The 3 public functions
In France, there are 3 public functions:
- the state civil service : ministries, prefectures, rectorates…;
- the territorial public service : local authorities, community of agglomeration…;
- the hospital public service : hospitals, retirement homes…
The conditions required to take part in the competitions
Whatever competition you are applying to (external competition, internal competition, 3rd competition), you must:
- be French or national of the European Union or a signatory state to the agreement on the European Economic Area;
- enjoy your civil rights ;
- have a criminal record virgin ;
- be in a regular situation with regard to obligations of National service ;
- fill in the physical fitness requirements required to perform the function;
- fill in the degree requirements specific to competitions.
These degree requirements are:
- a level Bac + 3 for category A jobs (management function);
- the baccalaureate for category B jobs (application or drafting function);
- the BEPC, CAP or BEP for category C jobs (execution function).
There is no age limit to access public service competitions, with some exceptions (such as firefighters).
Prepare for competitions to enter the administration
For the contests of category Aseveral preparations exist:
- the IPAG (preparatory institutes for general administration) attached to the university;
- the CPAG (general administration preparation centres) attached to IEPs;
- I’university offers various courses including the license of public administration.
For the contests of category B and C, the GRETA (groups of public educational establishments) provide preparation.
Some private and paying organizations also offer such services. Before you sign up, find out about their quality and success rate.
Enter the administration without competition
Recruitment without competitive examination is possible for certain jobs in category C, namely those ofadministrative assistant and technical assistant.
The conditions for access to these positions are identical to those for competitions. Recruitment then takes place as in the private sector: publication of a job offer, sending of the application and then job interview.
Finally, for all job categories, you can be recruited as contractual. In this case, you do not have civil servant status.
Content updated on 04/30/2012
To know all the dates of the competitions, go to the calendar published by the Ministry of the Public Service.
Unemployed people, students enrolled in an IPAG or a CPAG can benefit, subject to resource criteria, from a scholarship to prepare for their competition.