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Betting Europe's Future at the Casino EPSO


Sent: 23 August 2010 15:21
Subject: EPSO stuff

Attachments: Letter July 16 to EPSO Head of Unit-from candidate-1589927.pdf; Letter to EPSO Head of Unit-from candidate-1589927.pdf; Letter August 18 2010 to EPSO HoU-Candidate-1589927?.pdf; Candidate no 1589927.pdf; CV-updated-Jaime-Royo-Olid_EN August-2010 (1).doc

Dear Michael,

Thank you for calling and enquiring about my letters to EPSO concerning the evaluation of the recent EPSO/AD/177/10-EPA and their reply which I attach to this e-mail.

Please note that EPSO has replied to a number of issues I raised via the Facebook EU-Careers discussion boards and via an on-line inquiry.

As we discussed, my position is that EPSO plays a quintessential role not only for the image of EU institutions but, more over, for its credibility. Whereas there are no doubts that candidates who get selected by EPSO are necessarily competent, the apparent criteria for exclusion of other candidates as competent, remain questionable. This is highly harmful for both those selected and those rejected.

The exchange of letters attached to this e-mail addresses only one of the several issues that, in my view, constitute a dissatisfactory evaluation procedure. The highly expected (then in 2009) reform of EPSO pre-selection procedure has resulted in a minimalistic approach in terms of the virtues it assesses, and is a practically statistically random exercise given the margin of performance of candidates Vs the potential margin of error embedded in the questions set.

My letters address the problems resulting from assessing 24,000 candidates at once with only 40 questions in the EPSO/AD/177/10-EPA competition. In addition, I brought to the attention of EPSO the alleged 'neutralisation' of questions as claimed by a number of candidates in the official EPSO's discussion board set in Facebook where EPSO staff actively participate.

Whereas it is possible that those Facebook posts provide misleading information, EPSO has not commented on the evidence available there. They do however claim that no questions were actually neutralised. It has to be considered that EPSO has considerable incentives to defend the validity of its CBT (accepting error would have enormous financial consequences), therefore it is brought to defend an unrealistic and unsubstantiated position: that its database with thousands of preset CBT questions are exempted from errors.

I have myself taken 3 preselection EPSO tests involving verbal & numerical reasoning 2 of which with no less than a 2.5% margin of error and another where revisions were not an option. Obviously, EPSO does not easily accept questions set were erratic. How can EPSO claim their questions' data base is floorless if they do not allow for candidates' verifications? The answer has already been provided by the Ombudsman who has considered that not allowing candidates to verify their evaluation questions as "maladministration" in 'Decision of the European Ombudsman on own-initiative inquiry OI/4/2007/(ID)MHZ concerning EPSO'

In any case, whether questions were actually 'neutralised' or not, for some candidates taking the EPSO/AD/177/10-EPA after all is secondary to the fact that the current marking system with only 40 questions to assess 24,000 people at once, is statistically ineffectual and harms the credibility of EU-staff. It would take little effort to adapt a marking system which polarises performance more by simply looking at consolidated evaluation schemes (such as GMAT) rather than re-inventing the wheel.

With a complete disregard of other core competencies such as second and third (and why not fourth and fifth) EU-language skills and technical knowledge relevant to EU institutions work, it is likely that a candidate who is mainly skilful in numbers and exercises such as Sudokus and who speaks only one foreign language is better equipped for the pre-selection than one who speaks five and has three postgraduate degrees, four years experience with the European Commission, worked for private firms and NGOs.

In this form of recruitment for AD5 positions there seems to be no space for unintended talent.




Asmara, July 1, 2010


Asmara, July 16, 2010


from Brussels


Asmara, August 18, 2010


Created by: admin last modification: Tuesday 19 of October, 2010 [12:23:32 UTC] by admin

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