European Railway Agency - ERA

Making the railway system work better for society

Recruitment

It depends on the type post you will occupy but in principle, even if the Agency is located in France, it is not mandatory to speak French for working with us.

ERA launches selection procedures for Temporary Agents and Contract Agents by publishing calls for applications on its website. The calls for applications provide information on the job requirements and the conditions of employment.

The working and contractual conditions of ERA staff are stipulated in the Staff Regulations of Officials and the Conditions of Employment of Other Servants of the European Union (CEOS) and their accompanying implementing rules.

The Staff Regulations contain the rules governing all EU institutions staff.

The Conditions of Employment of Other Servants of the European Union (CEOS) contain the detailed rules for other servants of the European Union (i.e. for ERA Temporary and Contract Agents).

Temporary Agent (TA) contracts are generally offered for a maximum of 4 years with the possibility of a renewal for another definite period of maximum 2 years. Any further renewal is for an indefinite period. Temporary Agents serve a probationary period of 9 months.

At recruitment, TA posts are classified according to the nature and importance of the duties involved as and stipulated in the call for applications:

  • Administrator function group (AD): covers 10 grades from AD5 to AD14 corresponding to technical, administrative, advisory, linguistic and scientific duties
  • Assistant function group (AST): covers 4 grades from AST1 to AST4 corresponding to administrative, technical and clerical duties.

Contract Agent (CA) contracts are generally offered for a fix period of at least 3 months and note more than 5 years.

A Contract Agent whose contract is concluded for a duration of at least 1 year shall serve a probationary period for the first 6 months of his period of employment if s/he is in function group I and the first 9 months is s/he is in any other function group.

The CA contracts may be renewed not more than once for a fixed period of not more than 5 years. The initial contract and the first renewal must be of a total duration of not less than 6 months for function group I and not less than 6 months for the other function groups. Any further renewal shall be for an indefinite period.

CA positions are classified in 4 function groups corresponding to the duties and responsibilities involved, to be performed under the supervision of Temporary Agent:

  • Function group I: covers three grades corresponding to manual and administrative support service tasks
  • Function group II: covers four grades corresponding to clerical and secretarial tasks, office management and other equivalent tasks
  • Function group III: covers five grades corresponding to executive tasks, drafting, accountancy and other equivalent technical tasks
  • Function group IV: covers six grades corresponding to administrative, advisory, linguistic and equivalent technical tasks.

The grade is established according to the years of professional experience at recruitment.

Before renewal of a contract for an indefinite period, CA in function group IV shall be required to demonstrate the ability to work in a third language among those referred to in Article 55(1) of the Treaty on European Union.

The Staff Regulations define the grades and associated remuneration for Temporary Agents and for Contract Agents. Its Annex VII sets the respective allowances and entitlements.

Salaries are exempted from national tax; instead a tax to the benefit of the European Union is deducted at the source.

Calls for applications at ERA are regularly published on our website and on EPSO website (only for a Temporary Agent post).

For applications to be valid, the candidates must submit an application form duly completed and signed.

Applications must be sent by e-mail before the deadline. Applications submitted by fax or by post are not accepted.

As an EU agency, ERA organises its own selection procedures which are not linked to competitions and/or selection procedures run by EPSO. You therefore have to apply directly to our agency.

The Staff Regulations stipulate a mandatory retirement age of 66. Candidates who have not reached this age yet are free to apply for any suitable position at ERA.

Generally open calls for applications are published on line for 30 calendar days, during which candidates can submit their applications. If deemed necessary, this period may be extended. The exact deadline for applying for a job is stipulated in each call.

No. For reasons of equal treatment of all candidates no exceptions are granted.

ERA does not consider unsolicited/spontaneous applications whether received by post, email or fax. Only applications for published calls for applications/expression of interest can be taken into consideration.

ERA applies a policy of equal opportunities and accepts applications without any distinction whatsoever on grounds of nationality, age, race, political, philosophical or religious conviction, gender or sexual orientation and regardless of disabilities, marital status or other family situation.

The selection procedure and the conditions of recruitment are clearly set out in all calls for applications.

Each application is screened for compliance with the call for applications (e.g. on the basis of the required educational qualifications, years of professional experience etc.). Any application which does not meet the requirements specified in the call for applications (e.g. incomplete applications or those which do not meet the detailed criteria listed under the “eligibility criteria”) will be rejected.

Following the evaluation of the eligible applications and based on the assessment of the specific competences and skills required for the post, the applicants best qualified are called for an interview and written test.

A reserve list with suitable candidates is or may be established by the Selection Committee.

The Executive Director (as Contracting Authority by delegation) appoints a selected candidate from the reserve list established by the Selection Committee and instructs the Human Resources to launch the recruitment procedure.

