Vacancy notice ETF/REC/11/04
Senior Specialist in VET policy and system development

Contract: Temporary Agents – Function group AD, Grade 9

Short term contract duration*: 5 years (subject to a probation period of 6 months - renewable for another fixed period of up to 5 years)

*Being a short term contract it cannot be renewed for an indefinite period.

The Employer: European Training Foundation

The European Training Foundation (ETF) is an EU agency that helps transition and developing countries1 to reform their education, training and labour market systems.

At the ETF we believe that the development of human resources through education and training is vital in encouraging sustainable economic growth, employability and social inclusion in transition countries.

Our purpose is to improve people’s lives, increase local prosperity and create sustainable growth. Our work in human capital development (HCD) is part of the EU’s external relations policy.

Based in Torino, northern Italy, the ETF has a staff of approximately 130 people.

The ETF provides an exciting and flexible working environment with a high level of individual responsibility. As a learning organisation we encourage and offer our staff excellent opportunities for continued professional development.

To find out more about the ETF and what we do, please go to:

The Department

The post will be within the ETF operations, which consists of three departments each with specific responsibilities contributing to the mission of the ETF.

The Evidence Based Policy Making Department (EBPM) develops approaches to capacity building, evidence based policy making including the analytical framework for the Torino Process and knowledge management.

The Geographical Operations Department (GEO) defines and implements the annual work programme in the countries and regions and is the main interface with partner countries and the EU external policy services.

The Thematic Expertise Development department (TED) defines and develops thematic policy approaches and methodologies to HCD reform; it supports regional teams in the application of those approaches and methodologies in partner countries; and places ETF as an international centre of expertise.

The activities of each department are shaped by the human capital development needs of each country, the priorities of the EU, and the developments of international organisations.

For more detailed information, please refer to the ETF Work Programme 2011.

Job Profile


As a Senior Specialist in VET policy and system development in TED, the successful candidate will be expected to:

  • Lead in the provision of policy analysis and guidance to EU institutions and ETF partner countries;
  • Undertake in depth country and regional analyses in the fields of VET system assessment and VET policy development;
  • Design, lead and facilitate policy learning processes with partner country stakeholders, including capacity building;
  • Lead in the development of ETF thematic knowledge and methodologies by drafting position papers, contributing to internal and external thematic development initiatives and keeping abreast with international and EU developments;
  • Guide the work of specialists and junior specialists in the fields of VET system and VET policy development;
  • Assist the work of country teams in designing and delivering ETF’s country strategy.

In addition, the senior specialist may also be asked to lead a project team including being responsible for the sound management of resources.

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible, applicants must satisfy the following requirements by the closing date for the submission of applications:

  1. Be a national of an EU Member State or ETF partner country or territory2;
  2. Enjoy full rights as a citizen;
  3. Have fulfilled any obligations imposed by law concerning military service;
  4. Be physically fit to perform the duties linked to the post;
  5. Have a level of education which corresponds to completed university studies of at least four years attested by a diploma followed by at least twelve years of appropriate professional experience
    have a level of education which corresponds to completed university studies of at least three years attested by a diploma followed by at least thirteen years of appropriate professional experience;
6. Have a thorough knowledge in one of the languages of the Community countries and have a satisfactory knowledge of another language of the Communities to the extent that they can communicate well enough to perform their duties.

Selection Criteria


  • Proven knowledge and experience in VET policy and system development. For the purposes of this vacancy, this includes in-depth knowledge and experience in policy and system development as well as in at least two of the following areas
    • Quality in VET
    • Teaching and learning, including key competences
    • Governance and financing
    • VET system assessment
  • Excellent skills in guidance and analysis of national VET policy and system development.
  • Very good skills in policy guidance and analysis of EU VET policies, instruments and tools;
  • Project and process management skills;
  • Excellent writing, reading, speaking and listening skills in French and English3.

  • Excellent analytical skills – i.e i.e. ability to grasp and analyse complex and wide-ranging questions, issues or information. Tackle issues and problems in a logical, step by step way. Having a systematic approach in analysing ETF issues;
  • Excellent communication and negotiating skills – i.e. ability to organise and present in oral and written terms information, views and concepts in a concise, understandable and interesting way for a variety of multi-cultural audiences within the organisation and/or externally. Ability to respond to information, questions and requests from others. Ability to consider ETF’s contexts and to adapt communication in order to influence the audience;
  • Very good service orientation skills - i.e. ability to discover ETF customers/stakeholders’ underlying needs and/or to deliver solutions that meets needs, to provide added value and exceed expectations. To take care of both internal and external customers and to be able to anticipate their needs;
  • Excellent adapting skills – i.e. ability to adapt programmes and views proposing ways to meet context needs;
  • Very well developed organising and executing skills – i.e. ability to design and implement suitable solutions, to achieve tangible results whilst fulfilling commitments (deadlines, budgets, objectives etc) and respecting high standards of performance;
  • Very good team working skills – i.e. ability to establish and maintain excellent working relations at all levels in the multicultural context of ETF both at team and individual levels. Ability to share within a group a common goal and the responsibility for achieving it.

  • Good knowledge4 of Arabic, Russian or any other language spoken in the ETF partner countries;
  • Knowledge of the context of the ETF partner countries.

