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Role details

Parole Board Independent Member

Application deadline 22 October 2023


Parole Board, with the exception of judicial members
Sponsor department
Ministry of Justice
Judicial, Prisons & Policing
Judicial, Regulation
Number of vacancies
Time commitment
184 day(s) per annum
£250 to £365 per day
Length of term
5 years
Application deadline
7pm on 22 October 2023

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Timeline for this appointment

  1. Opening date

    25 September 2023

  2. Application deadline

    7pm on 22 October 2023

  3. Sifting date

    10 November 2023

  4. Interviews expected to end on

    25 November 2023

Timeline dates are only an estimate and can change

About the role


Dear Candidate,

Thank you for your interest in becoming an Independent Member of the Parole Board. 


The Parole Board is an independent body which sits as a court to protect the public by risk assessing prisoners to decide whether they can be safely released back into the community. Our work is of critical importance to victims and public safety, as well as prisoners and their families, but it also has a wider role in maintaining public confidence in the justice system.  

Our membership comes from a wide variety of professions, vocations, experience and skills and we value greatly the diversity that this brings to the Board.


The Parole Board is facing an increase in its workload during a time of reform. As a result, the Parole Board is looking for new members who will join an intensive 6-9-month training programme that will equip them to make parole decisions on the papers and chair oral hearing panels.

People with experience of sitting on decision making panels in a court, tribunal or similar court-like environment are likely to be well suited to the role. A Parole Board member must be able to effectively case manage ensuring the fair and timely progression of cases. There is complex evidence from multiple sources that must be assimilated and then any questions relating to the evidence can be posed to professional and lay witnesses. Finally, Board members demonstrate their analysis and conclusion in written reasons. To be successful in this role you need to be confident and experienced at decision making on your own and as part of a panel and work collaboratively with panel colleagues and support staff.

We are very keen to increase the diversity of our membership. A significant proportion of the prison population are from a black, Asian or other minority ethnic groups and a lack of representation can impact on trust and confidence. Parole Board members reflect society at large in its diversity. We are an inclusive organisation and recognise that diversity is one of our greatest strengths. We welcome applications from people from all backgrounds.

This is a very exciting time to join the Parole Board. We have modernised our way of working, we are updating our rules and we are becoming more transparent.  If you believe that you have the experience and qualities that we are seeking, we hope you will consider applying for this important position. 


Caroline Corby, Chair of the Parole Board               

Martin Jones CBE, CEO of The Parole Board

Role description

The key task of all members of the Parole Board is to make rigorous, fair and timely risk assessments about individual cases which have the primary aim of protecting the public and which contribute to the rehabilitation of offenders where appropriate. 

Key responsibilities include but are not limited to:

·       Analyse and critically evaluate information to identify continuing risks in parole cases referred by the Secretary of State, where information may come from a variety of sources including electronic dossiers and evidence given at oral hearings. 


·       Apply knowledge and judgement to make fair decisions based on evidence to decide whether a prisoner can be safely released into the community; to set licence conditions where release is appropriate; and, in relevant cases, to decide whether to recommend a prisoner is transferred to open conditions. 


·       Be proactive to identify and resolve issues in all allocated cases at the earliest opportunity, applying the current relevant law, procedure and guidance. Seek advice from subject experts within the Board, including specialist members, and legal and practice advisors. Be proactive to manage case administration that arises both as a chair and co-panellist. This will require regular email monitoring during the working week.  


·       Assess parole cases on referral to conclude on the papers or set directions for effective case management of those to be considered at an oral hearing. 

·       Take an active part in oral hearings ensuring all areas of risk are identified and addressed by the panel, witnesses are questioned appropriately to inform the panel’s assessment of risk, and there is a full panel discussion of a case to properly weigh the evidence. Work collaboratively with other panel members to make judgements about the available evidence and to provide structured written reasons for the panel’s decision or recommendation in every case.  


·       Chair oral hearing panels, sitting alone and with other members. Sit as a single member chair on paper panels.  

·       Use Parole Board IT effectively to access electronic dossiers, draft reasons for panel outcomes, communicate with the panel and colleagues and to undertake learning and development activity. 


·       Complete all mandatory continuing professional development in line with Parole Board policy. Take responsibility for personal development by accessing materials and opportunities provided by the Board to remain up to date with current law, procedure, guidance and developments. Reflect individually and collectively on experiences and practice.  


·       Achieve accreditation and maintain an active portfolio of casework primarily  chairing paper panels (MCA) and oral hearings.  


·       Work will be allocated based first on the business needs of the Parole Board and then on the availability provided by members and their accreditations.  The role is fee paid and there is no guaranteed income.


·       Be an effective ambassador whenever representing the Parole Board.


·       Travel in line with Parole Board policy to attend oral hearings in prisons throughout England and Wales.  Also travel to the London office and other venues to attend Parole Board events, including training. Occasional overnight stays may be required, and expenses will be reimbursed in accordance with the prevailing policy. 

Organisation description

The Parole Board works to protect the public by risk assessing prisoners to decide whether they can safely be released into the community. It sits as a court and makes risk assessments which are rigorous, fair and timely, based on information supplied by the prisoner, the prison and probation service and other expert witnesses.

Parole Board decisions are solely focused on whether a prisoner would represent a significant risk to the public after release. The risk assessment is based on detailed evidence found in the dossier (a collection of documents relating to the prisoner) and evidence provided at the oral hearing.

The Parole Board is responsible for considering parole reviews for prisoners serving indeterminate sentences – sometimes called ‘life’ sentences – where the sentence has no end date. It also considers certain types of determinate sentence cases - where there is an end to the sentence – and some prisoners who have been sent back, or ‘recalled’, to prison.

To be eligible for parole, a prisoner will have served the minimum ‘tariff’, or punishment part of their sentence, set by the courts. Prisoners eligible for parole are only released into the community if the Parole Board decides it is safe to do so.

An offender released on a parole licence continues to serve the rest of their sentence in the community while being supervised by the Probation Service. This is known as ‘release on licence’ or parole.

The Parole Board is an independent executive non-departmental public body, sponsored by the Ministry of Justice. Parole Board Members are appointed, by Ministers, under Schedule 19 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003.

The Parole Board’s work is of critical importance to public safety, as well as prisoners and their families but the Parole Board also has a wider role in maintaining public confidence in the justice system.

To read more about the Parole Board and its work click here.

Regulation of appointment

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

Person specification

Essential criteria

Candidates must evidence all of the following:

·       Demonstrable ability to conduct effective evidence-based decision making, bringing independence of mind and making sound judgements through: 

o   assimilate and clarify complex evidence from multiple sources 

o   weighing facts and evidence

o   analysing and critically evaluating large volumes of complex information  

o   identifying key issues, within tight deadlines and working on own initiative.  


·       Demonstrable ability to show your analysis and conclusion in written format including:

o   the ability to condense multiple documents with complex and potentially conflicting information into an accessible and legally justified document

o   the ability to work collaboratively to assist colleagues in the drafting and review of these reports

o   the ability to draft well-formed written accounts which accurately document, analyse and summarise evidence in support of a decision or recommendation

o   clear, succinct, and accessible style

o   strong attention to detail

o   able to work collaboratively to produce written reasons that accurately reflect how the panel came to its decision or recommendation.  

·       Demonstrable chairing experience either from judicial, tribunal or equivalent appointments, employment or positions held. Skills and experience we are particularly interested in include:

o   leadership

§  ensure fairness

§  take the lead

§  support others

§  work collaboratively

§  manage time

§  focus on outcomes

§  think creatively

§  be inclusive

§  defuse tension.

o   chairing inquisitive panels, boards, courts, tribunals or other court-like equivalents.

·       Demonstrable case management skills, effective time management, organisational and administrative skills.  Ability to identify and resolve issues at an early stage taking proactive steps to ensure cases are concluded at the earliest opportunity.

·       Evidenced IT skills, ability to use templates and spreadsheets, review and comment on documents online and to conduct meetings online with multiple people. Ability to adapt to new technology and a willingness to learn.  

·       Strong commitment to professional and personal development.  

·       Effective communication and interpersonal skills; with the ability to gain respect and maintain rapport through effective communication and influencing skills. 

·       Confident to challenge opinions, work collegiately and resolve differences to reach sound decisions. 

·     Able to communicate sensitively and effectively with a wide range of individuals, varying the approach as necessary, treating others with respect, listening actively and evaluating replies to probe issues. 


·       Demonstrable high standards of corporate and personal integrity and conduct, including a strong desire to serve the public, evidence of commitment to equality and diversity, resilience and reflection in decision making, and personal accountability. 

Desirable criteria

  • Experience in risk assessment or public protection

Application and selection process

How to apply

This recruitment process is being undertaken by Inclusive Boards on behalf of the Parole Board and the Ministry of Justice. The deadline for applications is the 23.59 on Sunday 22 October 2023.

Visit to submit an application form.

Please note, as part of the application form you will be asked to submit a CV and answer a series of questions including responding to Success Profiles (further details below). You will also be asked to provide information on:

  • Conflicts of interest and previous conduct.
  • Significant political activity.
  • Number of other public appointments held.
  • Your referees.

You will be asked to complete  a diversity monitoring form.

To find out more, request support when applying, or have an informal confidential discussion before applying, please get in touch with one of our consultants by emailing

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis and candidates are encouraged to apply at their earliest convenience rather than waiting to submit their application closer to the deadline.

Candidates will be assessed using success profiles which will assess your behaviours, strengths and experience against the essential criteria for the role. More information on the framework and how it is used elsewhere in government is at

This post is a public appointment, not a civil service post.  Success profiles are a flexible framework and the Civil Service example has been adapted to reflect behaviours that are both specific to the Parole Board and generic to a public appointment.  Success profiles assess candidates against a range of elements using a variety of selection methods. This blended approach, based on behaviours and strengths, will allow candidates to discuss both their experience and their motivation and engagement. 

Candidates must first meet the eligibility criteria, including the person specification.

To demonstrate the potential to adopt the required behaviours in the role of a Parole Board member please answer the following questions within a limit of 250 words per question.

In your response to the questions, you should:

Behaviour One – Making effective decisions

Parole Board members must analyse and critically evaluate information to identify continuing risk in a parole case.  Information may come from a variety of sources including written dossiers, verbal evidence and electronic updates to decide whether it is necessary for the protection of the public that a person remains confined in prison. All decisions are made by a panel of 1, 2 or 3 Parole Board members.

Please give an example that shows how you weighed conflicting evidence to make a decision that had a significant impact upon a person or organisation.    

Behaviour Two - Leadership

Parole Board members must demonstrate leadership skills when chairing hearings. In addition, you must be able to work well with others and demonstrate fairness, inclusion and collaboration.

Please give an example of working with others that shows how you adapted your approach to reconcile different needs and opinions to reach a shared outcome.

Behaviour Three - Developing self and others

Parole Board members who are directly appointed must be able to learn quickly and put that learning into practice with accuracy and confidence.

Please give an example that shows how you built your knowledge and tested your learning under pressure.

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 have best met the criteria, who should be recommended for interview. Ministers will then be consulted on the Panel’s recommended shortlist. If you have applied under the Disability Confident Scheme and you meet all the essential criteria, then you will also be invited for an interview.

  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 Panel may invite you to make a brief presentation at the start of the interview and will go on to question you about your skills and experience, including asking specific questions to assess whether you meet the criteria set out for the post. The Panel will also explore with you any potential conflicts of interest or any other issues arising from your personal and professional history which may impact on an appointment decision.

  6. Details of the panel’s assessment of interviewed candidates are provided to Ministers, including whether they have judged a candidate to be appointable to the role. 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.

  7. Ministers may choose to meet with candidates before deciding the outcome. Candidates should therefore be prepared for a short time gap between interview and a final appointment decision being made. Candidates who have been interviewed will be kept informed of progress.

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

Further information about appointments, including tips on applying, can be found on our guidance pages on

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.
AAP’s 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.

Eligibility criteria

In general, you should have the right to work in the UK to be eligible to apply for a public appointment.

There are a small number of specialist roles that are not open to non-British citizens. Any nationality requirements will be specified in the vacancy details.

The Government expects all holders of public office to work to the highest personal and professional standards. 

You cannot be considered for a public appointment if:

  • you are disqualified from acting as a company director  (under the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986);

  • have an unspent conviction on your criminal record;

  • your estate has been sequestrated in Scotland or you enter into a debt arrangement programme under Part 1 of the Debt Arrangement and Attachment (Scotland) Act 2002 (asp 17) as the debtor or have, under Scots law, granted a trust deed for creditors.

When you apply, you should declare if:

  • you are, or have been, bankrupt or you have made an arrangement with a creditor at any point, including the dates of this. 

  • you are subject to a current police investigation.

You must inform the sponsor department if, during the application process, your circumstances change in respect of any of the above points. 

When you apply you should also declare any relevant interests, highlighting any that you think may call into question your ability to properly discharge the responsibilities of the role you are applying for. You should also declare any other matters which may mean you may not be able to meet the requirements of the Code of Conduct of Board Members (see Outside interests and reputational issues section below)
If you need further advice, please contact  [ADD CONTACT DETAILS]

Security clearance

For successful candidates, confirmation of appointment will be subject to basic clearance checks, covering confirmation of identity and right to work in the UK plus a criminal record check. This will involve completion of several paper and electronic forms and can take up to five weeks to process following completion of the forms.

Additional information for candidates

Equality and diversity

The Parole Board recognises that the Justice System has historically been over-representative of minority ethnic people in its application and under-representative of them in their administration.

It is a core tenet of our mission to set this right through a targeted and energetic programme of action and outreach, including the focused and meaningful recruitment of diverse peoples to the role of Independent Member of the Parole Board, in partnership with Inclusive Boards.

As of March 2023, the diversity of the Parole Board indicated that over 61% of the 289 people within the membership are women, 39% are male, 18% come from a minority ethnic background and 14% of the membership have declared a disability. However, we are keen to improve the diversity of all parts of our membership.

As a Non-Departmental Public Body (NDPB) of the Ministry of Justice, we embrace the principles and objectives set out in the MoJ Diversity and Inclusion Strategy 2018 -2025

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. During the application process we commit to:

  • ·       Making any reasonable adjustments – for example, ensuring closed captions are available during interview.
  • ·       Providing this document in alternative formats, including a Word document format and Welsh Language version readily available to download.
  • ·       Offering a guaranteed first stage interview with Inclusive Boards for disabled candidates who meet the minimum requirements for the role.

Arrangements for disabled candidates:

  • ·       An offer of an interview will be made to disabled candidates who meet the minimum selection criteria for the role (this is the essential criteria outlined in the Person Specification section of this pack).
  • ·       The Parole Board is a Disability Confident employer; further information can found here:   

If you would like to discuss your application before submitting, please contact Inclusive Boards.

Disability confident

We are a member of the Government’s Disability Confident scheme. We use the Disability Confident scheme symbol, along with other like-minded employers, to show our commitment to good practice in employing people with a disability. The scheme helps recruit and retain disabled people. 

Arrangements for disabled candidates:

  • ·       An offer of an interview will be made to disabled candidates who meet the minimum selection criteria for the role (this is the essential criteria outlined in the Person Specification section of this pack).
  • ·       The Parole Board is a Disability Confident employer; further information can found here:   

If you would like to discuss your application before submitting, please contact Inclusive Boards.

