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Principal Officer competition 2019

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  • I suppose it might depend on the question because there will be people counted on the panel but maybe not on the Dublin one. Anyway from what I can figure from boards and answers from PAS there is roughly, on average, 1 PO appointed from the Dublin panel every week. There have been 64 appointed from Feb 2019 and a previous post about 3 weeks ago that mentioned there were 8 left on the 2nd batch




  • everycloud wrote: »
    Thanks, that would imply that it's at #20 - I always seem to get a very different response whenever I contact PAS!

    That is correct. They should be offering no 20 on Batch 2 a place this week. Also some people may have been late taking the final stage and would have to slot into the OOM. example 22.1 if their marks fell between 22 and 23 on the OOM. I think if they are calling a batch 4 then everyone on batch 2 and 3 will be placed. With the October increase to 1% coming up there will be a lot of retirements in the Q4 of this year. I know that is what's happening in my Dept.




  • Just 4 left from 2nd batch now. (There were 9 left three weeks ago)




  • What is the presentation like? Do you get time to prepare the topic and do the panel question you afterwards? What sort of topic is it? Have a similar to do soon. Thanks




  • society wrote: »
    What is the presentation like? Do you get time to prepare the topic and do the panel question you afterwards? What sort of topic is it? Have a similar to do soon. Thanks

    The presentation is pretty straightforward in that you get time to prepare, you then do a short presentation, and finally respond to questions from the panel. As it's all online, I found the process quite fiddly - there was a kind of drag when writing notes (which you can do on a Word doc or as a PPT) that you are supposed to then present to the panel and I found I lost more time on that than I expected to. The topic can vary and I don't think matters much - it's more an exercise in being able to assimilate and analyse information quickly, using judgement to present the core elements succinctly and proposing recommendations. I don't think that there are right or wrong answers and the questions from the panel were about digging deeper into the recommendations I made. I didn't do any preparation in advance and not sure what would have been useful, but we were issued guidance that included a sample exercise and the real thing wasn't too different. Hope that helps and best of luck with it!


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  • does anyone know if the 4th batch has been called after the next 2-300 people were asked if they were still interested?




  • does anyone know if the 4th batch has been called after the next 2-300 people were asked if they were still interested?

    I asked PAS and they said that they have not made a decision on it yet... but I hope that will change!




  • I asked PAS and they said that they have not made a decision on it yet... but I hope that will change!

    I hope so too! I don't know how many are on the third batch but if it's around 25 it's not unreasonable to expect most of them to be offered something in the next 4-5 months, which could leave the civil service with no POs for 3-4 months (until this comp expires in January 2022).
    But PAS and the civil service work in mysterious ways so it's hard to guess.




  • I hope so too! I don't know how many are on the third batch but if it's around 25 it's not unreasonable to expect most of them to be offered something in the next 4-5 months, which could leave the civil service with no POs for 3-4 months (until this comp expires in January 2022).
    But PAS and the civil service work in mysterious ways so it's hard to guess.

    I don't know what their plans are, but if they ran out of people on this panel it wouldn't cause departments any problems in filling vacancies, they'd just fill them from the internal panels they have (1/3 of posts are filled from those already). It would result in a debt to the open panel, but there's often one anyway. The problem would only arise if the departments had already exhausted their internal ones too, which is only likely if they are nearly finished in terms of duration (in which case they'll probably have a new one very shortly).

    FWIW I have heard a fair few people have been postponing their retirements until foreign travel is back (less attractive to have the day off on half pay if you have nothing exciting to do, not even a pint in your local), but that a lot of these are expected to go over the next 3 months, or 4 so they get the pay restoration in their lump sum.

    We'll see soon enough, I guess ...




  • The latest from PAS is that they're at number #22 on the panel for batch 2...



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  • So little or no movement in the last 4 weeks then…





  • How are people getting on in their new roles? Finding the remote start challenging.





  • Checked in with PAS. Only 1 person has been appointed in the last 6 weeks (still 2 people left on the panel for the second batch). Does anyone know how large the panel for the 3rd batch is?





  • Re my comment on 30 June, there's been no PO retirements announced in my dept in the month since foreign travel returned, so it doesn't look like many were waiting for that after all (unless anyone here has seen a few in their dept?).

    There may be some waiting for the pay restoration (Oct 1st I think) as it could be an extra €1,500 (not a huge percentage difference, but if you're choosing a date in the last few months of 2021 you'd probably make it fall that side of the line).

    Also possible that some are holding back on deciding to retire, to see what sort of return to normal we'll have, e.g. will they be able to WfH, how many days etc. Some may also hold back to ensure they'll retire when back in office and have the traditional send off from colleagues, especially given they've not seen many in over a year.

    In terms of them extending the duration of the panel, they don't seem to be doing that with internal ones, so I'd say it's unlikely with this one too. Although they'd want to be fairly advanced in their preparations if they were to have that done in time for January. I do notice there was a stand alone PO(1) competition earlier this year which has created a panel for uplifted POs in Finance, Taoiseach and DPER, previously done with the normal PO panel and so it's possible they expect a delay with the next open PO and those depts don't want to be depending upon it.





  • Thanks for that.


    So do you reckon they’ll get to the batch 3 panel. I’d be fairly disappointed to have gone through all of that and not be placed.





  • I dunno. I got an email a few months back asking if I was still interested and I said yes, but no call up, not a lot of time left so I'm pessimistic...









  • You are already on a panel right? The 3rd panel (already gone through the 4 stages). This is different from the 3rd batch of the comp overall (they haven’t gone through the video stage (2) yet). There is still a good chance a number from your panel will be placed I reckon.





  • Thanks very much for that. Yep - on a panel, 3rd panel, all 4 stages done a early enough on the panel also. So fingers fingers crossed. Thanks again.



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  • Ah, I've been confused by talks of batches and panels, that makes sense.

    Yes, while I think I'm unlikely to be called (they may have just been checking out how many were still available among us, given internal promotions and candidates who have left Ireland, in case this panel exhausts), I'd imagine if they're doing that, there's a very good chance they'll place most if not all the existing panel.

    Also, is always possible they will extend this competition's duration, given the very unusual circumstances. Has anyone heard of whether they are planning for a new competition to succeed it by January? I'd imagine they'd have to advertise by early October to give enough notice, go through the stages and have the first panel ready by early January, so I'd have thought they'd have to have started preparations already?

    Anyone heard anything?

    Edit: Looking back at old messages, the closing date of applications last time was 3 October 2019 (I had got a reminder 1 October), I can't find the original ad, but I'd say if they are on schedule for a new competition without extending this one, they'll probably advertise sometime in next 2-3 weeks.

    Post edited by dotski_w_ on




  • Contacted PAS.


    Seems that 3rd Panel/3rd Batch has not yet started to be drawn from.


    They also said

    "Panels are typically in place for 18-24 months from inception and we currently have no set expiry date but this can be subject to change. Candidates would be notified in the event of an exected expiry date being announced". Would I presume correctly that there's no fear of people not coming off 3rd panel/3rd batch?





  • It's very hard to know. I've been in fairly regular contact with PAS over the summer as I'm one of the last ones standing (mostly slumped over with exhaustion from the wait tbh) on the 2nd batch and it would seem that there has been only one offer since June - for the Dublin panel anyway. So things have slowed down considerably, as for quite a while there was on average one offer per week. According to many previous and more experienced posters on this thread, the panel is supposed to finish by January... so while some may be taken from the 3rd batch (and an increase in retirements in October has been mooted), it may be well that not all will be.





  • Thanks for that. I had heard about the retirements but I would've thought the Departments would get cracking on filling them if they know they are leaving.


    I'll be very disheartened if I don't get the nod. I'm mad for this job - I need a change, and I need something 'substantial' that I can get my teeth stuck into. Fingers crossed!





  • I ve heard that they called more people this week for video interview so they must have an expectation to clear the 3rd panel at least.





  • A friend who works in Education told me they have appointed 10 PO's over the Summer from a new internal panel, so there might be a lot of that going on around the place. Unfortunate for those waiting here!





  • I can tell you that this exact situation has occurred in another Department, with a resulting lopsided "obligation" to the external panel. Dismaying when you are next....





  • Gearing up for the next open PO competition. Which is the best test preparation provider, do you think? I fell down on the numerical one last time.





  • When you say 'obligation' to the external panel....do you mean to the internal panel?



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  • No, the external. If you were to go by the sequencing set down by DPER, well that's been left behind a long time ago and there are now in the teens "owed" to the external. There have been 10 consecutive appointments from the internal panel since its establishment despite there being an external panel in existence from before that time with coughs internal staff on it next in line.



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