General Service Staff (G1 - G7)
NOTE: This article is updated for the 2021 requirements.
The functions in the General Service and related categories include administrative, secretarial, and clerical support as well as specialized technical functions such as printing, security and buildings maintenance. There are jobs in all the eight job networks: management and operations support; economic and social development; political, peace and security; information systems and communication technology; legal; public information and external relations; conference management; and safety and security.
The work carried out by General Service staff supports the functioning of the Organization and is typically procedural, operational or technical in nature. The work in these categories ranges from routine duties to varied and complex assignments. The knowledge of the subject matter and higher-level skills are generally developed through long experience and familiarity with applicable procedures, regulations and precedents or projects of the Organization in a narrow technical field or in an administrative support activity. The higher the level of the job, the more complex the functions become along with higher levels of responsibility.
What is United Nations looking for in a candidate for a G (GS) position?
Because General Service staff support the functioning of UN, we are looking for candidates who achieve results in operational, procedural and technical capacities.
A commitment to making the UN successful is essential! We want someone who is analytical and can handle routine to complex tasks with dedication.
We also want an excellent teammate who embraces diversity and is eager to provide creative ideas for improving UN processes.
The minimum standard for all support GS is the completion of high school (secondary school) combined with a number of years of relevant work experience. Selection to GS Fixed-Term Appointment (FTA) positions at Headquarters locations requires passing a UN administered Global General Service Test (GGST), unless conditions are met allowing the waiver of such a requirement.
For GS positions in New York and D.C, the UN GGST test will be waived for current UNDP staff members on FTA/CA/PA appointments and external applicants who have a Bachelor’s degree (or equivalent) from a recognized educational institution.
What education and work experience do I need for General Service (G) category positions?
Completion of secondary (high school) education is a requirement.
In support of National Staff career progression, a UNDP GS staff in Country Offices with a first level university degree in combination with at least 10 years of continuous service with a FTA /CA/PA may be considered for NO posts that have been advertised with the Masters’ degree or equivalent requirement, provided they meet all other selection criteria.
In support of career progression of UNDP GS staff in Headquarters locations, staff possessing a first level university degree in combination with at least 10 years of continuous service with a FTA/CA/PA, may be considered for Professional posts that have been advertised with the Masters’ degree or equivalent requirement, provided they meet all other selection criteria.
These are the work experience requirements for each level:
Level of Appointment High School + Years of Experience Bachelors + Years of Experience
GS-1 (ICS-1) - 0 years 0 years
GS-2 (ICS-2) - 2 years 0 years
GS-3 (ICS-3) - 3 years 0 years
GS-4 (ICS-4) - 4 years 1 years
GS-5 (ICS-5) - 5 years 2 years
GS-6 (ICS-6) - 6 years 3 years
GS-7 (ICS-7) - 7 years 4 years
Who is eligible to be considered for a G (GS) position?
General Service personnel are recruited locally from the area in which an office/duty station is located. They can be of any nationality but should be legally permitted to work in the country where the office/duty station is located.
Staff in the General Service and related categories are generally recruited locally from the area in which the particular office is located but could be of any nationality. As a result, such staff members are usually not expected to move between different duty stations.
At the Organization’s Headquarters in New York, jobs such as drivers, electricians, building management, and printing staff fall under the related category called Trades and Crafts (TC). Similarly, Security Officer jobs in New York are advertised as a separate category called Security (S), and tour guides in New York as Public Information Assistants (PIA). Another related category is the Language Teachers (LT), for which positions can be found only in New York and Geneva. In all other duty stations these jobs are included, and listed, under General Service.
Currently, the following General Service Tests are administered in the UN Secretariat (some of them in New York only):
What qualifications do I need to work in the General Service and related categories?
The following requirements have to be met to be considered for General Service jobs:
- High school diploma or equivalent.
- Minimum age of 18 years.
- Required number of years of work experience relevant to the job and its level, as specified in the job opening.
- Language requirements depending on the job and the location of the office. Most jobs require fluency in one of the two working languages, English or French.
- There might be additional requirements which are listed in the specific job opening. Always check to make sure you meet the minimum requirements for the job for which you are applying.
- Pass the Global General Services Test (GGST) and any specialised test required for specific functions. The test is taken at the duty station in the locality where you wish to apply. For more information on the test, please refer to the GGST section on this page. You may also contact the United Nations offices in New York (email: email@example.com), Geneva, Vienna, Nairobi, Santiago, Bangkok, Beirut, Addis Ababa, Arusha or The Hague, or contact your nearest United Nations Information Centre or United Nations Development Programme office.
What work experience do I need?
Your work experience should be relevant to the job for which you are applying and each job may also have specific requirements, which are specified in the job opening. For mid-career and senior level positions, progressively responsible work experience is required. As you acquire more relevant work experience you can apply for higher level positions.
You can move from the General Service and related categories to the professional category only by passing a special competitive examination subject to certain conditions.
The GGST is an important initiative in the process of General Service staff selection. Launched in July 2014 at the United Nations Headquarters, the GGST will soon be introduced to other offices away from Headquarters. Available initially in English, the GGST will also be available in French and Spanish depending on the language requirements of the position.
The GGST is a computer-based invigilated/proctored test, which assesses the competencies identified as core to the functions of General Service staff, e.g., communication and planning and organizing, through work-relevant scenarios and tasks.
The three sections of the GGST are: Verbal Reasoning, Numerical Reasoning and Situational Judgment. The Verbal Reasoning Section tests candidates’ ability to work effectively with written communication. The Numerical Reasoning section tests candidates’ ability to work effectively with numerical data. The Situational Judgment section tests candidates’ ability to work effectively in line with the core United Nations values and competencies.
Applicants interested in working for the United Nations in the General Services category, must first apply for a vacant position advertised on the this website. Once your application has been reviewed and if you meet the requirements, you will be invited to participate in the Global General Services Test (GGST) at the duty station to which you have applied.
Candidates must meet the following requirements to be eligible for consideration for a job as entry-level Security Officer:
- Between the ages of 22 and 35 years at the time of application.
- A high School diploma.
- Excellent physical condition.
- At least two years’ experience with a civilian police force or three years in a military police force. Candidates holding a degree in criminal justice with a minimum of 18 months’ experience in the security field will also be considered.
- Pass the United Nations Security Officer Test. The tests are held when there is a requirement for such positions at the duty station in the locality where you wish to apply. For more information on the test and where to take it, please contact the Organization’s offices in New York, Geneva, Vienna, Nairobi, Santiago, Bangkok, Beirut, Addis Ababa, Arusha or The Hague, or contact your nearest United Nations Information Centre or United Nations Development Programme office.