Role details

Victims’ Commissioner for England and Wales

Application deadline 10 October 2022

Summary

Organisation
Office of the Victims\u2019 commissioner
Sponsor department
Ministry of Justice
Location
London
Sector
Judicial, Prison & Policing
Skills
Regulation
Number of vacancies
1
Time commitment
37 hour(s) per week
Remuneration
£108000 per annum
Length of term
Three years
Application deadline
11am on 10 October 2022

Apply for this role

Timeline for this appointment

  1. Opening date

    25 August 2022

  2. Application deadline

    11am on 10 October 2022

  3. Sifting date

    11 November 2022

  4. Interviews expected to end on

    16 December 2022

These dates are indicative and may be subject to change

Person specification

Essential criteria

Candidates will be able to demonstrate the following:

·     Credibility to work with victims, victims’ organisations, and senior levels of government or the public sector including heads of criminal justice agencies and other independent Commissioners such as the Domestic Abuse Commissioner and, Police and Crime Commissioners;

·        Have knowledge of the issues concerning victims of crime, victims’ organisations and the criminal justice system;

·        Evidence of strategic leadership with an ability to successfully deliver priorities and support cultural transformation across the criminal justice system;

·        Experience of using the media effectively and appropriately to communicate messages and engage the wider public;

·        A clear understanding of the role of evidence-based analysis in informing public bodies in areas of political and public attention and sensitivity; and

·        The ability to work independently and provide robust, independent advice, under a high level of public scrutiny.

Desirable criteria

·        An understanding of Parliament and legislation

Role description

Role description

Purpose:
Section 49 of the Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Act 2004 prescribes that the Commissioner must: 
promote the interests of victims and witnesses; 
encourage good practice in their treatment; and 
keep under review the operation of the Code of Practice for Victims of Crime (Victims’ Code). 
The Commissioner may, for any purpose connected with the performance of their duties as above, make proposals to the Justice Secretary for amending the Victims’ Code (at the request of the Justice Secretary or on their own initiative); make a report to the Secretary of State; make recommendations to an authority within their remit and consult any person they think appropriate. The Commissioner is required to produce and publish an annual report on performance to the Justice Secretary, the Attorney General and the Home Secretary, and to give advice to a Minister of the Crown or the Treasury when required to do so.
The draft Victims Bill set out proposed changes to strengthen the role of the Victims’ Commissioner, including a requirement to lay their annual report before Parliament. There is also a requirement for criminal justice agencies and government departments to respond to the recommendations set out in these reports within 56 days of them being published.

Organisation description

The Commissioner for Victims and Witnesses (Victims’ Commissioner or the Commissioner) is a statutory role, established in legislation under the Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Act 2004 as amended by the Coroners and Justice Act 2009. The Secretary of State for Justice (Justice Secretary) is responsible for appointing the Commissioner and in doing so must consult the Attorney General and Home Secretary. The role is independent of government.

Regulation of appointment

This post is regulated by the Commissioner for Public Appointments. For more information, please refer to the Commissioner’s website 

Application and selection process

How to apply

In order to apply you will need to provide:

A CV (maximum two sides of A4) detailing your qualifications, employment history and any appointments or offices you hold. Please also provide your preferred contact number and email address.

A personal statement (maximum two sides of A4) providing evidence against the role criteria and your suitability for the post, including evidence of leadership qualities and a vision for the organisation. Please consider the role and criteria carefully in preparing your statements. Information from AAPs indicates that applications which offer specific and tailored examples against the criteria, making clear the candidate’s role in achieving an outcome, are often the strongest. Structuring the statement around the criteria using relevant headings also aids clarity.

Supporting Documents form (below)

Please also complete and return the Applicant Supporting Documents form which seeks the following information:

  • Conflicts of interest and Previous Conduct:  If you have any interests that might be relevant to the work of the Victims’ Commissioner, and which could lead to a real or perceived conflict of interest if you were to be appointed, please provide details in your supporting documents.
  • Given the nature of public appointments, it is important that those appointed as members of public bodies maintain the confidence of Parliament and the public. If there are any issues in your personal or professional history that could, if you were appointed, be misconstrued, cause embarrassment, or cause public confidence in the appointment to be jeopardised, it is important that you bring them to the attention of the Assessment Panel and provide details of the issue/s in your supporting letter. In considering whether you wish to declare any issues, you should also reflect on any public statements you have made, including through social media. The Advisory Assessment Panel may explore any issues with you before they make a recommendation on the appointment. Failure to disclose such information could result in an appointment either not being made or being terminated.
  • Conflicts might arise from a variety of sources such as financial interests or share ownership, membership of, or association with, particular bodies or the activities of relatives or partners. If you need further advice, please contact Nalini Deen at PublicAppointmentsTeam@justice.gov.uk
  • Significant Political Activity - In line with the Governance Code for Public Appointments, details of any declared activity will be made public if you are appointed;
  • Number of other public appointments - please list any appointments currently held;
  • Referee details – please give names/contact details of two referees (who will be contacted if you are shortlisted for interview).

PLEASE COMPLETE APPLICANT SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS HERE

DIVERSITY MONITORING FORM Microsoft form

A copy of the CANDIDATE INFORMATION PACK can be found HERE: 

https://papt-candidate-packs-live.s3.eu-west-2.amazonaws.com/VC-Candidate-Infomation-Pack-+200922+Final.pdf

Overview of the application process

Public appointments are made on merit following a fair and open competition process which is conducted in accordance with the Governance Code for Public Appointments. We will deal with your application as quickly as possible and will keep you informed at key stages. We aim to conclude the appointment process within three months of the deadline for applications – this is in accordance with the Governance Code.

The assessment process

  1. Ministers are responsible and accountable to Parliament for the public appointments made within their department. As a result, they must be consulted at every stage of the appointments process.

  2. An Advisory Assessment Panel (“Panel”) is appointed by Ministers to assist them in their decision making. The role of the Panel is to decide, objectively, which candidates meet the eligibility criteria for the role.

  3. At the shortlisting meeting the Panel will assess applications against the eligibility criteria and decide which candidates should be recommended for interview. Ministers will then be consulted on the Panel’s recommended shortlist.

  4. Once the shortlist has been agreed by Ministers, you will be advised (by e-mail) whether you have been shortlisted. Those shortlisted will be invited to an interview.

  5. The Panel will meet again to interview candidates and determine who is appointable to the role. The names of all appointable candidates are provided to Ministers. It is then for Ministers to determine merit and decide who should be appointed. In some circumstances, Ministers may choose not to appoint any candidates and re-run the competition.

  6. The Panel’s recommendations will be provided to Ministers in a report which details the assessment method used and the outcome of each interview. They will then be asked to agree on the candidate(s) who should be appointed.

  7. Once the decision on the appointment has been made, interviewed candidates will be advised of the outcome of their application. Successful candidates will be issued with their Terms & Conditions and a letter of appointment should they agree to take up the position.

Advisory Assessment Panel (AAP)

Advisory Assessment Panels (AAP) are chosen by ministers to assist them in their decision-making. These include a departmental official and an independent member. For competitions recruiting non-executive members of a board (apart from the Chair), the panel will usually include a representative from the public body concerned.
AAPs perform a number of functions, including agreeing an assessment strategy with ministers, undertaking sifting, carrying out interviews in line with the advertised criteria and deciding objectively who meets the published selection criteria for the role before recommending to ministers which candidates they find appointable. It is then for the minister to decide who to appoint to the role.
The AAP will comprise:
  • Jerome Glass, Director General, Policy, MoJ (Panel Chair);
  • Joanna West/Becky Wyse, Director, job-share for the Tackling Exploitation and Abuse Directorate, Home Office;
  • Olivia Robey, Expert Member; and 
  • Oliver Mosley, Independent Panel Member.

Eligibility criteria

There must be no employment restrictions, or limit on your permitted stay in the UK. This appointment is open to British or Commonwealth citizens, British Dependent Territories citizens, British Nationals (Overseas) citizens, British protected persons, citizens of the Republic of Ireland, European Economic Area (EEA) nationals or to those of other member states, and to certain non-EEA family members. Applicants must have rights of residence in the UK. We welcome applications from all those who are eligible. However, as the Victims’ Commissioner was established to carry out an independent function at arm’s length from the Government, we are mindful that appointing someone who is employed by a government department might compromise that independence - or perception of independence - as well as diminishing the confidence of stakeholders and the general public. If you are in receipt of a salary from a government department and wish to apply, you should expect that - if selected for interview - the Advisory Assessment Panel will explore whether any perceived or real conflicts of interest might exist if you were to be appointed and, if so, how this might be managed or mitigated. The latter might include an undertaking to resign from government employment, if appointed, and - if considered appropriate - for there to be an interval between resignation and taking up appointment to the role.

Security clearance

The successful candidate will be required to undertake Baseline Personnel Security Standard checks in line with the Civil Service guidelines.

This will involve completion of several paper and electronic forms and can take up to five weeks to process following completion of the forms. Candidates will be notified during the appointment process.Further information on National Security Vetting can be found on the Gov.uk website here.

Additional information for candidates

Equality and diversity

We encourage applications from talented individuals from all backgrounds and across the whole of the United Kingdom. Boards of public bodies are most effective when they reflect the diversity of views of the society they serve and this is an important part of the Government’s levelling up agenda.
We collect data about applicants’ characteristics and backgrounds, including information about people’s educational and professional backgrounds, so that we can make sure we are attracting a broad range of people to these roles and that our selection processes are fair for everyone. Without this information, it makes it difficult to see if our outreach is working, if the application process is having an unfair impact on certain groups and whether changes are making a positive difference.
When you submit your application, your responses are collected by the Cabinet Office and the government department(s) managing your application. The data is used to produce management information about the diversity of applicants. You can select “prefer not to say” to any question you do not wish to answer. The information you provide will not be seen by the Advisory Assessment Panel who review applications against the advertised criteria and conduct interviews.

Disability confident

We want to ensure any appointee to the Department’s arm’s length bodies is committed to promoting diversity, in its broadest possible sense. This will include embedding a commitment to the principles of levelling up and championing opportunity for all across the organisation, helping to ensure that the organisation is one in which a genuinely diverse range of views can be expressed, without fear or favour.

We encourage applications from all candidates regardless of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation.

Reasonable adjustments

Some examples of common changes are:
  • ensuring that application forms are available in different or accessible formats;
  • making adaptations to interview locations;
  • allowing candidates to present their skills and experience in a different way;
  • giving detailed information on the selection / interview process in advance to allow candidates time to prepare themselves;
  • allowing support workers, for example sign language interpreters;
  • making provision for support animals to attend.
When you apply you will have the opportunity to request reasonable adjustments to the application process.

If you have a disability and require any arrangements or adjustments for any part of the recruitment or selection process, please state clearly on your form and contact Nalini Deen  on  (quote PAT160035 in any correspondence) or by e-mail to: PublicAppointmentsTeam@justice.gov.uk

Further information can be found via this link: https://publicappointments.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/recording-whether-or-not-you-have-a-disability/

Principles of public life

Holders of public office are expected to adhere to and uphold the Seven Principles of Public Life https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-7-principles-of-public-life/the-7-principles-of-public-life--2. These are:

  1. SELFLESSNESS - Holders of public office should act solely in terms of the public interest. They should not do so in order to gain financial or other material benefits for themselves, their family or their friends;
  2. INTEGRITY - Holders of public office should not place themselves under any financial or other obligation to outside individuals or organisations that might seek to influence them in the performance of their official duties;
  3. OBJECTIVITY - In carrying out public business, including making public appointments, awarding contracts, or recommending individuals for rewards and benefits, holders of public office should make choices on merit;
  4. ACCOUNTABILITY - Holders of public office are accountable for their decisions and actions to the public and must submit themselves to whatever scrutiny is appropriate to their office;
  5. OPENNESS - Holders of public office should be as open as possible about all the decisions and actions that they take. They should give reasons for their decisions and restrict information only when the wider public interest clearly demands;
  6. HONESTY - Holders of public office have a duty to declare any private interests relating to their public duties and to take steps to resolve any conflicts arising in a way that protects the public interest;
  7. LEADERSHIP - Holders of public office should promote and support these principles by leadership and example.

Code of conduct for board members

The Government expects all holders of public office to work to the highest personal and professional standards. In support of this, all non-executive board members of UK public bodies must abide by the principles set out in the Code of Conduct for Board Members of Public Bodies. The Code sets out the standards expected from those who serve on the boards of UK public bodies and will form part of your terms and conditions of appointment.

