Language selector

Choose high-contrast versionSet page to normal font sizeIncrease font size

This page is available in 24 languages

You have been successful in a competition. What happens now?

Reserve lists

After a competition is completed, EPSO provides the EU Institutions with a list of successful candidates and their CVs in electronic format. EPSO has no further role in the recruiting of candidates by the Institutions. At the same time, EPSO establishes the quota per Institution, i.e. it determines how many successful candidates on the list may be recruited by each Institution based on the needs they expressed prior to publication of the competition, and on the number of available successful candidates. As a general rule, the quota is lifted one year after the publication of the reserve list, and Institutions can then recruit freely.

As the name indicates, the reserve lists constitute a pool of potential recruits which is valid, in general, initially for about one year. The validity of reserve lists may be prolonged by EPSO according to the needs of the Institutions. Being on a reserve list does not guarantee you recruitment by the Institutions.



After the competition is completed, Institutions check the profiles of the candidates on the reserve list in order to identify those who best match their needs, in terms of language skills, professional experience, education, etc. Once an Institution identifies a candidate of interest it declares this by asking EPSO to set a flag against the candidate's name. This status is visible to all other Institutions as well as the candidate concerned.

Flagging system for open competitions



As job opportunities arise, Institutions contact their flagged candidates for interview and depending on the outcome, may make a formal job offer. For practical reasons, you may also be asked at this time to undergo a medical examination, which is required before any decision can be taken on appointment. Should you not fulfil an Institution's needs, you are again made available for consideration by other Institutions, i.e. the "flag" is reset to indicate your availability once again.


What you should do

Of crucial importance is that you upload and update regularly your CV in your EPSO Account (see the CVs tab next to "Applications" and "Personal data"). This CV will be automatically made available to all recruiting institutions. There is no need to send them your CV personally.

You can check via your EPSO Account if you have been flagged by an Institution.  If so, you may not contact another Institution to solicit a job or an interview during the period that flag is set. You may also check your status on the reserve list at any time by clicking on the message entitled: "Your status on the reserve list" published in your EPSO account about one month after the end of the competition. The date of the message remains unchanged but the information inside the message is updated every time there is a change in your status.


What the Institutions will do

Flagged candidates are essentially reserved for a short period (up to 2 months) by the Institution who set the flag. At the end of that period, should no recruitment offer have been made by this Institution, the flag is removed and the successful candidate is made available once again for other Institutions to consider.

The process of flagging first and foremost reflects the recruitment needs of the Institutions. That is why your personal preference of which institution to work for cannot always be taken into account. All Institutions need staff in numbers commensurate to their size and missions. It may be the case, therefore, that you wish to work for a particular Institution, but will in fact be chosen by another. You have the right to refuse an offer that you consider unsuitable, but there is no guarantee that a new offer will be made. Please be aware that if the refusal is found unjustified, a comment may be added to your file.

Recruitment contacts in the Institutions