The concours interne is intended for career civil servants or government employees with at least four years of effective service. Their professional experience is evaluated on the basis of a specific competitive examination.
In practice, civil servants entering the school through the concours interne have a great variety of backgrounds in public service. There are professors and elementary school teachers, employees of local governments, hospital directors, officials of all ministries of the central government, military personnel, museum curators and others.
The entrance examination is in two phases: qualifying examination (admissiblité) and then, for those chosen, the examination for admission (admission). Both have several parts.