Orseu is the leading trainer for future European officials, with more than 20 years of history. In what context was ORSEU founded?
In the 1990s, ORSEU was a social research centre. It carried out studies for the European Commission in the field of social dialogue. Its premises were in Brussels just above those of a trade union which was the main one for European officials in the 90s. They were looking for trainers who could prepare their members for European competitions.
At that time the tests were very different from the current ones. They consisted of a series of three MCQ preselection tests (EU knowledge, verbal and reasoning, and specific knowledge in the field) followed by a written test (close to the French model of essay). They were all paper based! ORSEU was able to meet the challenge: our team was multidisciplinary, we were involved in European matters, and we knew the written test well, most consultants at ORSEU having studied at French universities!
In the late 1990s, ORSEU has developed a specific department dedicated to preparing for the EU competitions to meet the growing demand of the candidates. ORSEU competitions was born. In 2004, the first book on the verbal and numerical reasoning test for European competitions was published.
What do you think sets you apart from other training organisations for European competitions?
What sets us apart is our teaching method and our books.
At ORSEU Competitions, we consider the methodology is the pilar to build on so as to develop automatisms which is the first difficulty to overcome in the EPSO tests. That is why we wrote a book for each computer-based tests with detailed methodology, illustrated by many examples as well numerous test questions to practise on, all available with detailed correction. At the moment, we have 7 different books on EPSO tests (Verbal Reasoning, Numerical Reasoning, Abstract Reasoning, Situational Judgment, Prioritising & Organising, E-tray and Case study). All are available in English & French.
Our courses are based on this same approach: illustrated methodology and practise questions with detailed correction.
Once the automatisms are acquired, candidates will need to develop speed in answering the questions, which is the second difficulty. We created online tests for the candidates to practise and assess themselves in conditions similar to the competitions’ (timer, type of questions,…).
In January, EPSO announced five new competitions for 2023. How are you facing this year at ORSEU?
We expect 2023 to be a good year for ORSEU.
We are glad that EPSO announced 2023 competitions so early on in the year. It leaves a lot of time for candidates who could be interested in working for the European institutions to prepare themselves steadily and be ready on competition day. We are here to help them throughout the way.
EPSO has recently announced a number of changes to its selection processes, such as the introduction of new EU knowledge and digital skills tests. How will you at ORSEU adapt to the changes in the selection processes?
We will most probably develop online tests on EU knowledge and we are waiting for more information on digital skills tests before we develop anything new.
ORSEU has recently become a member of the Chamber. What are the main benefits you expect to gain from this membership?
Through our membership with the Chamber, we hope that we can reach a wider audience of the Spanish community in Brussels and Luxembourg but also in Spain and help them prepare for the tests present in the EU institutions.
Historically, in view of the number of Spanish citizens taking part in past EPSO competitions, the EU institutions is an attractive place to work for.