Management of outside interests and consideration of reputational issues

Holders of public office are expected to adhere and uphold the Seven Principles of Public Life and the Code of Conduct for Board Members of Public Bodies. Before you apply you should consider carefully: 
  • any outside interests that you may have, such as shares you may hold in a company providing services to government; 
  • any possible reputational issues arising from your past actions or or public statements that you have made; 
  • and/or - any political roles you hold or political campaigns you have supported; 
which may call into question your ability to do the role you are applying for.
You will need to answer relevant questions in relation to these points when making an application. Many conflicts of interest can be satisfactorily resolved and declaring a potential conflict does not prevent you from being interviewed. If you are shortlisted for an interview, the panel will discuss any potential conflicts with you during that interview, including any proposals you may have to mitigate them and record that in their advice to ministers. Alongside your own declaration, we will conduct appropriate checks, as part of which we will consider anything in the public domain related to your conduct or professional capacity. This may include searches of previous public statements and social media, blogs or any other publicly available information. The successful candidate(s) may be required to give up any conflicting interests and their other business and financial interests may be published in line with organisational policies. 
Details of declared political activity will be published when the appointment is announced, as required by the Governance Code (political activity is not a bar to appointment, but must be declared).

Status of appointment

You will not become a member of the Civil Service. You will not be subject to the provisions of employment law.

Appointment and tenure of office

Appointments are for the term set out in this advert, with the possibility of re-appointment for a further term, at the discretion of Ministers.  Any re-appointment is subject to satisfactory annual appraisals of performance during the first term in the post. If re-appointed, the total time served in post will not exceed more than two terms or serve in any one post for more than ten years

Remuneration, allowances and abatement

Remuneration will be subject to PAYE tax and National Insurance Contributions.  
Remuneration will be calculated pro rata with a full-time equivalent salary of £108,000.
The role is not pensionable. For members who receive a full salary from the public purse the remuneration otherwise payable to members is abated.
Reasonable standard travel expenses will be payable.

Pension and redundancy

This is an office holder appointment and does not attract any benefits under any Civil Service Pension Scheme. You will not be eligible for redundancy pay as you are not an employee. No other arrangements have been made for compensation upon termination because an office holder who is appointed for a limited duration would have no expectation of serving beyond that period.

Application feedback

We will notify you of the status of your application. We regret that due to the volume of applications received, we are only able to offer feedback to candidates who have been unsuccessful at the interview stage.

How to complain

We aim to process all applications as quickly as possible and to treat all applicants with courtesy.
Please contact Maggie Garrett, Ministry of Justice, Head of the Public Appointments Team, ALB Centre of Expertise, Ministry of Justice, E-mail address:  public appointments team in the first instance if you would like to make a complaint regarding your application at PublicAppointmentsTeam@justice.gov.uk. They will acknowledge your complaint upon receipt and respond within 20 working days.

Taking it further: If you are still concerned after receiving your reply you can write to:

Commissioner for Public Appointments, Room G/8, Ground Floor, 1 Horse Guards Road,

London, SW1A 2HQ.

The Commissioner for Public Appointments (CPA) regulates and monitors appointments to public bodies to ensure procedures are fair. More information about the role of the Commissioner, the Governance Code for Public Appointments and the complaints process is available here.  

Alternatively, please contact the Commissioner’s office on 020 7271 6729, or 0207 271 3305 for a printed copy of the complaints process.

How to complain to Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments (OCPA)

If you are not content with the appointing department’s response you may wish to further complain to the Commissioner at publicappointments@csc.gov.uk.Further information on how the Commissioner handles complaints can be found on the Commissioner for Public Appointments’ website https://publicappointmentscommissioner.independent.gov.uk/regulating-appointments/investigating-complaints/

Data protection

The Cabinet Office will use your data in line with our privacy policy.

In accordance with the Public Appointments Order in Council 2019(4)(5), we will process your application in accordance with the UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR), the Data Protection Act 2018 and the Ministry of Justice’s Information Charter, which can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/ministry-of-justice/about/personal-information-charter.

Your data will be held securely and access will be restricted to those dealing with your application or involved in the recruitment process. Your data may also be shared with the Commissioner for Public Appointments and other relevant government departments, including the Cabinet Office, as part of a complaint investigation or review of the recruitment process. Cabinet Office will handle data in accordance with their Privacy Notice https://publicappointments.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/privacy-notice.   Your data may also be disclosed as required by law or in connection with legal proceedings.

Your data will be stored for up to two years and processed for the purpose of the recruitment process, diversity monitoring and, if successful, your personal record. If appointed, your data will be stored for the duration of your tenure and may be shared with the organisation to which you are appointed, unless you specifically request us not to.

Should you wish your data to be removed from our records, please contact publicappointmentsteam@Justice.gov.uk.

Contact details

If you need further advice, please contact Nalini Deen at PublicAppointmentsTeam@justice.gov.uk