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NEW 2022 Assistant Principal Competition - Open and Interdepartmental



  • Registered Users Posts: 3,373 ✭✭✭ griffdaddy

    As far as I know there are no open HEO competitions, it's a promotion grade

  • Registered Users Posts: 18 bjarbnickixo

    I think you might be right, for the most part. However, I have seen some HEO position get advertised as 'open competition' for specific state agencies. I know my current place of work that operates as an aegis under a Department did this... although, this is public service as opposed to civil service. SEO vs HEO; however, same pay scale.

  • Registered Users Posts: 42 rusty1983

    The AO position is what you need to be looking out for and just like the HEO it's a middle management role. Unfortunately, it was advertised already this year, it is mainly a policy role, and you need a level 8 to be eligible

  • Registered Users Posts: 6 Gargoyle711

    I'm in the middle of preparing my application at present, I got through to the in centre tests the last time I applied in 2018 and only missed out by 3 points then so I'm hopeful for this round. The space for responses is very long (4,000 words). Just wondering are people getting close to that figure, personally I feel a quality response to the question posed is better than trying to reach a long word count. What way are others approaching it? When they ask for a specific example are you limiting your response to a specific example addressing all areas of the question, or providing specific examples for different areas?


  • Registered Users Posts: 15 The Third Policeman

    Looks like it's 4000 characters (about 500 words or so). I'm applying it to a specific example and trying to hit as many aspects of the relevant competency as I can.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 6 Gargoyle711

    Thank you, someone else pointed that out to me - I'm glad to find out at this point and not as I go to cut and paste into the application. Characters makes total sense, 4000 words on each question is a long essay! Best of luck!

  • Registered Users Posts: 434 ✭✭ delricyo

    500 words on each example is still quite a hefty target to be hitting. Personally, I'm using this as a limit and not a target. Yes, I can certainly take my 200/300 word examples from previous forms and add in a few more sentences. But I cant really see myself going anywhere near the limit when explaining my duties within each of my roles to date.

    The personal statement is a bit of a head scratcher for me. As a serving civil servant, it is not something that I have completed for any of my promotions to date. Maybe a recent PAS AP form had it on it?

  • Registered Users Posts: 31 757TFFIU

    First time going for AP. Only about 2 and a half years since getting the HEO.

    Have to say I'm struggling a bit with the proposed length of some of the competency based questions. Still just over 1,000 characters left on question 3 and nearly 1,800 left on question 4 for example, and I've nothing left to say. I'd be adding rubbish material for the sake of it. Quality over quantity I suppose, but 4,000 characters does seem quite a long essay. Doesn't particularly help that I've only ever worked in the one Department.

  • Registered Users Posts: 39 DonutLike

    I have submitted my application. I didn’t get too caught up in the word count - quality over quantity.

    The personal statement was new to me, but, I gave it my best shot. I’ve never applied for AP before so all very new.

  • Registered Users Posts: 61 ✭✭ hungerjames

    How thorough are people being in their work history? Surely I should just include anything relevant (so everything since I originally came in as an EO/HEO, and maybe one or two of my better managerial jobs previous) rather than including the various places I was a TCO or my previous life in retail?

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  • Registered Users Posts: 133 ✭✭ Gadgetman99

    Whatever you put into your application needs to flow like a proper time line, you shouldn't put in say a job that ended 3 years prior to your civil service then have a gap of 3 years between it and the civil service. They want to know gaps are accounted for, be it for going back to college or a career break etc.

    But professional experience would be better to put in rather than say a retail job from a decade ago unless you were say a manager/supervisor etc. that maybe you might use for your competency questions.

  • Registered Users Posts: 291 ✭✭ flended12

    3rd times a charm! Submitted application there today.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1 whoosh2


    It's been a while since I was in the competion cycle - can anyone advise me whether there is a way to save your previous roles and education on so as not to have to type it in for each separate competition? Or is it just a question of re-pasting it in from a stand alone document each time?

    Thanks in advance for any insight.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6 Gargoyle711

    I applied before and when I went to add my employment history and education this time it gave me the option of auto completing. Submitted mine last night, relief to have it in, test prep starts now, hate those things!

  • Registered Users Posts: 2 AP2022applicant

    Hi all, just wondering if anyone else had issues submitting the application today? I was (last minute) finalising my application and about to submit at 14:55 and the application disappeared and told me the deadline had passed. I immediately sent an email to PAS with screenshot. Anyone else experienced this before?

  • Registered Users Posts: 3 Peaches91

    I had the same issue, and sent an email as well.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1 Spadeser

    Same issue here.

  • Registered Users Posts: 13 Shinerwx

    Same here! Have also sent an email. Fell into the age old trap of reviewing the application....then tweaking....then realising the time! What a horrible feeling when it doesn't go through after all that work! Hopefully will hear something positive back.....

  • Registered Users Posts: 2 AP2022applicant

    Great to hear I'm not the only one. I was in absolute shock when it just disappeared. I know it was last minute, but I still had plenty of time to screenshot, write and send an email to PAS before the 3pm deadline. So should have been able to submit!

  • Registered Users Posts: 160 ✭✭ Kenevil

    Hi All, only decided last minute to throw in an application for this... not sure if i'll get past the short listing but sure its all experience. My examples are only about 150 - 180 words but was told not to bulk them out once i hit all the criteria they don't want to see essay's 🤷🏻‍♀️

    Best of luck to everyone

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  • Registered Users Posts: 28 Ck18

    Anyone know what timeline we are looking at for this?

  • Registered Users Posts: 749 ✭✭✭ furrybones

    Any recommendations for test prep? Had a look around today and can't really find anything.

    "Success is not final, failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts"

  • Registered Users Posts: 66 ✭✭ Curranjo

    Based on last year's competition, we will hear back in 2 -3 weeks

  • Registered Users Posts: 15 oranreilly

    To all the people who couldn't submit on time, I mistakenly didn't reply in time to my interview confirmation for AO and I immediately e-mailed PAS and they put me back in the competition. I would imagine you will all be fine.

    If you have a few quid spare, buy a month of this. Has a bunch of tests I'm doing now and gives breakdowns of all the answers. I must say it's very difficult, a lot harder than I remember the actual AO tests being. Haven't done the AP tests before so I don't know if the difficulty is comparable.

    Good luck all

  • Registered Users Posts: 52 ✭✭ Foxy1987

    Hi CW2022 - there are no open HEO comps only inter Departmental and Open - AO would be similar paygrade more policy based but is an open comp.

  • Registered Users Posts: 749 ✭✭✭ furrybones

    I am contemplating doing this. However, I don't want to waste money if I won't get to use it. Are the initial applications looked at or does everyone who applies get to do the assessments?

    "Success is not final, failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts"

  • Registered Users Posts: 39 DonutLike

    The latest HEO comp had everyone do the assessment. Then, you received an OOM based on those results. Afterwards, shortlisting based on forms gave a new OOM

  • Registered Users Posts: 705 ✭✭✭ keepkeyyellow

    Does anyone want to split the cost of exams with me ? Used below for HEO and I got 100% on the Math and 70/80 on the verbal so am going to go with them again. 58e for 4 weeks which should be plenty of time to practice ! Send me a message about it and I'll figure out what the split is after a day or two.

  • Registered Users Posts: 15 oranreilly

    I was just going to suggest this. Also google for coupon codes, the first one I found dropped it from 58 to 46 euro! I split it with my brother so 23e each for a month of prep really isnt too much. Group up and split the cost and use your coupons folks!

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  • Registered Users Posts: 291 ✭✭ flended12

    Interested. Drop me a pm.