Senior Specialist – Forensic Examinations (AD7)

Europol/2021/TA/AD7/459

ORGANISATIONAL CONTEXT

This selection procedure is intended to establish a reserve list of successful candidates. It is envisaged to start using the reserve list in Q4 of 2021/Q1 of 2022.
Europol retains the right to make use of the reserve list to select candidates for similar posts within the organisation, should business needs require so. 

The post of Senior Specialist – Forensic Examinations is considered a restricted post that may be filled without limitation to candidates coming from a competent authority, as stipulated in Annex II of the relevant decision of the Management Board of Europol of 07 August 2020. The Europol Recruitment Guidelines may be consulted for further details.

Organisational setting:
The post of Senior Specialist – Forensic Examinations is located in the Digital Forensics Team, Document & Digital Forensics Unit, European Cyber Crime Centre (EC3) Department, Operations Directorate.

The Operations Directorate deals with the core business of Europol, improving the effectiveness and cooperation of the competent authorities in the Member States (MS) in preventing and combating serious and organised crime, as well as terrorism affecting the MS. This requires close cooperation with the Liaison Bureaux at Europol and via them with the Operational Teams in the MS. Europol delivers a number of products and services to national law enforcement agencies to support them in their fight against international serious and organised crime, as well as terrorism. 

The Operations Directorate hosts five distinct Departments: Operational and Analysis Centre, European Serious Organised Crime Centre, European Cyber Crime Centre (EC3), European Counter Terrorism Centre and the European Financial and Economic Crime Centre. 

EC3 serves as the centre for the MS’ fight against cybercrime in the European Union, delivering operational and investigative support to the MS on complex cybercrime investigations.

It also provides support to the European Union’s institutions and MS in building operational and analytical capacity for investigations and cooperation with external partners. EC3 is the collective voice of European cybercrime investigators across law enforcement and as such is responsible for the coordination and delivery of all strategic products and external liaison.

Purpose of the post:
Under the supervision of the Head of Team, the Senior Specialist – Forensic Examinations will be responsible for delivering advanced forensic analysis and programming services, in order to support MS and other Europol partners in the fight against serious and organised crime and terrorism.

Reporting lines:
The incumbent reports to the Head of Team, Digital Forensics.

Equal opportunity
Europol is an equal opportunity employer. Europol accepts applications without distinction on grounds of gender, sexual orientation, national, ethnic or social origin, religion or beliefs, family situation, age, disability, or other non-merit factors. All employment decisions are based on business needs, job requirements and qualifications, experience and skills.

Europol lives diversity and provides an inclusive work environment to all. Europol strives to recruit, develop and retain a diverse and talented workforce through application of equal opportunity and impartiality.

FUNCTIONS AND DUTIES

The incumbent will have to carry out the following main duties: 
•    Provide highly specialised knowledge and technical/forensic ‘on the spot’ support in the domain of digital forensics;
•    Guide, train and/or advise Specialists and other team members; may review and contribute to quality control of work;
•    Study and keep up to date with developments in the area of digital forensics and forensic services, assess relevance for Europol and champion the introduction of new methods, techniques and tools; liaise with the Europol Innovation Lab, partner agencies, organizations and law enforcement community  to maximise outcomes;
•    Independently, draft policies, reports and processes in the area of digital forensics; identify and implement best practices to optimise the forensic laboratory activity in accordance with operational priorities;
•    Foster relationships with competent authorities in the EU MS, EU bodies, third countries and organisations in the field of digital forensics;
•    Lead or support projects of the unit, prepare, organise and chair meetings, training courses and conferences and represent Europol at specialised conferences on European and international level;
•    Perform any other duties in the area of competence as assigned by the line management.

REQUIREMENTS - ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA

a. Candidates must
•    Be a national of one of the Member States of the European Union and enjoy full rights as a citizen;
•    Produce appropriate character references as to his or her suitability for the performance of the duties; 
•    Have fulfilled any obligations imposed by the applicable laws on military service; 
•    Be physically fit to perform the duties pertaining to the position (prior to appointment the successful candidate will be medically examined by one of the institution’s medical officers in order that the institution may be satisfied that the candidate fulfils the requirements of Article 12(2)(d) CEOS); 
•    Produce evidence of a thorough knowledge of one of the languages of the Union and a satisfactory knowledge of another language of the Union to the extent necessary for the performance of the duties. 

b. Candidates must have
•    A level of education which corresponds to completed university studies attested by a diploma when the normal period of university education is four years or more;
OR 
•    A level of education which corresponds to completed university studies attested by a diploma and appropriate professional experience of at least one year when the normal period of university education is three years;
OR
•    Professional training of an equivalent level in a relevant area (e.g. Police Officer’s School) and after having completed the training, at least the number of years of relevant professional experience as indicated below:
Duration of professional training         Additional professional experience required                                                                                                      for equivalency
More than 6 months and up to 1 year       4 years
More than 1 year and up to 2 years           3 years
More than 2 years and up to 3 years          2 years
More than 3 years                                       1 year

•    In addition to the above at least 6 years of total professional work experience gained after the award of the diploma.

REQUIREMENTS - SELECTION CRITERIA

a. Professional experience (assessed mainly during the shortlisting):
Essential: 
•    Experience performing digital forensic analysis including mobile devices, computers, servers, network and memory forensics; 
•    Experience in automation of digital forensic processes;
•    Experience in providing digital and/or mobile forensic support on the spot;
•    Experience in research and development in the area of digital forensics.
Desirable:
•    Experience in organising, participating in or leading takedowns of criminal IT infrastructure;
•    Experience in forensic analysis of large data sets and databases.

REQUIREMENTS - SELECTION CRITERIA

b. Professional knowledge (assessed during the selection procedure - written/practical test and/or interview):
Essential:
•    In depth knowledge of investigative and forensic techniques in the area of digital forensics and cyber operations;
•    In depth knowledge of digital and/or mobile artefacts;
•    In depth knowledge of file systems (NTFS, FAT and ExFAT, for Linux Ext3 and Ext4, for MacOS APFS and HFS+), including reconstruction of servers and NAS/RAID systems.
•    Knowledge of at least one of the following programming languages: Python, JavaScript, C language;
•    Knowledge of developing and implementing digital forensic strategy and processes.

c. General competencies (assessed during the Selection procedure - Written/Practical test and/or Interview): Essential:
Communicating:
•    Excellent communication skills in English, both orally and in writing;
•    Excellent presentation skills;
•    Ability to draft clear and concise documents on complex matters for various audiences.
Analysing & problem solving:
•   Structured approach to work aimed at getting results;
•   Excellent analytical and critical thinking skills;
• Competent user of Microsoft Office applications (MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook) and the internet. 
Delivering quality and results:
•   High degree of commitment and flexibility;
•   High level of customer and service-orientation.
Prioritising and organising:
•   Excellent organizational skills including the ability to plan own work load, establish clear priorities and exercise initiative;
•  Ability to manage projects and familiarity with project management terminology and methodology.
Resilience:
•   Strong ability to work well both independently and in a team;
•  Very good interpersonal skills, including the ability to effectively liaise with other departments, groups and teams as well as with external partners;
•  Ability to remain effective under a heavy workload and demonstrate resistance to stress. 
Living diversity:
•  Ability to establish and maintain effective working relations with co-workers in an international and multi-disciplinary work environment.
Advising: 
•  Ability to synthesise various data into a coherent and relevant whole, transforming it into a valuable and correct conclusion; 
•  Building constructive relationships with clients, adequately identifying and managing their needs and expectations, and giving well-grounded advice.

d. Fulfil the condition stipulated in Article 5 of the Decision of the Executive Director on the Duration of contracts of employment for Temporary Agents, on the start date of the possible contract of employment which may be offered.

SELECTION PROCEDURE

All applications for Temporary Agent posts must be submitted through the online recruitment system accessible via Europol’s website. For further information, please consult the Europol Recruitment Guidelines.

The Authority Authorised to Conclude Contracts of Employment (AACC) sets up a Selection Committee, composed of at least three members, consisting of one chair and at least one member from the administration and one member designated by the Staff Committee.

For restricted posts (including restricted - Annex II posts), the AACC designates up to two additional members of the Selection Committee if so requested by the Chairperson of the Management Board. The additional members shall consist of a representative of the Presidency of the Council of the European Union or one representative of the Presidency and one representative of another Member State. 

The Selection Committee will assess the applications received in order to make an initial selection of those candidates meeting all eligibility criteria and matching best the selection criteria (suitability) set out in this Vacancy Notice. 

In case of candidates shortlisted for restricted posts (including restricted - Annex II posts), who had indicated membership of a competent authority in one of the Member States, Europol will seek confirmation from the relevant Europol National Unit to ensure that those candidates indeed belong to a competent authority. 

The minimum pass-mark for being shortlisted, i.e. invited to participate in a post-related selection procedure, consisting of a written (and/or practical) test and a competency-based interview, is established as 60% of the total maximum score. 

The Selection Committee will shortlist the 10 highest scoring candidates. All candidates having a score equal to the 10th highest scoring candidate will be invited to take part in the first stage of the selection procedure (written and / or practical test). At shortlisting stage, the Selection Committee will also establish the pass-mark for the selection procedure. 

Candidates will be required to perform the written and/or practical test remotely. 

The Selection Committee will assess the written and/or practical test against the selection criteria. Those candidates who do not reach the pass-mark for the test will be informed that they do not qualify to participate in the interview. All candidates who reach the pass-mark for the test will be invited to the second stage of the selection procedure (interview) also conducted remotely.

After the selection procedure has taken place, the Selection Committee will establish a list of successful candidates, i.e. those scoring above the pre-defined pass-mark, which is shared with the AACC, for establishment of a Reserve list. A Reserve list is valid for 24 months.

Candidates who participated in the interview will be informed of the outcome, i.e. whether they have been successful or not.

The Selection Committee’s work and deliberations are confidential. It is forbidden for candidates to make direct or indirect contact with the members of the Selection Committee or for anyone to do so on their behalf. 

All enquiries related to a selection procedure should be addressed to the Europol Selection and Recruitment Team at the following email address: C2-12@europol.europa.eu. Detailed information on the selection procedure including enquiries, measures of redress and their applicable deadlines is  available in the Europol Recruitment Guidelines, which can be found on Europol’s website.

COMPENSATION AND BENEFITS

Scale: AD7
The gross basic monthly salary is EUR 6.294,84 (step 1) or EUR 6.559,36 (step 2). 

The step in grade is determined on the basis of professional experience gained after the education required for the position and in line with applicable implementing rules. 

Staff pay EU tax at source but salaries are exempt from national taxes. Compulsory deductions are made for medical insurance, pension and unemployment insurance.  

Subject to the applicable conditions being met, as defined in the EU Staff Regulations (EUSR)/CEOS and further specified in the case law of the Court of Justice of the European Union, allowances such as expatriation allowance (16% of basic gross salary) or foreign residence allowance (4% of basic gross salary), household allowance, dependent child and / or education allowance may be granted.  

Staff enjoy worldwide insurance coverage by the Joint Sickness Insurance Scheme (JSIS) and are insured against sickness, the risk of occupational disease and accident.

Europol offers flexible working arrangements, a comprehensive provision for annual leave as well as parental leave supporting a healthy work-life balance.

Indicative net salary sample calculation AD7/1:
a)    Staff member (single) in receipt of expatriation allowance (16%): EUR 6.654,00 
b)    Staff member with two dependent children in their custody in receipt of expatriation allowance (16%): EUR 8.512,05

The above information is indicative and for information purposes only. It is merely meant to give an indication of the possible net salary in light of the currently applicable amounts of the related allowances and the level of taxation. It has no legal value and no rights can be derived from it.  

The information is based on figures applicable as of July 2020.

TERMS AND CONDITIONS

Conditions of engagement
Before the employment contract is concluded by Europol, the successful candidate will have to:
•    declare any conflict of interest;
•    undergo a pre-employment medical examination to confirm that he/she is physically fit to perform the duties pertaining to the post or, alternatively, receive the confirmation from Europol that he/she fulfils the conditions laid down in the Decision of the Deputy Executive Director of the Capabilities Directorate on the pre-employment medical examination available on Europol’s website.;
•    in case of candidates for restricted posts (including restricted - Annex II posts) who had indicated membership of a competent authority in one of the Member States, provide confirmation of his/her membership of a competent authority in one of the Member States within the meaning of the Article 2(a) of the Europol Regulation.

The place of employment will be The Hague, The Netherlands. 

In exceptional cases, where justified in the interest of the service, the AACC may recruit a candidate who is a successful candidate in a selection procedure for temporary staff 2(f) CEOS as contract staff 3(a) CEOS, if the selection procedure is considered to be appropriate to the duties to be performed.

For further information on terms and conditions, please consult the EUSR/CEOS available on Europol’s website.

Security screening and certificate of good conduct
Candidates who have been recruited to a post at Europol are required to furnish a valid certificate of good conduct before the start of their employment. The certificate of good conduct must be provided to Europol prior to the signature of the employment contract. The certificate of good conduct must be issued by the relevant authorities of the country of nationality of the candidate and must not be older than three months at the time of submission to Europol. Europol reserves the right not to proceed with the signature of the contract based on the content of the certificate or if the candidate fails to provide the certificate to Europol. 

The certificate of good conduct does not substitute a valid security clearance required for all Europol staff at the level indicated in the vacancy notice. Failure to obtain the requisite security clearance before the expiration of the probationary period may be cause for termination of the employment contract.

Candidates who currently hold a valid security clearance at the level indicated in the vacancy notice or above do not need to obtain a certificate of good conduct or a new security clearance and must provide a copy of the current security clearance certificate to Europol prior to the signature of the employment contract. Europol shall verify and confirm the continued validity of the security clearance. In case Europol determines that the security clearance is not valid, the candidate will be required to provide a valid certificate of good conduct prior to the signature of the employment contract. Europol may at any time terminate the employment contract if the result of the security screening is not positive and the necessary clearance level is not granted or extended. 

The requested level of security clearance for this post is: CONFIDENTIAL UE/EU CONFIDENTIAL.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Contract of employment
The successful candidate will be engaged in the type of post Administrator and function group AD, grade 7 pursuant to Article 2(f) CEOS and Annex I to the EUSR.

The initial contract will be concluded for a period of 5 years (full-time – 40 hours a week). The contract may be renewed only once, in principle, for a period of 4 years. 

The overall duration of the contracts on restricted posts of Europol staff members will be taken into account if they are successful in the selection procedure.

Probation period
Engagement for this post is subject to the successful completion of a probationary period of 9 months. 

If the successful candidate chooses contract continuity, and has already successfuly completed the probationary period provided for in Article 14 of the CEOS, in the relevant function group, he/she will not serve the probationary period.

Europol reserves the right to terminate the contract of employment during or at the end of the probation period in accordance with Article 14 CEOS.

Privacy Notice
Regulation (EU) 2018/1725 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2018 on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data by the Union institutions, bodies, offices and agencies and on the free movement of such data, and repealing Regulation (EC) No 45/2001 and Decision No 1247/2002/EC, applies to the processing of personal data carried out in the process of selection and recruitment of staff at Europol,  following the application of this Regulation to all administrative personal data held by Europol in accordance with Article 46 of the Europol Regulation.

For additional information, please consult the applicable privacy notice inserted in the EUROPOL RECRUITMENT GUIDELINES available on Europol’s website.

Statutory obligations upon leaving the service
Pursuant to Article 16 of the EUSR, EU officials and, by analogy, temporary agents continue to be bound by the duty to behave with integrity and discretion as regards the acceptance of certain appointments or benefits after leaving the service. Those staff members intending to engage in an occupational activity within two years of leaving the service shall inform their institution, so that it may take an appropriate decision in that respect. In cases where the intended activity is related to the work carried out by the staff member during the last three years of service and could lead to a conflict with the legitimate interests of the institution, the decision to be taken may include forbidding the staff member from undertaking it or giving its approval subject to any conditions it thinks fit.

Main dates
Publication date:             17 September 2021
Deadline for application:  27 October 2021, 23:59 Amsterdam Time Zone
Recruitment procedure:   November 2021

Application process and selection procedure    
Please refer to the EUROPOL RECRUITMENT GUIDELINES available on Europol’s website for further details on the application process and the selection procedure. 

Contact details
For further details on the application process please call +31 (0) 70 353 1146 or +31 (0) 70 353 1154.

Apply

Deadline

27 October 2021, 23:59:59 CEST

Contract type

Restricted Annex II Temporary Agent

Unit/Group

O3 European Cyber Crime Centre (EC3)

Reports to

Head of Team, Digital Forensics