Call for Applications: EMSA/AD/2020/03 - Head of Unit 3.1 'Maritime Digital Services'

Post: EMSA/AD/2020/03 - Head of Unit 3.1 'Maritime Digital Services'
Directorate/Unit: Unit 3.1: Maritime Digital Services
Type of post: Temporary agent post
Grade: AD10
Location: Lisbon
Closing date for applications: 5 March 2020

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 1990's along with a number of other important European maritime safety initiatives. EMSA was set up as the decentralised agency that would provide a major source of support to the European Commission and the Member States in the field of maritime safety, security and prevention of pollution from ships. The Agency was established by Regulation (EC) No 1406/2002 and subsequent amendments have refined and enlarged its mandate to cover among other measures, the efficiency of maritime transport.

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.

EMSA's activities can be broadly described as:

  • providing technical and scientific assistance to the Member States and the European Commission in the proper development and implementation of EU legislation on maritime safety, security, prevention of pollution by ships and maritime transport administrative simplification;
  • monitoring the implementation of EU legislation through visits and inspections;
  • improving cooperation with and between Member States;
  • building capacity of national competent authorities;
  • providing operational assistance, including developing, managing and maintaining maritime services related to ships, ship monitoring and enforcement;
  • carrying out operational preparedness, detection and response tasks with respect to pollution caused by ships and marine pollution by oil and gas installations;
  • at the request of the European Commission, providing technical operational assistance to non-EU countries around relevant sea basins.

3. Unit 3.1: Maritime Digital Services

The Unit ensures the development, operation and continual improvement of all Maritime Digital Services of the Agency. Supporting the achievement of EMSA’s business objectives, the Unit works in close cooperation with all business units, transforming their needs in technical systems and services, performing full operational ICT cycle, including continual improvement and developments.

The Unit acts as a platform for maritime services shared with Member States to supplement and enhance national capacity for vessel traffic monitoring, Port State Control, and maritime pollution preparedness and response. The Unit’s activities include also integrating and combining different types of data, building a maritime picture and producing customised services tailored to user requirements, avoiding thus duplication of effort, overlapping infrastructures and unnecessary expenditures.

Furthermore, the Unit coordinates the development and implementation of a cloud-based ICT strategy aiming to ensure that best solution and latest ICT applications are available to support the needs of the users. Combined with the use of Big Data analytic tools and the Artificial Intelligence algorithms, cloud-based solutions aim to increase EMSA capability to provide new added value services for various operational contexts, like: fisheries control, border control, security, safety of marine traffic, coastal protection, and environmental protection. The Unit is also contributing to the cybersecurity activities, to ensure the highest level of EMSA ICT security and for sharing experience and knowledge with the Member States and the industry.

4. Functions and Duties

The Head of Unit 3.1 'Maritime Digital Services', reporting to the Head of Department 'Digital Services and Simplification', will be responsible for:

  • Defining the draft work programme of the Agency within the remit of the Unit;
  • Ensuring effective planning of the activities of the Unit and that quality standards are maintained;
  • Coordinating and implementing activities falling within the work programme of the Unit and ensuring their coherence and compatibility with the policies of the Agency;
  • Ensuring the delivery of results as planned in a timely manner;
  • Supervising the procurement activities and the contract management in the field of competency of the Unit;
  • Developing the administrative capacity of the Agency in the field of competence of the Unit;
  • Defining and reporting on the use of human resources allocated to the Unit;
  • Planning, monitoring and budget execution of the Unit;
  • Verification and validation in his/her capacity as delegated Authorising Officer of the financial and budgetary aspects of projects carried out under his/her responsibility;
  • Ensuring team work within the Unit and with other Units/Departments;
  • Contributing to the work of the Department 'Digital Services and Simplification' and the Agency in general.

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 of 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 language 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 full-time relevant technical professional experience in the field related to the functions;
  • A minimum of six years of proven professional experience in a management position, successfully leading/co-ordinating the work of a medium-sized team (i.e. minimum 5 persons and above) in the field of maritime digital projects;
  • A maritime related or IT university degree;
  • Proven knowledge and hands on experience with project and technical management in the implementation of ICT projects related to the maritime field, including contract management of projects (candidates should specifically mention in their CV the range of tasks covered, referring to specific examples, and their relevance to the functions and duties of this vacancy notice);
  • A very good knowledge of the maritime sector and maritime safety legislation (candidates should specifically mention in their CV the range of tasks covered, referring to specific examples, and their relevance to the functions and duties of this vacancy notice);
  • High-level (technical)analytical skills and the proven ability to translate/transpose business requirements into technical specifications (candidates should specifically mention in their CV the range of tasks covered, referring to specific examples, and their relevance to the functions and duties of this vacancy notice);
  • A working knowledge of digital services e-tools, development and integration (candidates should specifically mention in their CV how this knowledge was acquired, referring to specific examples, and their relevance to the functions and duties of this vacancy notice);
  • Experience with IT service management frameworks (candidates should specifically mention in their CV the range of tasks covered, referring to specific examples, and their relevance to the functions and duties of this vacancy notice);
  • The Competencies listed in the Annex of the Middle Management Decision.

