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Civil Service - Assistant Secretary

Job Zone

Most of these occupations require qualifications at NFQ Levels 7 or 8 (Ordinary / Honours Degrees) but some do not.

Related Experience
A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, an engineer must complete four years of college and work for several years in engineering to be considered qualified.

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Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.

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Many of these occupations involve coordinating, supervising, managing, or training others. Examples include accountants, sales managers, computer programmers, teachers, chemists, environmental engineers, criminal investigators, and financial analysts.

€125k > 143 
Civil Service - Assistant Secretary
Salary Range
(thousands per year)*
€125 - 143 
Related Information:
Data Source(s):

Last Updated: April, 2015

* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.
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At a Glance... header image

A member of the Management Advisory Committee of a Government Department in the Public Service.

The Work header image

Each Department of State has a permanent staff consisting of administrative, professional, specialist and technical employees. The head civil servant of each Department is the Secretary General, who is recommended by the Minister for that Department and appointed for a period of 7 years by the Government.

Below the Secretary General, there are a number of Assistant Secretaries, who are each responsible for specific areas of work in the Department. Below the Assistant Secretaries, there are many officials at varying levels of seniority.

An Assistant Secretary is a member of the Management Advisory Committee of a Department, they are expected to contribute to the achievement of the Departments overall objectives.

An Assistant Secretary is expected to lead and direct strategic change within their area of responsibility, provide effective leadership in promoting the Departments strategic objectives and engendering a positive working environment, and represent the Departments interests in communicating and Liasing with a range of government departments, state agencies and other stakeholders.


Personal Qualitiesheader image

The following competencies are sought for the Assistant Secretary role inthe Irish Civil Service:

Strategic Thinking:

  • Creating a vision for the organisation & sector and anticipating the requirements to deliver it
  • Analysing complex issues quickly and anticipating knock-on consequences
  • Taking a system-wide approach and seeing connections, risks and the potential for innovation in the wider environment
  • Leading on the implementation of risk assessment practices and engaging in balanced risk taking
  • Showing courage in making difficult decisions

Managing Relationships - Leads People:

  • Being a visible and energetic leader who fully engages others
  • Building and supporting cross functional and interdepartmental teams
  • Delegating responsibility and ensuring accountability in others
  • Setting challenging goals and implementing effective performance management
  • Coaching and supporting others to optimise their contribution and development

Managing Relationships - Collaborates and Communicates with Conviction:

  • Playing a full and active part on the senior team in shaping and leading the Department
  • Communicating professionally and credibly, managing the expectations of others
  • Skillfully negotiating and influencing with conviction
  • Anticipating political sensitivities and complexities and responding in an informed and constructive manner
  • Building and maintaining effective working relationships with key stakeholders
  • Facilitating collaboration, partnerships and networks internally and externally to achieve common goals

High Performance and Delivering Results:

  • Assuming accountability for own actions and decisions
  • Ensuring the full range of management disciplines are used to deliver quality services at pace and within budget
  • Challenging processes to improve organisational capacity, responsiveness and citizen focus
  • Ensuring successful implementation through a range of delivery methods, including use of external parties
  • Focusing effort on priority tasks to maximise results
  • Ensuring a strong feedback loop between policy development and operations

Drive and Resilience:

  • Showing initiative and sustaining high levels of personal drive and energy.

Related Occupationsheader image

Contactsheader image


Organisation: Public Appointments Service
  Address: Chapter House, 26/30 Abbey Street Upper, Dublin 1
  Tel: (01) 858 7400 or Locall: 1890 44 9999
  Email: Click here
  Url Click here


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This occupation is popular with people who have the following Career Interests...

...and for people who like working in the following Career Sectors:

Civil & Public Service, Local Government, Politics & EU

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