Call for Applications: EMSA/AD/2015/17 - Head of Unit C.1 'Pollution Response Services'

Post: EMSA/AD/2015/17 - Head of Unit C.1 'Pollution Response Services'
Directorate/Unit: Unit C.1 – Pollution Response Services
Type of post: Temporary agent post
Grade: AD10
Location: Lisbon
Closing date for applications: 4 February 2016

The selection of candidates will follow the EMSA Staff Recruitment Procedure. Candidates must apply for this post via the EMSA website http://www.emsa.europa.eu - vacancies. Please note that to make an EMSA on-line application you will need to create your EMSA profile using a valid e-mail address and a password.

1. Background

The European Maritime Safety Agency was established for the purpose of ensuring a high, uniform and effective level of maritime safety, maritime security as well as prevention of and response to pollution by ships within the EU.

The idea of a European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) originated in the late 1990s along with a number of other important European maritime safety initiatives. EMSA was set up as the regulatory agency that would provide a major source of support to the Commission and the Member States in the field of maritime safety and prevention of pollution from ships.

The European Parliament and Council Regulation (EC) No 1406/2002, as amended, provides the legal basis for the establishment of the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA).

2. Tasks of the agency

The Agency provides technical, operational and scientific assistance to the European Commission and Member States in the fields of maritime safety, maritime security, prevention of, and response to, pollution caused by ships as well as response to marine pollution caused by oil and gas installations.

The Agency also contributes to the overall efficiency of maritime traffic and maritime transport.

3. Unit C.1 – Pollution Response Services

Unit C1 provides Member States and the Commission with technical, operational and scientific assistance in the field of accidental or deliberate marine pollution by ships and oil and gas installations, and, upon request, delivers support in a cost-efficient way to the anti-pollution mechanisms of Member States.


C.1.1 develops and coordinates cooperative activities in the field of marine pollution preparedness and response, with clients being the European Commission services, the EU Member States and other relevant organisations. More specifically, the Sector prepares and disseminates scientific and technical information on oil spill response options, including the use of chemical dispersants and implements EMSA's Hazardous and Noxious Substances (HNS) Action Plan through activities such as maintaining the MAR-ICE Network.

Following the latest revision of EMSA's Founding Regulation, the Sector also coordinates the development of the Agency's activities with regard to the response to marine pollution originating from offshore oil and gas installations.


C.1.2 manages and develops the contracts necessary to establish the EMSA Stand-by Oil Spill Response Vessel Network for European waters, addressing any contract related financial and legal aspects. This is achieved through the development and coordination of complex public procurement procedures, as well as constant reviews and updating the financial and strategic planning.


C.1.3 tasks include: participating in international oil spill response exercises; training responders and verifying the readiness of arrangements; conducting studies addressing the technical and operational status of the vessel network; and implementing improvements when appropriate. The Sector participates in the technical meetings of the Regional Agreements, and provides, upon request, the Member States and the Commission with technical and scientific assistance in support of spill response operations, either onsite or remotely.

4. Functions and duties

The Head of Unit, ‘Pollution Response Services’, reporting to the Head of Department ‘Operations’, manages the unit taking care of the activities of the Agency in the field of marine pollution preparedness and response, focused on providing operational assistance and information to Member States, the Commission and ENP-countries (ENP: European Neighbourhood Policy).  

The main service pillars are: 

The Network of Stand-by Oil Spill Response Vessels (mechanical recovery and dispersants) distributed along the European coastline;

The Equipment Assistance Service;

The MAR-ICE (Marine-Intervention in Chemical Emergencies) Information Service in case of chemical spills at sea;

Cooperation and coordination with the EU Commission, EU Member States, EFTA/EEA Coastal Countries, Candidate Countries, Acceding Countries, Regional Agreements and other relevant international organisations such as the International Maritime Organization (IMO);

The provision of expertise, information through publications and workshops in the fields of oil/HNS pollution response and preparedness related to ships and oil and gas installations. 

Please note that the activities of the Agency were initially focused on responding to ship-source marine pollution, firstly oil pollution and then pollution by hazardous and noxious substances. As of 1 March 2013, with the entry into force Regulation (EU) No 100/2013 EMSA also has a mandate to respond to marine pollution caused by oil and gas installations. 

