Post: EMSA/AD/2014/07 - Project Officer for Marine Accident Investigation
Directorate/Unit: Unit B.2 - Ship Safety
Type of post: Temporary agent post
Grade: AD6
Location: Lisbon
Closing date for applications: 28 October 2014

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, 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 B.2 - Ship Safety

Unit B.2 is responsible for providing technical assistance on matters regarding ship safety, marine equipment, Classification Societies and Accident Investigation.


B.2.1 provides technical advice to the Member States and the European Commission in the implementation and development of EU legislation concerning marine equipment and ship safety standards. It assists the Commission and the Member States on various subjects related to passenger ship safety, fishing vessels, bulk carrier safety, safety management and the certification of marine equipment. The activity includes tasks such as supporting the Member States and the Commission for work at the IMO on matters of EU competence, commissioning studies or supervising the MarED database of EU approved equipment.


B.2.2 carries out inspections of classification societies that survey and certify ships in international trade and that are acting as recognised organisations on behalf of Member States. These inspections are carried out world-wide and inspection results are an important input for the Commission’s regular assessments of these organisations, as required by Regulation (EC) No 391/2009 ‘on common rules and standards for ship inspection and survey organisations’.


B.2.3 is responsible for technical assistance for the implementation of Directive 2009/18/EC establishing the fundamental principles governing the investigation of accidents in the maritime transport sector. It provides the Secretariat for the Permanent Cooperation Framework (PCF) of Accident Investigation Bodies. It is also responsible for the management of EMCIP, the European Marine Casualty Information Platform, a tool to store and analyse casualty data and investigation reports provided by the Member States.

4. Functions and duties

Reporting to the Head of Unit B.2, the Project Officer for Marine Accident Investigation will be responsible for: 

  • Assisting the Commission and Member States in the implementation of the Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council, establishing the fundamental principles governing the investigation of accidents in the maritime transport sector (Directive 2009/18/EC);
  • Carry out analysis of safety investigation reports by EU Member States together with other data e.g. from EMCIP, with a view to identifying added value at Union level in terms of any relevant lessons to be drawn;
  • Identify safety recommendations on the basis of an abstract data analysis and of the overall results of safety investigations carried out;
  • Review reports from the EU Investigative Bodies and when appropriate, identify technical observations, not affecting the substance of the findings, for improving the quality of the reports;
  • If requested by the relevant Member States and assuming that no conflict of interest arises, provide operational support to Member States concerning investigations related to serious or very serious casualties;
  • Developing a training regime for Accident Investigators and deliver elements of the training;
  • Participating in inspection visits to collect and evaluate information about accident investigation practice in Member States and their implementation of Directive 2009/18/EC;
  • Assisting in the conduct of any other activity EMSA may be tasked with in the field of accident investigation.

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 three years proven professional experience acquired after the award of university diploma when the normal duration of university education is four years, or;
  • At least four 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 a very good command of oral English as well as in writing 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 three years of proven relevant professional experience must have been spent investigating marine accidents (details of investigations undertaken, your role and published reports, should be submitted with your application);
  • Good knowledge of EU legislation and policies in the field of maritime safety;
  • Good knowledge of the functioning of the IMO and the EU’s role therein;
  • Excellent analytical skills;
  • Very good sense of responsibility and initiative;
  • Ability to work in team.

B.2 Advantageous

  • Experience as a marine accident investigator working within an investigative body set up and operating in accordance with Directive 2009/18/EC;
  • Experience of international negotiations;
  • Experience of using the European Marine Casualty Information Platform (EMCIP);
  • Experience in training activities;
  • Good knowledge of IT projects or databases;
  • Knowledge of a third EU language.

The advantageous criteria will be considered by the Selection Board depending on the number of applicants meeting the essential criteria. Please see section 9 below for further details.

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 Marine Accident Investigation will be appointed by the Executive Director, upon recommendation of the Chairman of the Selection Board.

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 6.  

The basic monthly salary, before any deductions or allowances, weighted for Lisbon, at 1 July 2013 for grade AD 6 first step is 4122.29 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 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.

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 stipulated closing date for applications.

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: