Assistant Secretary

What is the role?

Assistant Secretary is the title typically given to the Head of a Division(s) in a Civil Service Department who will also sit on the management board for that department.

The Assistant Secretary competency model reflects what is needed to operate effectively in the environment in which public servants and Assistant Secretaries find themselves, in a period of high demand for increased pace of decision making and delivery, increased complexity and volume of demand, fewer resources, increased media and public scrutiny and an ambitious and progressive public service reform programme.

What are the requirements?

The Assistant Secretary Competency Framework articulates the standards required for high performance at senior levels in action-focused terms. The model has a particular emphasis on:

• the standards required for high performance at senior levels;
• the importance of public service values;
• the need for, and importance of, effective interaction with the political system;
• the importance of resilience and self-development in underpinning performance over the longer term;
• the need for strong project & financial management;
• balancing strategic focus over the longer term and delivering results at pace.

You can find the Assistant Secretary competency framework here.

Further details on the particular skills and requirements for this role can be found in the Information Booklet for each campaign at this level.


Starting salary is €130,027.

Learning and Development:

The Senior Public Service (SPS) was established with the aim of strengthening senior management and leadership across the civil service, and ultimately the public service. Membership is currently comprised of all serving and newly appointed civil servants at Secretary General, Deputy and Assistant Secretary and Director levels and related departmental and professional grades.

The SPS Leadership Development Strategy, approved by Government, sets out the initiatives to be implemented for the SPS in the period 2017-2020, including executive coaching, development programmes, mobility opportunities and networking events. The goal is to equip the SPS with the skills and supports necessary in meeting the key business and leadership challenges facing a modern Civil Service and to support lasting change at an individual, organisational and Civil Service level.

For more information please see: Senior Public Service Publications.