Post: EMSA/AD/2014/09 - Head of Department A 'Corporate Services'
Directorate/Unit: Department A – Corporate services
Type of post: Temporary agent post
Grade: AD12
Location: Lisbon
Closing date for applications: 26 January 2015

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. Department A – Corporate services

The mission of Department A – Corporate services is to provide high quality and timely support to EMSA's core operational business, and to assist management and staff in the areas of human resources, legal and financial affairs, information technology, facilities and logistics, meeting and conference management, protocol, planning and monitoring.

Supporting the Head of Department are two functions: one supporting planning and monitoring throughout the Agency, including preparation and follow-up of the budget; and the other in charge of ensuring relevant procurement, contracts and financial operations.

4. Functions and duties

The successful candidate, reporting to the Executive Director, will be responsible for:

  • Developing the strategy and policies for the department;
  • Managing of, and reporting on, the human and financial resources allocated to the Department;
  • Co-ordinating the activities of the units belonging to the department;
  • Co-ordinating and implementing activities falling within the work programme of the department ensuring their coherence and compatibility with the policies of the Agency;
  • Ensuring effective planning of the activities of the department and ensure that quality standards are maintained;
  • Verifying and validating in his/her capacity as delegated Authorising Officer[1], the financial and budgetary aspects of projects carried out under his/her responsibility;
  • Advising and supporting the Authorising Officers by delegation;
  • Upon request of the Executive Director representing the Agency in international meetings and vis-à-vis the relevant EU Institutions and bodies;
  • Supporting the Executive Director.

[1] Please consult the Guidelines on Management of sensitive functions.

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 fifteen years of proven professional experience acquired after the award of the university diploma when the normal duration of university education is four years, or;
  • At least sixteen 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 five years of proven professional experience in a management role at a middle or senior management level, in particular the ability to lead, motivate and develop teams to the best of their potential;
  • Knowledge linked to the post:
    • European Union institutional system:
      • A thorough knowledge of the Institutional Framework of functioning of the European Union, as well as working procedures;
    • Business processes related to EMSA's corporate services such as budget, legal and financial affairs, HR, ICT:
      • Good understanding and excellent knowledge of the regulatory framework governing the EU Institutions and Agencies especially in the field of human resources, financial and legal matters;
      • Understanding of ICT processes and infrastructure in order to support the business of the Agency;
      • Knowledge of the EU budgetary procedure.
    • A basic knowledge of EU maritime transport policy and legislation, in particular in the area of maritime safety;
  • Proven experience in managing human and financial resources;
  • Excellent communication skills, both oral and written;
  • Ability to establish and maintain effective working relations with people of different national and cultural backgrounds;
  • Good negotiation skills;
  • Ability to work under pressure and to respond quickly to new demands.

B.2. Advantageous:

  • Practical experience with the implementation of the Staff Regulations and the Financial Regulations of the EU in their various aspects;
  • 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.

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.

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 Department A 'Corporate Services' will be appointed by the Executive Director, upon recommendation of the Selection Board and after having received a positive opinion of the EMSA Administrative Board, in line with Article 16 (4) of Regulation (EC) No 1406/2002 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 June 2002 establishing a European Maritime Safety Agency, as amended.

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 12.

The basic monthly salary, before any deductions or allowances, weighted for Lisbon, at 1 July 2012 for grade AD 12 first step is 8554.39 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 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 10), 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 10th 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, upon recommendation of the Selection Board and after having received a positive opinion of the EMSA Administrative Board, in line with Article 16 (4) of Regulation (EC) No 1406/2002 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 June 2002 establishing a European Maritime Safety Agency, as amended, 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: