for applications, unless it is stated differently in the Notice of Competition. Qualifications gained after that date cannot be used to establish eligibility. If, however, you satisfied all the requirements for the qualification concerned prior to the closing date, but have yet to receive your certificate, you may register for the competition. If and when you are required to submit a full paper application, you should include a letter from the appropriate educational authority confirming that you had satisfied all requirements for the qualification, on or before the submission deadline for the competition.
Note: Some competitions as of 2011 will be open to university students in their final year, provided they are scheduled to graduate during the competition. They will not be recruited unless they graduate.
To assist you in preparing for the admission tests EPSO provides interactive tests which are designed to help you gain an understanding of the nature of the computer-based admission tests and the level of difficulty that you will be faced with depending on the competition or selection procedure that you have chosen.
When you start your on-line application you will be given access to these tests. Usually they are available in English, French and German only. We recommend that you take them in the language you will choose for your admission tests.
For some competitions there may also be admission tests in your main language and even, for some competitions for linguists, in your second and third language. EPSO provides a separate interactive test in order to help you assess whether your knowledge of the language chosen as your main language is sufficient for the level of difficulty of the competition.
Contract agent positions are available for a wide range of jobs which require different levels of qualifications. These can be for a short term contract or in some cases for (potentially) life-long employment.
There are two sub-categories of contract agent:
As a so-called contract agent "3a" you would enjoy longer-term employment prospects, with an initial contract running for a maximum period of five years and renewable for a maximum of five years. The contract can be converted into a contract of indefinite duration.
The conditions for contract agent "3a" apply to those who are hired:
- in Commission Directorates-General and all other Institutions to do manual or administrative support service tasks (only Function Group I);
- in Commission Offices attached to a Directorate-General, such as the two Offices for Infrastructure and Logistics in Brussels and Luxembourg, the Paymasters Office (Function Groups II, III, IV) the European Personnel Selection Office (EPSO) and the European Administration School (EAS);
- in Agencies (Function Groups II, III, IV);
- in Commission Representations and Delegations (Function Groups II, III, IV).
So-called "3b" contract agents have short-term employment prospects, working on the basis of contracts running up to a maximum of three years. The minimum length of contract is three months.
These conditions apply to all Type "3b" contract agents hired to work in Commission's DGs and other Institutions for tasks other than manual and administrative support. That is to say, they are recruited:
- temporarily to replace officials absent due to illness, maternity leave, etc;
- as a response to acute staff shortages at times of intense work pressure;
- to undertake work for a temporary period providing additional capacity in specialised fields where officials with the required skills are not available.
Further information on regulations for contract agents can be found at: http://ec.europa.eu/civil_service/job/contract/index_en.htm
Does EPSO take specific measures in order to guarantee equal treatment of persons with special needs?
Yes. Although EPSO does not organise competitions specifically for persons with special needs, it does apply an equal opportunities policy and takes all reasonable measures to ensure that candidates with special needs can take part in competitions on an equal basis with the other candidates.
When candidates make their online registration, one of the questions they are asked is whether they have special needs. Those candidates who answered 'yes' to this question will be contacted by e-mail by EPSO and asked to provide a medical certificate in support of any request for special arrangements. Where necessary, EPSO will adapt the testing environment for such candidates.
All permanent staff for the EU institutions are recruited through open competitions that are published in the Official Journal of the European Union and on the EPSO website at http://europa.eu/epso/apply/index_en.htm
Selection procedures for non-permanent staff (contract agents) are published at http://europa.eu/epso/apply/today/temporary_en.htm
EPSO cannot consider any applications or CVs that are submitted outside of the framework of an official competition.
Please consult the following websites:
Opportunities for research staff are mainly in the Commission services and Agencies. Permanent research staff are recruited via open competitions in their specific research field. Contract agents are recruited after selection procedures in the field. Please consult our indicative timetable for planned competitions and selection procedures at http://europa.eu/epso/doc/epso_planning_en.pdf
For further information about procedures of recruitment for research staff used by the European Commission, see: http://ec.europa.eu/civil_service/job/research_en.htm
The text of the Notice of competition and other supporting documents, the EPSO website and in particular this Frequently Asked Questions of the website - should provide all of the information you need to be able to apply to a competition or selection procedure.
However, if you cannot find an adequate answer to your question anywhere else you may contact us by using the web forms provided in various areas of the site, and in EPSO publications and documentation. We also accept telephone calls should an urgent matter arise. A summary of our contact details is published on the EPSO website: http://europa.eu/epso/discover/contact/index_en.htm
I am Hungarian and prefer English to communicate with people who don't speak my language.
In that case my main language 1 would be Hungarian, my language 2 - English. I will sit my admission tests and most of Assessment tests in English, but my knowledge of Hungarian, which needs to be a very thorough one, will be also tested at the Assessment Centre.
** Important: Candidates found by the selection board to have an inadequate knowledge of "Language 1" will be excluded. You are therefore warned that your choice of languages on the registration form is extremely important. Your language choice cannot be changed after you validated your application. Candidates making the wrong choice of languages stand to waste months of effort if in the end, they fail to pass a later stage of the selection process.**
Assessing Your Level
There is a self-assessment grid on the EUROPASS website to help you evaluate your skills. Go to Here
In general, you can register for as many competitions as you want, provided that you fulfil the requirements of those competitions. For some competitions published at the same time, there might be restrictions. In case of restrictions, they are mentioned in the notice of competition.
Candidates who applied for the current Administrator competition (EPSO/AD/177/10) will be allowed to apply for one of the Specialists' competition and/or the Linguists' competition and the Assistants' competition that will be published later this year, provided they fulfil the requirement of those competitions.
Candidates of one of the Specialists' competition (EPSO/AD/178-182/10) are not allowed to apply for more than one of these competitions, as indicated in the notices of competition.
EPSO does not determine which qualifications are acceptable for each particular field. This role is reserved for the Selection Board appointed for the competition. Each board includes experts in the relevant field who will have a broad appreciation of the various qualifications in that field. Their decision is based on the information provided in your application form. Candidates will be requested to transmit supporting documents at a later stage. The Selection Board is autonomous in undertaking its task within the limits of the Notice of competition and the Guide to candidates (an integral part of the Notice).
Due to the wide range of academic and professional qualifications available throughout Europe (and the world) it is not possible for EPSO to provide a comprehensive list which would help candidates establish whether their qualifications meet the specific eligibility criteria specified in a Notice of Competition. Some examples of minimum qualifications required for each category of competition are provided on the EPSO web site.
The Notice of competition could however require higher qualifications.
Before applying and in order to avoid being excluded from the competition at a later stage, we would strongly advise that you read very carefully the Notice of competition, in particular the nature of duties andthe diplomas/professional experience required as well as the Guide to candidates.
If you are a candidate of competition EPSO/AD/207/11 at grade AD 7 and you obtain one of the highest aggregate marks in the admission tests but do not meet the conditions for admission to that competition, the selection board may, with your consent, reassign your application to competition EPSO/AD/206/1 at grade AD 5 in the same field, provided that you meet the conditions for admission to this AD 5 competition.
Any reassignment will take place before you are invited to the assessment centre and will be based solely on the information given in your on line application form.
In this case, your results will be compared with the results of the candidates for the AD 5 competition and, if you are one of the candidates with the highest marks in the admission tests for this competition (in the selected field), you will be invited to the assessment centre.
If you agree to be eventually reassigned from one competition to another, you must make your choice when you apply on-line and you will not be able to change it after you have confirmed and validated your on-line application form.
If you cannot log on or consult your EPSO Account try the following: 1. The problem may be linked to the URL address that you are using for access. Click on the "my EPSO Account" icon on the page http://europa.eu/epso/apply/index_en.htm to establish the correct URL and ensure that this is saved in your "Favourites" or in a URL shortcut placed on your computer's desktop. 2. The problem may be linked to your LOGIN name. At https://europa.eu/epso/application/passport/ click on the link "Forgot your Login?" and follow the instructions. 3. The problem may be linked to your password. At https://europa.eu/epso/application/passport/ click on the link "Forgot our password?" from the login page for your EPSO Account, so that you may request a new password. A password should be not less than 8 characters in length. If you still cannot log in, it is your responsibility to notify EPSO without delay.
It is for the selection board to decide, within the framework set by the notice of competition, if professional activities carried out can be considered as the professional experience required (including any experience acquired during a traineeship, doctorate, masters or other studies).
To come to this decision, the selection board interprets the concept of professional experience required only in the terms of the competition in question, as set out in the description of duties (see notice of competition) and not in terms of national legislation, as this would inevitably lead to differences in treatment between candidates of different nationalities.
Professional experience is relevant only if acquired after the diploma giving access to the competition was obtained.
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