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Médecins Sans Frontières

Work in the Field

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The Application Process

Due to the unpredictable nature of humanitarian work and the changing demands for human resources in the field, please consider that even though you may meet the requirements for the role you are applying for, your application may be rejected if we are currently experiencing a low demand for this particular profession. We encourage you to re-apply in the future. 

Selection of individuals for the MSF register involves the following process:

Applying

If you feel that you meet our specific requirements please apply online.

Your application will be screened by a Human Resources Officer and you will receive a response within one month of MSF receiving your application. 

Shortlisted candidates will receive pre-screening questionnaires and checklists for further perusal.

Assessment

If we think that your skills and experience match our requirements, you will be invited to attend a competency based assessment at an appropriate MSF office or online via Skype.

MSF has defined a number of competencies that the organisation believes are needed to achieve excellence in our work. These are set out below:

Behavioral Flexibility

MSF Field staff are expected to be able to maintain effectiveness in achieving objectives by adapting to changing circumstances, contexts, tasks, responsibilities and people.

Results & Quality Orientation

MSF Field Staff need to have the drive and tenacity to achieve the defined objectives and to implement efficient solutions within a set time-frame, with the given resources and in accordance with the established procedures and model is a key for all MSF Field Staff. As is the will to constantly seek improvement in the performances of their own tasks and actions

Teamwork & Cooperation

MSF Field Staff must be able to collaborate, share and cooperate with others, to work together towards a common goal.

People Management and Development

MSF staff must be able to motivate and manage team members so that they successfully carry out their responsibilities, and the ability to guide staff development towards excellent performance. 

Acceptance onto MSF's register

MSF's register is a database of people available for deployment. Following a successful interview you will be accepted onto the MSF register and you will be asked to provide two satisfactory professional references, one of which will need to be from your current/most recent employer.

Please note that all applicants provisionally selected for the MSF SA register will be asked to disclose their criminal record. This record will not necessarily be a bar to obtaining a position with MSF. But you will not be able to go on mission until we have received a copy of this.

All applicants are also required to receive medical clearance before going on mission.

Once on MSF's register

Once you have been accepted onto the register, you are considered available to work for MSF. It is therefore very important that you take this seriously and are VERY clear about your availability.

To prevent delays in the process of matching you to a field position, you must inform us of any changes in your availability.

Your Human Resources Officer will provide you with job descriptions and vacancy information and will match you to a position in the field. When matching you to a position, we will take into account your skills, previous experience and language skills.

It is not possible for field staff to choose a particular location to be matched to. Placements are determined by the operational needs in the field and field staff are asked to be as flexible as possible to be placed where they are most needed.

This is a competitive process as many people apply globally for a limited number of positions.

Preparation course

Once matched to a mission, it is likely that you will be sent on a one-week preparation course known as the PPD (preparation for primary departure).

You will also have briefings in the Johannesburg office and, if appropriate, in the operational section prior to your departure to the field, followed by a full briefing on arrival in the field.

You will be employed by MSF on a fixed-term contract for the duration of your mission.