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NEW 2020 Assistant Principal Officer Competition



  • Registered Users Posts: 3 Rosierev

    Hi Rainbowstar

    I was inter-d only for this one. Im delighted but also anxious, as I have only worked in my current dept and just finished a degree relevant to it. And the thought of going to AP level in a dept that I have no knowledge in is a bit scary.

  • Registered Users Posts: 13 Conor_OM

    Would anyone have any notes etc. for the competencies? There is a new AP internal competition out and I'm hoping to make my form look somewhat professional!

    Only an EO myself, albeit for three months but still eligible for it so I'm thinking why not? Have a decent amount of experience working in Customs.

  • Registered Users Posts: 75 ✭✭Famous Blue Raincoat

    I have an Assistant Principal Higher interview coming up. Interestingly, they sent me out the names of my interviewers, which is something I was never sent before an interview before. One of them I know as they were a friend of somebody close to me (albeit I haven't seen that person in c. 9 years). Do I just ignore this and show up, or what's the procedure?

    Also, would anybody have advice for this AP Higher interview? It will be almost an hour in length. Thanks.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,017 ✭✭✭TaurenDruid

    It's on the person you know to mention to the board that they know you, during their evaluation of your interview. At the same time, I'd acknowledge them at the start of the interview rather than have them think you're blanking them or have forgotten who they are, if that makes sense? Just a friendly, "Ah, hi Bob, good to see you again/long time no see!" or something light like that.

    There's plenty of good advice in this thread on interviews. Basically have at least two good examples prepped for the competencies you're going to be questioned on. Ideally you'll have them in STAR format, but depending on how you're asked about them, you may need to adapt.

  • Registered Users Posts: 804 ✭✭✭crinkley

    you're not related so there is no conflict of interest, just a nice hello

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  • Registered Users Posts: 17 The Third Policeman

    Any push on this one at all in the last few weeks? 2021 AP seems to be moving along.

  • Registered Users Posts: 98 ✭✭Rainbowstar

    Not much at the moment in my regions. Have to say as an external candidate who scored really well and paneled well, I'm very disillusioned with the process. In one of my regions all 3 of the appointments made were all from the interdepartmental panel. So I had zero chance at all here.

    In the other region it's a 30% open and 70% inter-d split. I'd have been appointed in both regions if it was different.

    Now I know the majority of people going for the Open AP are serving Civil Servants and that this is great for most, I've family and friends at HEO and AP level.

    However, why run an open competition at all if you don't want external people? Like why not just run internal comps? Really did not think it was this way or I wouldn't have given it so much time last year. Anyway, you live and learn.

  • Registered Users Posts: 60 ✭✭agnena

    My understanding is that PAS is going through the open list. All serving civil servants would be on both open and interdepartmental panels, if they have the 2 year service. So when a certain person is reached it is then decided what panel they are taken off, if they are on both. Therefore, you should not be disadvantaged or skipped by anyone behind you in the queue. I hope this makes sense.

  • Registered Users Posts: 98 ✭✭Rainbowstar

    No this is definitely not the case as I know there have been appointments off the inder-d panel that scored lower than me and were placed below me on the open panel. I also know that appointments were made off the inter-d panel leaving the top few scoring on the Open (the top in the competition) still sitting on the panel. It's very disappointing. Local authorities for example, when hiring directly, always state clearly that they have an inter panel and an open and that only 20% or so of positions will go to external candidates. At least they are clear about that. You know your chances are limited if external.

    No one seems to know how the Open AP panels work, but I am certainly gathering a good idea.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,017 ✭✭✭TaurenDruid

    1:1:1 open:inter-d:mobility, isn't it?

