Top executives in civil service


Top-level executives in the civil service are some of the most important resources available to the Estonian civil services. Their leadership qualities, abilities to be role models and capabilities are the keys to the success of every organisation.

Estonia has 98 top executives in the civil service who work as a team towards achieving the strategic objectives of our country. They are united in their desire to do a challenging and important job, participate in the decision-making processes that shape the future of Estonia, and contribute to international cooperation and the development of Estonia.

The top executives in the civil service include the Secretaries General and Deputy-Secretaries General of ministries, Directors of the Government Office, Directors-General of public offices and inspectorates, Director-General of the Emergency Centre, State Archivist, Commander of the Defence Forces and Prosecutor General.

Candidates for top civil service positions must have the management experience, qualifications and proficiency in foreign languages required to perform their duties as well as the competences defined in the Estonian top civil service competency model (see below).

Meeting of the Secretaries General. Photos: Raigo Pajula



Competency Framework



The competency framework of Estonian TCS consists of six competences, described through influential and non-influential activities. 

The 2017 competence model for TCS describes a leader who is able to handle these challenges successfully. A successful leader is a bold designer of the future, an achiever, an inspiring driver of innovation, a genuine value builder for target groups and an effective self leader.

The competency framework is used for recruitment, selection, assessment and development of top civil servants and future leaders.




The Top Civil Service Excellence Centre of the Government Office:

  • Organises the recruitment and selection of top executives in the civil service

  • Organises the work of the selection board of top executives in the civil service

  • Organises the performance assessment of top executives in the civil service

  • Advises top executives on their self-development and organises relevant activities

  • Maintains records on candidates for top civil service




Last updated: 30 November 2017