BREAKING NEWS: New EPSO Competition Model | EU Training

BREAKING NEWS: New EPSO Competition Model

EPSO announced the new competition model for the EU institutions selection process.


EPSO's Board of Directors met on 31 January to vote on a new competition model. The  new selection process has been officially accepted. Below we’ll focus on the most relevant information for you, EU career candidates.
The reasons for this complete overhaul had many reasons, efficiency and faster turnaround being among the most important ones. A few points from the original proposal included:

  • Current and newly released competitions will be run in parallel for some time, using the old/new selection models
  • The Assessment Centre will be moved to the Recruitment (ie. post-competition) stage and offered as an extra service by EPSO for those Institutions that request it
  • CAST Permanent and internal competitions for the various EU institutions will remain as is until further notice (in-person testing may become more and more limited however, due to test centres closing in many locations)



At first glance, the new competition model looks completely different. But when taking a closer look, it is really is more like old wine in a new bottle. Indeed, it hails back to the selection process before the big 2010 overhaul: the Assessment Centre has been completely removed from the selection phase - BUT not totally gone. It will be offered as an EPSO competency-testing service by EPSO to the EU institutions.

Here is our breakdown of the different elements in the new model.


Here are some the general principles guiding the new model.

  • EPSO will offer support, e.g. assessment centre services, to the Institutions at the Recruitment stage
  • Flexibility, meaning there will be increased transparency to offer a simplified staff selection, but EPSO will stay open to catering to specific circumstances when requested by the institutions (e.g. lawyer-linguist exams for the Court of Justice)
  • From a financial point of view, EPSO is looking to decrease costs, which means disbanding the permanent selection board and getting rid of in-person testing once and for all.
    • Universal remote testing will be implemented for all competitions, for all grades, for all candidates
      • This means no more in-person testing
      • You will only be able to use an online calculator and notepad for the CBT (EPSO Computer-Based Test)
  • Simplified selection methodologies (e.g. see the phases below) and faster turnaround between phases. This means initially reducing competition timelines to just 6 months, then eventually even less.




enlightened MAIN CHANGES

  • The computer-based tests (CBT: Verbal, Numerical and Abstract Reasoning Tests) will be kept but only on a pass/fail basis and no more ranking among candidates
  • EU Knowledge test will be re-introduced but only for generalist competitions
  • Multiple-choice quiz (MCQ) style tests in the given field will be used for specialist competitions
  • Digital literacy tests introduced (where applicable, though it’s not yet clear what it means)



  1. Application and self-assessment of eligibility
  2. Experience Profiling Instrument (EPI). There will be no more Talent Screener. The TS will be replaced by this software where candidates can input their professional experience.
  3. CBT: Reasoning Tests (Verbal, Numerical, Abstract) on a pass/fail basis
  4. Generalists: EU Knowledge Test
  5. Specialists: MCQ in the Field, candidates with the highest scores go through to next phase
  6. Written Test (this will likely be a Case Study): only those with the highest scores will have these evaluated.
  7. Digital Skills Test - this is not completely clear yet, but here is what we know:
    • These tests are not ready yet (i.e. have not yet been created)
    • Will not be used in all competitions, most likely up to the Institution's to decide whether they'd like to implement it in specific competitions
    • Will only be available in EN, because all software used in the Institutions are in English 
    • EPSO doesn't know if digital literacy tests will be part of the generalist competition, it is up for the institutions to decide
    • There will be different levels of this test
      - AD digital tests are more conceptual: e.g. what is the dark web?
      - AST digital tests are more practical
  8. Eligibility checks


enlightened​ RESERVE LIST

  • There will be a catalogue of services offered to recruiters (in EU institutions) to be used to assess specific skills
  • This will include various ASSESSMENT CENTRE services
  • EU institutions can request to have the general competencies tested for selected candidates on the Reserve List
  • The new EPSO competencies:
    1. Critical thinking, analysing & creative problem solving
    2. Information management (digital & data literacy)
    3. Decision-making & getting results
    4. Self-management
    5. Learning as a skill
    6. Working together
    7. Intrapreneurship
  • Types of tests that will be used to test these (no changes here):
    • Competency-Based Interview (CBI) - link to webinar
    • Situational Competency-Based Interview (SCBI)
    • Oral Presentation (OP) - link to webinar
    • Case Study - link to product
  • From 2024 there will also be new types of tests offered, (some not so new), some of the more interesting are:
    • E-Tray
    • Role play
    • Linguistic tests
    • Personality tests (may already be available for competitions in 2023)



Luckily for candidates of EPSO competitions currently in progress, this has no effect on you whatsoever. Existing competitions, unless otherwise notified by EPSO, will continue with the “old” competition model. 

From May 2023, when the first new competition is announced, that is when EPSO’s new era in selection processes will begin.

EU Training will continue to offer the same services regardless of these changes. We will help you pass each phase and almost any type of test.

There are also a wealth of resources available, many of them free, to help you navigate your way to an EU career: