Role details

Members for Independent Monitoring Boards – Prisons across England and Wales

Application deadline 29 April 2024

Summary

Organisation
Independent Monitoring Board of any prison or young offender institution
Sponsor department
Ministry of Justice
Location
Various
Sectors
Judicial, Prisons & Policing
Skills
Communication, Regulation
Number of vacancies
100
Time commitment
Adhoc
Length of term
Up to 3 years with reappointment available up to a maximum tenure of 15 years.
Application deadline
11:59pm on 29 April 2024

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Timeline for this appointment

  1. Opening date

    2 April 2024

  2. Application deadline

    11:59pm on 29 April 2024

  3. Sifting date

    10 May 2024

  4. Interviews expected to end on

    14 June 2024

Timeline dates are only an estimate and can change

About the role

Organisation description

Members for Independent Monitoring Boards – Prisons in England and Wales

We are currently looking for new members to join the Independent Monitoring Board (IMB) at several prisons across England and Wales.  A full list of locations is provided below.

The IMB helps to ensure that proper standards of care and decency are maintained. Applicants do not need any special qualifications or experience as we will provide all necessary training and support. Candidates need to be over 18 years of age and live within a reasonable distance of the prison (up to one hour travel time). You need to be enthusiastic, open minded, possess effective communication skills and have the ability to exercise sound, objective judgement.

We encourage applications from people from minority ethnic communities, young people, those of working age, and people with disabilities, as these groups are under-represented on our existing Boards.

This is an unpaid, voluntary role, but we pay your travel expenses and in certain circumstances, some loss of earnings and childcare/carer costs.

The time commitment is approximately 2 to 3 visits per month, although this will be higher in the first year as members go through induction into the role.

Closing date for applications is 29 April 2024.

Please visit the IMB website for further information and to apply: https://imb.org.uk/prison-volunteer/prison-volunteer-uk/

Yorkshire and Humber HMP/YOI Doncaster

HMP Full Sutton

HMP/YOI Hatfield

HMP Lindholme

HMP/YOI Askham Grange

HMP/YOI Hull

HMP Wakefield

HMYOI Wetherby

North West HMP/YOI Hindley

HMP Lancaster Farms

HMP Risley

HMP Kirkham HMP Haverigg

South Central HMP/YOI Aylesbury HMP Bullingdon HMP Isle of Wight 

North East HMP Northumberland

HMP Durham

HMP/YOI Kirklevington Grange

East HMP/YOI Bedford HMP/YOI Chelmsford HMP/YOI Hollesley Bay HMP Littlehey HMP The Mount HMP Wayland HMP/YOI Norwich

East Midlands HMP/YOI Foston Hall

HMP Leicester

HMP/YOI Lincoln

HMP Ranby

HMP Whatton

HMP Fosse Way HMP Rye Hill

HMP/YOI Sudbury HMP North Sea Camp

Kent, Sussex and Surrey HMP/YOI Standford Hill

HMP Swaleside

HMP Elmley

HMP Lewes

HMYOI Cookham Wood

HMP/YOI East Sutton Park

South West HMP Guys Marsh

HMP Leyhill

West Midlands

HMP Dovegate

HMP Featherstone

HMP Oakwood (Wolverhampton)

HMP/YOI Stoke Heath

Wales HMP Usk/Prescoed

HMP Swansea

HMP/YOI Parc

HMP Berwyn

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 need to be over 18 years of age and live within a reasonable travel distance and time of the prison (up to 25-35 miles or less than 1 hour travel time). 

Application and selection process

How to apply

Applicants can find further information and apply online via the IMB website https://imb.org.uk/prison-volunteer/prison-volunteer-uk/.  In exceptional circumstances a paper copy of the application may be available.  Applicants should contact imbrecruitment@justice.gov.uk in the first instance. Please note that interviews take place via Zoom unless in-person interviews are required for reasonable adjustment purposes

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.
  2. An Interview Panel (“Panel”) is convened to decide, objectively, which candidates meet the eligibility criteria for the role.
  3. Applications may or may not be shortlisted.
  4. You will be advised (by email) whether you have been shortlisted and invited to an interview.
  5. The Panel will interview candidates and determine who is appointable to the role. The names of all appointable candidates are provided to the Minister. It is then for the Minister to determine merit and decide who should be appointed. In some circumstances, the Minister may choose not to appoint any candidates and re-run the competition.
  6. The Panel’s recommendations will be provided to the Minister in a submission which details the outcome of each interview. They will then be asked to agree on the candidate(s) who should be appointed.
  7. Once the decision on the appointment has been made, interviewed candidates will be advised of the outcome of their application. Successful candidates will be issued with their Terms & Conditions and a letter of appointment should they agree to take up the position.

Advisory Assessment Panel (AAP)

A number of interview panels will be set up for this campaign.  The chair of the panel will be an existing IMB member from outside the region you have applied to who has been trained to chair the interviews.  Two other IMB members will be on the panel.  They will usually be from the region or the location that you have applied to.

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)

Security clearance

IMB members have full access to their local prison, immigration removal centre or STHF at any time, day or night.  For this reason, all our members must be security cleared.  The following security clearance levels apply:

-          Young Offender Institutions and Prisons with mother and baby units:  Enhanced Level 1, and Enhanced DBS with a Child Barred List Check

-          High Security Prisons: Enhanced Level 2, and CTC (Counter-Terrorist Check)

-          All other prisons: Enhanced level 1

-          Immigration Estate: Standard DBS and CTC

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 Interview 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 ‘essential 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

The Seven Principles of Public Life (also known as the Nolan Principles) apply to anyone who works as a public office-holder.
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 appraisals of performance during each term in the post. If re-appointed, the total time served in post will not exceed 15 years.

Remuneration, allowances and abatement

This is an unpaid, voluntary role, but we pay your travel expenses and in certain circumstances, some loss of earnings and childcare/carer costs

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 are able to offer high level feedback to candidates who have reached interview stage, if requested. 

How to complain

We aim to process all applications as quickly as possible and to treat all applicants with courtesy.

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 IMB’s privacy statement is available here:

Privacy-statement-Secretariat-Level-IMBs-for-applications.pdf

Contact details

General enquiries about our roles or the application process can be directed to IMBrecruitment@justice.gov.uk.