The certification procedure is (according to DG HR) “a real career development tool. It is important for the institution to enhance the resources available.R&D can only agree: we have hundreds of AST colleagues in the Commission who carry out AD tasks to the great satisfaction of their hierarchy and duly recognised in their CDRs. These skills should neither remain unused, nor be used to offset the downsizing of the number of administrators while offering no career prospects. Along with all other unions within the Common Union Front, R&D also opposed the provisions introduced in the new Staff Regulations which prevented  AST4s from seeing their AD tasks recognised in their evaluation reports, thus delaying the possibility of applying to certification by two or three years

In this context, it is even more unacceptable that DG HR introduces new, additional restrictions unduly penalising colleagues. 

Indeed, while one might think that the Commission would seek to develop these skills and to motivate colleagues, the current certification exercise shows that, in practice, it is exactly the opposite that occurs! DG HR, at each step of the procedure, has made every effort to discourage colleagues who wish to become administrators:

Call for applications: the Administrative Notice on the call for applications had an initial deadline for submission of the application forms (31 October 2014). This date excluded, de facto, all AST5 colleagues promoted during the year. R&D opposed this decision (link) and requested an extension of the deadline. DG HR (with regret?) accepted this.

The eligibility conditions: DG HR considered that the AST4 assessment reports with an assessment of AD tasks for 2013 were inadmissible, with the effect of rendering these colleagues (from then on AST5) ineligible! As a reminder, it was DG HR itself which allowed reporting officers in January 2014 to complete the certification part of the assessment reports of the relevant colleagues … R&D opposed this decision (link) but DG HR remained inflexible!

In addition, and to strengthen the process of exclusion of candidates, DG HR has invented a “new” condition of eligibility for colleagues who had joined the Commission recently: despite having two positive evaluations of their AD tasks in Sysper2, they are then required to send an email to a functional mailbox to report it. Is this “email-eligibility condition” in the GIP? Not really: this request, written in small print, is in a footnote of a figure of the guidelines for the exercise. You have not sent this e-mail? You will then be ineligible! R&D leaves you the harder task of assessing  the legal validity of this new condition ….

The selection of DG HR applicants: DG HR should, like all DGs, select candidates to send to the hearing step in the certification panel from among the AST colleagues in that DG who had have submitted their application form. There is no DG HR colleague in the list of 102 applicants selected by the Directorates General (link). R&D has trouble believing that DG HR, with more than 250 AST is the only Commission DG that has no AST which can become an administrator ! The reasons for the refusal to send colleagues before the certification panel must be explained.

The appeals phase: the range of “measures to discourage future applications” was completed with the results of the appeals step: 102 candidates selected by the DGs, 102 candidates after the study of appeals (link) . The calculation is simple: no appeal was considered admissible by the Joint Certification Committee. Have criteria for the study of these appeals been met? What has led the members appointed by the administration in this committee to refuse all those appeals? R&D requires that DG HR and the Chairperson of the Committee come to explain before the Central Staff Committee.

The final list of applicants selected to participate in the training: the Commission is allowed to send 50 AST colleagues to follow the training. R&D is willing to bet that this list, not yet established, will include fewer than 50 names: DG HR will thus have shown that, while more than 500 colleagues have submitted their applications, the Commission has not even 50 colleagues who deserve to be administrators ….

In conclusion, R&D demands that the certification procedure is considered a real career development tool, accessible to deserving colleagues who request it, and that everything is not done to discourage applications: the merciless selection has continued with the certification exams and a success rate lower than 50% this year ! R&D also requests that the procedure and the GIP are respected in both spirit and letter.

R&D also offers assistance and a free consultation with its lawyer to all colleagues who feel they have been treated unfairly in this exercise.