Analysis of the Administrators in the field of maritime affairs and fisheries competition- EPSO/AD/397/21

Dear all,

Ready to catch a slippery vacancy? All on board!!

They say the ocean is full of fish, probably is true and also of micro plastics but If something is also true is the fact the the new competition for maritime affairs and fisheries comes bursting of vacancies, in total 86 spots for future AD6 officers of the European Commission. This is the last competition of 2021 and you have until 11 January at noon to send your application (by EPSO portal, don’t throw it at the see in a bottle).

This competition comes at the same time other competitions, such the ones for Administrators in the field of sustainable agriculture , EU law, Secretaries and External Relations are reaching their climax…we meant.. their assessment centre. Anyway, if something thrilling and exciting is coming is our analysis of the competition, composed of fresh and finest catches .

How many spots? When does it begin?

Believe it or not, having the index at the beginning of the notice of competition is most unusual. Annex III and IV are worth reading

A good number of spots are available in total 86 spots, There is for all!!! be careful, the process has begun the 9 December and it will be open for joining until 11 January NOON (let’s say 11.59 AM CET). Until then, you can fill in and validate your application. Approximately you have been given one month +2 days , that’s more than enough but don’t fell sleep or party too much during the Christmas break.

What are criteria to be a candidate?

The classic(or general): Enjoy full rights as a citizen of a Member State of the EU (UK is not longer an option), meet any obligations under national laws on military service and meet the character requirements for the duties concerned

Specific criteria – languages

Voilà! a short summary of the languages thing. Be careful not to mix them.

LANGUAGE 1: You can choose among the 24 official languages of the EU and you should have, minimum, C1. If you are a native speaker, you should qualify yourself as C2 and CAREFUL! do not put any item of the level of language under C1 (otherwise you will be disqualified automatically). The CBT (verbal, numerical and abstract reasoning) test will be taken in this language 1 and also we can fill in our application (INCLUDING the ‘Talent Screener’ section) in this language. Yes! first time the talent is done in language 1.

LANGUAGE 2: You can choose among the 24 official languages of the EU (Yes, we said 24, it’s not a typo) provided the language 2 is different than language 1. Here we need a B2 level minimum (no need of having a degree to justify it, the assessment will be in this language and if you can work through it, then you have the level required). Remember not to put any item (written, oral level, or any other) below B2 level in your application.

In case you didn’t believe us , check with your own eyes than language 1 and 2 can NOT be the same

REMINDER – language 1 and language 2 can not be the same. Even if you try, the application form will alert you. On the bright side, communication with EPSO can take place in one of the languages you have declared in your application form at B2 level or higher.

Specific conditions – Work experience and studies

These are the typical (and long) duties for an officer in the area of fisheries (annex I of the notice). Good to know they don’t ask you to know how to cook the fish
  • Option 1 : LONGER ACADEMIC BACKGROUND+PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE – you’ll need a university degree (of minimum 4 years length attested by a diploma (they don’t say in what) , followed by at least 3 years’ professional experience directly related to the duties as indicated in Annex I.
  • Option 2 : SHORTER ACADEMIC BACKGROUND+PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE – this time with a 3 years degree attested by a diploma followed by at least 4 years’ professional experience directly related to the duties as indicated in Annex I.

REMEMBER! To explain the part «professional experience directly related to the duties» means that when describing your professional experience in the application (CV- work experience), you must clearly identify the experiences and activities equal or similar to those you are expected to do in the European Institutions and described in the notice (annex I, check our photo too). In order to do so, our past webinar could help or check our youtube channel where we’ll publish a video talking about it.

What are the test I have to pass? and the competition phases?

Based on the notice + our experience we split the process in 5 phases : 1) fill in the application, 2) Eligibility check and talent screener , 3) The CBT test, 4) the assesment. 5) Check of supporting documents.

