Staff are defined as (1) all persons participating in the UN Joint Staff Pension Fund (UNJSPF) in accordance with article 21 of the Pension Fund Regulations (i.e. six month contract or employment) and (2) all "staff members" according to common system definitions (i.e. persons with a contract or employment of one year or more), whether or not they are Pension Fund participants.


Positions are classified according to the classification standards developed by the International Civil Service Commission (ICSC).   The positions are grouped in two broad categories of occupations (the Professional and higher categories and the General Service category) and the hierarchy is expressed by grade levels within those categories.  The grade level of each position  is established based on the nature of duties and responsibilities assigned to it and the related skills, knowledge and experience required.

Professional and Higher Categories

Positions in the Professional and higher categories entail work that are analytical, evaluative and conceptual duties, and typically require an advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) and relevant work experience.  A first-level university degree in combination with qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.  The following are the grade levels and generic titles of positions in the Professional and higher categories:

P-1 Assistant  Officer
P-2 Associate Officer
P-3 Second Officer
P-4 First Officer
P-5 Senior Officer
D-1 Principal Officer
D-2 Director

For the UN Secretariat:

ASG Assistant Secretary-General
USG Under-Secretary-General
DSG Deputy-Secretary General
SG Secretary-General
ADG: Assistant Director General
DDG: Deputy Director General
SG: Secretary General

Professional positions at grades P-3 to P-5 typically require 5-10 years of relevant work experience, while positions at D-1 and higher categories require more extensive experience at higher organizational levels.

National Professional Officers

National professional officers are recruited locally to perform work that typically requires knowledge of the local laws, culture and tradition.  Positions in this category are classified against the same classification standards applied to positions in the Professional and higher categories, and are subject to the same recruitment criteria for positions in the Professional category.

General Service Staff

Work in the General Service category is procedural, operational or technical in nature and supports the execution of programmes.  General Service positions require a minimum of secondary education and relevant work experience. There are seven grades in the General Service category (G-1 to G-7)

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