Before a contract of employment is offered, candidates must undergo a medical check-up in order to attest that they are physically fit to perform the duties linked to the post.

A reserve list is a list of suitable candidates meeting the eligibility criteria and matching best the selection criteria as stipulated in the call for applications. If a post is vacant, one candidate from the reserve list can be immediately appointed to fill the vacancy (in principle the candidate scoring the highest number of points), but as long as the reserve list is valid, it can be used an undefined number of posts becoming vacant at a later stage in a specific area of expertise and/or with a similar profile.

A reserve list is valid for 2 years from the day of its establishment. Reserve lists may be extended if deemed necessary.

For each selection procedure, a Selection Committee is composed of at least 3 members: a Chairperson, a Human Resources representative and a Staff Committee representative. All members of the Selection Committee have the same rights and obligations. The main role of the Section Committee is to select eligible candidates matching best the selection criteria laid down in the call for applications and based on the outcome of the interview/written test establishes the (reserve) list of suitable candidates for the post.

No. 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.

On average, a recuitment procedure for a given call for applications can take from 3 to 6 months from the date of publication to the establishment of the (reserve) list of suitable candidates.

Calls for applications advertised by ERA are independent from each other and if not indicated otherwise, candidates are welcome to apply to any of them should they satisfy the eligibility criteria. Even if your name has been previously put on a reserve list, it is strongly recommended to apply for any new call for applications for which you have the corresponding profile.

In order to apply for a position at ERA, it is mandatory to be a citizen of a Member State of the EU plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway as stated in the call for applications. Applicants with nationalities other than those indicated in the call for applications will be considered as not eligible.

Candidates who possess degrees/diplomas awarded in a country that is not an EU Member State, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Norway should have the diploma/degree officially authorised in one of the Member States of the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Norway in order to be eligible to apply for a position.

To be eligible to apply for a call for applications, you must have gained the minimum entry qualifications by the closing date. Qualifications gained after that date cannot be taken into consideration.

You must meet all the eligibility requirements by the closing date for submission of applications. Professional experience acquired after this date cannot be taken into account and therefore the application will be considered as not eligible.

Obligatory military service counts as work experience even if it is served before the date you obtain your degree.

It depends on the type of post (AST/AD or Function Group for Contractual Agent posts) and is clearly stated in each call for applications. Please read the call for applications carefully before applying. More info on the degree required

Applicants may use any of the official languages of the European Union when applying for a post advertised by ERA. However, in order to facilitate the selection process and to reduce the amount of translations needed, applicants are strongly encouraged to use English, which is the vehicular working language of ERA.

Should you need to modify your application, you can only do it within the deadline to apply for the call for applications. You will be asked to send back your updated application.

When submitting your application you will receive an email notification that your application has been successfully received.

ERA regularly publishes the status of selection procedures on its website. No additional information will be given to candidates until the selection procedure has been concluded.

Candidates are invited to regularly check our website for any updates on the status of procedures.

Candidates who are shortlisted for an interview/written test receive an invitation by email, whereas candidates not selected for interview/written test are notified via email of the outcome of the procedure once the invitations have been sent to the shortlisted candidates.

The personal information ERA requests from candidates is processed in line with Regulation (EC) N° 45/2001 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 December 2000 on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data. More info on data protection

The time taken to invite applicants for an interview/written test depends on the number of applications received for a particular call for applications. Applicants shortlisted for an interview/written test are informed once all applications have been assessed. This can take up to about 8 weeks from the closing date of the call for applications.

In order to facilitate your travel arrangements, ERA can recommend you a list of hotels in Valenciennes. More info on how to reach us

You are recommended to carefully read the contents in the call for applications as a basis for your preparation.

The written tests are designed to assess some of the competences indicated in the call for applications under the selection criteria.

The interviews aim at giving you the opportunity to demonstrate a range of competencies and skills pertaining to the position you applied for. The interviews are held in English. If your mother tongue is English, knowledge of your second EU language as indicated in your application is assessed during the interview.

The duration depends on the type of post and the complexity of the questions.

The written tests usually take between 30 minutes and 1h30.

The interviews last on average between 45 minutes and 1 hour.

If you have a disability or a condition that might pose difficulties for you when taking the interview and the written test, please contact us by e-mail.

All candidates who attend an interview/written test and have their place of residence/departure more than 200 km away from Valenciennes, receive a contribution towards their travel and accommodation expenses.

The candidates are invited to fill in the contribution form in order to claim reimbursement, and to return the form, duly filled in and signed, to us by e-mail. All contributions will be processed according to the Agency’s rules.

Inclusion in a reserve list does not guarantee a job offer. As long as the reserve list remains valid, ERA may offer a position to a successful candidate who best matches the specific needs of ERA. Candidates’ profiles will be considered with all due care each time a post for which they are qualified becomes available.