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:


  • Ability to work under pressure and to respond quickly to new demands;
  • Service-orientated with a strong customer-focused approach to work, demonstrating responsiveness and flexibility;
  • Excellent communication skills, both oral and written;
  • A high level of confidentiality;



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.

It should be noted that due to the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union on the 31/01/2020, candidates from the United Kingdom who do not hold the nationality of another European Union member state, are not eligible for calls for applications at EMSA due to the fact that they do not fulfil the requirements of Article 12.2 of the Conditions of Employment of Other Servants, namely that they do not hold the nationality of a EU Member State.

7. Conditions of Employment

The Head of Unit 3.1 'Maritime Digital Services' 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 2019 for grade AD10 first step is 8,021.93EUR.

In addition to the basic salary, staff members may be entitled to various allowances, such as an expatriation allowance (16% of basic salary), management allowance, 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.

Staff members newly appointed to a Head of Unit position are obliged to serve a management trial period, in addition to the normal probation period, in both cases for a duration of nine months. A mid-term review shall take place after four months. Please refer to section 6 of the Decision of the Administrative Board laying down implementing rules on middle management in Annex for further information.

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.

EMSA is an Agency focused on gender balance and a harmonic workplace and strongly encourages the applications of women for the positions where they are underrepresented.

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: All eligible applications will be evaluated by the pre-selection panel and scored against the selection criteria. Please note that non-compliance with at least one of the essential criteria will result in the exclusion of the candidate from the selection process. The pre-selection panel will invite to the interview and test phase the candidates (maximum of 15) who best correspond to the profile sought and on condition that they have achieved at least 70% 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 accommodate this.
  2. Interviews and written test with the pre-selection panel: In addition to the interview, all candidates will be obliged to undergo a written test. Following the interview and written test, the pre-selection panel will subsequently draw up a shortlist of the applicants who most correspond to the profile sought to be invited to interview with the Executive Director and two additional members. Only candidates receiving at least 70% of the maximum points of the combined interview and written test will be included in the shortlist.
  3. The applicants on the shortlist shall be invited to an interview with the Executive Director and two additional members.
  4. All applicants invited to the interviews with the Executive Director and the two additional 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 application at the requisite level. If an applicant has taken part in an assessment centre within this two-year period, but not within the 18 months preceding the closing date for the receipt of applications, he may at his/her request be admitted to the assessment centre.
  5. After the assessment centre, the Executive Director and the additional 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 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 with the possibility of renewal.

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 give any guarantee as to the possibility of recruitment.

Please note that the selection process may take several months 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:

How to request for information: An applicant who would like further information or considers that he/she has grounds for complaint concerning a particular decision of the selection procedure may send a request by e-mail to recruitment@emsa.europa.eu preferably within 10 working days from the date he/she was notified.

EMSA Human Resources will forward the request to the Head of Department 4 'Corporate Services' and the applicant will receive a reply as soon as possible.

How to lodge a complaint and/or an appeal procedure: An applicant may lodge a complaint under Article 90(2) of the Staff Regulation of Official of the European Communities and Conditions of employment of other servants of the European Communities (see Article 90 (2)of the Staff Regulations as amended by Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 1023/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 October 2013, OJ L 287, 29.10.2013)by email recruitment@emsa.europa.eu or registered mail at the following address:

Praça Europa 4

The time limit for initiating this type of procedure is three months from the time you become aware of the act allegedly prejudicing your interests.

Applicants can make a complaint to the European Ombudsman. Before submitting a complaint to the European Ombudsman, applicant must have already contacted EMSA about the matter and used all the internal administrative options for review and/or complaints provided for in the Staff Regulations.

More information: https://www.ombudsman.europa.eu/en

Personal Data protection

The processing of personal data in the Community institutions and bodies like agencies is regulated by Regulation (EU)2018/1725 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2018 on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data by the Union institutions, bodies, offices and agencies and on the free movement of such data, and repealing Regulation (EC) No 45/2001 and Decision No 1247/2002/EC.

The Applicant shall have the right of access to his/her personal data and the right to rectify any such data that is inaccurate or incomplete. Should the Applicant have any queries concerning the processing of his/her personal data, (s)he shall address them to the delegated controller of the data, Head of Human Resources Unit. The Applicant shall have the right of recourse at any time to the European Data Protection Supervisor.

For more on personal data protection and related documents see the Personal Data Protection page.