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are you interested in obtaining certification?
tao is here to guide you!

The certification process serves as a valuable, though continually improvable, avenue for our talented and committed AST colleagues to advance their careers and transition to AD status. Since 2005, this procedure has superseded internal competitions for changing function groups, benefiting approximately 1,300 colleagues since its inception.

It stands as a more attractive alternative than opting for an external competition, as certified ASTs retain their grade upon appointment as AD. At TAO, we've witnessed and supported numerous colleagues who have successfully assumed their new roles with satisfaction. We extend our congratulations and take pride in their achievements. Our commitment to supporting deserving colleagues persists, recognizing that this journey can be intricate and occasionally frustrating, demanding sustained dedication and transparent dialogue within the DG hierarchy.

How does it work?

The comprehensive process, including achieving certification after successfully navigating all exams, spans over a year. Key phases involve submitting a compliant application in Sysper, selection by DG, and subsequent selection from candidates across all Commission services. Chosen candidates then undergo training organized by the European School of Administration (EUSA), culminating in certification through several exams. For the 2023/24 certification exercise, AIPN has capped the number of officials authorized to participate in the training program at 50.

Upon completion of the exercise, DG HR will release the list of 'certified officials' in an administrative announcement. Once your name features on the 'certified officials' list, you can apply for vacant positions within the AD function group corresponding to your grade. Typically, these lists are published in December, allowing a candidate who completes training and passes exams in the same year to be appointed as AD at the earliest the following year.

To date, the overall success rate for certification, after exhausting all possibilities of retaking exams, stands at approximately 91.5% (Bilan 2021-22 FR FINAL.pdf (

What are the implications for your career?

Your attained grade and step are preserved (e.g., AST 7/2 becomes AD 7/2), along with step seniority. However, grade seniority is reset to zero from the date of appointment to the AD function group, as seniority in the grade acquired in the AST function group is not considered (requiring a minimum of 2 years' grade seniority for eligibility for promotion). Notably, officials are excluded from the right to promotion in the AST function group from the day of their appointment to the AD function group.

An important clarification: certification does not constitute a promotion as per Article 45 of the statute. 'Certified' officials, who have not been promoted since recruitment, remain obligated to demonstrate proficiency in a third language.

Prepare in advance!

With 10 months before the next procedure launch in September 2024, take the initiative to prepare. Stay updated on European affairs and Commission actions, enroll in courses in leadership, management, negotiation, and oral presentation. Engage in discussions with your supervisors to explore assuming more responsibilities, such as team leadership, budget management, and presentation skills.

TAO is committed to supporting you in this noteworthy career advancement initiative. Stay tuned!

For additional information on the procedure, refer to the page: Certification procedure (

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