  • Phase 1 – You got until 11 January (noon) to send your application and before that, complete all its pages with love and care. This is the first step of a competition and the way to differentiate you from many other, perhaps hundreds, of candidates and also it gives you the green light from phase 2 to phase 3.
There you have the questions. No need to have a crystal boll to know them, just the notice of competition
  • (wait we are still in phase 1) What is a TALENT SCREENER? This is a list of questions according to the selection criteria that you must answer in your application, these questions are on the Annex II of the call . The board of the competition is in charge of evaluating the answers. Keep in mind that all candidates answer the same questions. In this way, the responses of all the candidates are structured in the same way, which allows the board to make an evaluation (as objective as such type of test allows) of the compared merits of all the candidates. To sum up, the points that will assessed in the talent (look annex III for full detail or the application form), you really need to have real experience dealing with policy in the areas of fisheries and similar.
  • Phase 2 – The eligibility check involves verifying compliance with the eligibility conditions. For that part, EPSO have made some changes in the form (see photos) to make easier the assessment of the professional experience length and use it to create a ranking of candidates, from the most experiences to the less one.
  • If you pass the eligibility, you’ll get a communication informing you that you are in the Talent screener evaluation. Again, here you can do nothing but wait. It is the task of the board to read your talent and rate it. We remind you the selection based on qualifications will be carried out, only for those candidates deemed eligible… , using solely the information provided in the Talent Screener section (in language 1). You should therefore include all relevant information in your Talent Screener answers, even if already mentioned in other sections of your application form. The questions are based on the selection criteria included in this notice (see above). Our past webinar could help on this step , also check our youtube channel where we’ll publish a video talking about this competition in particular.
the list of question, piece of (fish)cake to answer them.
  • Phase 3 Reasoning tests: The wait is over and you are one of the candidates who pass, up to a total of 3 times the places, we are talking about 255 candidates. The first test will be the classic CBT (computer based test) This includes our classic verbal, numerical and abstract reasoning, remember, for your mental peace, you only need to get a 10 out 20 in verbal or 10 points with numerical+abstract. This phase will be passed by all those who exceed the minimum score, so relax and don’t get too nervous, this is easier than it looks, trust yourself!

About verbal, numerical and abstract reasoning won’t talk here too much (you can visit our blog and also you can find here our resources and trainings .

  • Phase 4 Assessment. We have reached the final test, in addition to having to present all our papers in digital format, the famous USB memory stick from the past, now the «Link supporting documents» button in your EPSO profile to upload the pertinent papers before your assessment, so prepare them in advance). And from the test perspective, the things get peculiar, VERY peculiar. While the test are the old ones : Case study and Competency based interview , we see that each competence will be assessed with one test only (for AD’s usually was 2 test) and you don’t need minimum mark per competence (usually 3 or 4 out of 10) but an overall of 40 out of 80. This shouldn’t change much , if any, make things more accessible from the competence part.
  • The key part is the field-related test where you will have to demonstrate your applied knowledge, and above all, your relevant experience for this position. To do so, you will have the Interview in the Field (also structured but with clear focus on your work experience; yes, we insist on this). You can obtain up to 100 points in that test. (we can help with that too) so prepare it well!
Do you see? simple case study and competency-based interview, then the field related and ready!!! It’s easier than it looks, trust us, we know it 😉
  • Phase 5 Check of supporting documents. With the results in hand, just to avoid a waste of time checking those candidates who didn’t make it, EPSO will verify your papers and give you the final OK to put you in the reserve list. The validity of that list is 1-1.5 years and you will have to find your place in the Institutions (mostly DG MARE) , in any case, don’t panic, list are renovated yearly until they run out of available candidates. EU/EPSO budget can’t afford to waste money not taking you onboard after the resources spent in your evaluation.

What can I expect of this job? Is my degree valid?

Both are typical questions of all the candidates, therefore we invite you to check Annex I and Annex III from the notice of competition. In Annex I (image at the beginning of this post) you can find the expected tasks to be performed once you are an administrator in the area of fisheries policy (you won’t be caught by surprise). Also we remind you an AD6 will join the institutions with a net salary above 5.000 € and this can be higher depending if you have family dependent on you and other conditions.

In the Annex II we have a fantastic list of degrees and academic titles with the corresponding competition level we can candidate, also order by country, so you can check if your degree is enough and the right one to apply for this competition.

Can you help me?

Yes, we can!! (this sounds familiar , isn’t it?). First be attentive to our youtube channel where we’ll post a video explaining some main points of the application (send your questions to our email if you want to cover a particular aspect in it, you have until the 26th) . Then, if this is not enough, we can offer our service of application review . Of course, we can’t forget our CBT trainings in Spanish and our preparation of the Assessment centre where the practice can be done in English, Spanish, French or Italian.

List of useful resources

  1. El CBT o los test psicotécnicos (ES)
  2. The Assesment centre (EN)
  3. 10 free resources (EN/ES).
  4. YSE trainings

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