OSPAR Commission Seeks a New Deputy Secretary

OSPAR is looking for a new Deputy Secretary to oversee work related to OSPAR’s Committee on the Environmental Impact of Human Activities.

Applications are invited from suitably qualified candidates for the post of Deputy Secretary in the Secretariat of the OSPAR Commission. Under the Commission’s Staff Rules, the appointment will be for a period of three years (subject to an initial period of probation of six months). After a review at the end of the three‐year period, a second three‐year contract may be offered. There is a maximum period of service of six years, except in special circumstances.

The successful candidate will be asked to take up the post no later than 1 August 2018. The starting date will be discussed during the interview. The post is based in the Secretariat offices in central London. The post is open to nationals of the Contracting Parties to the OSPAR Convention, that is, nationals from the following countries: Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom as well as nationals from any Member State of the European Union.

About the OSPAR Commission

The OSPAR Commission is an international intergovernmental organization established to protect the marine environment in the North‐East Atlantic Ocean. It consists of representatives of the Contracting Parties: Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the European Union. The Commission is administered by a Secretariat based in London, which also supports a sister organization, the Bonn Agreement.

The Secretariat consists of an Executive Secretary, four Deputy Secretaries and six administrative assistants. The working languages are English and French.

The responsibilities of the Secretariat are to help the Commission develop and implement its policies and regulation. This includes the preparation of, and assistance at, the meetings of the Commission and its subsidiary bodies, the preparation of reports and documents for these meetings, general secretariat duties connected with the smooth running of the Commission’s activities and relations with the public, the media and inter‐governmental and non‐governmental organizations. Further information about the OSPAR Commission can be obtained from the Commission’s website.

Description of the post and requirements

Deputy Secretaries are expected to make themselves familiar with the full range of the Commission’s activities and to work to ensure integration between the different themes of work. The duties of the Deputy Secretary post include, inter alia:

  • responsibility for supporting the Environmental Impacts of Human Activities (EIHA) Committee, including the preparation of the documents necessary for the meeting, writing the summary record and ensuring appropriate follow‐up to the conclusions of the meeting;
  • providing support to the Deputy Secretary responsible for the Biodiversity Committee including attending the Committee Meetings, preparation of documents, writing the summary record and supporting joint groups with EIHA. This includes the Intersessional group on the Protection of Species and Habitats (ICG‐POSH) and the implementation of the Roadmap for the implementation of Recommendations on Threatened and/or Declining Species and Habitats;
  • supporting the subsidiary groups to EIHA, such as the Intersessional groups on marine litter, underwater noise, economic and social analysis, cumulative effects, ballast water exemptions, etc. including where applicable, preparation of documents and summary records;
  • supporting the implementation of the OSPAR monitoring and assessment programs on Human Activities including: dredged material, offshore renewables, marine litter, underwater noise, etc.;
  • supporting the implementation of the OSPAR Regional Action Plan (RAP) on Marine litter, this implies close cooperation with the RAP coordinator;
  • providing support and input to other OSPAR meetings such as Heads of Delegation, the Coordination Group and the OSPAR Commission meeting on EIHA related issues.

The person to be appointed will have attained a good university degree, preferably in environmental management, natural or environmental sciences and will have had at least five years' work experience of relevance to the duties of the post. The basic requirements are:

  • a good working knowledge of environmental policy and its regulatory basis, with particular reference to the marine environment;
  • knowledge of the practical, legal and institutional operation of intergovernmental organizations;
  • the ability to address the application of environmental knowledge and information for the purposes of OSPAR’s objectives and ongoing work;
  • communication skills to prepare and present material to scientists and managers in a multicultural setting and to represent the views and policies of the Commission in other forums;
  • sound organizational and administrative skills (including IT skills, among which should be familiarity with spread‐sheets and data management).

It is expected that the person appointed will ideally have particular experience or knowledge of marine environmental monitoring and assessment and/or implementation of policies relating to the environmental impact of human activities. Knowledge of relevant International or European marine regulation and policy making is also relevant. Experience in managing/leading projects is desirable as is experience of working in an international environment or organization.

The bulk of the Secretariat's work is conducted in English, but documents, reports and publications are also produced in French and some of the correspondence is written in French. A thorough knowledge of English is therefore essential, as is the ability to draft quickly, accurately and concisely in English. Given equal professional qualifications, preference will be given to candidates who also have a good knowledge of French. Deputy Secretaries are required to travel frequently within Europe and to accept irregular working hours.

Terms of Service and Remuneration

The terms and conditions of service will be those set out in the Commission’s Staff Regulations (Agreement 2000‐14). Remuneration will be in accordance with Grade A3 of the scales of remuneration of the Coordinated Organizations for staff serving in the United Kingdom. Further details on the salary and on allowances which may be payable are contained in the “Remuneration” document.


Further details of this post and the way in which applications should be made is included in the “Application Instructions” document here.

The closing date for applications is 23 October 2017 and applications should be sent for the attention of the Executive Secretary to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. The Secretariat will acknowledge receipt of your application by email. If you do not receive an acknowledgement within a few days, please contact the Secretariat to check that your application has been received. Please include the following in the subject line of your email: Application Deputy Secretary 2018.

The indicative timetable for this appointment procedure is as follows:

Applications to be sent to the Executive Secretary: 23 October 2017
Shortlisting of candidates: 3 November 2017
Interview with short‐listed candidates resulting in recommendations for appointment: 27 or 28 November 2017
Approval procedure finalized: 11 December 2017
Successful applicants to take up appointment from: No later than 1 August 2018

Please note that the above timings are indicative only and, in particular, the date of the interview may change depending upon the availability of the interview panel. For more information, click here.

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