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CAST Secretary 2008 : Call for Expression of interest – EPSO/CAST/SECR 2008


The on-line application for the call for expression of interest is closed. 14/11/2008

The European Personnel Selection Office (EPSO), on behalf of the European Institutions, is launching this Call for expression of interest to set up a database of candidates to be recruited as contract agents in function group II, Secretary profile.


1. General terms

The Institutions of the European Union, as well as the Regulatory Agencies and Executive Agencies to which the Staff Regulations apply under the Community acts establishing them, pursuant to art. 1a §2 of the Staff Regulations, are seeking to establish a database of  candidates with a view to recruiting contract agents to fill secretarial positions.

Candidates who are successful at the end of the procedures described in this Call may be offered posts as Contract Agents. Contract Agents' working relationship with the European Institutions is regulated by the Conditions of employment of other servants of the European Communities (CEOS)pdf

To consult the salaries chart for these posts click herepdf .  

Contract Agents perform their duties under the supervision of officials or temporary staff.

Most of the positions to be filled will be in Brussels or Luxembourg, where the Institutions and Agencies are based, but a small number of posts may be proposed elsewhere.

2. Profiles sought

The purpose of this Call for expression of interest is to recruit secretaries (function group II).

3. Nature of duties

  • Secretarial tasks associated with  organising meetings, preparing missions, etc.;
  • A varied range of other standard secretarial tasks: filing documents and mail, follow-up of post, keeping appointments diaries, answering phone calls, etc.;
  • Word processing in the candidate's main language and possibly in other official languages of the European Union;
  • Work on the computer related to document presentation (e.g. page layout, formatting, tables);
  • Various administrative tasks associated with file management using office software packages.

4. Eligibility criteria and general conditions

To apply for this Call candidates must meet on the closing date for applications (14/11/2008) the following eligibility criteria as well as the general conditions.

a) Minimal educational requirements:

  • post-secondary level education attested by a diploma, or
  • secondary level education attested by a diploma giving access to post-secondary education, and at least three years of professional experience related to the  duties mentioned above (para. A.3), or
  • successful completion of intermediate level education and two years of specialised training in the field of secretariat, along with five years of professional experience related to the duties mentioned above (para. A.3).

 b) Professional experience

No additional experience to that mentioned under para.4.a)  is required.

c) General conditions

The European Institutions apply an equal opportunities policy and accept applications without distinction on grounds of sex, race, colour, ethnic or social origin, genetic features, language, religion or belief, political or any other opinion, membership of a national minority, property, birth, disability, age or sexual orientation.

Contract staff may be engaged only when the following conditions are met:

  • candidates must be a citizen of one of the member states of the European Union;
  • candidates must enjoy full rights as a citizen;
  • candidates must have a thorough knowledge of one of the official languages of the European Union (Bulgarian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Estonian, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Irish, Latvian, Lithuanian, Maltese, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Slovak, Slovene, Spanish or Swedish) - main language (the main language shall be considered to be that of the candidate's nationality or that of his/her compulsory education)  and a satisfactory knowledge of English, French or German – second language (which must be different from the main language) in which they will sit the tests. This language will also be used for correspondence.
    Candidates must have fulfilled any obligations imposed on them by the laws of their home country concerning military service;
  • candidates must meet the character requirements for the duties involved;
  • candidates must be physically fit to perform their duties.



Please refer to the "Guide for Applicants" which contain detailed instructions on how to submit your application correctly.

Applications which do not fulfill the criteria set out in this Call of expression of interest will not be considered. 

It is your responsibility to complete your registration in time (no later than 14/11/2008 at 12.00 noon Brussels time). You are strongly advised not to wait until the last few days before the deadline to apply, since heavy Internet traffic or a fault with your internet connection could lead to the online registration being terminated before you have completed it, thereby obliging you to repeat the whole process. You will not be able to register or modify your application once the deadline for registration has passed. Application forms should be filled in with the utmost care, as the information they contain will be stored and, in the event of success in the tests, they will be visible to potential recruiters. It will not be possible to change the information provided on the registration form once the deadline has expired.   Only personal details which allow us to identify you can be changed provided you send in documentary evidence to justify these changes.