Reasonable adjustments

We are committed to making reasonable adjustments to make sure applicants with disabilities, physical or mental health conditions, or other needs are not substantially disadvantaged when applying for public appointments. This can include changing the recruitment process to enable people who wish to apply to do so.
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 additional 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.

Principles of public life

Holders of public office are expected to adhere to and uphold the Seven Principles of Public Life. These are:
  1. Selflessness - Holders of public office should act solely in terms of the public interest.
  2. Integrity - Holders of public office must avoid placing themselves under any obligation to people or organisations that might try inappropriately to influence them in their work. They should not act or take decisions in order to gain financial or other material benefits for themselves, their family, or their friends. They must declare and resolve any interests and relationships.
  3. Objectivity - Holders of public office must act and take decisions impartially, fairly and on merit, using the best evidence and without discrimination or bias.
  4. Accountability - Holders of public office are accountable to the public for their decisions and actions and must submit themselves to the scrutiny necessary to ensure this.
  5. Openness - Holders of public office should act and take decisions in an open and transparent manner. Information should not be withheld from the public unless there are clear and lawful reasons for so doing.
  6. Honesty - Holders of public office should be truthful.
  7. Leadership - Holders of public office should exhibit these principles in their own behaviour and treat others with respect. They should actively promote and robustly support the principles and challenge poor behaviour wherever it occurs.

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 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

As this is an office holder 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

Members are appointed by Secretary of State for a five year term with the possibility of re-appointment at the discretion of Ministers. Any re-appointment is subject to recommendation by the Board based on satisfactory performance appraisal, completion of chair training, and business need. An active portfolio of casework, primarily chairing oral hearings as a single member and with others and decision making on the papers, must be evidenced for any subsequent re-appointment.
Time Commitment - Minimum of 184 days per year, with an extra 16 days for training following a 5 day induction training. All work is allocated on a business need. The annual time commitment includes notional time allowances for preparing cases and writing up the reasons following oral hearing panels. This can be undertaken at home and in the evenings, to fit in with your other responsibilities. You may also be required to attend prisons for oral hearings during office hours. 

Remuneration, allowances and abatement

Training days and subsequent “on the job” training will be paid at £250 per day. Following training, casework fees range between £320 and £365 per day, depending on the type of work undertaken (present fees). All remuneration is taxable and subject to Class 1 National Insurance contributions. The role is fee paid and there is no guaranteed income. If you currently receive a salary from the public purse your remuneration for the Parole Board role may be subject to abatement (any queries you may have about how this may affect you, will need to be taken up by you with your pension provider). You will be entitled to statutory sick and parental leave and the role is not pensionable.

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 the end of your term of appointment 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 we are only able to offer detailed 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 the public appointments team in the first instance if you would like to make a complaint regarding your application at They will acknowledge your complaint upon receipt and respond within 15 working days.

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 information on how the Commissioner handles complaints can be found on the Commissioner for Public Appointments’ website

Data protection

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

Your personal Information

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

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   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

Contact details

Training requirements

The training required for this role will be demanding and intensive. It will be delivered in person and online. The programme is set out to allow for “classroom” learning and skills practices followed by independent practical application.

Proposed dates for training in 2024 include:

  • 5th-9th February in person in London (5 days residential)
  • 26th-27th February in person in London (2 days residential)
  • 18th-20th March (3 days online)
  • 8th-9th April in person in London (2 days residential)
  • 29th-30th April in person in London (2 days residential)
  • 3rd-4th June online (2 days)
  • 22nd July online (1 day)

You will be expected to undertake work with other members or solo in the intervening times.

Interviews: Interviews will take place via Microsoft Teams, or other video conferencing software. This will be confirmed on invitation to interview. The Secretary of State or another Minister may ask to meet each of the candidates before or after interview.


Due Diligence: Due Diligence checks will be undertaken as part of the application process. This will include a review of:

  • The register of removed trustees.
  • The registered of disqualified directors.
  • The insolvency register.
  • Electoral Commission.
  • Visible social media presence.
  • Media outlets.