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Role details

Equality Commission for Northern Ireland - Commissioner

Application deadline 1 December 2023


Equality Commission for Northern Ireland
Sponsor department
Northern Ireland Office
Northern Ireland
Public Administration
Regulation, Casework and Complaints Handling
Number of vacancies
Time commitment
£5000 per annum
Length of term
Three Years
Application deadline
4pm on 1 December 2023

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Timeline for this appointment

  1. Opening date

    9 November 2023

  2. Application deadline

    4pm on 1 December 2023

  3. Sifting date

    12 January 2024

  4. Interviews expected to end on

    26 January 2024

Timeline dates are only an estimate and can change

About the role


The Equality Commission for Northern Ireland requires a blend of expertise relevant to its work. An outstanding individual is sought to become a member of the board of the Commission, someone who understands the considerations that influence the environment in which it works and can command the confidence of all sides of the community in Northern Ireland, work constructively with others, think strategically and make clear and well informed judgements.  

Role description

All Commissioners will be expected to:
• ensure the Commission fulfils its functions in accordance with its statutory remit;
• provide effective leadership for the staff of the Commission, define and develop the strategic direction and set challenging objectives;
• support and assist the Chief Commissioner in developing policy and in providing strategic direction and in ensuring effective and efficient performance of the Commission’s statutory duties;
• monitor the Commission’s performance to ensure that it fully meets its aims, objectives and performance targets;
• accept corporate responsibility for ensuring that the Commission complies with any statutory or administrative requirements for the use of public resources including acting in a way that promotes high standards of public finance, including the promotion of regularity, propriety and value for money;
• assist the Chief Commissioner in ensuring that high standards of corporate governance are adhered to;
• represent the Commission as required in public functions;
• apply personal expertise in contributing to the work of the Commission as a whole;
•ensure compliance with the Code of Practice for Board Members of Public Bodies;
•appoint the Chief Executive and to ensure that his/her performance is regularly assessed against clear objectives and targets; and
• attend Commission meetings regularly.

Organisation description

The Equality Commission for Northern Ireland is a non-departmental public body established by the Northern Ireland Act 1998. Its powers and duties derive from a number of statutes which have been enacted over the last decades, providing protection against discrimination on the grounds of age, disability, race, religion and political opinion, sex and sexual orientation. It also has responsibilities arising from the Northern Ireland Act 1998 in respect of the statutory equality and good relations duties which apply to public authorities.
The Commission is mandated in accordance with Article 2(1) of the Windsor Framework to oversee the UK Government’s commitment to rights and equality in Northern Ireland (NI) after UK Withdrawal from the EU.
The Equality Commission for Northern Ireland is governed by a Board of Commissioners consisting of a Chief Commissioner, a Deputy Chief Commissioner and up to eighteen other Commissioners all appointed by the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland. The current Chief Commissioner is Geraldine McGahey OBE. In making appointments to the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland shall as far as practicable ensure that the Commissioners, as a group, are representative of the community in Northern Ireland.
The Commissioners establish the overall strategic direction for the organisation, set the policy framework and oversee the delivery of the planned work. With the exception of the Chief Commissioner, all Commissioners are part time and are appointed for a term of up to three years.
Although appointments to the Board of Commissioners are made by the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland is sponsored by The Executive Office, which carries responsibilities for equality policy and legislation in the Northern Ireland Executive.
The Commission’s budget for 2022/23 was approximately £6m and it had around 80 staff delivering its annual work plan. The current Chief Executive is Amanda Logan. If you would like more information on the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland you can access its website 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 for this role will need to demonstrate:
• that they understand the needs and interests of those affected by the Commission’s work on equality and good relations;
• that they can make a personal contribution to the strategic direction of the Commission and assist it in carrying out its functions;
• that they can build productive and respectful relationships with fellow Commissioners, colleagues and the communities which are impacted by the Commission’s work and decisions; and
• a reputation for personal integrity, professional conduct and credibility, with an exceptional sense of propriety.

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 by the closing date of 1 December 2023 at 4pm.
Please enclose with your application:
  • the completed application summary form, including your personal statement (of no more than two sides of A4) summarising your proven ability related to the person and job specifications. Your supporting statement should provide specific and detailed examples to demonstrate how you meet the essential criteria (including what you did to achieve a specific result);
  • a full CV (including education and professional qualifications, career history, and relevant achievements and responsibilities)
Please note, we previously requested for the Fair Employment Monitoring Form to be attached however, have been made aware that the system collects this data and it is no longer necessary.