Selection Procedure

Please note that the Selection Assessment Board (SAB)’s work and deliberations are strictly confidential and any contact with them is prohibited.

The selection procedure will be carried out in three phases:

Phase 1 – Screening of Applications

1.1 Eligibility

Applicants’ compliance with the eligibility criteria will be assessed by the SAB on the basis of the CV.

1.2 Selection for interview

The SAB will assess the competences of the applicants as well as the relevance of their experience to the job on the basis of both the CV and the selection criteria form provided. It will invite the applicants judged to be most suitable for the job for interview and written tests.

Phase 2 – Interview and written tests

The SAB will assess the competences of the applicants, as well as the relevance of their experience to the job by means of interview and written tests. It will place the applicants judged to be most suitable for the job on a shortlist.

This phase is expected to take place in October 2011 and will be held predominantly in English.

The technical written tests will cover the following areas:

  • General aptitude and language skills to the extent necessary for the performance of the duties linked to the post;
  • Specific competences according to the profile required for the vacancy;
  • Knowledge of the European integration and its institutions.

Phase 3 – Appointment

Upon completion of the assessment phase, a list of the most suitable candidates will be proposed to the Director by the SAB. A list of suitable candidates will be established by the Director.

This list will be valid for up to twelve months from the date of its establishment and its duration may be modified by decision of the Director.

Inclusion on such a list does not guarantee being offered a job.

When a Senior Specialist position in VET becomes vacant, the Director may choose to offer a contract of employment to a candidate from the established list of suitable candidates.

Contractual Conditions

The contract that may be offered to the successful candidate is a Temporary Agent five-year contract, function group AD 9, subject to a probation period of six months. According to the ETF Staff Policy Plan 2011-2013: Senior Specialists recruited as AD 9 will be offered short-term contracts, meaning thereby with contracts of up to 5 years, renewable for another fixed period of up to 5 years.

Temporary Agent contracts are in accordance with article 2(a) of the Conditions of Employment of Other Servants of the European Communities.

Under this type of contract, the employee is bound by the Conditions of Employment of Other Servants (CEOS) of the European Communities as well as the relevant Implementing Rules. The contract might be extended according to article 8 of the CEOS.

ETF will be bound to the contract offered only in case the successful candidate(s), prior to the contract signature, has:

  • provided original or certified copies of all relevant documents proving his/her eligibility, including a clean police report;
  • undergone a compulsory medical examination that establishes s/he meets the standard of physical fitness necessary to perform the duties involved.

You can find out more about the contractual conditions offered by the ETF in the Working with the ETF section of the ETF website.


The basic monthly salary of a Temporary Agent Function Group AD in the first step of grade 9 is approximately EUR 7,100 before any deductions or allowances.

Remuneration will be based on the Community scale of salaries. Pay is subject to Community tax and other deductions laid down in the Staff Regulations. Remuneration is, however, exempt from any national taxation.

In addition to the basic salary, staff members may be entitled to various allowances, in particular family allowances, expatriation allowance (4% or 16% of basic salary) and, if applicable, of household and dependent child allowances.

Submission of applications

Applicants are invited to send their applications via the ‘Job vacancies’ section of the ETF website.

Formal requirements:

The following documentation must all be provided in English:

  • A typed motivation letter of no more than one page, explaining why the candidate is interested in the post and what her/his added value would be to the ETF if selected;
  • A curriculum vitae using the Europass CV format, available on the ETF website (other formats will not be considered);
  • At least two sets of contact details for past or current employers (to be specified under the “Additional Information” paragraph of the Europass CV form) that the ETF will use as references;
  • The form named ‘Selection criteria form’ available on the ETF website detailing the candidate’s professional experience in support of each of the points under the Selection Criteria section.

Applications may also be sent by fax to the ETF HR Unit at the following number: (+39) 011 630 23 88.

Please note that only applications submitted online through the ETF website or by fax and using the Europass CV format will be accepted.

In order to be considered, applications must be received by the closing date for submission and, if sent by fax, clearly quote the reference number ETF/REC/11/04.

If any one of the eligibility and selection criteria is not met, the application will not progress any further.

The closing date for the submission of applications is 18/09/2011 at 23.59 (Central European Time). Due to the possible high volume of applications, only applicants short-listed for interview will be contacted further. The ETF is an equal opportunities employer and encourages all qualified candidates to apply.

EU legislation on personal data protection and confidentiality of information will apply to all personal data collected for this selection procedure.

The application documents provided during the selection procedure will not be returned to candidates, but will be kept on file at the ETF.

More information is available in the Privacy policy for job applicants section of the ETF website.

  1. The ETF partner countries and territories are: Albania, Algeria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Egypt, former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Georgia, Iceland, Israel, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kosovo (under UNSCR 1244), Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Montenegro, Morocco, Occupied Palestinian Territory, Republic of Moldova, Russian Federation, Serbia, Syria, Tajikistan, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan.
  2. Ibidem footnote No 1.
  3. Equivalent to minimum C1 level for all dimensions as defined in the Europass CV instructions.
  4. Equivalent to minimum B1 level for all dimensions as defined in the Europass CV instructions.

You can download the pdf version of the vacancy: Vacancy notice SS VET policy - system development AD9.pdf
Selection criteria form to be filled in and attached to your application: Selection criteria form
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