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Working at ACER
Is the Agency a European Union institution?
The Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators is an independent Community agency, a body under the European public law but distinct from Community institutions such as the Council, Parliament, Commission, etc., and which possesses its own legal personality. The Agency was established in 2010 and became operational in March 2011 when it moved to its permanent premises in Ljubljana, Slovenia.
How many people work at the Agency?
The Agency currently employs around 50 staff members. Further staff members are expected to be engaged in 2012 to start working on the energy market monitoring issues.
Where is the Agency's permanent seat located?
The Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators is located in Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia.
What are the working languages of the Agency?
Working language in the Agency is English. Candidates for posts at the Agency must have an excellent command of oral and written English (level C2) and a satisfactory knowledge of at least one other official language (level B2) of the European Union to the extent necessary for the performance of the duties of the respective vacancy.
What is a Temporary Agent?
Information concerning temporary staff within the meaning of Article 2 of the ‘Conditions of Employment of Other Servants of the European Communities’ can be found on the website of the European Commission at:
Temporary Agent contracts are offered for five years with the possibility of renewal for an indefinite period. Temporary Agent posts are classified according to the nature and importance of the duties in:
• Administrators' function group (AD): comprises twelve grades from AD 5 to AD 16 corresponding to technical, administrative, advisory, linguistic and scientific duties;
• Assistants' function group (AST): comprises eleven grades from AST 1 to AST 11 corresponding to executive, technical and clerical duties.
Temporary Agents are required to serve a probationary period of six months.
What is a Contract Agent?
Information concerning Contract Agents as contract staff members under the provisions of title IV, Article 80 of the ‘Conditions of Employment of Other Servants of the European Communities’ can be found on the website of the European Commission at:
The duration of contracts for Contract Agents varies according to the needs of the Agency (from three months up to 3 years). At the Agency most Contract Agents have contract duration of 3 years. The contract can be renewed for a second fixed-term period, and upon its second renewal converted into a contract of indefinite duration.
Contract Agent positions are classified in four function groups corresponding to the duties and responsibilities involved:
• Function group IV: comprises six grades corresponding to administrative, advisory, linguistic and equivalent technical tasks;
• Function group III: comprises five grades corresponding to executive tasks, drafting, accountancy and other equivalent technical tasks;
• Function group II: comprises four grades corresponding to clerical and secretarial tasks, office management and other equivalent tasks;
• Function group I: comprises three grades corresponding to manual and administrative support service tasks.
Contract Agents whose contract is concluded for duration of at least one year are required to serve the following probationary periods:
• Six months if employed in function group I and
• Nine months if employed in function group II-IV.
If the duration of the contract is less than twelve months, Contract Agents may be exempted from the requirement to serve a probationary period.
Which are possible recruitment procedures for Contract Agents?
ACER launches recruitment procedures for Contract Agents through the announcement of vacant posts under the 'Current vacancies' section on its website. The notice of the selection procedure provides information on the conditions and essential requirements needed for the post. The Agency may also recruit Contract Agents from the European Personnel Selection Office - EPSO's CAST reserve lists.
What is Seconded National Expert (SNE)?
Seconded National Experts are seconded to the Agency while remaining in the service of their national employer and continuing to be paid their national salary by their employer. They receive from the Agency a daily subsistence allowance per calendar day for the duration of their secondment. Therefore, candidates for an SNE post must be supported by their national authorities or governments.
What does the recruitment procedure consist of?
The selection procedures and the conditions of recruitment are clearly set out in all of the Agency's vacancy notices.
As a rule, an appointed selection committee will first do the pre-selection of candidates by checking all applications. Any applications which do not meet the requirements specified in the vacancy notice (i.e. incomplete applications, applications submitted after the deadline or which do not meet the detailed criteria listed under ‘the eligibility criteria’) will be rejected. Afterwards the selected candidates will be invited for interviews and tests. After successful interview, candidates will be engaged by the Director on the basis of short lists established by the selection committee. Before starting the job at ACER, candidates will have to pass the medical aptitude test.
What selection criteria will be applied?
Applicants are selected on the basis of the eligibility criteria and specific competences and skills specified in each vacancy notice. Applicants must meet the required eligibility criteria and essential requirements (for example concerning the required educational qualifications or years of professional experience) by the application closing date mentioned in each vacancy notice. Any applications which do not meet the requirements specified in the vacancy notice (i.e. incomplete applications, applications submitted after the deadline or which do not meet the detailed criteria listed under ‘the eligibility criteria’) are rejected.
I come from a country that is not a Member State of the European Union; may I apply for a vacancy advertised by the Agency?
