Senior Professional Officer Programme – FAQ

SPOs are usually nationals of Donor countries, however, some Donors also finance nationals of developing countries. Candidates are senior professionals usually with a master’s degree or equivalent in a relevant discipline and a minimum of eleven years of professional experience in a relevant field.

Who is eligible to apply to this programme?

The SPO programme is open to applicants from donor countries that sponsor the programme.

Are you a National of a participating donor government?

Only a limited number of donor countries are currently participating in the programme and their nationals are eligible to apply to the ISA SPO Programme.

Is there an age limit for joining the programme?

The programme stipulates that candidates must usually be over the age of 30 when applying, however, the age limit may vary depending on the donor, so please check the specific job details in the opening(s).

Are you a National of a developing country?

Further information will be posted once available under Job Opportunities.

When is the deadline to apply?

Deadlines vary from vacancy to vacancy. Please check the website frequently.

There are no SPO vacancies being advertised on the donors’ websites.  Are these the right websites?

Yes, they are. Please check the websites frequently for any future openings or contact for any update.

How long is an assignment as a SPO?

An appointment is for a period of two years, with a possibility of an extension, depending on the performance and available funding from donor countries.

To whom and where should I send my application to?

You can access SPO vacancy announcements and the application procedure on the sponsoring Governments’ Minister of Foreign Affairs websites listed. Please refer to the specific instructions of individual donors’ websites for more information. You do not directly apply to ISA, so please send your application to the sponsoring donor governments.

The preliminary assessment of candidacies is carried out, in most cases, by the respective donors who consider language skills, academic background and professional experience. A short list is then submitted by the donor to the Authority for further selection.

Where and when will the final interview take place?

Only short-listed candidates will be interviewed by the Secretariat of the Authority. The interviews can be virtual or in-person, and can be done solely by the Secretariat or in collaboration between the donor. Once this process is finalized, the short-listed candidates will be informed of the results.

Candidates are reminded that only applications received within the deadline and that contain all requested information are considered eligible for further consideration.

Applicants must provide complete and accurate information pertaining to their personal profile and qualifications, including but not limited to, their education, work experience, and language skills.

Applicants will not be considered if they do not demonstrate in their application that they meet the evaluation criteria of the job opening.

Applicants are solely responsible for providing complete and accurate information at the time of application: no amendment, addition, deletion, revision, or modification shall be made to applications that have been submitted.

Candidates under consideration for final selection will be subject to a reference-checking process to verify the information provided in the application.

Due to the high number of applications, individual responses by phone or email are not possible.

Applicants wishing to know the status of the selection for the SPO job opening may refer to the careers page where the status will be reflected as one of the following:

  1. Open for Applications
  2. Closed for Applications
  3. Candidates under Review
  4. Selection Completed


The International Seabed Authority (ISA) does not charge a fee at any stage of the recruitment process (application, interview, processing, training, or any other fees). The ISA does not concern itself with information on bank accounts.