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Promotion in the Civil Service

  • 02-11-2022 8:31pm
    Registered Users Posts: 51 ✭✭

    Hi everyone. As many people will know, there are a few grad competitions ongoing at the moment (Third Sec, AO, etc.) and many of the applicants are in their late 20s/early 30s and have years of private sector experience. I think this is primarily because this is the level most recruited at and the next highest level is AP.

    My question is - is there a minimum timeframe you'd need to serve at AO before being promoted to AP? Of course, I assume it will be performance-based, but are you still expected to not apply for AP for a few years? I have seen some people mention 7 years and 4 years, which is incredibly long to stay at AO level if you have significant experience, capable of more responsibility and are not really a 'grad' as such.

    I am not in the CS so another question - regarding promotions, do they need to be applied for and are they based on open competition? So in theory, there would be nothing stopping you from applying for AP after 2 years, if you can make the case for doing so, e.g. go through the competition successfully.

    Lastly, how many years of management experience do you think you'd need to apply for an AP position? The job ad doesn't say but obviously they want significant experience. Would 2 years suffice, so let's say a career spanning 8 years, 2 of which were management? Guess I can find out the answer if I apply but wanted to see what people thought.


  • Registered Users Posts: 161 ✭✭Kirbi

    For internal or inter-departmental, you generally need to have 2 years in the civil service (in no particular grade).

    There are large-scale internal and/or InterD comps available at every grade except AO (which is generally defined as a graduate recruitment grade, and includes the AO-aligned 3rd Sec).

    For open competition, you don't need any service. There are large scale open comps available at every grade except HEO (usually restricted to serving civil Servants, but sometimes has open recruitment for specialised roles - such as IT, PR, etc.) This includes AP, and there's one open at the moment.

    There may of course be educational or experiential requirements as well, but to guage the appropriate management level they're looking more at the competition process itself, i.e. testing and interview. The competency matrix for each grade will give you an idea of the level required - the competition threads here can be really helpful as well.