    But departments will sometimes swap their next appointment(s), depending on who is coming up on the panel. E.g., there's a vacancy about to open in an important policy area, Jane is on the inter-d and currently working in a policy area in our dept, we owe a vacancy to the open panel but let's wait for Jane's place to come up anyway and we'll owe two to the Open. Jane gets appointed, next couple of vacancies are filled from the Open.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 804 ✭✭✭crinkley

    Inters just move quicker due to the ratio, I wouldn’t look at it as these people scoring less than you as you’re not on the same panel. It’s just the way it works. Local authorities have to state that as they run the one panel and people will be frog leaped. No one below you on your panel will be placed before you

  • Registered Users Posts: 98 ✭✭Rainbowstar

    No it doesn't appear to be be that ratio and PAS said there was no ratio as such and it depends on what is requested. The fact that 3 positions in one of my regions were all appointed from the inder-d panel and 0 from the Open appears to me to be heavily weighted to inter-d.

  • Registered Users Posts: 98 ✭✭Rainbowstar

    When you say ratio what do you mean? Just I can't seem to get any info on the ratio of appointments, even from PAS who to be fair, are fairly responsive. I understand that someone who scored lower than me on the Open panel if appointed from the Inder-d negates the direct comparison. However, as I said above, when all appointments are off the inter-d with the top scoring in the competition left remaining on the Open Panel, I find that very disappointing. If that was clear at the outset, if there were defined ratios etc then fine. But there seems to be no clear and fair system to me. I wish all serving CS's the best as I have family and good pals working in various departments. I just wish I had known 6 months ago how limited my chances of appointment were in spite of doing really well. I had gotten my hopes up only to be then let down. But sure onwards and upwards eh!

  • Registered Users Posts: 804 ✭✭✭crinkley

    To be fair PAS only do the interviews etc its then up to the Departments. Before I applied I did check the ratio with an old colleague but can not remember, in my head I have 7-3-1 but I am totally open to being corrected.

    I suppose that is why they put in the brochure that the majority of appointments will be in Dublin, outside of that you are taking a huge chance as existing CS will use promotion as a quicker route than mobility

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,017 ✭✭✭TaurenDruid

    When/where did PAS say that? I'm going by (admittedly half-remembered) CPSU/Fórsa circulars, but there's also this: - pretty sure 1:1:1 was implemented.

  • Registered Users Posts: 98 ✭✭Rainbowstar

    Yes you are spot on! if I ever do go for it again, I'll put Dublin as a region. Pointless otherwise.

  • Registered Users Posts: 98 ✭✭Rainbowstar

    They said it in an email to me in a direct question about the ratio of appointments between panels. They seemed to infer that it's down to the Department's request which panel they pull from. To be honest, i think some more structured Departments operate on a 70/30 ratio (as per the guidelines and that article) and some just do whatever they want. I don't think it is strictly enforced at all. Hardly likely to be an issue when it only really affects the odd external candidate like me!

  • Registered Users Posts: 804 ✭✭✭crinkley

    its what I did this year and got to the final stage far quicker on very similar scores

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,017 ✭✭✭TaurenDruid

    The vast majority of government departments and bigger agencies are headquartered in Dublin, so it makes sense. And when they have staff wanting to transfer "back home" and on mobility/internal transfer lists for years, it's understandable they'll get preference over new entrants from a panel.

  • Registered Users Posts: 187 ✭✭Kirbi

    PAS don't monitor the sequences, so that would be right. The sequences are for each individual HR to monitor and meet. Technically, I think it's down to D/PER to police, but I don't know how strongly they dot, is especially given that a HR can be behind on a sequence and need to catch up.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 312 ✭✭MrsBean

    Would anyone have a copy of the information booklet for this Open 2020 comp? I had it saved on my laptop but that's now broken.

    I see there are links at the start of the thread to the circular for the inter-d, but it's really the open one that I need sight of. Thanks a mill in advance.

  • Registered Users Posts: 68 ✭✭westsider

    Hi I know I'm dragging up an old thread here so apologies. I've just pannelled for the AP 2021 campaign. I'm very daunted by taking on the role currently work outside civil service but in public sector at heo level. Can I ask for those of you who have recently been promoted how has the change been. If you prefer to DM me that's fine. I currently work 4 day week so the reality of going back full time to a higher level position in potentially a very different sector is making me anxious. Appreciate any perspectives on this, many thanks!

  • Registered Users Posts: 3 Beara_000

    I have moved this over to another thread >