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New 2021 Assistant Principal in the Civil Service

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  • BainMarie wrote: »
    For any private sector worker thinking the Civil Service will lead WFH in the future, I have to say I am not impressed with the current arrangement. Due to “local arrangements” your manager can say what they want. I feel pressure to go in despite being unvaccinated because a colleague is going in and being “seen”. Also my colleagues left and retired during the pandemic so I have to go in and onboard new middle management despite being a lower grade. Happened in my last Department too last year. Upper grades treat lower grades like crap in the CS. No credit given. Found myself being left out of important messages after that. Due to failed decentralization in the last decade we are suffering. Also us lower grades had flexi taken away from us during the pandemic. Very unfair, I could be on late one evening for a ministerial briefing and get no time in lieu. I found flexi great as it used to let me build up a half day a month to do something nice with the kids. Had that taken away from me. As the private sector is now becoming much more flexible than the public service. Many private companies have told my neighbors they can work from home down the country permanently now. They have even bought a house.

    I would advise against public service. They are slow to implement positive change and HR in most departments is non-existent. Why waste your time applying for this when you can work from an Italian beach in the private sector for more money! I have been in the public service years now a feel stuck tbh. This is just my advice for those who are able to get opportunities in the private sector. If you have a chance there, take it rather than waste time here.

    Flexi will come back though. it has to with the core hours system and everything else in place. Our place has more or less said they expect everyone back on the clock as normal from around mid August and the department beside us have been told more or less the same. If your department is trying to do away with flexi entirely, I'd check with your union representative to see if they are allowed to do this. I would bet they arent.

    Your experience of not receiving credit though is not the same as mine. Even when I was a CO, I received a lot of personal credit for doing a job well done. Not all civil service departments are the same and I'm sorry to hear that yours has been generally negative for you. My own personal experience of the civil service has been nothing short of brilliant




  • BainMarie wrote: »
    For any private sector worker thinking the Civil Service will lead WFH in the future, I have to say I am not impressed with the current arrangement. Due to “local arrangements” your manager can say what they want. I feel pressure to go in despite being unvaccinated because a colleague is going in and being “seen”. Also my colleagues left and retired during the pandemic so I have to go in and onboard new middle management despite being a lower grade. Happened in my last Department too last year. Upper grades treat lower grades like crap in the CS. No credit given. Found myself being left out of important messages after that. Due to failed decentralization in the last decade we are suffering. Also us lower grades had flexi taken away from us during the pandemic. Very unfair, I could be on late one evening for a ministerial briefing and get no time in lieu. I found flexi great as it used to let me build up a half day a month to do something nice with the kids. Had that taken away from me. As the private sector is now becoming much more flexible than the public service. Many private companies have told my neighbors they can work from home down the country permanently now. They have even bought a house.

    I would advise against public service. They are slow to implement positive change and HR in most departments is non-existent. Why waste your time applying for this when you can work from an Italian beach in the private sector for more money! I have been in the public service years now a feel stuck tbh. This is just my advice for those who are able to get opportunities in the private sector. If you have a chance there, take it rather than waste time here.

    A lot depends of what department your based in.There does seem to be a complete lack of direction or a plan on how remote working and hubs should work. They have been ridiculously slow in ordering equipment to let people work from home. They do have a working group in mine that has looked into remote working and they have recommend it should stay and senior management want it to stay.

    I do feel for it to work though there’s need to be a cross departmental approach. Social Protection for example has offices all over the place and they could be used as hubs for staff from other departments.

    I find the local HR sections are useless. They don’t bother doing much until DPER act. I can’t understand why flexi was taken away for those who are actually going into the office. It’s extremely unfair.

    Decentralisation was definitely a missed opportunity.

    In my section we have a new AP and PO and the change is remarkable. They are really engaging and will take on board new ideas and are full of credit for anyone that does a good job.

    I actually think now is actually the best time to join the CS. There are large numbers of the old guard on the way out and lots of new blood coming in which will change the culture for the better.




  • How common is it to jump from EO straight to AP? I'd imagine it doesn't happen very often. Anyways I'm giving this a go for the experience, should hopefully stand to me for the next HEO/AO





  • Don’t know how to follow on the new board - so just putting a place marker here





  • I don’t think it is very common, but it certainly can and does happen so just go for it. And as you say it’s great experience for future competitions if it doesn’t pan out.



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  • Any tips for how to make your examples in the application form sound more professional? I sound like I'm giving out in mine, whereas I want to sound more objective/impartial.





  • I’m still living in ever decreasing hope on the 2020 competition, having just done the etray last week (wasn’t at all happy with my performance tbh), so i’ll be filling out the 2021 application form in the coming days.

