ILO is a specialized agency of the United Nations

Collective Bargaining


the International Labour Office
(hereinafter referred to as "the Office")
and the ILO Staff Union
(hereinafter referred to as "the Union")



The purpose of this Agreement is to establish a comprehensive procedure for recruitment and selection, based on principles of fairness and equity, and aiming at ensuring timeliness, efficiency, objectivity and transparency. This procedure is an integral part of a career development approach applying throughout the ILO and will be conducted in accordance with due process, fair procedures and natural justice having regard to relevant international law, including international labour standards and the ILO Declaration on fundamental principles and rights at work. The Office and the Union, hereinafter referred to as "the Parties", recognise that this Agreement aims to improve on existing structures and processes. All substantive entitlements of staff members shall remain intact, except where this Agreement states otherwise.

Article 1


For the purpose of this Agreement,

1.1 The expression "assessment centre" means an independent body of assessors, reaching decisions by consensus on the competence of individuals to work at particular levels in the Organization.

1.2 The expression "assessor" means a person jointly nominated by the Office and the Union who has been trained in methods of assessing "core and level" competencies.

1.3 The expression "competencies" means individual qualities, behaviours and motivations that are required for each Assessment Centre level, as agreed between the Parties.

1.4 The expression " internal candidate" means any staff member who has successfully completed the probationary period.

1.5 The expression "grade level" means the grouping of grades agreed by the Parties, two in the General Service category, namely G1 to G4 and G5 to G7, and two in the Professional category, namely P1 to P3 and P4 to P5.

1.6 The expression "technical evaluation" means an appraisal of technical skills and professional expertise and experience of successfully assessed candidates to a given vacancy.

1.7 For the purpose of the present Agreement, the expression " responsible chief" means the line manager under whose responsibility the vacant post is.

1.8 The expression "Union representative" means the Officers of the Union, accredited Union officials, shop stewards or such other person who is nominated by the Union for purposes of the recruitment and selection;

Article 2
Guiding principles

2.1 Competition in accordance with this Agreement shall be the normal method of filling vacancies between the grades G1 and P5 (both inclusive).

2.2 The Parties recognize the value of provision of information to officials and their encouragement to present their candidatures for posts in the Director category.

2.3 ILO staff can apply to all vacancies, subject to the conditions set out in this Agreement.

2.4 Within the context of recruitment policies designed to promote gender, geographical and age structure balance, this procedure shall apply without discrimination, notably on the basis of age, race, gender, religion, colour, national extraction, social origin, marital status, pregnancy, family responsibilities, sexual preference, disability, union membership or political conviction.

2.5 Having regard to the Office’s need to ensure the highest standards of competence, efficiency and integrity, and promote greater motivation and job satisfaction of its staff, this procedure aims to match abilities and aspirations of staff members with the employment needs of the Office.

2.6 Career counselling and coaching of ILO officials is an essential part of the recruitment and selection process.

2.7 The Parties recognize the fundamental importance of respect by the officials concerned of their duty to maintain confidentiality with respect to all matters that come to their knowledge in the recruitment and selection process.

Article 3
Opening of a competition

3.1 A request to open a competition will be made by the responsible Chief. He/she will provide a description of the specific requirements, responsibilities and objectives of the job.

3.2 The Human Resources Development Department (hereinafter "HRD") and the responsible chief shall then make a recommendation as to the job description and whether it is necessary to proceed with an external search for candidates.

3.3 The Union representative(s) shall have the right to comment on the proposals in the preceding paragraph. Such comments will be made within 10 working days from the notification, but the period may be extended if HRD and the Union agree.

3.4 Comments of the Union representative(s) will be discussed between the Union representative(s), HRD representative(s) and the responsible chief, with a view to reaching agreement. This discussion must be held before the vacancy announcement is published.

3.5 In all cases where agreement is reached, the notice of vacancy will be published.

3.6 Any disagreement among the Union representative(s), the HRD representative(s) and the responsible chief shall be noted in writing and transmitted to the Director General for decision.

3.7 The period during which a vacancy notice will be opened shall be determined by HRD, provided that this period shall be for a minimum of one calendar month. HRD will inform the Union representative(s) whether an extension is necessary.

Article 4
Competition process

4.1 The selection process is composed of two phases, the assessment centre and the technical evaluation.

4.2 Internal candidates who apply for a competition graded above their existing grade level shall go through the Assessment Centre. Internal candidates who have already been successfully assessed for the grade level they apply to need not undergo a new assessment.

4.3 External candidates short-listed by the responsible Chief in agreement with HRD will be invited to participate in the Assessment Centre.

Article 5
Technical Evaluation

5.1 All candidates who have been successfully assessed shall be technically evaluated. It is the responsibility of the Chief to undertake and assure a rigorous technical assessment of candidates according to guidelines that shall be agreed by the Union and the Office. The Parties agree to elaborate these guidelines by 31st December 2000 and, in any case, before this Agreement becomes operational.

5.2 Union representative(s) shall have access to all the reports on the technical evaluation. If the Union representative(s) have any comments, they must make them known to HRD within 10 working days from the notification of the result of the technical evaluation. These comments shall be discussed between the Chief, the HRD and the Union representatives.

5.3 A full report on this process will be transmitted to the Director-General, with copy to the Union representatives. The Director-General will then take the final decision on recruitment.

Article 6
Information and feedback to candidates

6.1 Candidates shall receive a written report on the results of the assessment centre process.

6.2 Internal candidates may request in writing an interview with the responsible chief in order to obtain feedback on the technical evaluation. The interview shall take place, where possible, within ten working days of receipt of the request. At their discretion, they may be accompanied by a member of the Union or another past or present ILO official.

6.3 Where a candidate is dissatisfied with the result of the interview, s/he may request a written feedback. The feedback will be provided, where possible, within 10 working days of receipt of the request.

Article 7
Career counselling and coaching

7.1 The Office shall provide career counselling and coaching to ILO staff.

7.2 In particular, such career counselling and coaching shall be provided to:

    1. Officials who did not reach the standards required in the Assessment Centre;
    2. Officials who have successfully passed the Assessment Centre but have not been selected for a post corresponding to that grade group within two years from the assessment.


Article 8
Reopening of the recruitment and selection process

8.1 If the recruitment and selection process is declared unsuccessful and the post is retained with the same job description, HRD and the responsible chief shall consider the conditions under which the selection and recruitment process is to be reopened (Assessment Centre and technical evaluation), and shall inform the Union representative(s).

Article 9
Cancellation of a competition

9.1 Before a decision is taken to cancel a selection and recruitment process that has already begun, HRD shall consult in good faith with the Union representatives. In case of disagreement, Union views shall be attached to the documentation forwarded to the Director General for decision on such cancellation. If cancellation is confirmed, reasons shall be given in writing to all internal candidates.

Article 10
Field offices

10.1 The Parties may agree on adjustments to this procedure for local staff in field offices.

Article 11

11.1 An official who has requested feedback from the responsible chief in accordance with Article 6, may request the advice of the facilitators or the Ombudsperson provided for under the Procedure for the Resolution of Grievances. If the official is not satisfied with the written feedback, s/he may submit a grievance to the Joint Panel provided for in the Procedure for the Resolution of Grievances dated 13 September 2000, where he or she alleges that the decision was based on a procedural flaw or unfair treatment.

Article 12
Transitional measures

12.1 Officials that already belong to a grade level at the date of entry into force of this Agreement shall be deemed assessed successfully and therefore shall not need to participate in the Assessment Centre corresponding to their existing grade level.

12.2 Any other transitional issue arising out from the implementation of this Agreement shall be negotiated as a matter of urgency.

Article 13

13.1 The Parties agree to continue negotiations on the subject of article 4.2 of the existing Staff Regulations.

Article 14
Final clause

14.1 This Agreement shall become effective on the date of signature and will become operational on 1 January 2001. It shall be valid for two years from the date when the procedure becomes operational. The Parties agree to review the operation of this Agreement at the end of that period. Thereafter, or in the absence of a review, the Agreement shall remain in force indefinitely.

14.2 No term of the provisions applying this Agreement shall be suspended, modified, cancelled or otherwise amended except by means of a written agreement signed by the Parties. The Parties may renegotiate any part of this Agreement.

14.3 In the event of a difference of opinion in the interpretation or application of this Agreement, the matter shall be submitted to the Review Panel, as per Article 7 of the Recognition and Procedural Agreement signed between the Parties on 27 March 2000.

14.4 The Staff Regulations and other relevant texts shall be appropriately amended to give effect to this Agreement, within six months of its signature, in a manner, which also preserves other substantive entitlements of staff members within the meaning of the Preamble to this Agreement. In any case of doubt between this Agreement and a relevant article of the Staff Regulations, the interpretation that is more favourable to the staff member(s) concerned shall take precedence and prevail.

14.5 A copy of this Agreement and the related amendments to the Staff Regulations shall be provided to each existing and future staff member. The Parties shall ensure that all staff members are aware of the existence of this recruitment and selection procedure and shall undertake the preparation of an instruction manual for all staff on the operation of the procedure.


SIGNED in Geneva, this sixth day of October 2000, in two copies, in the English language, by the representatives of the Parties duly authorized to that effect.


Alan Wild
Director Chairperson
Human Resources Development
International Labour Office
David Dror
Department Staff Union
International Labour Office





Updated by FQ. Approved by MS. Last update: 7 May 2002.