European Union (EU)

Head of Unit (IT)

European Union (EU)

Job Description

Community Plant Variety Office

The Community Plant Variety Office (CPVO) is an independent EU Agency that was established by Council Regulation (EC) No 2100/94 on 27 July 1994. The CPVO is responsible for the management of the Community Plant Variety Rights System. This system provides protection with an intellectual property right for new plant varieties on European Union level. The mission of the CPVO is to foster innovation in plant varieties by high quality processing of applications for Community plant variety rights at affordable costs while providing policy guidance and assistance in the exercise of these rights for the benefit of stakeholders.
The CPVO is organising a call for expressions of interest with a view to establishing a reserve list.

Profile / Duties

The CPVO wishes to recruit a Head of Unit with strong and proven IT background including management and transformation projects. S/he will be responsible for the IT Unit in the CPVO and oversee the transformation to cloud services.
Leadership, capacity to deliver quality service and high-performing projects, and the ability to work at strategic level within a management team, are key traits of the successful candidate. Reporting to the President, the Head of Unit will be responsible for managing and providing leadership to the Unit, while coordinating the achievement of the Unit’s objectives within the framework of the overall strategic planning of the Agency. The Head of Unit carries out his/her tasks and responsibilities in the context of the Agency ICT governance procedure and related standards.

The main tasks of the agent shall be:
Planning, Monitoring and Reporting:
• Ensuring adherence to the agreed planning for new application developments and the transformation to the cloud;
• Coordinating the IT Master Plan and the contribution to the multi-annual planning strategy, annual budget and other strategic and operational documents of the Agency;
• Provide regular feedback on project progress to the management team of the CPVO;
Job related accountabilities:
• Coordinate together with the Agency’s other Units the Design, implementation and continuous development of IT-tools and methodologies necessary to support the implementation of the IT Master Plan and the multi-annual planning of the Agency within the Agency’s Corporate Governance structure;
• Provide support and maintain excellent communication and co-operation with other Units and with the relevant authorities, partners, stakeholders;
• Implement, in the activity area of the unit, the various policies of the Agency, in particular in relation to managing conflict of interest, Data Protection, Information Security and Business Continuity;
• Contribute to risk management at all levels;
• Defining the sectors annual work plan and ensuring its implementation and reporting there on;
People management:
• Provide day-to-day leadership and oversight of the Unit to ensure the timely delivery of outputs, tasks and objectives, and the availability of the right skills and competencies;
• Promote continuous performance management and a learning culture to ensure that the organizational objectives are cascaded, met and continuous professional development is sustained:
• Enhance team spirit, ensure an effective two-way communication, and promptly handle staff matters to foster high levels of staff welfare within the Unit and with other Units of the Agency;
• Ensuring that staff receive the necessary training to develop their potential and use delegation and empowerment to provide development opportunities and to plan their career progress;
• Managing and supervising the work of the Unit and ensuring the efficient use of available human, financial and other resources;
• Developing the competences and skills of the Unit’s staff in line with the Agency’s policies and ensure the continuous assessment of their performance;
Financial Management:
• Prepare and monitor the budget and procurement requirements of the Unit to ensure optimal planning and use of Financial Resources;
• Lead the preparation of tenders to establish framework contracts, particularly in the area of outsourced IT service and applying the IT sourcing strategy;
• Managing the preparation and implementation of contracts with external service providers and suppliers in close cooperation with the Procurement and Logistic Sector.

General Conditions

To be considered eligible for selection, the applicant must meet by the closing date of this call, the following formal requirements:

  • Completed university studies of at least 4 years attested by a diploma relevant to the post; when the normal period of university education is 4 years or more, or;

  • Completed university studies attested by a diploma relevant to the post and appropriate experience of at least one year when the normal period of university education is at least 3 years;

  • At least 3 years experience in matters related to information technologies

  • Be a national of a Member State of the European Union[1];

  • Have a thorough knowledge of one of the languages of the European Union[2]  and a satisfactory knowledge of another;

  • Entitlement to full rights as a citizen[3];

  • Have fulfilled any obligations imposed by national laws concerning military service;

  • Be physically fit to perform duties linked to the post[4].


If the candidate meets the formal requirements set out above, he/she will be assessed in view of selection for an interview with the Pre-Selection Panel on the basis of the following criteria:

• The academic qualifications and their relevance to the tasks listed under “duties” above
• Proven experience in:
o Planning, reporting and management of IT operations and/or standards and processes;
o Use of new technologies in the transformation of legacy systems to modern front-end solutions;
o Management principles, in particular strategic planning, priorization, project management, allocation and management of resources as well as sound financial management;
o Guiding and motivating staff in a multicultural environment, covering diverse fields of activity;
• Strong drafting and communication skills in English both orally and in writing, at least level C1.

Professional Experience

At least 12 years of professional experience after achieving the minimal formal requirements above, of which at least 2 years must have been in a management role.

Additional Requirements

• Experience in the similar role in other public or private organisation;
• Familiarity with the EU institutions, Agencies or other EU bodies;
• Ability to communicate effectively in any other EU language as indicated in the application form

Contractual Conditions

Conditions of employment

The place of employment shall be Angers, France. For reasons related to the CPVO’s operational requirements, the chosen candidate will be expected to be available at short notice. A contract in grade AD9 under Article 2f of the conditions of employment of other servants of the European Communities shall be offered, subject to a nine month probation period. The duration of the contract will be four years and may be renewed not more than once for a fixed period. Any further renewal shall be for an indefinite period.

The pay of a Temporary Agent consists of the basic remuneration as well as other allowances depending on personal situation of the jobholder. For information, the current minimum gross basic salary for AD9 before deductions and the correction coefficient weighting of 117.7 for France, starts at approximately €7,185. The applicable grade and gross basic salary could be higher depending on the length of experience of the chosen candidate. Salaries are subject to tax at source but are exempt from national taxation. Deductions are also made for medical insurance, pension and unemployment insurance.

The job holder shall work in a multicultural environment where social dialogue between management and staff is regarded as vital. The CPVO is fully computerised and working time is based around flexitime and core working hours. The normal working week is 40 hours.

Independence & declarations of interest

The job holder will be required to enter into a commitment to act independently in the public interest and to make complete declarations of any direct or indirect interests that might be considered prejudicial to his/her independence. Candidates must confirm their willingness to do so in their application.

Equal opportunities

CPVO is an equal opportunities employer and accepts applications without distinction on the grounds of sex, racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief, age or sexual orientation, marital status or family situation. All applicants to selection procedures will be given an equal opportunity to demonstrate their abilities. The staff members are recruited on the broadest possible geographical basis from among nationals of all Member States of the European Union.

Closing date for applications: 2020/06/30

Starting date: as soon as possible

Recruitment procedure

The selection procedure includes the following steps:

• Only duly completed applications submitted electronically within the deadline will be taken into consideration;
• Each duly completed application will be examined with a view to establishing that the candidate meets all eligibility criteria;
• Eligible applications will be evaluated by the appointed Pre-Selection Panel based on selection criteria defined in this vacancy notice. Depending on the number of applications received, the Pre-Selection Panel may apply stricter requirements within the selection criteria noted above;
• The best-admissible candidates will be short-listed for an interview with the Pre-Selection Panel. The interview will be held in English and by Visioconference;
• Following this interview, the Pre-Selection Panel will select the candidates to be invited to take part in an assessment center, and then an interview with the President of the CPVO and the Selection Committee;
• The assessment centre shall evaluate the candidates’ potential and shall provide an in-depth Analysis of managerial skills, adaptability and other core competencies. It shall comprise of individual and/or group exercises as well as in-depth interviews focused on management skills. The result of the assessment centre will be taken into consideration in the final selection;
• Interviews of the selected candidates will be conducted with the President of the CPVO and the Selection Committee. The interviews will be held in English and either by Visioconference or in person, depending on the Covid-19 situation at the time for the interviews.
• During the interviews, the President of the CPVO and Selection Committee will examine the candidates' profiles and assess their relevancy for the post in question;
• If the interviews are held in person, the candidates will be requested to present originals and copies of documents detailing citizenship, studies and professional experience, in particular:
• a copy of identity card, passport or other official document specifying citizenship;
• a copy of diploma certifying a required level of academic qualifications;
• documentary evidence of professional experience, clearly indicating starting and finishing dates.
Copies of these documents will be retained by the CPVO.
If the interviews are held by Visioconference, copies of these documents will be requested by mail.
• If at any stage of the procedure, it were established that information in the application has been knowingly falsified, the candidate shall be disqualified from the selection process;
• Successful candidates will be included in a reserve list which will be valid for 24 months. The validity of this list may be extended. Each candidate will be informed by letter whether or not s/he has been placed on the reserve list. However inclusion of candidates on the reserve list does not guarantee recruitment;
• The President of the CPVO will appoint the selected jobholder from the reserve list, taking into account the establishment of a gender balanced, geographically diverse organisation;
The internal proceedings of the Pre-Selection Panel and the Selection Committee are confidential and any contact with its members is strictly forbidden. Soliciting on behalf of a candidate can lead to immediate disqualification.