This post requires a dynamic person with a great sense of responsibility as the unit carries out a large number of high value procurement processes and is in charge of operational support to Member States in case of serious pollution accidents. The implementation and continuous monitoring of the response services require hands-on operational experience and expertise. The provision of efficient Pollution Response Services in case of a significant incident is critical for the reputation of the Agency.

There are 20 staff members working in the unit. 

The Head of Unit will be responsible for: 

  • Developing the technical capacity of the unit in the field of its competencies;
  • Managing and reporting on the human and financial resources devoted to the unit;
  • Acting as Deputy Emergency Coordinator, organising response service requests to incidents/accidents involving pollution (365/24/7);
  • Coordinating the administrative and operational activities of the sections of the unit;
  • Contract management: steering the implementation of the contracts in place and liaising with the contractors/service providers when needed;
  • Organising (high value) procurement processes for all required services, equipment and (software) tools;
  • Developing the Agency’s capability to provide technical and scientific assistance in the field of accidental or deliberate pollution by ships and oil and gas installations to the Commission, Member States, and where relevant ENP-countries;
  • Maintaining good relations between EMSA, pollution response authorities, relevant services of the Commission, pollution response bodies of Regional Agreements, and other relevant institutions and third countries;
  • Implementing and updating the relevant Action Plans on oil pollution response and preparedness, HNS and oil and gas installations.

5. Eligibility and Selection Criteria


Qualifications and experience required: 

A.1. Education:  

  • A level of education which corresponds to completed university studies attested by a diploma when the normal period of university education is four years or more, or;
  • A level of education which corresponds to completed university studies attested by a diploma and appropriate professional experience of at least one year when the normal period of university education is at least three years.  

A.2. Experience: 

  • At least thirteen years proven professional experience acquired after the award of university diploma when the normal duration of university education is four years, or
  • At least fourteen years of proven professional experience acquired after the award of university diploma when the normal duration of university education is three years. 

A.3. Language skills: 

The main working language in the field of maritime safety is English. Candidates must therefore have an excellent command of spoken and written English, with a satisfactory knowledge of at least one other official language of the European Union to the extent necessary for the performance of the above mentioned duties.


B.1. Essential: 

  • At least thirteen years of professional experience of which at least 5 years must have been spent in the field of (operational) Marine Pollution Control;
  • A minimum of six years of proven professional experience in a management position, successfully leading/co-ordinating the work of a medium-sized team;
  • A diploma/university degree in marine sciences or any other subject related to the job like shipping business, disaster management and/or fleet management;
  • Sound knowledge of marine pollution response measures, state-of-the-art recovery and containment equipment, commonly used dispersant applications methods and tools, and accident management system to cope with incidents of vessels or offshore installations both with mineral oil and/or HNS involved;
  • Comprehensive experience in all phases of contract and project management such as specification, implementation, execution, administration and termination.

B.2. Advantageous:

  • Participation in real marine pollution response operations (at least tier 2 level) in a senior and/or leading/guiding position;
  • Experience with organising and executing public procurement/tendering processes, knowledge of European public procurement and the Financial Regulation;
  • In-depth acquaintance with the international codes, agreements, regulations and conventions related to marine pollution control and the transport of hazardous material;
  • Competency and involvement of international and regional co-operation in the field of marine pollution control;
  • Working experience on board of a vessel (Navy, Coast Guard, Public Service or Merchant Marine), and experience working with or within an international organisation.

The advantageous criteria will be considered by the Selection Committee depending on the number of applicants meeting the essential criteria.

Applicants must meet the required eligibility criteria concerning the required educational qualifications and years of experience, as well as the essential criteria by the deadline for this call for applications.

In addition to the requirements above, candidates invited to the interview and test phase may also be assessed against the following supplementary requirements:


  • Proven negotiation skills gained in meetings with the private and public sector involved;

  • Proficiency in writing comprehensive reports, complex studies and dealing with large documents in English as well as good communication skills both for presentations in front of a large audience and/or within the Agency/Unit.

6. General conditions

In order to be eligible the candidate must:

  • Be a national of one of the Member States of the European Union or of Iceland or Norway;
  • Be entitled to your full rights as a citizen;
  • Have fulfilled the obligations imposed on you by the laws concerning military service;
  • Meet the character requirements for the duties involved and
  • Be physically fit to perform the duties linked to the post.

