RCSC rolls out new SCS performance management framework

RCSC does away with quota system for those sitting for the BCSE 

The Royal Civil Service Commission (RCSC) had decided to allow graduates to sit for the Bhutan Civil Service Examination (BCSE) multiple times, overturning the previous limitations of two attempts for the Main Examinations (ME) and three for the Preliminary Examination (PE). This change aims to attract the best and brightest candidates while acknowledging the potential drawbacks of increased government expenses. However, the candidate must attain at least 18 years and must not be older than 35 years for pre-service candidates and 45 years for in-service candidates, as on the last date of online registration.

The Human Resource officer of RCSC, Kuenzang Choden said that this amendment comes as the Commission has been closely monitoring the attrition trend and strategizing ways to fill in the gap created by such attritions.

 The officer said, “Entry to Civil Service is through BCSE, and as per our assessment, 1,900 have reached the PE quota limit of three times and 299 have exceeded their ME quota of two times.”  She added that these graduates might be interested to sit for BCSE again, due to which the quota to appear for the BCSE has been done away with to offer opportunities to the graduates and increase the talent pool for the RCSC to choose the best and the brightest.

However, the officer said that the potential drawback of doing away with the system is the additional cost to the government as applicants can now repeatedly sit for the exams.

The year-on-year expenses on an average is Nu 14mn which can go up or down depending on the number of applicants. “The benefit is that we will now allow all eligible graduates to sit for the civil service examinations multiple times therefore expanding the pool of applicants.”

The officer added that allowing eligible graduates to sit for BCSE multiple times will make the process more competitive as the pool of applicants increase, which is aligned to the border goals and objectives of the RCSE to attract a larger talent pool applying for civil service positions. 

In response to amendments made by the RCSC, Sonam Tshering, a 2022 graduate, expressed his excitement and optimism. Sonam said that the decision to allow them to sit for the examinations multiple times is great news for graduates, as it provides them with increased opportunities and hope in securing employment within the country.

“Change will not only benefit the graduates by increasing their chances of finding jobs but will also contribute to the overall progress and the nation as a whole will benefit with the skills and talents of these valuable graduates,” he added.

Neekita Sharma, a student of College of Science of Technology (CST) said that failure should not define an individual ability. “PE can never determine one true potential and giving another opportunity not only gives people a fresh chance to improve but also provides them with the space for improvement.”

Nevertheless, she shared that allowing multiple appearances could lead to the wastage of valuable government resources. “Individuals may not exert the necessary effort or strive for excellence, assuming there will always be a safety net of second chances,” she said.

Nima Tenzin Thinley from Gyalpozhing College of Information Technology shared the advantages of allowing candidates to take multiple attempts.  “This approach offers a valuable privilege for self-reflection, enabling individuals to identify their weaknesses, learn from their mistakes, and eventually improve their performance,” he said.

He also added that students often faced pressure when dealing with a lot of tests online and that “by granting them additional chances, the stress levels can be significantly reduced.”

Similarly, Sangay Dorji, an employee in the private sector, said he is happy for former graduates who have failed to meet the requirements but are now afforded the chance to make amends.

According to the notification, the RCSC has announced amendments to certain sections of the Bhutan Civil Service Rules and Regulations (BCSR) 2018.

During its 183rd commission meeting on 23 May, 2023, the RCSC decided to provide the opportunity to students to appear for both the PE and ME exam multiple times, overturning the previous limitations of two attempts for the main exam and three for PE.

The notification said that the above amendments have been made in view of expanding the pool of talent for selecting civil servants.

Nidup Lhamo from Thimphu