Vocationer Package

The Vocationer package is an employment agreement of three to five years' duration, consisting of extra benefits to retain international staff with high management potential (coordination roles) and/or with specialised profiles.

INITIAL commitment for Vocationers: a three year commitment with the possibility to extend for another two years (total of five years).


Selected international staff can be offered a Vocationer package at the discretion of MSF’s operational centres. The employee must be willing and able to accept any kind of assignment, including assignments in conflict settings. The posts are seldom family stations. One prior international field assignment with MSF is required before the Vocationer commitment can be offered.

Nature of assignments and positions

The assignments for Vocationers can be short, mid- and long-term field assignments in a variety of contexts with the following general conditions:

  • Total time spent in complex contexts will depend on field needs but the aim is up to two years during a three year commitment, and three years during a five year commitment.
  • In the case of capital coordination positions, ideally, no more than two years in a single country to ensure turnover and development of the Vocationer through exposure to multiple contexts and programme types.
  • During the Vocationer employment period the employee can be part of the Emergency Teams of the OCs (in this case the packages are not cumulated. The person keeps their Vocationer package but the duration of the ET assignment counts towards the completion of his/her total commitment period.)

  • Exceptionally, it may include, if legally feasible for the contracting section and HQ section concerned, short-term assignments in HQ (of up to three months) in between field assignments, to contribute to the staff member’s management development, knowledge and understanding of the organisation’s functioning.

Extra benefits

Extra Paid Leave: An extra 20 days off per year (i.e. a total of 45 days off per year).

  • This extra leave is managed in discussion with the pool and/or career manager, the HR in the desk/cell and the field for leave during assignments.
  • As this extra leave is intended to allow the staff member to sustain a field work rhythm for the duration of their commitment, carrying over leave days from one year to the next is discouraged, and leave should be taken in the first quarter of the following year at the latest.

Additional Returns when going on assignment without accompanying dependents/partner: The employee with a Vocationer package will be entitled to one return every six months of assignment. If the Vocationer has children under the age of 18 back in his/her country of domicile, they will be entitled to have an extra return ticket every three months of an assignment.

Home Child Allowance: Yes (except while on assignment with accompanying dependents). For international staff on protected IRP I salaries, see also Transition from IRP I for specifics regarding the Home Child Allowance.

Completion Bonus: The Vocationer is entitled to a completion bonus after completion of his/her commitment

  • 4.5 months of salary after completion of a three year commitment, based on the salary at the end of the three year period.
  • Another three months salary paid upon completion of an additional two years (3+2 years, so upon completion of 5 years in total), based on the salary at the end of this extra two year period.
  • The completion bonus is not due in case of termination of the commitment before the term of the first three year commitment or the term of the following two year extension.


The Vocationer Agreement is designed to be used by each of the OCs as required for their operations. Here's a quick overview of how the OCs currently use the Vocationer Agreement. For more specific criteria or information about the application process, please refer to your career manager and/or pool manager in the OC.

Specific criteria for Vocationers contract Open to all profiles          Reserved for coordinators with strong performance and commitment to career path with OCBA. Reserved for coordination and medical/non-medical experts Dependent on operational needs, no specific requirements. For coordinators or to develop coordinators.
When were Vocationer packages launched 2016 Pilot since 2013 2015 Case by case basis since 2013 October 2015