Post: EMSA/CA/2019/01 - Test Designer for FRONTEX
Directorate/Unit: Unit C.4 - Digitalisation & Application Development
Type of post: Contractual Agent
Function group: III
Location: Lisbon
Closing date for applications: 2 May 2019

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 and supports European cooperation on coastguard functions.

3. Unit C.4 - Digitalisation & Application Development

EMSA's applications are increasingly evolving to become a unified, integrated and comprehensive on-time maritime intelligence ecosystem, and Unit C.4 organises the application system architecture, delivery and validation of the EMSA systems. The unit is  responsible for: the application delivery lifecycle; Maritime Support Services, coordination with business units (Department B, C); coordination with operations (Unit A3-Operations Support); technical specifications and technical consultations, and; the coordination of contracting companies. It is also responsible for integrated service design, facilitating dialogue with Member States and coordinating the development of integrated maritime systems at both the business and technical levels.


The MSS provides an operational and technical service with responsibility for ensuring systems availability and stability by monitoring the continuity of the incoming and outgoing data flows, quality reporting and incident management linked with all Agency maritime applications. In the event of maritime emergencies the MSS acts as a single point of contact for mobilisation of EMSA operational services, and will report to EMSA and the Commission on maritime accidents in accordance with the EMSA contingency plan.


Effective Delivery, Top Class Technology. Section 4.2 is responsible for the technical design, development and delivery lifecycle coordination of EMSA applications. The big challenge for the section is the redesign of the applications to support their interoperability within an integrated maritime services environment. This must provide comprehensive, on-time information to the maritime users, while at the same time being prepared for the introduction of modern technologies and scalability to meet future performance requirements. To achieve these challenging goals, the section applies a strict project management approach to the planning, management, coordination and control of the delivery process. The section is also responsible for the introduction of new software technologies and software architecture improvements.


Quality in the First Place. Section 4.3 is responsible for: the coordination of the technical and business validation and verification of applications; application build management; application deployment and; the preparation of application monitoring systems. The section also delivers outputs from the change management and application maintenance life cycles. The big challenge ahead is to manage quality and efficiency in the delivery of the complex integrated EMSA system. To achieve these challenging objectives, the section focuses on automation procedures in build and testing management, complemented by strict coordination, planning, controlling and reporting. Top class tools for business requirements, software life cycle management, automation build management and automation testing are also on the radar of the section.

4. Functions and duties

The Test Designer for FRONTEX will, under the responsibility of the Head of Unit C.4 Digitalisation and Development, be responsible for:

  • Supporting application requirement management and maintaining procedures up to date;
  • Preparing test cases definitions and test data to support a test driven design process for new and/or existing functionalities;
  • Testing the services provided to Frontex against Service Requirements to guarantee that services fulfil user requirements and are reliably integrated with all dependent systems;
  • Supporting integration tests regarding reliable data flows between different EMSA systems;
  • Drafting status reports reporting the activities performed including reporting on bugs identified and their prioritisation;
  • Reporting and maintaining list of defects;
  • Registering/updating descriptions of all the issues identified during the execution of tests in TeamForge including updating TestLink project;
  • Evaluating the outcomes of the tests to assess the test exit criteria;
  • Linking tests to software requirements to ensure appropriate requirement test coverage;
  • Creating/updating corresponding test suites in Testlink;
  • Defining and maintaining test documentation (e.g. test strategy, test plans, test scenarios) and test automation scripts for validating the Frontex Application at EMSA;
  • Installation of the Frontex Application in Test, Training, Pre-production and Production environments;
  • Leading the Frontex application software acceptance phase within an agile development lifecycle;
  • Analysing Frontex source code to ensure compliance with specifications and also speed up the fixing of issues blocking the roll-out of applications;
  • Supporting application monitoring activities by defining required sensors and contribute to the drafting of MSS Recovery Procedures;
  • Helping to troubleshoot any urgent technical issues that may influence delivery of continuous services to Frontex;
  • Acting as 2nd line support for Incident Management and perform investigation under Problem Management;
  • Supporting quality assurance.

5. Eligibility and Selection Criteria


Qualifications and experience required:

 A.1 Education and professional experience:

  • A post secondary education attested by a diploma, or;
  • A secondary education attested by a diploma giving access to post secondary education and appropriate professional experience of three years.  

A.2 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 related to the tasks mentioned in the functions and duties;
  • Working experience in planning, designing, implementation and running functional and non-functional tests of IT applications. (e.g. performance, smoke, integration);
  • Working experience in test cases definitions and maintaining requirements and test management databases; Experience in designing and execution of automated test suites and test cases;
  • Working experience in developing technical and functional reports (Test Strategy, Test Plan, Test Execution Report, Performance Reports) Please give clear examples of how you fulfil this criteria on your application;
  • Working experience in analysing test results and writing reports: Please give clear examples of how you fulfil this criteria on your application;
  • Working experience working with testing tools (e.g. SOAP UI/READY API, Test Link) and frameworks.

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.

The advantageous criteria will be considered by the Selection Board depending on the number of applicants meeting the essential criteria

B.2 Advantageous:

  • Proven hands-on software development experience;
  • Java services developer responsibilities include designing and developing high-volume and/or low-latency applications for mission-critical systems and delivering high-availability and high- performance;
  • Knowledge and insight of Java and JEE internals;
  • Experience in Object Oriented analysis and design using common design patterns;
  • Working experience with non-relational and relational databases;
  • Ability to evaluate complex business requirements, to determine the most cost effective solution, either coding new, modifying existing, refactoring, etc;
  • Knowledge and experience in software testing (e.g. ISTQB Certification);
  • Knowledge and experience in user requirement management;
  • Knowledge of Teamforge, TestLink and SoapUI/ReadyAPI and Jmeter;
  • Knowledge in GitLab and Jenkins. 

In addition to the requirements above, candidates invited to the interview and test phase may also be assessed against the following supplementary requirements:

B.3 Supplementary:

  • Very good oral and written communication skills in English;
  • Ability to work independently and in a team environment;
  • Ability to perform well under stress.

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 Test Designer for FRONTEX will be appointed by the Executive Director, upon recommendation of the Chairperson of the Selection Committee.

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

If recruited from the reserve list, the successful candidate will be recruited in Function Group III (FGIII). The grade will be determined in accordance with the number of years of professional experience. Please note that recruitment is done in the first step of the grade.

The basic monthly salary for the entry grade of Function Group III, (FGIII, Grade 8, step 1), before any deductions or allowances, weighted for Lisbon, at 1 July 2018 is 2,317.65EUR.

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 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

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

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

On this basis, the Selection Committee 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 accommodate 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 Committee. After the interviews and tests, the Selection Committee 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.

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.

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 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: