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Role details

Court of Protection Special Visitor OPGMED2023EW

Application deadline 18 December 2023

Summary

Organisation
Court of Protection Visitors
Sponsor department
Ministry of Justice
Location
Various
Sectors
Health and Social Care
Skills
Legal, Social Care
Number of vacancies
15
Time commitment
Adhoc
Remuneration
£618 per day
Length of term
10 years
Application deadline
11:59am on 18 December 2023

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Timeline for this appointment

  1. Opening date

    20 November 2023

  2. Application deadline

    11:59am on 18 December 2023

  3. Sifting date

    15 January 2024

  4. Interviews expected to end on

    1 March 2024

Timeline dates are only an estimate and can change

About the role

Introduction

About Office of the Public Guardian
Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) is an executive agency, sponsored by the Ministry of Justice. The role of OPG is to protect people in England and Wales who may not have the mental capacity to make certain decisions for themselves, such as about their health and finance.
It supports the Public Guardian in the registration of Enduring Powers of Attorney (EPA) and Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA), and the supervision of deputies appointed by the Court of Protection.
It works closely with other organisations to ensure that any allegations of abuse are fully investigated and acted on.
Locations
We are seeking applications from candidates based across England & Wales to cover the below regions:
• North West
• North East
• Midlands
• East of England
• London
• South East
• South West
• Wales
We are looking to recruit around 10-15 visitors in total.
Please note that this role will require you to travel extensively and you may occasionally be asked to travel outside of your area. As visits are often to locations not easily accessible by Public Transport a driving licence and access to a vehicle is preferable.

Role description

The Role of the Special Visitor
As a Special Visitor for the Court of Protection and Office of the Public Guardian you will carry out mainly retrospective mental capacity assessments on the protected person / donor, who may be elderly, have acquired a brain injury, a mental illness or learning disability.
You will assess the degree of mental capacity and help the protected person / donor express their opinions, completing comprehensive reports for the Court of Protection and Public Guardian. You will be expected to consult with associated agencies such as Social Services, Residential or Nursing Care Home Managers and GP Practises, providing accurate and concise written reports within a designated time scale and in accordance with agreed targets and standards.
You will be engaged on a self-employed basis and will be responsible for paying your own tax, national insurance and having professional and public liability.
This position may be combined with other work commitments, paid or unpaid.
Special Visitor Job Objectives
- Organise and manage visits to the Protected Person and Donors on behalf of OPG or CoP
- Prepare and submit reports for the Public Guardian and Court of Protection within agreed timescales, ensuring that all relevant issues are addressed and are presented accurately and objectively
-  Maintain files, data, spreadsheets and reports, ensuring confidential information is securely held
- Communicate by email, internet, telephone and other means with parties, agencies and OPG, as required
- Maintain and develop your knowledge of the Mental Capacity Act
- Take reasonable care for your own health and safety and for the safety of others in consideration of OPG’s Health and Safety procedures
You will visit the protected person / donor and those acting for them, and report to the Public Guardian or Court of Protection on the needs, wishes and best interests of the protected person / donor and on how the deputy or attorney is managing their affairs.
You will be asked to assess the protected person’s / donor’s capacity to make certain decisions and be expected to consult with associated agencies such as Social Services, Residential or Nursing Care Home Managers, providing accurate and concise written reports within a designated time scale and in accordance with agreed targets and standards.
You will be engaged on a self-employed basis and will be responsible for paying your own tax, national insurance and having professional and public liability.
This position may be combined with other work commitments, paid or unpaid.
Eligibility criteria
Candidates for the Special Visitor post who are employees of OPG may apply but would need to resign their current position if they were appointed.

Organisation description

Further information can be found regarding Office of the Public Guardian by visiting the below website:

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

Under section 61 of the Mental Capacity Act, we are seeking; registered medical practitioners with a licence to practise; HCPC registered clinical psychologists who are ideally chartered by the British Psychological Society, and psychiatrists who are on the specialty register.
You should have expert knowledge of impairment or functioning of the mind or brain, experience in assessing mental capacity and an excellent understanding of the Mental Capacity Act 2005.
You will be required to provide evidence of your knowledge and experience of:
- The Mental Capacity Act 2005
- Services for people with mental health needs and cognitive impairments
- Preparation of clear and concise reports
- Undertaking retrospective mental capacity assessments / Interviewing adults at risk
- Organisational skills
The application process involves any potential candidate submitting a CV outlining your experience and qualifications & an application statement answering the below questions on the above essential criteria. An application statement template can be found attached to this job advert.
The application statement questions are detailed below.
To apply for this position each candidate is required to submit an application statement answering the following questions. The answers to these questions will form part of the sift. Please keep your responses to 250 words or less for each question.

Mental Capacity Act 2005 – Please describe a time when you have had to use the direct application of the Mental Capacity Act and Code of Practice.

Services for people with mental health needs or cognitive impairments - Please include your knowledge and experience of issues affecting those experiencing mental incapacity, with special knowledge of cases of impairment or disturbance in the functioning of the brain.

Preparation of clear and concise reports - Please explain the type/s of report/s that you have had regular experience in drafting. Examples should include detail on who requested / commissioned the report and why, how your knowledge and skills informed the recommendations in the report and how you worked to complete and submit such reports within a set timescale.

Interviewing adults at risk - Please describe a time when you have had to undertake a current or retrospective mental capacity assessment, identifying and using various sources of evidence.

Organisational Skills – Please describe a time you have had to use your planning and interview skills, delivering priorities and using resources appropriately.

Welsh Language - Are you fluent in the use of the Welsh Language?

A document containing the above questions and a candidate application pack is available to download.

Desirable criteria

Knowledge of the following would be desirable:
• Fluent Welsh Language speaker

Application and selection process

How to apply

In order to apply you will need to create an account or sign in.

Once you are logged into your account, click on 'apply for this role' and follow the on-screen instructions. To apply, all candidates are required to provide:

  • CV
  • application statement (please see the below notes)
  • equality information
  • information relating to any outside interests or reputational issues

Important notes for candidate regarding the application statement

To apply for this position each candidate is required to submit an application statement answering the following questions. The answers to these questions will form part of the sift. Please keep your responses to 250 words or less for each question.

Mental Capacity Act 2005 – Please describe a time when you have had to use the direct application of the Mental Capacity Act and Code of Practice.

Services for people with mental health needs or cognitive impairments - Please include your knowledge and experience of issues affecting those experiencing mental incapacity, with special knowledge of cases of impairment or disturbance in the functioning of the brain.

Preparation of clear and concise reports - Please explain the type/s of report/s that you have had regular experience in drafting. Examples should include detail on who requested / commissioned the report and why, how your knowledge and skills informed the recommendations in the report and how you worked to complete and submit such reports within a set timescale.

Interviewing adults at risk - Please describe a time when you have had to undertake a current or retrospective mental capacity assessment, identifying and using various sources of evidence.

Organisational Skills – Please describe a time you have had to use your planning and interview skills, delivering priorities and using resources appropriately.

Welsh Language - Are you fluent in the use of the Welsh Language?

Please submit an application statement with your CV to be considered for this position.

A document containing the above questions and a candidate application pack is available to download.

We will ask you to check and confirm your personal details to ensure your application is accurate.

You will also have the opportunity to make a reasonable adjustment request or apply under the disability confident scheme before you submit your application.

The Advisory Assessment Panel reserves the right to only consider applications that contain all of the elements listed above, and that arrive before the published deadline for applications.

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 gov.uk.

Advisory Assessment Panel (AAP)

The Panel will be:

• Andy Madeley (Chair), Deputy Head of Supervision and Investigation Services, Office of the Public Guardian

• Jill Twigger (Chair), Head of Supervision and Investigation Services, Office of the Public Guardian

• Dr Faisal Parvez (Consultant in Old Age Psychiatry)

• Dr Raj Krishnaiah (Consultant in Old Age Psychiatry)

• Dr Kerrie Loader (Chartered Clinical Psychologist)

• Independent Panel Member(s) TBA

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)
Candidates for the Special Visitor post who are employees of OPG may apply but would need to resign their current position if they were appointed.

Security clearance

The successful candidate will be required to undertake an Enhanced Personnel Security Standard checks in line with the Civil Service guidelines. Additional Security Clearance may also be required for certain roles. However, where this applies, 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 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. 
As part of implementing the scheme, we guarantee an interview for anyone with a disability whose application meets the essential criteria for the role, set out in the advert, and who has asked that their application is considered under the scheme. Indicating that you wish your application to be considered under the scheme will in no way prejudice your application. By ‘minimum criteria,’ we mean that you must provide evidence which demonstrates that you meet the level of competence required under each of the essential criteria, as set out in the job-advert.
When you apply you will have the opportunity to select if you would like your application considered under this scheme.

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.
For further information please contact the recruitment team using the below e-mail address.

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

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. There is no automatic presumption of reappointment; each case should be considered on its own merits, taking into account a number of factors including, but not restricted to, the diversity of the current board and its balance of skills and experience. In most cases, 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

On average you will be expected to complete approximately 20 - 30 visits per annum, you will be remunerated at a rate of £618 per report submitted plus travel expenses.
Remuneration is taxable under Schedule E and subject to Class I National Insurance contributions. It 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.
If you have a complaint about any aspect of the way your application has been handled, we would like to hear from you. In the first instance please write to or e-mail the Public Appointments Team at the address or e-mail address given below quoting the appropriate reference number.
Maggie Garrett, Ministry of Justice, Head of the Public Appointments Team, ALB Centre of Expertise, Ministry of Justice, E-mail address: PublicAppointmentsTeam@justice.gov.uk
Complaints must be received by the Public Appointments Team within 12 calendar months of the issue or the closure of the recruitment competition, whichever is the later.
We will acknowledge your complaint within two working days of receipt and reply within 20 working days of receipt. We will tell you if we cannot meet this deadline for any reason and provide an expected reply date.

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.
Office of the Public Guardian will use your data in line with our Personal information charter - Office of the Public Guardian - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Contact details

The recruitment team can be contacted at the below e-mail address:
opgvisitorsrecruitment@publicguardian.gov.uk

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