Call for Applications: EMSA/AD/2018/05 - Head of Unit 'Ship Safety'

Post: EMSA/AD/2018/05 - Head of Unit 'Ship Safety'
Directorate/Unit: Unit B.2 - Ship Safety
Type of post: Temporary agent post
Grade: AD10
Location: Lisbon
Closing date for applications: 8 January 2019

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 and supports European cooperation on coastguard functions.

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

The Head of Unit, reporting to the Head of Department ‘Safety & Standards’, will be managing Unit B.2 ‘Ship Safety’, taking care of the activities of the Agency in the field of classification societies, ship safety including marine equipment, accident investigation.  

Currently there are 25 staff members working in the unit. 

The Head of Unit will be responsible for:  

  • Defining the strategy and policies for the Unit on the basis of the work programme of the Agency;
  • Ensuring effective planning of the activities of the Unit;
  • Ensuring the delivery of results as planned and in a timely manner;
  • Exercising quality control over deliverables ensuring that quality standards are maintained;
  • Managing the three above-mentioned sectors;
  • Co-ordinating and implementing activities falling within the work programme of the Unit ensuring their coherence and compatibility with the policies of the Agency;
  • Co-ordinating the advice addressed to the Commission on issues related to the proper implementation of the acquis communautaire and/or future amendments thereto, in the field of competency of the Unit;
  • Defining and reporting on the use of human and budgetary resources allocated to the Unit;
  • Supervising the procurement activities and the contract management in the field of competency of the Unit;
  • Verifying and validating in his capacity as Authorising Officer by Delegation, the financial and budgetary aspects of projects carried out under his/her responsibility;
  • Maintaining constructive relations between EMSA, relevant services of the Commission, competent authorities of the Member States, and other relevant institutions and third countries.

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 a very good 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 technical professional experience in fields related to the functions in an international/European/national public administration;
  • A minimum of six years of proven professional experience in a management position, successfully leading/co-ordinating the work of a medium-sized team, in fields related to the functions;
  • Sound knowledge and understanding of the EU maritime safety legislation, of the main IMO Conventions dealing with maritime safety, and other relevant international regulations;
  • Competencies in the Annex of the Middle Management decision.

B.2. Advantageous:

  • Auditing qualifications;
  • Sound knowledge of Quality Management;
  • Competency and involvement in EU and IMO work;
  • Technical degree in Naval Architecture, Marine Engineering, or similar;
  • IT project management experience.

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:


  • Demonstrated ability to prioritise, to work under pressure and to respond quickly to new demands;
  • Experience of establishing and maintaining effective working relations with people of different national and cultural backgrounds;
  • Experience in working effectively with outside stakeholders and institutions (for example the European Commission, Member State Administrations, industry and NGO's).

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 'Ship Safety' will be appointed by the Executive Director.

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 AD10 .

The basic monthly salary, before any deductions or allowances, weighted for Lisbon, at 1 July 2017 for grade AD10  first step is 7192.03EUR.

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 should ensure that they clearly indicate how they meet the selection criteria in their application and motivation letter.

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

The selection process will consist of the following steps: 

  1. Assessment of applications by a pre-selection panel.
  2. Interviews with the pre-selection panel. The pre-selection panel will draw up a shortlist of the applicants who most correspond to the profile sought. 
  3. The applicants on the shortlist shall be invited to an interview with the Executive Director and two members. 
  4. All applicants invited to the interviews with the Executive Director and the other members shall take part in an assessment centre, unless they have already taken part in such an assessment centre in the course of the two years preceding the closing date for the receipt of applications. 
  5. After the assessment centre, the Executive Director and the members shall interview the invited applicants.
  6. The selected candidate shall be appointed by the Appointing Authority. The Appointing Authority will decide whether to also adopt a reserve list.

Please refer to Article 9 and Article 15 of the Decision of the Administrative Board laying down implementing rules on middle management for further information regarding the selection process.

All the candidates will receive an acknowledgement of receipt.  

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

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 weeks to be completed and that no information will be released during this period.  

Candidates are strictly forbidden to make any contact with the members of the selection committee, either directly or indirectly. Any infringement of this rule will lead to disqualification from the selection procedure.

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.

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:


Staff members newly appointed to a head of unit position are obliged to serve a management trial period. Please refer to Section 6 of the Decision of the Administrative Board laying down implementing rules on middle management for further information.