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Epso Responds to “booking” questions

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One of the aims of the new selection procedures is to significantly speed up the whole process from registration to recruitment, and the way to speed up the first phase of a competition is through the introduction of parallel registration, booking and testing.

So, how does it work? Traditionally all candidates who registered for a competition had to wait until the end of the registration period to be able to book and take a test. As of 2010, the registration, booking and testing periods will overlap, thereby shortening the overall CBT phase from a current average of 14 to 9 weeks. Once candidates validate their application, they receive a letter in their EPSO Account informing them of the book¬ing period during which they have to book their testing appointment. Candidates can then choose their testing date, on the basis of the seats available.

The full registration period for this open competition is divided into different sub-periods. The numbers of seats/dates needed in order to be able to accommodate all tests are then calculated on basis of the overall number of validated applications for each of the above mentioned sub-periods. As a result and in order to guarantee equal treatment of candidates, not all test dates/centres/seats can be opened as from the first day of booking (24th March), even though various dates are already available both in April and in May. Seats are available on a “first come, first served basis” as usual. If a candidate can see only a limited number of dates/centres/seats available, this means that other testing slots have already been booked by other candidates. Additional test dates/centres/seats will then be made available only gradually, taking into account capacity needs.

Candidates are also reminded of the fact that admission tests are no longer knowledge- but competency-based tests. Therefore, extensive preparation time is not necessary. Candidates can reschedule an appointment previously taken if they are no longer able to take the test on the specific date initially chosen. However, rescheduling is only possible if seats are available. It has to be done at the latest 48 hrs before the original test appointment; and the new testing appointment has to be at least 48 hrs away from the time of rescheduling.

There is one other important consequence of the parallel system: it will no longer be possible for candidates to make changes to their application up to the closing date for registration. Once validated, an application will become final and sent for further processing.