Post: EMSA/CA/2013/04 - Project Officer for Pollution Preparedness and Response
Directorate/Unit: Unit C.1 – Pollution Response Services
Type of post: Contractual Agent
Function group: IV
Location: Lisbon
Closing date for applications: 8 April 2013

The selection of candidates will follow the EMSA Staff Recruitment Procedure. Candidates must apply for this post via the EMSA website - 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 provides the legal basis for the establishment of the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA).

2. Tasks of the agency

The Agency’s tasks are broadly divided into four key areas in line with its founding regulation and relevant EU legislation. Firstly, the Agency assists the Commission in monitoring the implementation of EU legislation relating, among others, to ship survey and certification, certification of marine equipment, ship security, the training of seafarers and Port State Control.

Secondly, the Agency develops and operates maritime information capabilities at EU level. Significant examples are the SafeSeaNet vessel tracking system, to enable the EU-wide tracking of vessels and their cargoes, and incidents on board; and the EU LRIT Data Centre, to ensure the identification and tracking of EU flagged ships worldwide.

In parallel, a marine pollution preparedness, detection and response capability, which includes a European Network of Stand-by Oil Spill Response Vessels as well as a European satellite oil spill monitoring and vessel detection service (CleanSeaNet), contributes to an effective system for protecting EU coasts and waters from pollution by ships.

Finally, the Agency provides technical and scientific advice to the Commission in the field of maritime safety and prevention of pollution by ships in the continuous process of evaluating the effectiveness of the measures in place, and in the updating and development of new legislation. It also provides support to, and facilitates co-operation between, the Member States and disseminates best practices.

As a body of the European Union, the Agency sits at the heart of the EU maritime safety network and collaborates with many industry stakeholders and public bodies, in close cooperation with the Commission and the Member States.

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 Project Officer will be attached to Section C.1.3 'Response Assistance'. Under the responsibility of the Head of Unit C.1, he/she will assist in the management of the Network of Stand-by Oil Spill Response Vessels by:  

  • Contributing as one of the Focal Points to contract implementation during the stand-by phase of one or more contracts associated with the Network, monitoring the vessels’ readiness and the condition of the pollution response equipment;
  • Supervising the operational and technical aspects of the contracts;
  • Developing plans, schedules and check lists for technical assessment of contracted vessels and equipment;
  • Preparing for and participating in contractual drills and national/international exercises, supervising the technical condition of the contracted vessels and associated oil pollution response equipment as well as the level of the crews’ preparedness;
  • Reporting on the results of drills and exercises contributing to identification and implementation of actions to improve the response capabilities of the Network;
  • Supporting other activities relevant for the Department/Unit when required.

5. Eligibility and Selection Criteria


Qualifications and experience required: 

A.1. Education and professional experience:

A level of education which corresponds to completed university studies of at least three years attested by a diploma, and appropriate professional experience of at least one year.  

A.2. 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 3 years of relevant professional experience in the maritime and/or marine sector;
  • Good knowledge and experience of ship operating procedures and equipment maintenance programmes;
  • Good knowledge of ship machinery, especially hydraulic components and principles;
  • Knowledge of pollution response techniques.

B.2 Advantageous 

  • Experience in the maritime sector similar to a ship superintendent or inspector;
  • Knowledge of oil handling techniques on board a ship and associated hazards;
  • Knowledge of the EU framework and associated mechanisms for marine pollution response;
  • Experience in drafting technical reports;
  • It would be advantageous if the above-mentioned educational/professional studies are related to marine engineering.

The advantageous criteria will be considered by the Selection Board 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 selection criteria by the deadline for this call for applications.

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 Project Officer for Pollution Preparedness and Response will be appointed by the Executive Director, upon recommendation of the Chairman of the Selection Board.

The successful candidate will be appointed as a Contract staff member under the provisions of Title IV, Article 80 of the Conditions of Employment of other Servants of the European Communities.

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

The successful candidate will be recruited in function group IV (FGIV). The grade will be determined in accordance with the number of years of professional experience.

The basic monthly salary for the entry grade of Function Group IV, (Function Group IV, Grade 13, Step 1) before any deductions or allowances at 1 July 2010 is 2,673.63 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 step of the indicated grade.

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:;

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 Community, but it would be helpful to apply in English in order to facilitate the selection process. However you are requested to state your educational qualifications and positions held in the language of origin.

9. The selection process

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

1. In the first phase all eligible applications will be evaluated by the Selection Board 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 Board depending on the number of applicants meeting the essential selection criteria.

On this basis, the Selection Board 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 Board. After the interviews and tests, the Selection Board 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

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 Board.
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: