European Personnel Selection Office
Presentation of EPSO
Established in 2003, the European Personnel Selection Office (EPSO) is an administration responsible for organising competitions and entrance examinations for the majority of the European institutions, such as the European Parliament, the European Council, the European Commission, the executive agencies, the EEAS, the Court of Justice etc.
If you want to be part of the European staff, EPSO is a must during the whole recruitment process. CAUTION: do not confuse EPSO with DG HR (Directorate General of Human Resources and Security) which are two different entities. The DG HR is a general directorate which will take care of your entry into service, working conditions, human resources policy throughout your career until the end of your contract. Thus EPSO has no competence regarding your career or professional prospects.
EPSO, it's a test itself...
No, this title is not meant to scare you. You will have to familiarise yourself with the administrative environment, recruitment procedures, stress and a strong inner questioning about yourself and your motivations leading you to apply to the European institutions.
Everything you are asked to do is relevant to your personal space as EPSO is looking for profiles on various posts with harmonised methods and must comply with the European Staff Regulations as well as the policy of DG HR. EPSO is also subject to a policy of fairness among all applicants (several court decisions have been handed down).
Yes, everything you fill in your EPSO profile is very IMPORTANT for the future. It is worth remembering that there is no point in embellishing or disguising the truth about your past experience, qualifications, etc. (For example, the AMC - Account Management Centre - of DG HR may ask you for a copy of one of your diplomas).
In short, what are the selection criteria?
These criteria and the profiles sought will be specified in the competition notices published in the Journal of the European Union and on the EPSO website. View EPSO Career Profiles.
You should read these competition notices carefully before making one or more applications.
With some exceptions, citizenship of the European Union, a thorough knowledge of one of the languages of the European Union and a good knowledge of a second language are required.
The different profiles (AD, AST, AST-SC, CA, T...)
Il existe plusieurs profils au sein des Institutions européennes qui sont sélections par concours ouverts ou des examens organisés par EPSO. Vous avez des Fonctionnaires permanents, des agents contractuels et agents temporaires.
Within this category, it is possible to make 3 distinctions: Administrators (AD), Assistants (AST) and Assistant Secretaries (AST-SC). EU officials work in the implementation of EU policy, e.g. in agriculture, Erasmus, entrepreneurship etc. They are often university graduates (Bachelor/Master degrees). They are often university graduates (Bachelor/Master).
Assistants also contribute to the implementation of EU policies. They mostly carry out secretarial tasks within the administrative units, team management in terms of budget, human resources, communication etc.
Created in 2004, this new category of staff allows for the recruitment of staff for manual or administrative support tasks to the previous profiles in all institutions. They can be specialised in defined areas or sought after for various skills.
Contractual agents often have short contracts ranging from 1 to 6 years maximum within the same institution. These contracts can be indefinite (on budget) in the Offices of the European Commission (OIB, OIL, PMO, EPSO, OP, OLAF...) as well as in the Executive Agencies (ERCEA, EACEA, INEA, EICEA, EASME, HADEA, REA...)
Temporary agents are recruited directly by the requesting service without the expertise of EPSO. They are often highly qualified specialised staff or hired for short term assignments that will not exceed 6 years.
We strongly advise you to look at the available positions according to the profiles: EPSO job opportunities.
Your EPSO account
Creating an account takes time (but you have it)!
You will be asked to fill in a number of important mandatory and optional details.
We won't go over everything you will be asked to do, but we will point out some small details that are very important.
The main language
This is not your mother tongue, but "language 1" in which you have an excellent command (level C1 or C2 depending on the competition). This main language must be one of the 24 languages available in the European Union.
Your email address
Choose an email address that is "neutral" in its title and to which you have permanent access. Here is an example of an email address you could create for your job applications and searches: firstname.lastname@example.org / com
Why is managing your email inbox important? You may receive a notice from EPSO that will go unnoticed if your inbox is full or if you have neglected to check your junk mail!