Anyone interested in working for the Agency is strongly advised to consult new calls for applications available on our website at regular intervals in order to find updated information.

If a candidate considers that s/he has been adversely affected by a particular decision, s/he can lodge an administrative complaint under Article 90(2) of the Staff Regulations of Officials and the Conditions of employment of other servants of the European Union, at the following address:

The Chairperson of the Management Board
European Union Agency for Railways
120, rue Marc Lefrancq
FR - 59300 Valenciennes

The complaint must be lodged within 3 months from the time the candidate is notified of the act adversely affecting him/her.

If the complaint is rejected the candidate may bring a case under Article 270 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union and Article 91 of the Staff Regulations of Officials and the Conditions of employment of other servants of the European Union before:

The General Court of the European Union
Postal Address
L-2925 Luxembourg
http://curia.europa.eu/

Please note that the Executive Director (in his capacity as Contracting Authority) does not have the power to amend the decisions of a Selection Committee. The Court has consistently held that the wide discretion enjoyed by Selection Committee is not subject to review by the Court unless rules which govern the proceedings of Selection Committees have been infringed.

It is also possible to complain to the European Ombudsman pursuant to Article 228(1) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union and in accordance with the conditions laid down in the Decision of the European Parliament of 9 March 1994 on the regulations and the general conditions governing the performance of the Ombudsman’s duties, published in Official Journal of the European Union L 113 of 4 May 1994:

European Ombudsman
1, Avenue du Président Robert Schuman – CS 30403
FR – 67001 Strasbourg Cedex
http://www.ombudsman.europa.eu

Please note that complaints made to the Ombudsman have no suspensive effect on the period laid down in Articles 90(2) and 91 of the Staff Regulations of Officials and the Conditions of employment of other servants of the European Union for lodging, respectively, a complaint or an appeal with the European Union Civil Service Tribunal under Article 270 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.

In order to develop employees’ professional skills and performance and to better contribute to ERA’s mission, learning and development at ERA includes the full development spectrum from formal to informal learning of both general and technical nature:

  • Instructor led face-to-face training through ERA’s procured training providers
  • Self-managed learning via e-learning, reading and further education
  • Coaching.

Temporary and Contract Agents at ERA are subject to an annual performance appraisal system called Career and Development Review (CDR).

The CDR dialogue is a key moment of the year where line managers and staff build new opportunities for professional growth together and set priorities of the year through an open and constructive dialogue. The CDR dialogue is a moment of sound reflection and exchange between both actors.

In general terms, the purpose of the CDR dialogue is to bring alignment and consistency between ERA’s long, medium and short-term objectives and the motivation and aspirations of staff members.

Linked to the CDR dialogue is a merit-based promotion policy applied on an annual basis.

Seconded National Experts are seconded to ERA while remaining in the service of their national employer and continuing to be paid their national salary by that employer.

ERA pays a daily subsistence allowance per calendar day for the duration of their secondment. Therefore candidates for a SNE post must be sponsored by their national authorities.

The duration of a secondment to ERA is limited to a maximum of 4 years. The place of secondment is Valenciennes.

Candidates for a Seconded National Expert (SNE) post must be sponsored by their national authorities. Since SNEs remain in the service of their national employer and continue to be paid their national salary by that employer, they must have the fiat from their national authorities for the secondment. Confirmation of this is required in the form of a letter of sponsorship.

The traineeship scheme of the ERA is addressed mainly to young university graduates, without excluding those who – in the framework of lifelong learning – have recently obtained a university diploma and are at the beginning of a new professional career.

The aim of the traineeship ate ERA are:

  • To provide trainees an understanding of the objectives and activities of ERA
  • To enable trainees to acquire practical experience and knowledge of the day-to-day work of ERA in the different fields of activity of the Agency
  • To promote European integration within the spirit of new governance and through active participation to create awareness of true European citizenship
  • To enable trainees to put into practice knowledge acquired during their studies, or professional careers.

ERA through its traineeship scheme can take advantage of the inputs from young graduates, who bring a fresh point of view and up-to-date academic knowledge to the benefit of the Agency.

Every year, the Executive Director decides the number of traineeship placements in each Unit, depending on the level of funds available and on the capacity of each Unit to accommodate trainees. More info on traineeship

Yes. The closing date for sending applications is indicated in each traineeship notice. Applications received after the closing date are automatically rejected.

No. ERA does not consider open/unsolicited/spontaneous applications for paid traineeships. Only applications for published traineeships are taken into consideration.

You may re-apply for a subsequent traineeship period. However, you must submit a new application together with all requested documents.

There is no official age limit for applying for a traineeship. However, ERA’s traineeship programmes are aimed at young university graduates and students and present an opportunity to gain initial work experience.