7. Conditions of employment

The Head of Unit C.1 'Pollution Response Services' will be appointed by the Executive Director, upon recommendation of the Chairperson of the Selection Committee.

This vacancy notice concerns a Temporary Agent position, pursuant to Article 2 f) of the Conditions of Employment of other servants of the European Communities.

The initial duration of the contract is three years, with possibility of renewal.

The successful candidate will be recruited in the grade AD 10.

The basic monthly salary, before any deductions or allowances, weighted for Lisbon, at 1 July 2015 for grade AD 10 first step is 6593.00 EUR.

In addition to the basic salary, staff members may be entitled to various allowances, such as an expatriation allowance (16% of basic salary), household allowance, dependent child allowance and education allowance. The salary is subject to a Community tax deducted at source and staff members are exempt of national taxation.

Please note that recruitment is done in the first or second step of the indicated grade, depending on the duration of the acquired professional experience. EMSA offers a comprehensive welfare package including pension scheme, medical, accident and occupational disease insurance coverage, unemployment and invalidity allowance. Further information regarding rights and conditions of employment can be found in the following document:


Please note that in line with the Staff Regulations recruited candidates shall be required to demonstrate before their first promotion the ability to work in a third European Community language.

The place of employment is Lisbon, Portugal.

Candidates are advised that if they are offered a post, and accept, they must undergo a compulsory medical examination to establish that they meet the standard of physical fitness necessary to perform the duties involved.

8. Submission of applications

Candidates must submit their application electronically solely via the EMSA website within the deadline. Applications by any other means (hard copy or ordinary e-mail) or submitted after the deadline will not be accepted.

All candidates will receive an acknowledgement of receipt for their application.

EMSA is an equal opportunities employer and encourages applications from all candidates who fulfil the eligibility and selection criteria without any distinction whatsoever on any ground such as 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, marital status or other family situation or sexual orientation.

You may apply in any of the official languages of the European Union, but it would be helpful to apply in English in order to facilitate the selection process.

9. The selection process

For each selection process a Selection Committee is nominated. The selection is carried out in two phases:

1. In the first phase all eligible applications will be evaluated by the Selection Committee and scored against the selection criteria. Please note that non-compliance with at least one of the essential selection criteria will result in the exclusion of the candidate from the selection process. Advantageous criteria constitute additional assets and will not result in exclusion, if not fulfilled. The advantageous criteria will be considered by the Selection Committee depending on the number of applicants meeting the essential selection criteria.

On this basis, the Selection Committee will invite to the interview and to the test phase the best qualified candidates (maximum of 15), on condition that they have achieved at least 60% of the highest possible score during the evaluation of applications. Should the case arise that there are various candidates scoring the same number of points in the 15th ranking, the number of candidates to be invited will be increased accordingly to accomodate this. 

2. In the second phase, the selected candidates will be invited to pass one or several written tests related to the job profile and to take part in a selection interview.

During this recruitment phase, the selected candidates will be evaluated by the Selection Committee. After the interviews and tests, the Selection Committee will draw up a list of the most suitable candidates to be proposed to the Appointing Authority. Only candidates receiving at least 70% of the maximum points at interview and at the test phase will be included in the list of the most suitable candidates. The Appointing Authority will select the successful candidate and decide whether to also adopt a reserve list. The successful candidates will be informed accordingly.

All candidates will receive an information letter of the outcome of their application.

Please note that a binding commitment can only be made after verification of all conditions and will take the form of a contract signed by the Executive Director.

The reserve list will remain valid for a period of 1 year following its establishment. Therefore candidates whose name will be put on a reserve list could be offered a contract during this period of time. Please note however that inclusion in the reserve list does not guarantee recruitment.

Please note that the selection process may take several months to be completed and that no information will be released during this period. Once a selection process has been completed, its status will be displayed in the e-recruitment.

Please note that once you have created your EMSA profile, any correspondence regarding your application must be sent or received via your EMSA profile.

For any prior enquiry, please refer to the FAQ (Frequently asked questions) section, or send an e-mail to recruitment@emsa.europa.eu

Requests for information and appeal:

An applicant who would like further information, or considers that he/she has grounds for complaint concerning a particular decision may, at any point in the selection procedure, request further information from the Chairperson of the Selection Committee.
For information on how to lodge a complaint and/or an appeal procedure, please consult the ‘General Information for Recruitment’ overview on our website for more information: