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How to access a position as a public employee

The Spanish Constitution states that the principles of merit and ability, equality and publicity shall govern the selection process for the civil service. Specifically, it states that "citizens have the right to equal terms of access to public office" and that "the law shall regulate the entry into the civil service in accordance with the principles of merit and ability."

Based on these constitutional provisions relating to access to civil service, the General State Administration has implemented an access system which is detailed below for information purposes:

  1. How to access jobs in the civil service

    In order to access civil service positions, Candidates must meet the requirements established in the announcement; submit the application within the specified term; pay the corresponding fee, except where exempt; pass the admission tests and accept the position offered.

    Candidates may access civil service through a career service position or as workers on a full-time contract basis, depending on the tasks to be performed.

    In some cases, processes for positions as interim civil servant or temporary non-established public employees are announced; in such cases, the duration of the service relationship with the Administration is time-limited and non-permanent. Nevertheless, in general, prior announcements are not made for appointing temporary personnel, since reserve lists of candidates in previous selection processes for permanent positions or other specific processes are used.

    In the case of civil servants, access to this status is achieved through access to a specific body or scale, established by Law. Civil service bodies are classified in different qualification groups in accordance with the qualification required:

    • Group A:
      • Subgroup A1: Candidates must hold a university Degree, Engineering Degree, Architecture Degree, Bachelor's Degree or equivalent. In cases where the Law requires a different university degree, this degree shall be taken into account.
      • Subgroup A2: Candidates must hold a university Degree, Technical Engineering Degree, Technical Architecture Degree, University Diploma, Higher Vocational Training Diploma or equivalent.
    • Group C:
      • Subgroup C1: Candidates must hold the Baccalaureate or Technical Diploma, or an equivalent certificate.
      • Subgroup C2: Candidates must hold the Compulsory Secondary Education Diploma, or an equivalent certificate. 
  2. Requirements for participation in the selection tests


      For civil servant positions:

      • Hold Spanish nationality.
      • The following persons may also participate as civil servants,
        1. Citizens of Member States of the European Union.
        2. Spouses of Spanish citizens and citizens of other Member States of the European Union, regardless of their nationality provided that they are not legally separated. Descendants under twenty-one years old or dependants over said age  may also participate under the same conditions.
        3. Persons included in the application scope of the International Treaties signed by the European Union and ratified by Spain where the free movement of labour applies.
      • Nevertheless, Spanish nationality is compulsory for those bodies which so require and for all those positions which directly or indirectly involve participating in the exercise of public authority or safeguarding the general interests of the State and the Public Administration.

Requirements for non-established public employees:

In addition to the aforementioned cases, non-nationals who have work and residence permits in Spain.

  • AGE      
    • At least sixteen years old and not exceeding, if applicable, the compulsory retirement age. A different maximum age for accessing may be established by law.

      Bodies and scales involving the exercise of public authority or whose duties may pose a health risk may require a minimum age at least eighteen years old.

      • Hold, at the end of the period established for submitting applications, the qualification required in the announcement.
      • Candidates holding university degrees obtained abroad shall certify that they are in possession of the corresponding homologation certificate or, where appropriate, of the corresponding certificate of equivalence, and Candidates holding non-university degrees obtained abroad shall certify that they are in possession of the corresponding homologation certificate. These requirements shall not apply to candidates who have obtained the certificate of their professional qualification, within the field of the regulated professions, under the provisions of the European Law.
      • Have the functional ability to perform the required duties.
      • In some cases, undergoing the physical tests provided in the announcements may be required.
      • Not have been removed through a disciplinary procedure from a position in any of the Public Administrations or the Constitutional or Statutory Bodies of the Regional Governments
      • Not be fully or particularly disqualified for jobs or public positions by virtue of a court decision, for accessing civil servant bodies or scales, or for performing duties similar to those carried out in the case of non-established public employees who were removed or disqualified.
      • For selection processes for accessing as a civil servant: Not belong to the same body or scale they are applying for. In the case of participating in selection processes to acquire a particular specialisation, if the applicant already has the status of civil servant in the same body or range, only the corresponding specialisation shall be acquired.
      • For selection processes for accessing as a non-established public employee: Not belonging, as a non-established permanent public employee, to the same professional group and functional as the selection tests applied for.
      • In the case of citizens of other States, not be disqualified or equivalent, nor have been subject to disciplinary sanctions or an equivalent penalty which prevents, in their respective State, access to civil servant positions under the same terms.


Access to professions, trades and activities involving regular interaction with minors, and for the exercise thereof shall require that candidate have not been convicted by a final judgement of any crime against sexual freedom or integrity, including sexual assault or abuse, sexual harassment, sexual exhibitionism and incitement, prostitution and sexual exploitation and corruption of minors, as well as human trafficking,  For such purposes, Candidates who wish to access said professions, trades or activities shall certify such circumstance by means of a certificate issued by the Central Sex Offenders Registry.

  1. What are the quotas for persons with disabilities and quotas for internal promotion, and how do they work.
    1.  What is the access process for persons with disabilities?

      Announcements of the selection tests corresponding to the public employment offers shall include quotas which shall be covered by persons with disabilities, considered as such in section 2 of Article 4 of the consolidated text of the General Law on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and their Inclusion in Society, adopted by Legislative Royal Decree 1/2013 of November 29, provided that they pass the selection processes and certify their disability and compatibility for performing the duties.

      Regulations stipulate that seven percent of the positions must be reserved for persons with disabilities, and at least a two percent for persons with intellectual disabilities; the remaining positions shall be covered by persons who certify any other disability. Each Government shall distribute the reserve of positions giving priority to vacancies in Bodies, Scales and job categories whose duties are compatible with the existence of a disability.

      Regulations stipulate other mechanisms which facilitate access to public employment for persons with disabilities, such as adjusting the time and/or means for carrying out the tests, changing the order of preference for the selection of positions in certain cases or adapting the position assigned.

    2. What is the internal promotion process?

      Internal promotion is the promotion of a career civil servant of a body or scale of a professional qualification Subgroup to another body or range of a higher Subgroup, or in the case of non-established permanent employees, promotion to a higher professional category. It requires the submission of the application for participating in the process and passing the selection tests.

      Non-established permanent employees may also participate by means of internal promotion to access a civil service body or scale of a certain professional Subgroup.

      In order to access a civil service body or scale, the requirements established for joining the new body or range must be met, and Candidates must have been working at least two years in the corresponding body or range.

      With regard to internal promotions of non-established employees to a higher category, the requirements established in the applicable Collective Agreement shall be met


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