Skip to main content
European Commission logo

Competition model for permanent officials

The EU institutions select permanent staff through open competitions managed by EPSO.

A Selection Board, appointed for each competition, evaluates candidates throughout the process.

There are two types of competitions, Generalist competitions and Specialist competitions, which are announced in all EU official languages.

Generalist competitions are open to graduates from all fields and no professional experience is required. Successful candidates may be recruited as administrators at grade AD5.

Specialist competitions are for specific fields and generally require professional experience for most profiles. They are open to both graduates and non-graduates. Successful candidates may be recruited as administrators starting at grade AD6 or as assistants starting at grade AST 3, or higher.

On 31 January, EPSO’s governing body, the interinstitutional Management Board, decided to drop oral tests from EPSO’s selection procedures, as part of a fundamental rethink of the current selection process.

Main steps of the competition model

  •  Publication of the Notice of Competition providing all details about the job profile sought, duties, eligibility criteria and selection procedure.
  • Self-assessment of eligibility  via Experience Assessment Survey Instrument (EASI).
    EASI is a tool aimed at providing optional feedback to interested candidates to help them understand better their likelihood of admission (eligibility) to a competition, based on their qualifications and professional experience, compared to the requirements laid down in the Notice of Competition. The feedback will only be shared with candidates themselves and will not be shared with any member of the Selection Board.

  • Application phase via the EPSO account - all candidates must create an EPSO account, which is the main tool for receiving notifications and communications during a selection procedure, for more details go to the dedicated page.

  • Test phase

    • Reasoning skills tests on a pass/fail basis
      EU knowledge test for generalist competitions or Field-related Multiple-choice Questionnaire (FRMCQ) for specialist competitions - ranked
    • Digital skills test (when applicable)
    • Case study (assesses drafting skills) corrected only for those with the best results in EU knowledge or FRMCQ
      For more information about the tests please go to the dedicated page.

  • Eligibility checks at an appropriate stage (final verification before placing on the Reserve List; checking of second language, if necessary).Please read the dedicated page about the eligibility requirements.
  • Reserve List (database of successful candidates, published by EPSO at the end of each competition, used by EU institutions for their specific recruitment needs)
  • Single ‘Request for Review’ window – Candidates have the option to request a review of the decision establishing their test results if they believe there has been a material error or a breach of the competition procedure rules, which may impact the results of the selection process. This request can only be done once, in line with the procedures contained in the notice of competition.

Depending on the competition, the selection procedure for permanent EU staff may last from a few months to several months.

For further details, consult the staff regulations and EPSO’s FAQs page. Learn more about EPSO’s EU career profiles and available job opportunities.

competition model graphic