Associate Professional Officers

Frequently asked questions

Which countries sponsor APOs?
At the moment governments offering their citizens sponsorship to the APO Programme in FAO are: Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the Netherlands and the United States.  Nationals of a developing country can be sponsored into the programme by donors such as Belgium and the Netherlands. 

Are there age restrictions?
Depending on the donor policy APOs are generally required to be under the age of 32 (the Japanese Government sponsors APOs up to the age of 35). 

Are APOs provided with compensation and benefits - such as salary and health insurance – during their assignment?
The donor covers travel, salary, UN Pension, life, health and permanent disability insurance APOs are full FAO staff members (at the P-1 or P-2 level) and as such enjoy the same rights and benefits as all FAO staff.

Do APOs receive formal training as part of their assignment? 
APOs are allotted funds by their donor for formal training courses. The amount is dertermined by the donor. In consultation with their supervisor, the funds may be used to attend training that will improve the APO's knowledge and skills. Training can either be in-house at FAO Headquarters or external courses through universities or international institutions.

What is the role of an APO Supervisor?
Supervisors provide continued guidance on technical issues as well as the FAO environment and institutional framework. When APOs come on board, their supervisor provides a thorough briefing and a work plan (that is updated annually) in consultation with the APO. The supervisors should make themselves available to the APOs throughout the course of their assignments, providing feedback and mentorship.


"It is very rewarding to work in a programme that clearly makes a difference and since I started as an APO, I have learnt a huge amount about Avian Influenza but also about development work in general." Kristina Osbjer, Swedish APO.