To apply for a position at the Agency it is mandatory to be a citizen of a Member State of the European Union. Applicants with nationalities other than those of the Member States of the European Union will be considered not eligible.
Are all applications and applicants that come to the Agency treated in the same way?
ACER applies a policy of equal opportunities and accepts applications without bias on the grounds of gender, 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 or sexual orientation.
I have a degree from a country that is not a Member State of the European Union; am I eligible for a vacancy advertised by the Agency?
Holders of university diplomas and degrees received in a country that is not a Member State of the European Union should have the degree officially recognized in one of the Member States of the European Union in order to be eligible to apply for a position at ACER, which requires such a degree.
What is the age limitation for applying for a post at ACER?
The Staff Regulations stipulate a mandatory retirement age of 65. Candidates who have not reached this age yet are still free to apply for any suitable position at ACER.
What language should I use in my application for a post at the Agency?
Applicants may use any of the official languages of the European Union when applying for a post advertised by the Agency. However, in order to speed up the selection process and to reduce the amount of the translations needed, applicants are invited to use English, which is the working language of the Agency.
How long does the recruitment procedure take?
As an average estimation only, the recruitment procedure can take up to 4 months from the date on which a position is first advertised to the final offer being made. An extensive need for translations into the working languages of the selection panel may cause delays even beyond the above estimate.
Will I receive an acknowledgement that my application for a post at the Agency has been received?
Applicants receive an e-mail acknowledging receipt of application. Please note that applications submitted after 23:59 (Ljubljana time) on the closing date are automatically rejected. ACER informs applicants who have submitted their applications on time by e-mail if their application has been rejected or made it through to the further stages of the selection procedures. Experience has shown that e-mails sent by the Agency might be classified as ‘Junk e-mails’. Hence, applicants are also advised to check their ‘Junk e-mail folder’ for any communication sent by the Agency.
When may I expect an invitation for an interview?
The time taken to invite applicants for an interview depends on the number of applications received for the particular vacancy notice. It is important to bear in mind that we often publish a number of vacancies simultaneously. Therefore, it may take up to 6 weeks from the closing date of the vacancy notice before the invitations for interviews can be sent out. This is in part attributable to diligent observance of the strict recruitment rules applied at ACER, which require detailed scrutiny of every application, notwithstanding the number of vacancies or applications per vacancy.
When will the interviews and written tests take place?
Applicants short-listed for an interview are informed once all applications have been examined. The interview and test date are set within a reasonable time after the closing date for applications.
How long do the tests and interview take?
The tests usually take from 30 minutes up to an hour. The interviews can take from 30 minutes up to an hour depending on the vacancy notice applied for and the complexity of the questions.
Will my travel expenses be reimbursed if I am invited for an interview?
All candidates who attend an interview and have their official residence 150 km or more from Ljubljana are reimbursed according to ACER rules on travel reimbursement.
Is it possible to lodge an appeal against the decision of the Selection Committee?
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.
If a candidate considers that he/she has been adversely affected by a particular decision, he/she can lodge a complaint under Article 90(2) of the Staff Regulations of Officials of the European Communities and Conditions of Employment of Other Servants of the European Communities, by writing to: Human Resources, ACER, Trg Republike 3, SI -1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia.
The complaint must be lodged within 3 months. The time limit for initiating this type of procedure (see Staff Regulations as modified by Council Regulation No 723/2004 of 22 March –
) starts running from the time the candidate is notified of the act adversely affecting him/her.
Applicants can make a complaint to the European Ombudsman at the following address: European Ombudsman, 1 Avenue du President Robert Schuman 0 BP 403, F-67001 Strasbourg Cedex, France.
May I submit an open/unsolicited/spontaneous application?
ACER does not consider open/unsolicited/spontaneous applications. Only applications for published vacancies can be taken into consideration. The Agency publishes all open vacancies under the ‘Current vacancies’ section on its website.
Where are vacancy notices for the Agency published?
Vacancy notices for the Agency are regularly published on:
• the Agency’s website - (‘Current vacancies’):
• EPSO’s website - (under ‘Apply Today - Temporary Agents’):
Where can I find more information related to grades and salary?
For more information regarding grades and salary, please consult the following link:
Is it possible to undertake a traineeship or an internship at ACER?
Unfortunately, at the moment ACER is not in the position to offer internships or traineeships. It may be that in the course of the year the Agency will establish an internship/traineeship programme. Therefore, we suggest consulting regularly the Agency’s website, where any internship or traineeship opportunities will be published.
When will the next vacancy notices be published?
Anyone interested in working for the Agency is advised to consult the ‘Working at ACER’ section of the Agency’s website at regular intervals in order to find further information.
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