Your Account Menu
The applications tab summarises all your applications to CAST / Call for expression / competition notices. Don't forget to renew your interest several times and to check all the messages received (invitation, results, etc...)
The Personal data tab summarises your personal data, home address and contact details. Some of the fields are editable.
The Upload CV tab allows you to attach your personal Curriculum Vitae. It is strongly advised to attach it.
The My Skills tab is very important. In this section you have two tabs where you can select 10 skills according to your profile and be more easily selected via a database. Finally, the Office knowledge allows you to give your level on these office software.
The Personal data protection tab informs you about the current legislation on the protection and use of your personal data.
The last two tabs Change my password and Delete my EPSO account.
Applying is your priority!
You should look for offers that are closest to your educational background, university (degrees) and work experience. This does not mean that a change of career is impossible, but it could work against you.
We cannot say it enough, you should read the profile/position description and all the important documents before applying.
Applying to EPSO and following the whole procedure is not a decision to be taken lightly.
Let's take the example of CAST Permanent EPSO/CAST/P/6/2017 - Secretary / Clerks (Contractual agent)
This is a permanent position with no time limit. Positions will be concentrated in Brussels and Luxembourg and some positions may be posted in delegations around the world and in several cities within the EU.
On the right hand side of your page, you will find the Important dates for the registration to the multiple choice reasoning tests (MCQ).
These dates are indicative.
As a reminder, your contract cannot exceed 6 years in the European Commission (except for offices, executive agencies or if you are in a function group 1), Parliament, Council, EEAS, etc.
Below the Apply button you will see an indicative calendar with different dates available.
It is your responsibility to read the whole page carefully and to respect the timetables provided by EPSO.
That's it, it's decided, let's go!
Here are the different tabs to make your application. Be careful, staying too long on a page without saving may cause you to lose your data. We advise you to fill in your answers on a separate Word / Text document in the first instance to avoid any loss of data.
Registration data: In this tab, you will have the post number and name, the function group (for contract agents, from 1 to 4), your country of residence, your identity document number, the chosen CBT centre (where you take your first computer tests), languages 1 and 2 (language 1 is not necessarily your mother tongue. It is the language in which you take the computer-based MCQ tests). Language 2 will be for the orals. How did you find out about this offer? and if you would like to make any arrangements in relation to your state of health or a disability.
My Profile: Be precise and concise!
Education and training: you will have to complete your entire course of study where you obtained your diplomas. As said before, you must have these diplomas and be able to present them upon request of the AMC (DG HR).
Professional experience: Fill in all your professional experience in a precise manner. What you indicate must be in correlation with your attached CV. Avoid answers such as "see my CV".
Language skills: you must indicate at least two languages up to 10. You will also be asked to specify your level. Please note that a too low knowledge of your language 2 may disqualify you according to the level requested in the notice of competition / call for expression.
Motivation and strengths: it gets a little more complicated.
This is the section where you will have to demonstrate your motivation as you might be asked in a job interview. You should take your time to answer and avoid answering "I want to participate in the European project". Your motivation should be personal and in line with your choice to apply. Everything you write can be taken up by the recruiters and the members of the jury during your interview!
You should specify :
- How is your education and experience relevant to this particular profile?;
- Why do you want to apply for this particular career opportunity? You should also explain why this particular profile interests you
- What specific contribution do you think you could make to the work of the European institutions and agencies?
In what role could you best contribute? What particular strengths would you bring to your work?
- Outline two of your main achievements. Describe what they are, the process you went through and their positive outcomes for you and for others
Eligibility: you must confirm that you meet the admission requirements.
Overview: This is a summary of all the data you have entered.
Déclaration : Vous êtes libre de sauvegarder et modifier votre candidature jusqu'à la validation de votre déclaration. Pour ce faire, cliquez sur le bouton VALIDER LA CANDIDATURE. Vous obtiendrez un numéro de candidat à conserver ainsi que la date de validation. Il est fortement conseillé de sauvegarder et/ou d'imprimer votre candidature. EPSO vous conseille de regarder souvent votre profil au cas où vous recevriez une convocation / message.