You cannot apply for this role

The application deadline has passed or the role has been closed for applications.

Role details

Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration

Application deadline 2 April 2024


Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration
Sponsor department
Home Office
Judicial, Prisons & Policing
Technology / Digital, Legal, Regulation
Number of vacancies
Time commitment
5 day(s) per week
£140000 per annum
Length of term
Three years
Application deadline
1pm on 2 April 2024

Share this page

The following links open in a new tab

Timeline for this appointment

  1. Opening date

    21 February 2024

  2. Application deadline

    1pm on 2 April 2024

  3. Sifting date

    15 April 2024

  4. Interviews expected to end on

    7 May 2024

Timeline dates are only an estimate and can change

About the role


The Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration works to ensure independent scrutiny of the UK’s border and immigration functions, providing security, confidence and assurance as to their effectiveness and efficiency. They report annually to the Home Secretary and their reports are placed before Parliament.

Leading a team of approximately 30 staff you will strive to continually improve the UK’s approach to the Border, Immigration and Citizenship System. 

Role description

The Independent Chief Inspector of Border and Immigration (ICIBI) is appointed by the Home Secretary and has responsibility for monitoring and reporting on the efficiency and effectiveness of the UK’s Border and Immigration functions.

The ICIBI works to a published inspection plan and will consult the Home Secretary about this. The Home Secretary may also commission specific inspections.


The ICIBI is responsible for leading an independent inspectorate that is funded through a delegated budget.


Key Responsibilities


The ICIBI is personally responsible to the Home Secretary for fulfilling statutory responsibilities as an independent inspector and pursuing agreed objectives.


The ICIBI main responsibilities are to:

·       Monitor and report on UK immigration, asylum, nationality and general customs functions in accordance with legislation (UK Borders Act 2007, sections 48-56) and its delegated contractors to deliver any of those functions.

·       Conduct an open and constructive relationship with the Home Office officials and Ministers, to maximise the efficiency and effectiveness of the Migration and Borders Group and operational capabilities.

·       Engage effectively with stakeholders Government and external stakeholders.

·       Act as Accounting Officer, ensuring compliance with Government Accounting Rules. The office holder will be responsible for an annual budget of approximately £2 million (note Departmental budgets are reviewed annually).

·       Provide timely financial and management information to the Department and ensure that the accounts are properly prepared and presented in accordance with any directions set by the Home Office or by any other government department.

·       Represent the Office of the ICIBI to the public and Parliament.

·       Provide strong leadership for the Office of the ICIBI and ensure all staff observe the highest standards of regularity and propriety and act in accordance with Civil Service values.

·       Promote efficient use of resource to ensure delivery and value for money, whilst maximising the effectiveness of the ICIBI’s functions.

·       Set and monitor performance goals for all staff of the office of the ICIBI in line with Home Office policy.

·       Produce annual inspection plans in consultation with others (including the Secretary of State) that describe the objectives and terms of reference of proposed inspections.

·       Submit all reports to the Home Secretary for laying before Parliament and publication.

·       Keep proper accounts and proper records in relation to the accounts, to prepare statements of accounts in respect of each financial year and to send a copy of the annual accounts to the Home Secretary.

·       Appoint appropriate staff in correspondence with the legislation.

·       Promote equality and diversity.

Statutory Responsibilities


The ICIBI's statutory duties are set out in sections 48 to 56 of the UK Borders Act 2007. They are to:

  • monitor and report on the efficiency and effectiveness of the performance of functions by the following—

a)    designated customs officials, and officials of the Secretary of State exercising customs functions.

b)    immigration officers, and officials of the Secretary of State exercising functions relating to immigration, asylum or nationality.

c)     the Secretary of State in so far as the Secretary of State has general customs functions.

d)    the Secretary of State in so far as the Secretary of State has functions relating to immigration, asylum or nationality.

e)    the Director of Border Revenue and any person exercising functions of the Director.

  • Consider and make recommendations about:

w  Consistency of approach within the border and immigration system.

w  Practice and performance of the Home Office in performing border and immigration functions.

w  Practice and procedure in making decision.

w  The treatment of claimants and applicants.

w  Certification under section 94 of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 (c.41) (unfounded claim).

w  Compliance with the law about discrimination in the exercise of functions, including reliance on paragraph 17 of Schedule 3 to the Equality Act 2010 (exception for immigration functions).

w  Practice and procedure in relation to the exercise of enforcement powers (including powers of arrest, entry, search and seizure).

w  Practice and procedure in relation to the prevention, detection and investigation of offences.

w  Practice and procedure in relation to the conduct of criminal proceedings.

w  Whether customs functions have been appropriately exercised by the Secretary of State and the Direct of Border Revenue.

w  The provision of information.

w  The handling of complaints.

w  The content of information about conditions in countries outside the United Kingdom, which the Homes Secretary compiles and makes available for purposes connected to immigration and asylum, to immigration officials and other officials.

