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Accountant Grade 1 and 2 Civil Service 2021

  • 18-12-2020 4:45pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 49 Aine1981


    I have just seen the advertisements for the above. Apart from the pay what is the difference in the role between the 2 grades? Oddly the booklet and closing dates seem to be missing for the Grade 1 post at the moment.


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Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 408 ✭✭ FunkSoulSista


    Also curious of this and does anyone know how many posts currently available and how long the process takes from application to interview please?


  • Registered Users Posts: 49 Aine1981


    Also curious of this and does anyone know how many posts currently available and how long the process takes from application to interview please?

    Hey there. I applied for the grade 1 in November 2018 and the time between application to interview was 2 to 3 months. Not sure what number of positions are out there but I expect the 2019 panel must be coming to an end or nearly fully exhausted.
    I know the Grade 1 is equivalent to an AP grade salary wise but was wondering on where the grade 2 sits as they seem quite similar.


  • Registered Users Posts: 408 ✭✭ FunkSoulSista


    Yes, also curious, what is the level of responsibility involved in Grade I vs Grade II


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 23 ✭✭✭ Aitana Embarrassed Suburb


    I'm not very au fait when competency based applications having spent 21 years in industry and now made redundant during covid.
    Can someone give an example of how they would demonstrate their leadership competency? What is a good answer?
    If anyone wants to give example of Analysis and decision making and delivery of results, they would be great too.
    Do people think age matters for this? I know it shouldn't but....... In in my early 50s.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,774 ✭✭✭ ari101


    I'm not very au fait when competency based applications having spent 21 years in industry and now made redundant during covid.
    Can someone give an example of how they would demonstrate their leadership competency? What is a good answer?
    If anyone wants to give example of Analysis and decision making and delivery of results, they would be great too.
    Do people think age matters for this? I know it shouldn't but....... In in my early 50s.

    I really don't think age matters, I hope I am correct! :-)

    Have you ever used STAR?
    When you think of examples, try break them down into Situation (general), Task (what you needed to accomplish), Action (what you did), Result (outcome how it worked / benefited)
    You need to talk about what YOU did not the team, or us, after outlining the scenario, you don't have to write the STAR stuff, but keep it in mind to make sure you cover the necessary demonstration of competency.

    Basic vague idea, I'm not sure if this is a 'good' example for Analysis and DM but gives you an idea of how to outline maybe...
    A change was occurring in accounting standard, policy, or legislation which affected how the company did something.
    I needed to research and communicate change to XYZ stakeholders
    I wrote a report and presented to group, having considered needs and understanding level of XYZ in how change is implemented, why it is happening and what it will look like, etc.
    I successfully got stakeholders on board so they understood need for change and helped with the change which led to successful implementation

    Not sure if that is any use but it is how I would approach answering these.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 23 ✭✭✭ Aitana Embarrassed Suburb


    ari101 wrote: »
    I really don't think age matters, I hope I am correct! :-)

    Have you ever used STAR?
    When you think of examples, try break them down into Situation (general), Task (what you needed to accomplish), Action (what you did), Result (outcome how it worked / benefited)
    You need to talk about what YOU did not the team, or us, after outlining the scenario, you don't have to write the STAR stuff, but keep it in mind to make sure you cover the necessary demonstration of competency.

    Basic vague idea, I'm not sure if this is a 'good' example for Analysis and DM but gives you an idea of how to outline maybe...
    A change was occurring in accounting standard, policy, or legislation which affected how the company did something.
    I needed to research and communicate change to XYZ stakeholders
    I wrote a report and presented to group, having considered needs and understanding level of XYZ in how change is implemented, why it is happening and what it will look like, etc.
    I successfully got stakeholders on board so they understood need for change and helped with the change which led to successful implementation

    Not sure if that is any use but it is how I would approach answering these.

    Thanks so much for taking the time to reply. That is very helpful and I'll put this into use for my example. Best of luck to you.


  • Registered Users Posts: 49 Aine1981


    Thanks so much for taking the time to reply. That is very helpful and I'll put this into use for my example. Best of luck to you.
    On leadership if you oversaw a project of some sort and led a team that would fit nicely under that area.
    Using the STAR method as detailed above emphasise how to get the project complete you delegated to staff based on their strengths , you provided feedback to them regularly via group meetings etc. You could say due to time constraints and various needs for different expertise you needed to delegate accordingly.
    The result being project completed on time.

    On page 6 of the booklet something like this would tick off the following competencies under leadership:

    Leads and maximises the contribution of the team as a whole
    Clearly defines objectives/goals & delegates effectively, encouraging ownership and
    responsibility for tasks
    Develops capability of others through feedback, coaching & creating opportunities for skills development

    I also agree age would not be a factor.

    Best of luck


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 23 ✭✭✭ Aitana Embarrassed Suburb


    Aine1981 wrote: »
    On leadership if you oversaw a project of some sort and led a team that would fit nicely under that area.
    Using the STAR method as detailed above emphasise how to get the project complete you delegated to staff based on their strengths , you provided feedback to them regularly via group meetings etc. You could say due to time constraints and various needs for different expertise you needed to delegate accordingly.
    The result being project completed on time.

    On page 6 of the booklet something like this would tick off the following competencies under leadership:

    Leads and maximises the contribution of the team as a whole
    Clearly defines objectives/goals & delegates effectively, encouraging ownership and
    responsibility for tasks
    Develops capability of others through feedback, coaching & creating opportunities for skills development

    I also agree age would not be a factor.

    Best of luck

    Thank you very much.,really appreciate your help and the information is perfect. Good luck to you too.


  • Registered Users Posts: 280 ✭✭ JimmyCorkhill


    Some great advice on this thread, many thanks to all contributors.

    For the Supplementary Question Section of the application it mentions a maximum of 400 words per answer.

    How strict are they on it?

    Thanks


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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,774 ✭✭✭ ari101


    Did anyone apply for either of these and have they heard anything back? Been just under/over 6 weeks since close in each case.

    Cheers


  • Registered Users Posts: 49 Aine1981


    I applied for the previous year competition not this one. I was tempted to apply to see if it might open the door to change location down the road as mobility doesn't appear open to this grade. (I didn't apply for it in the end) Just to give you an idea of the timeline from the previous competition.
    Application submitted 22.11.2018
    Email from PAS saying I was shortlisted 20.12.2018
    Email from PAS re Interview Date, Time etc. 03.01.2019
    Interview 13.02.2019
    Email from PAS with Panel Placement 01.03.2019

    Now with COVID etc. it would not surprise me if things took a bit longer.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,774 ✭✭✭ ari101


    Great that really helps, thank you! :)

    I had also heard mobility was not open to technical grades, and of people in admin roles who reapplied to open competitions to get moved when they were way down mobility lists, so in 12-18 months when the next competition comes around it may be an option!


  • Registered Users Posts: 49 Aine1981


    Yes, definitely I will be keeping my eye out for the next competition. The very best of luck to you in it. I hope you hear soon.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5 ✭✭✭ Cora74


    Did anyone receive an invitation to interview for the accountant grade II position and how many positions are available?


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,774 ✭✭✭ ari101


    Cora74 wrote: »
    Did anyone receive an invitation to interview for the accountant grade II position and how many positions are available?

    Yes, but no idea on number of positions, I'm assuming there is a panel here so there could be a decent few over time. With Grade 1 and 2 competitions running concurrently, some of the Grade 1 vacancies may be filled from serving Grade 2 creating more Grade 2 vacancies over time.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5 ✭✭✭ Cora74


    ari101 wrote: »
    Yes, but no idea on number of positions, I'm assuming there is a panel here so there could be a decent few over time. With Grade 1 and 2 competitions running concurrently, some of the Grade 1 vacancies may be filled from serving Grade 2 creating more Grade 2 vacancies over time.


    Thanks, I am not use to civil service interviews, if successful on a panel and subsequently offered a job, do they then look for references from a current employer etc.? Also, there appears to be one interview only for this panel, do they normally have online tests or is it interview only?


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,774 ✭✭✭ ari101


    Cora74 wrote: »
    Thanks, I am not use to civil service interviews, if successful on a panel and subsequently offered a job, do they then look for references from a current employer etc.? Also, there appears to be one interview only for this panel, do they normally have online tests or is it interview only?

    I'm no expert in civil service but... ;)

    I thought there would be more than one round of interviews, and maybe a presentation, but agree the wording of the invitation suggests one interview only.

    For technical grades like Accountant, I understand they don't often use aptitudes/etray exercises.

    I would love more info on whether technical public sector financial stuff is examined at interview. I assume it will be CV, competencies, general public sector committment, etc. But do they expect detailed knowledge of accounting in public sector?

    References (usually incl. current employer) and copies of qualifications are requested once there is a job for you. I'm hoping jobs are by way of expression of interest, with the highest placed candidate on the panel who expresses interest in a role being offered it, subject to references and paperwork, which are only checked at this point.

    If anyone can shed more light on the above or correct my assumptions, they are very welcome :D


  • Registered Users Posts: 49 Aine1981


    Hi Guys
    For the 2019 Panel there was only one interview. While the booklet said there maybe a second and or presentations. There wasn’t anything extra for 2019. I came from the Private Sector and they seemed to home in on my application form and the competencies. They asked about applying technical accounting skills. I think I used an example using Accruals or Revenue Recognition.
    I wasn’t asked anything really Public Sector related. They were more interested on how I would adapt to the change and why did I want to change.
    I did do some research though on that one just to be on the safe side. Some of the big topics are the move to IFMS (Shared Services) for the Public Sector down the line and an aim to transition to accruals accounting. Maybe have a look at an Appropriation Account and the deadlines. You can only have a high level of knowledge as you don’t work in Public Sector and they will know that.
    I got the vide from my interviewers that they didn’t expect me to be well versed in the Public Sector Accounting given my background but that was just the general vibe I got. They seemed very fair and were actually very nice.
    I found they were very big into Staff Management questions though. But as the Accountant is an AP Equivalent role you will more than likely have staff.
    I was only asked for References when my place came up on the Panel and was told the Department that I would be assigned to once the paperwork was sorted. PAS also gave me time to talk to my employer and waited for my go ahead before they made contact. But they only gave me 5 days to do it.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,774 ✭✭✭ ari101


    Thanks a mill that's great peace of mind and a good steer on what I should spend my prep time on. Much appreciated. :)


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 23 ✭✭✭ Aitana Embarrassed Suburb


    Was there many people called to interview for Grade I and Grade II?
    I interviewed for Grade II on 29/03. There were some connectivity issues on the Chair person's side that through me a bit. Hope they make allowances. Anyone else have any issues?
    Anyone have any feedback yet?


  • Registered Users Posts: 5 ✭✭✭ Cora74


    Was there many people called to interview for Grade I and Grade II?
    I interviewed for Grade II on 29/03. There were some connectivity issues on the Chair person's side that through me a bit. Hope they make allowances. Anyone else have any issues?
    Anyone have any feedback yet?

    I think it was mentioned that feedback would be in May. I may have heard wrong but I think they said they were interviewing for a month?


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,774 ✭✭✭ ari101


    Definitely still interviewing for Grade II to end April. Mine is the last week of the month. Heard of one other on a similar schedule for Grade II, so May for results makes sense. Don't know anyone called for Grade I.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 23 ✭✭✭ Aitana Embarrassed Suburb


    Cora74 wrote: »
    I think it was mentioned that feedback would be in May. I may have heard wrong but I think they said they were interviewing for a month?

    Thank you


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 23 ✭✭✭ Aitana Embarrassed Suburb


    Anybody have an update on when the results for professional accountant grade 2 due out?


  • Registered Users Posts: 18 SonicHook


    I asked at the end of my interview and was told mid-May. I wouldn't get hopes up though as there can be delays with these comps as priorities shift from time to time. Best of luck.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 23 ✭✭✭ Aitana Embarrassed Suburb


    SonicHook wrote: »
    I asked at the end of my interview and was told mid-May. I wouldn't get hopes up though as there can be delays with these comps as priorities shift from time to time. Best of luck.

    Thank you


  • Registered Users Posts: 4 Nosey Parker


    Anyone have any tips for interview for civil service accountant please? I'm in with them this week.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4 Nosey Parker


    Anyone out there or is this thread dead? If anyone can point me to a newer relevant threat, shoot!


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  • Registered Users Posts: 49 Aine1981


    Well done on getting an interview for Grade 1. I interviewed in 2019 and started a job in CS in July 2020.
    My tips would be have at least 1 or 2 extra examples per competency other than what is on your application form to be on the safe side. Answer using the STAR format. Always say I and not We.
    Have a look at who is on your interview panel too. Especially If they are current civil service staff (not retired). You could look up their departments and see if there is any finance related topics in the news just to show you did some research should it be relevant. These people could be a potential manager so good to impress if you can.
    I was from private sector so they didn’t really ask me anything really on public sector. They asked a good few questions on staff management so that is definitely a big thing for CS. Also why are you moving from private to public etc. Very likely you could be asked that.
    You have an interview so whatever you put on the form ticked all the boxes so whatever way you structured your answers there would be the way to go in my opinion.


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