Applicants are requested not to attach any supporting documents at this stage, e.g. copies of ID cards, diplomas, evidence of previous professional experience, etc. Only candidates invited to an interview will be asked to present copies of these documents for verification.

Applications will not be returned to candidates but will be kept on file by the CPVO in line with its data protection guidelines.
Incomplete applications will automatically be excluded from the selection procedure.
Please note that the time period between the closing date for the submission of applications and the end of the process to short list candidates for the interview may take several weeks.
The candidates who are judged to be the most suitable on the basis of the criteria listed in point 4 above will be placed on the reserve list.


Applicants who consider that they have grounds for complaint concerning a particular decision may, at any point in the selection procedure, request further details regarding said decision from the Chair of the Selection Board, instigate and appeal procedure or file a complaint with the European Ombudsman. Since the Staff Regulations apply to selection procedures, please note that all proceedings are confidential. If at any stage of this selection procedure applicants consider that their interests have been prejudiced by a particular decision, they may take the following action:

Requests for further information or for review

Send a letter requesting further information or a review and stating your case to:

For the attention of the Chair of the Selection Board



3 Boulevard du Maréchal Foch

CS 10121

F-49101 Angers CEDEX 2

within a month of being notified the decision regarding the selection procedure. The Selection Board will send a reply as soon as possible and not later than within a month.

Appeal procedures

Lodge a complaint under Article 90(2) of the Staff Regulations of Officials of the European Union, at the following address:

For the attention of the Chair of the Selection Board



3 Boulevard du Maréchal Foch

CS 10121

F-49101 Angers CEDEX 2

The time limit for initiating this type of procedure (see Staff Regulations as last amended by Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1023/2013 (OJ L 287 of 29 October 2013 p.15 – http.// /eur-lex) starts to run from the time applicants are notified of the act allegedly prejudicing their interests.

Please note that the Appointing Authority does not have the power to amend the decisions of a Selection Board. The Court has consistently held that the wide discretion enjoyed by the Selection Board is not subject to review by the Court unless the rules which govern the proceedings of the Selection Board have clearly been infringed.

Complaints to the European Ombudsman

Like all citizens of the European Union, applicants can make a complaint to the:

European Ombudsman

1 avenue du Président-Robert-Schuman – BP 403



under Article 228 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union and in accordance with the conditions laid down in Decision 94/262/ECSC, EC, Euratom of the European Parliament of 9 March 1994 on the regulations and general conditions governing the performance of the Ombudman’s duties (OJ L 113 of 4 May 1994, p. 15) and amended by its decisions of 14 March 2002 (OJ L 92 of 9 April 2002, p. 13) and 18 June 2008 (OJ L 189 of 17 July 2008, p. 25).

Please note that complaints made to the Ombudsman have no suspensive effect to the period laid down in Articles 90(2) and 91 of the Staff Regulations for lodging complaints or for submitting appeals to the Civil Service Tribunal under Article 270 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. Please note also that, under Article 2(4) of the general conditions governing the performance of the Ombudsman’s duties, any complaint lodged with the Ombudsman must be preceded by the appropriate administrative approaches to the institutions and bodies concerned.

Protection of personal data

The Community Plant Variety Office (as the body responsible for organising the selection procedure) will ensure that applicants’ personal data are processed as required by Regulation (EU) 2018/1725 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2018 on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data by the Union institutions, bodies, offices and agencies and on the free movement of such data, and repealing Regulation (EC) No 45/2001 and Decision No 1247/2002/EC (Official Journal of the European Union, L 295/39 of 21 November 2018). This applies in particular to the confidentiality and security of such data.

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