Disabled candidates should tick the relevant box. They should then send in documentary evidence (e.g. certificate)  from  an authorised source describing the nature of their disability and furnish details of  any special arrangements which they consider would better facilitate their participation at the tests.

Once you have created your EPSO PROFILE you will receive an e-mail from EPSO summarising your login details.

When submitting your application, you will see your application number (e.g. 1234567)on the top of your application form. You should note this number down as this is your reference number to be used when communicating with EPSO.




Each successfully submitted application will be assigned an application number and the applications will then be processed. The selection procedure consists of:

  • validation
  • invitation to the tests
  • submission of a full CV
  • tests
  • communication of results
  • selection for potential recruitment

1. Validation

EPSO will establish a list of validated candidates who, according to their declarations, fulfil the eligibility requirements and general conditions  as set out in the Call for expression of interest. At this stage EPSO will exclude any applicant who submitted an incorrectly filled-in or an incomplete application form.  If an applicant has sent in more than one application, only the last one will be taken into consideration. 

2. Invitation to the tests

All candidates who fulfil the eligibility requirements and the general conditions will receive an invitation to the tests via their EPSO profile; the tests will probably take place during the month of January 2009.

The tests are designed to assess candidates'  general aptitudes, in particular their verbal and numerical reasoning skills, their knowledge of European affairs and their competence in the field of secretariat. 

3. Submission of a full CV

At the same time as candidates receive their invitation letter to the tests, a special section will be opened in their EPSO profile to allow them to complete their online CV.  This section will remain open over the total duration of the database so that  candidates will be able to update their CV at any time.

4. Tests

The tests will probably take place in January 2009.  They will be held in the 27 Member Sates of the European Union. For a complete provisional list of tests centres please click herepdf .  Please note that this list may be modified. Candidates will be informed of the full address of their test centre in the letter inviting them to the tests. 

Candidates will be given the opportunity to book a suitable date for the tests in any of the test centres on offer.  Booking, through the candidate's EPSO profile,  will be possible in December 2008.  Candidates who fail to book a date for their test will be considered as having withdrawn from the selection.

All tests will be computer based and will be in multiple choice form.

Candidates will be required to sit the tests in their second language (choosing between English, French, or German).  If their main language is one of these three, candidates must choose between the other two, e.g. someone whose main language is French can sit the tests only in English or German.

Time allowed for the tests:

  • verbal and numerical reasoning : 50 minutes
  • knowledge of the European Union : 20 minutes
  • specialised knowledge in the field of secretariat : 75 minutes

Marking of the tests:

  • Incorrect answers will not be penalised.
  • Candidates must obtain a minimum of 40% in the verbal & numerical reasoning test,  a minimum of 50% in the specialised knowledge questions and an overall score of  50% which will be calculated as shown below. There is no minimum mark for the European Union knowledge test. 

The overall score will be calculated as follows:

  • verbal and numerical reasoning : 30% of the total score
  • knowledge of the European Union : 20% of the total score
  • specialised  knowledge in the field of secretariat : 50% of the total score

5. Communication of results

The  results of the tests will be communicated to all candidates via their EPSO profile  towards the end of February 2009.

Candidates should note that all personal and specific information will be provided to them via their EPSO PROFILE. However, information of a general nature will be published on the EPSO website.

6. Selection for potential recruitment

Candidates who succeed in the tests will be included in the database of eligible candidates. Access to the database will be given to the Institutions and Agencies who they will select and invite for interview candidates who best match their requirements. 

Please note that candidates called for interview will be asked to provide all relevant supporting documents (diplomas, certificates and other supporting documents proving their working experience and corresponding to the information entered on the application form/CV).

If, at any stage in the procedure it is established that the information in your application is incorrect, or that you do not meet all the conditions for admission to the selection procedure, you will be disqualified.

The database will remain valid for a period of  three years starting from the date of notification of the results.



This Call for expression of interest is published solely in English, French and German and you are requested to fill in the application form in one of these three languages. The language chosen will also be used for all subsequent correspondence with candidates. It is vital for the candidate to have a valid e-mail address throughout the whole selection process.

The on-line application for the call for expression of interest is closed. 14/11/2008