Overview of the application process

Candidates selected at the shortlisting stage will be interviewed by the Advisory Assessment Panel.
If you require any further information about the application process, you should contact the competition co-ordinator by email at

Advisory Assessment Panel (AAP)

Máire Carins, NIO Deputy Director and Panel Chair
Geraldine McGahey, ECNI Chief Commissioner
TBC, TEO Representative
TBC, CPANI Independent Assessor

Additional information for candidates

Disability confident

As a Whitehall department, the Northern Ireland Office has adopted the Department for Work and Pensions sponsored Disability Confident scheme, which has replaced the Guaranteed Interview Scheme or Two Ticks scheme that was widely used in Great Britain.
Disability Confident is a voluntary scheme that supports the Government’s commitment to halve the employment gap between disabled and non-disabled people by encouraging employers to think differently about disability and to take positive action to improve how they attract, recruit and retain disabled workers. We will make reasonable adjustments to help you attend your interview. You may wish to contact the competition coordinator (see contact details above) about your individual requirements should your application proceed to this stage in the process.
We will also offer an interview to a fair and proportionate number of disabled applicants that meet the minimum criteria for the job - you must be able to provide sufficient evidence to demonstrate relevant skills and experience for each of the selection criteria set out in the essential skills section. This does not mean that all disabled people are entitled to an interview. The aim of this commitment is to encourage positive action for disabled people, encouraging them to apply for positions in public life by offering them the assurance that, should they meet the minimum criteria as advertised for the position, they will be given the opportunity to demonstrate their skills, talent and abilities at the interview stage.
It is important to note that in certain recruitment situations such as an urgent appointment or if we receive a higher volume of applications that far exceeds the number of those expected then we may need to limit the overall numbers of interviews offered. This will include the number of interviews offered to disabled people that meet the minimum criteria for the job. If you have a disability and require reasonable adjustments then you may wish to contact the competition coordinator about your requirements at the interview stage should you proceed in the 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.

Management of outside interests and consideration of reputational issues

In the interests of transparency and openness, applicants are asked to consider whether their appointment may give rise to a conflict of interest and state this clearly on the application form. You should provide information regarding interests that you, or your immediate family, have that might be construed as being in conflict with the role of board member of the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland.
An appointee to a public body could find that matters or incidents which did not previously attract attention could become matters of legitimate public interest once the person concerned holds a public appointment. Actual or perceived conflicts might include, for example, a situation where a candidate has interests in an organisation that might benefit from a contract with the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland or there may be issues in your personal or professional history (including any convictions or bankruptcy) that could, if you were appointed, be misconstrued, cause embarrassment to Ministers or the Commission or cause public confidence in the appointment to be jeopardised. It is important that you bring them to the attention of the Advisory Assessment Panel and provide details of the issue/s in your application.
In considering whether you wish to declare any issues, you should also reflect on any public statements you have made, including through social media and blogs. Due diligence may be carried out on any publicly available information and shared with the Advisory Assessment Panel and Ministers. The panel may explore any issues you declare with you or that have been identified from our due diligence checks before they make a recommendation on the appointment.
A potential conflict will not necessarily preclude an individual from appointment but candidates must be prepared to have this explored during the recruitment process and before an appointment is confirmed.

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 will be for a maximum period of up to three years.
There may be a 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

The position attracts an annual remuneration of £5,000 which will be paid in equal monthly instalments.
Travel and incidental expenses will be reimbursed in line with the Commission’s travel and subsistence policy.

Pension and redundancy

This role is not pensionable.

How to complain

If you feel that you have any complaints about any aspect of the way your application has been handled, we would like to hear from you. In the first instance please write, or e-mail, to the competition co-ordinator at the address above or e- mail -
Complaints must be received by the competition coordinator within 1 calendar month from the issue or after the campaign has closed, whichever is the later. Your complaint will be acknowledged within 2 working days of receipt and answered as quickly and clearly as possible; at the most within 20 working days of receipt. If this deadline cannot be met we will inform you why this is the case and when you can expect a reply. If, after receiving our response you are still not satisfied, you may contact the Commissioner for Public Appointments.
The Commissioner for Public Appointments regulates and monitors appointments to public bodies to ensure procedures are fair. Information about the Commissioner’s policy and manner in which complaints are investigated are set out in the Commissioner’s leaflet Your Guide to Making a Complaint about a Public Appointments Process.
More information about the role of the Commissioner and contact information can be found at: 

Data protection

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

Contact details

For further information, please contact the competition co-ordinator at
Please note, we may be unable to receive your email if you are contacting us from a Northern Ireland Civil Service email address, if possible, please use an alternative email address.