    My plan is to offer brief overviews with what i did and outcomes with facts and figures where possible. Not sure how much weight is attributed to the form tbh, once you jump through the selection hoops and perform solidly across the competencies in final interview. It’s a marathon.





  • Struggling with the form myself. Finding it hard to put anything concrete down as the first 2 questions cover a lot of subheadings. I think a clear head is needed to have them questions filled, only a few days left before closing date and I'm already panicking.

    lucat and taato, could you not use last year's application form? I presume they'd be quite similar if not identical.





  • Yup, that’s the plan, i will certainly be copying and pasting and just tweaking to inc a couple of brief updates since last year’s form.





  • Hi folks

    Does anyone use the Supplementary Information box, and if so what do you include?

    Cheers



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  • yep.. don't leave blanks! I discussed network development and policy work that i had been involved in. In the other section i looked at the booklet and tried to address the main AP role points; budgets, projects that weren't covered in the previous 3 sections etc






  • Presume there's still no way around having to copy and paste? The whole entering 'every period of time since leaving college' every time you apply for something is nuts, don't know why they can't save it to your profile but I guess they don't want it to be too easy to apply. Not sure its worth the time it would take up for such a long shot as its generally people already working at a similar level who the comp seems geared for





  • I have seen this happen. My advice would be to take every opportunity you can.. believe in yourself..if you are a worker you are probably as good as anyone else thats been lucky enough to get through AP comps. Best of Luck





  • Hi guys, this is off topic and apologies in advance for my question, as it isn't related to this competition but I recognise some familiar names from a previous thread who were on the Inter-D HEO competition. I was wondering if anyone had been able to access that thread since the changeover? I can't find the thread at all and it's been very helpful. MTIA.





  • You already know how the promotion system and personal advancement work in the public sector and claim you don't get credit for stuff you do do - so, why, then, do you feel "pressure" to go in to the office, just because someone else is?

    Being treated like crap/no credit given? That's on individual managers, perhaps the culture in one single organisation. I had one manager so bad I requested a transfer, I'd another I knew was on their way out so stuck it out (and got credit from other managers for putting up with that one!) In addition to the two notably poor managers mentioned, I've had some decent and some really excellent managers, who've gone out of their way to advance people, including direct mentoring, interview prep, etc. Take some personal responsibility, maybe, and claim the credit you're owed, look for mentorship, etc.?

    Losing the opportunity to work up 1.5 days flexi in Haddington was stupid and retrograde, but that was HRA. Many departments have already put flexi back in place for office-based workers. If you are working late and putting in extra hours because of ministerial briefings, or whatever, guess what - you're entitled to either overtime, or time off in lieu! 🙄





  • Thanks so much Taato. I couldn't find it earlier last week. Cheers :)





  • Any info on how many positions will arise from this panel and how many applications do they normally get?





  • I know a couple of people who did it. I tried to do it myself four years ago but I failed, but the experience stood to me for the HEO competition a few months later. So go for it :)



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  • Hi all,

    Do all new entrants start at the bottom of the scale? Or do they take into account management experience elsewhere?

    Thanks





  • All newbies start on point one unless serving civil servants on a higher rate (not common) AFAK





  • Yep, I think if you are in public sector/CS already on a salary higher than the 1st point then you will be matched to the closest point on the scale. Otherwise starting point.





  • I suggest you read the booklet, which answers this and many more basic questions.





  • Hey. Filling in the application... Do you have to give salary levels for each employer. Seems pointless and just nosey as not like youre able to negotiate...





  • They stopped asking for salary levels years ago, don't tell me they've started again?! As you say - pointless. Also, a breach of GDPR. Your salary has no impact on your ability to do a job and can't figure in your shortlisting or marking at a later stage, so under GDPR, they shouldn't be asking for it!





  • I've never once mentioned salary. The way it's phrased on the form is very casual "description of duties, salary, etc." So I treat it as a casual request which I'm free to ignore!





  • Haven't been able to log in for days with this changeover!


    The problem is that I've only done one or two projects in my career and because they were communications projects they're almost impossible to put numbers to. They're mad for project work examples and it does them and us a disservice.

    I submitted the form this evening anyway so we'll see. Do we have any idea of when stage 1 will be? Probably in a month or so?





  • I did last year's and didn't make it through unfortunately. I'm going with the same form again (it's exactly the same) as it took forever to put those examples together and I've done nothing in the last year to justify changing them!



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  • Is it used as shortlisting stage, do you know? I've just one example left, managed to get questions 1 and 2 finished, will concentrate on question 3 today to get it finished.



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