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EPSO Development Programme

The EPSO Development Programme (EDP)

A far-reaching programme of improvements and modernisation based on best practice

It is this broad context that led the EPSO Management Board, on which all EU Institutions are represented, to endorse a far-reaching programme of improvements and modernisation – in the form of the EPSO Development Programme (EDP) – to ensure that EPSO is able to attract and select the next generation of motivated, committed and highly skilled women and men to take the European project forward ensuring that the EU is well placed to meet the important challenges ahead. These changes focus on selecting the right person for the right job, at the right time, in the right place and at the right cost. This programme was based on internationally recognised best practice, while remaining absolutely true to the key principles that have underpinned selection and recruitment for many decades, such as merit-based selection; fairness and equality of treatment.

The EDP was based on the following 3 pillars:

Planning and Needs

•  To better plan the organisation of selection processes based on strategic HR planning, in close partnership with the EU Institutions. This will be delivered through a programme of annual competitions to ensure that EPSO is selecting the right numbers of suitable laureates to meet the Institutions' needs;

• To dramatically reduce the time taken to organise open competitions, which prior to the EDP, took up to two years.

Testing and Professionalism

•  To use best practice in selection based on a shift from testing knowledge towards testing competence – in other words to see what candidates can do rather than just what they know;

• To have efficient, reliable and fair tests (improving delivery and making content more relevant) including abstract reasoning, situational judgment and professional skills tests at the pre-selection stage, and the introduction of Assessment Centres using bespoke competency based exercises;

• To provide a multilingual, 24 language pre-selection testing.

Attractiveness and Diversity 

• To better market the exciting and challenging careers in the Institutions to attract highly motivated, and talented candidates by creating a solid Employer Value Proposition which explains what makes working for the EU unique;

• To create a positive image of EU employment – culminating in the brand "EU Careers".



Better, faster, stronger and value for money

The EDP introduced improved planning and faster and more targeted recruitment, it established annual competitions for the most common job profiles - thus allowing candidates to plan their applications more effectively and helped strategic human resource planning by the EU Institutions. EPSO's ability to meet the target number of laureates required by the Institutions has consequently improved dramatically.

The new procedure is also faster and more efficient, involving fewer steps than the previous system, taking on average nine months for a major AD competition instead of up to two years under the previous system.

The use of new technology and social media as well as collaboration with national governments to disseminate information has also contributed hugely to greater efficiency and value for money. EU Careers can rightly stand out as an example of a collaborative brand ownership with EPSO, the EU Institutions and Member State governments all making use of the brand to promote awareness and attractiveness of EU Careers.



Setting ambitious goals and making dramatic progress

Since the implementation of the EPSO Development Programme (EDP), EPSO has made dramatic and measurable progress towards meeting its ambitious goals:

• The time taken to reduce competitions has been reduced from an average 18 months to 9 – 10 months for major AD graduate and Assistant cycles.

• In terms of meeting target numbers of successful candidates the average rose from 69% of the Institutions' needs in 2008 to 92% in 2011.

• EPSO has successfully progressed from pre-selection testing in 3 to 24 languages since 2010 – making it one of the few organisations in the world to deliver testing of this complexity, and to high professional standards

• EPSO has developed a range of new tests for specific profiles, such as video-based interpreting tests, Situational Judgement Tests and professional skills tests for translators and for secretaries.

• In 2011 over 99% of EPSO's CBT tests were delivered without any incident and through our candidate surveys, we report satisfaction rates in excess of 90% each time, and this in all testing centres across the globe.

• EPSO's brand "EU Careers" is now one of the top 10 recruitment pages on Facebook globally.

All EPSO's achievements are a result of the hard work and dedication of its staff and the fruit of close cooperation with the Institutions, Member States and external partners. EPSO continues to make considerable progress towards its vision to be recognised as the best international public sector selection organisation in the world: attracting and selecting Europe's top talent using robust, modern processes. It will continue to work hard to meet its commitment to deliver even more efficient systems, enabling it to select motivated and talented staff members to help the EU Institutions tackle the issues of today and build the Europe of tomorrow.