The ICIBI shall not set out to investigate individual cases but can consider or draw conclusions about an individual case for the purpose of, or in the context of considering a general issue.

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

Part one – Essential skills and Experience


·       Proven track record of leading an organisation, operating at Board level or equivalent, with associated financial and people management skills.

·       Demonstrable experience of the consistent delivery of excellent performance outcomes within a changing operational environment.

·       Evidence of contributing to the development of a sound strategic direction for an organisation.

·       Evidence of building strong and effective working relationships with internal and external stakeholders, displaying sensitivity to their views and an ability to handle conflict diplomatically.

·       Evidence of the ability to analyse and make judgements from complex data and contribute to workable recommendations on complex and sensitive issues.

·       Evidence of the ability to gain respect and keep the confidence of key stakeholders including Ministers and senior government officials through effective communication and influencing skills (both oral and written).

Part Two – Personal abilities and behaviours

You should also be able to demonstrate:

·       That you are at ease working within a given statutory framework.

·       Decisiveness and independence.

·       High standards of corporate and personal conduct, including a sound understanding of and strong commitment to equal opportunities, public service values and principles of public life, enabling you to act impartially and uphold the role of ICIBI.

Application and selection process

How to apply

The closing date for applications is 1pm on Tuesday 2 April 2024

Clear instructions on how to register and then submit your application can be found on our recruitment partner’s website at In order to apply, you will be asked to submit (in PDF format) the following

1. A concise CV (maximum two sides A4, minimum 11 font) setting out your career history and including details of any professional qualifications. 


2. A short supporting statement (maximum two sides A4, minimum 11 font) giving evidence of the strength and depth of your ability to meet the essential criteria for the role. Please provide specific examples to demonstrate how you meet each of the experience, qualities and skill areas identified in the person specification. 

Please submit your application documents as 2 separate attachments and note that short-listed candidates will also be required to complete and return a separate form in relation to referees and nationality information. 

Please note the following:

We cannot accept applications submitted after the closing date.

Applications will be assessed solely on the documentation provided. Please refer to the advert and checklist to ensure you have provided the necessary documentation.

Applications will be acknowledged upon receipt.

Feedback will only be given to unsuccessful candidates following interview.

The shortlist meeting is scheduled to  take place on 15th April, and the interviews are scheduled for  7 and 8 May 2024.  

Further Information

If you have any queries about any aspect of this role, or merely wish to have an informal discussion, then please contact Peter Buffoni at Gatenby Sanderson on or by phone at 07964 877 654.

If you are having any difficulties in applying for the role, or require any reasonable adjustments or support, please contact or by phone at 02074263969.

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)

The panel will be chaired by Simon Ridley (Second Permanent Secretary) and comprise, Sahil Mahtani (Strategist, Ninety-One) as the Senior Independent Panel member, James Cooper (Home Office Non-Executive Director) and Rosie Varley OBE as a second independent member.

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.

Pre-appointment scrutiny

Pre-appointment scrutiny by select committees is an important part of the process for some of the most significant public appointments made by Ministers. It is designed to provide an added level of scrutiny to verify that the recruitment meets the principles set out in the Governance Code on Public Appointments. This scrutiny may involve the relevant select committee requesting and reviewing information from the Department and the Minister’s preferred candidate. The select committee may also choose to hold a pre-appointment hearing.
If you are confirmed as the government’s preferred candidate for this role, the department will be in touch to confirm next steps. In most cases your name and CV will be provided to the relevant select committee in advance of the hearing.  Following a date being agreed for a pre-appointment hearing with the committee you will be asked to complete a questionnaire in advance of that. Following the hearing, the government will review and respond to the Committee’s report before confirming the appointment. 
Full information can be found in the Cabinet Office’s guidance here. 

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 the Public Appointments Team at:

Security clearance

The successful candidate will be required to have or be willing to obtain security clearance to Developed Vetting (DV) level and Police vetting. Pre-appointment checks will also be undertaken on immigration and criminal convictions. It usually takes approximately three to six months to obtain the security clearance. The role will be offered on a conditional basis until the successful candidate has passed all checks. The successful candidate will be encouraged to take up this appointment as soon as possible, subject to the successful completion of all pre-appointment checks.

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.

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. 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 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

Remuneration for this role is treated as employment income and will be subject to tax and National Insurance contributions, both of which will be deducted at source under PAYE before you are paid. 
You can claim reimbursement for reasonable travel and subsistence costs which are properly and necessarily incurred on official business, in line with the travel and subsistence policy and rates for the organisation to which you are applying. However these payments are taxable as earnings and will be subject to tax and national insurance, both of which will be deducted at source under PAYE before you are paid.  

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.

Contact details

If you have any queries about any aspect of this role, or merely wish to have an informal discussion, then please contact Peter Buffoni at GatenbySanderson on or by phone at 07964 877 654.

If you are having any difficulties in applying for the role, or require any reasonable adjustments or support, please contact or by phone at 02074263969.