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Principal Officer in the Civil Service

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  • Thanks Veteran. So are you expecting more than 12 posts to be on offer? What is the ratio of internal departmental to open competition appointments under the new regime compared to the old?

    If there were more posts on offer than 2007 one would expect a much greater number of internal applications. Given the times we are in, I would have though a higer level of external ones too but who knows, I geuss we will find out more as the competition progresses.




  • There are a gang of us who are not through who are scratching our heads. I know one chap who is true and when compared answers on the analysis paper and there is now way he could have scored more than me but did - so don't know how the papers were scored but it wasn't just on your answers.

    I did make it through (to the next round at least), but I found the questions in the online test to be odd and hard to follow. Some more detailed guidance in advance would have been helpful. But, I suppose they were equally odd and hard to follow for everyone, so in that sense it is fair. No idea how they score them though.




  • Tivoli1300 wrote: »
    So are you expecting more than 12 posts to be on offer? What is the ratio of internal departmental to open competition appointments under the new regime compared to the old?

    Once this panel is set up, are all PO positions meant to be drawn from it? Or will departments still be able to have their own separate competitions (internal or external) and avoid using the panel at all? There seem to be a lot of PO jobs on offer at the moment, in advance of the panel being set up.




  • I am an external candidate through to stage 2. Very interested to see the conversation here so far.

    I thought the online test was well designed. The whole point of the analysis paper seemed to test how well you could understand things that were hard to follow. I thought the job simulation test asked some fairly penetrating questions about the choices and decisions a PO should make. I found the sample questions provided in advance very helpful - particularly for figuring out how to approach the job simulation test.

    Looking forward to finding out what happens in the next stage. Best of luck to others in the process.




  • Just got a message about the next stage.

    It's a full-day assessment centre. Presentation, interview, more online scenario and analysis exercises.


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  • It's all happening very fast! I'm through but I don't think I have enough senior management experience so am thinking of not going any further. I just did the exam for the practice.

    Are any others here in a similar situation?




  • I applied, didn't get through. No. 77something. My scores were around the 500 marks for both tests. I was surprised because I thought the first one I did fairly well in (in an arm of the PS already, so have fairly good exposure to the types of scenario mentioned).
    Maybe your tests and your experience are taken in to account?? I wouldn't have too much senior management experience I suppose.




  • KCC wrote: »
    It's all happening very fast! I'm through but I don't think I have enough senior management experience so am thinking of not going any further. I just did the exam for the practice.

    Are any others here in a similar situation?

    You'd be mad not to give the assessment center a lash tbh. Even if you don't think you have enough experience, it is worth giving it a go. Plus, you talk about practice, you won't get a better chance for "a dry run" of all of the various assessments and the interview required.




  • SF12 wrote: »
    I applied, didn't get through. No. 77something. My scores were around the 500 marks for both tests. I was surprised because I thought the first one I did fairly well in (in an arm of the PS already, so have fairly good exposure to the types of scenario mentioned).
    Maybe your tests and your experience are taken in to account?? I wouldn't have too much senior management experience I suppose.

    i thought the first 333 were called forward?




  • I think they were saying 771-779


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  • dixiefly wrote: »
    I think they were saying 771-779

    They were calling 779 for second stage? Really? Surely not?




  • Uriel. wrote: »
    They were calling 779 for second stage? Really? Surely not?


    This is beginning to feel like one of those exercises on textual analysis ;-)

    What was meant was that the poster in question came somewhere in the 770s on the order of merit. The cutoff point for stage 2 is 333.




  • Kagi wrote: »
    This is beginning to feel like one of those exercises on textual analysis ;-)

    What was meant was that the poster in question came somewhere in the 770s on the order of merit. The cutoff point for stage 2 is 333.

    Agreed get you now.. Read the first one as 77 or something and then thought the other poster was saying the first 770 were called




  • Anyone interested in some real time job simulation might want to have a look at this thread.

    http://www.boards.ie/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=2057416428&page=20




  • I also imagine most of these will be internal promotions?




  • Gael23 wrote: »
    I also imagine most of these will be internal promotions?

    PO is a fairly high up position and I'm not as familiar with it as the other competitions but... :)

    ... I'd say it depends.

    It's more than likely based on the results of that online test. Then your ability to demonstrate some competencies, skills and experience in the interview. I'd say Experience by Example would be a big deal "I'm great cos I did X" if ya catch my drift except way more professional sounding ;).

    So because of that, the reason I say it depends is because it'll probably depend on how many well Experienced external candidates are going for the job. It'll be their competencies/skills/experience up against the internal candidates competencies/skills/experience.




  • Gael23 wrote: »
    I also imagine most of these will be internal promotions?

    I think (I'm open to correction) that the agreement was 50% internal, 50% external- same as for the other recent competitions. DPER would like it to be 100% external- but there would be rebellion if that happened (aside from any other reason- there would instantly be no path to promotion for an APO internally in the civil service).

    As HOD posts- they are senior recruitment grades- so it'll be interesting to see if the candidates are perceived to have the relevant experience for the posts (and those who do- whether they are willing to consider the salaries on offer- when similar posts in the private sector are much better paid).




  • I think (I'm open to correction) that the agreement was 50% internal, 50% external- same as for the other recent competitions. DPER would like it to be 100% external- but there would be rebellion if that happened (aside from any other reason- there would instantly be no path to promotion for an APO internally in the civil service).

    When you say 50% internal, 50% external, are you counting non-CS public service as external or internal?




  • my instinct is that the ratio will be more likely 30% to externals and 70% to internal candidates. I don't think they have a target for either. It will depend on the quality of candidates that come through the process. A gender mix will also apply. CS needs new blood however there are excellent internal candidates who have soldiered on despite salary cuts since the crisis started. The better candidates deserve promotion given what they have been through just as externals deserve consideration. Internals have an advantage as they understand the culture.




  • You seem to be mixing up the internal / external thing.

    Internal in this case means internal competition and external is an open competition, i.e any person can go for it.

    A 50/50 mix means taking one person from an internal competition and one person from an external competition. That person from the external comp could easily be a serving civil servant.

    I know there is quite a bit of paranoia about the gender mix but I don't think it has ever applied and certainly won't start now.


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  • fair point and thanks for the clarification - so can one assume then that there is little clarity on the number of vacancies or from which group they will be filled.




  • A gender mix absolutely does not apply. The only gender related point is that if you look at the CPSA Code of Practice the PAS (or any civil\public service recruiter) is required to have a gender neutral recruitment methodology and in effect to have a gender mix on any interview or selection boards.

    I am in a position to know and I know there is no agreement, policy or direction\circular which requires a 50\50 open\internal split. departments will come to PAS where they have sanction to fill posts, unless the sanction permitted internal promotions, to fill posts. It is impossible to know how many posts will be filled from the open competition in the aggregate.

    DSP has just launched an internal PO competition, Education has a panel recently established, Justice has made PO promotions, etc etc

    I sat the exam and didn't get through but was recently judged in an internal competitio to have met the required standard but not high enough on a panel to actually get promoted.

    Of course I would say this wouldn't i, but the exam is a poor assessment tool given the role concerned.




  • So could Departments bypass the external panel entirely on basis of internal panel being in existence? Or is there an agreed ratio?




  • I think the information we now have allows up to put some tentative shape on the recruitment plans under this panel. As a rough rule of thumb, I'd expect to see about 5 full interviews per post to be appointed. Even if the number has not been fixed, this would point towards the PAS working on the assumption of about 50-60 posts to be filled.

    On the mix of appointments between insiders and outsiders, I doubt there is anything firm on paper. However, as the genesis of the competition is in DPER wanting to recruit outsiders at PO level I would anticipate seeing a significant share of appointments accounted for by outsiders - maybe as high as 50% unless there is a real problem with the quality of outsider applications.




  • Tivoli1300 wrote: »
    So could Departments bypass the external panel entirely on basis of internal panel being in existence? Or is there an agreed ratio?

    Potentially Departments could. No- apparently there is no agreed ratio.




  • Wish I had known that in advance of expensive trip for interview....




  • Would anyone be willing to post a short summary of their experience / skills in applying for these?




  • After all the posts about the online test, I'm kinda regretting not taking the online test just to see what it was like :-/




  • Slydice wrote: »
    After all the posts about the online test, I'm kinda regretting not taking the online test just to see what it was like :-/

    I found the online test to be relatively easy compared to others I've done. I had loads of time.


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  • surpy wrote: »
    Would anyone be willing to post a short summary of their experience / skills in applying for these?

    From what I've heard, many who applied are at the AP level in the civil service. .


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