Assembly Clerk
Cléireach Tionóil

Ready to bring your expertise to the heart of politics in Northern Ireland?

Assembly colleagues in a meeting

Assembly Clerks are responsible for providing support for key functions of the Assembly, including the conduct of Assembly business, the passage of legislation and the work of the Assembly’s Committees.

Assembly Clerk
Cléireach Tionóil

What we're looking for

The main duties and responsibilities of the post are:

  • Providing comprehensive and authoritative written and oral advice and guidance on a range of procedural, policy and legislative matters to inform key decision makers. This may include the provision of timely and accurate briefings to the Speaker, Deputy Speakers, Committee Chairpersons, Committees, Members, the Assembly Commission, Clerk Assistants and Senior Management Group.
  • Developing, managing and maintaining effective relationships with a diverse range of key stakeholders with competing views and priorities including Members, officials from Executive departments and agencies, media and private and voluntary organisations.
  • Providing advice and guidance to other Clerks and Committees regarding scrutiny of cross-cutting issues, including budgets, Executive strategies, the Programme for Government and significant political issues, such as EU exit.
  • Developing, managing and maintaining effective relationships with colleagues in other Assembly Commission services, including researchers, parliamentary reporters, lawyers, and communication specialists to ensure that the necessary expertise is utilised effectively to support procedural, policy and legislative decisions; and developing and maintaining effective relationships with colleagues in other legislatures, in order to share and apply best practice.
  • Organising, commissioning and undertaking research to inform scrutiny and/or policy development.
  • Preparing and making requests for legal advice.
  • Supporting Members to develop legislative proposals or amendments to legislation by providing procedural, policy development and/or drafting advice, and drafting instructions for legislative provisions.
  • Supporting the Speaker and Deputy Speakers through the provision of immediate and authoritative procedural advice and guidance during plenary sittings of the Assembly (Clerk at Table).
  • Developing and applying expertise across a range of clerking business areas, keeping up to date on new and emerging policies, legislation and relevant legal developments, and developing an understanding of their impact on the Assembly.
  • Managing a very demanding and wide-ranging workload of complex tasks, often to be completed within tight deadlines and in accordance with service standards. The nature of issues may be uncertain or have to be dealt with in rapidly changing situations where accurate interpretation, judgement and political awareness is required.
  • Preparation of briefing documents on complex issues for the Speaker, Committee Chairpersons and Clerks at Table to support plenary, committee and legislative business.
  • Managing and delivering complex, diverse and time-sensitive plenary tabling and laying services, in line with standing orders and relevant legislative provisions, to support and facilitate the Assembly’s scrutiny role and plenary sessions.
  • Clerking Committee meetings or sub-Committee meetings and providing support (including through the provision of impartial advice, guidance and written briefing) for Chairpersons and deputy Chairpersons at external meetings and events.
  • Preparation of briefing papers, draft speeches, speaking notes, and press releases for Committee Chairpersons and others, and management of online and social media content.
  • Planning and managing the committee stage of Bills, including providing advice and guidance to the Committee on key issues (e.g. amendments and procedure), analysing evidence received and drafting an evidence-based report.
  • Managing the scrutiny of secondary legislation by Committees, with the provision of advice and guidance to Members.
  • Planning and managing committee inquiries, including drafting scoping paper, terms of reference and inquiry/scrutiny plans, identifying key stakeholders, organising evidence sessions, analysing evidence and preparing detailed draft committee reports outlining the committee’s key findings and recommendations.
  • Delivering presentations to external stakeholders on the work of the Assembly.
  • Contributing to the planning and delivery of corporate and directorate projects, including where relevant leading or managing these projects in line with Prince 2 methodology.
  • Project management of contracts, working closely with the Procurement Office and the IS Office.
  • Leading, managing and developing a team, setting goals and performance targets, evaluating staff performance, and ensuring staff are developed to meet the needs of the Assembly.
  • Quality assuring the work of staff to ensure compliance with legislation, Standing Orders and other procedural guidance in order to meet agreed service standards.
  • Ensuring the best use of resources, including budgets and staffing, by setting, and monitoring the successful delivery of projects.
  • Identifying opportunities to improve business processes and working with the IS Office to test and iterate software applications to support the management of Assembly business.
  • Effectively using Microsoft Office and bespoke internal Assembly software systems and databases to carry out work.
  • Managing information and records in accordance with established policies and statutory requirements.
  • Complying with all of the Assembly Commission’s staff policies and procedures including Equal Opportunities and Dignity at Work policies and procedures and all mandatory training requirements.
  • Carrying out other duties that the Assembly Commission reasonably requires of you.
What we're offering
Essential Criteria

Applicants for the post must, by the closing date for applications have:

1. A thorough understanding of the role and functions of the Northern Ireland Assembly and the political environment in which it operates including the current challenges facing the Assembly.


2. At least a primary degree, minimum 2:1 classification, in any subject and at least 3 years’ experience in each of the areas detailed at (a) – (d).  Applications will be considered from applicants with formal qualifications of an equivalent or higher standard to those stated.


3. At least 5 years’ experience in each of the areas detailed at (a) – (d).

The experience specified above at 2. and 3. must be in the following areas:

(a) prioritising, planning and organising a very demanding and diverse workload of complex tasks and managing the resources available to ensure compliance with tight deadlines;

(b) leading, managing and motivating a team of staff to ensure effective service delivery; taking personal responsibility for the delivery of high quality results and for the improvement and development of both processes and people;

(c) contributing directly to the development or scrutiny of policy or legislation, including research or consultation and preparing recommendations for change or improvement;

(d) providing authoritative written and oral advice on complex or politically sensitive matters directly to elected representatives or senior managers.


Shortlisting Criteria:

Should shortlisting be required, the following shortlisting criteria will be applied:

  • Applicants must demonstrate 3 years’ experience of applying strong analytical and interpretative skills in order to produce well-judged decisions/solutions within deadlines in a complex or politically sensitive environment.

Quick Q&A for this job...​

The salary range is £58,963 – £60,751. This is an Assembly Grade 4 position. 

The Clerking business area in the Northern Ireland Assembly directly supports Assembly business in the Chamber and in committees, including scrutiny and legislation.

Assembly Clerks are responsible for providing advice, guidance and support for key functions of the Northern Ireland Assembly, including the conduct of Assembly business, the development and passage of legislation and the work of the Assembly’s Committees. 

The Bill Office supports the work of the Assembly in the management of legislation through its plenary and committee stages and is responsible for ensuring that the Acts, which finally emerge, fully reflect the deliberations and decisions taken by Assembly Members.  The Office is also responsible for providing advice to Members on the admissibility of proposed amendments, to the Speaker on the selection of amendments to Bills and for supporting the development of Members Bills. 

The Business Office supports the work of plenary sessions of the Assembly. The Office acts as the focus for procedural advice to the Speaker and Members on the conduct of Assembly business and is responsible for the production of Order Papers, proposed Amendments to motions, and the Minutes of Proceedings, which are the official legal record of the business of the Assembly.  The Business Office supports the Business Committee and processes Assembly questions and the laying of documents in compliance with Standing Orders and Speaker’s rulings.

Committee Offices have responsibility for supporting Committees established by the Assembly.  Committee teams prepare committee work programmes, plan inquiries, organise and service committee meetings, events and visits, record committee proceedings, commission research and advice, and draft speeches and committee reports.  Committee staff also provide analysis and advice to Committee Chairpersons, Deputy Chairpersons and Members. In addition, the Clerking and Members Support Office is responsible for the implementation of the Commission’s Member Development Strategy and provides the Secretariat support to the Independent Financial Review Panel.

All applicants must be capable of undertaking any of the functions associated with the work of the Bill, Business and Committee Offices.

The successful candidate will be accountable to a Clerk Assistant.

The successful applicant will be based in Parliament Buildings, Belfast.

Completed application forms must be submitted by 12 noon on Monday 24 January 2022.

The Selection Process

There are five elements within the Recruitment and Selection Framework:

Experience – the knowledge or mastery of an activity or subject gained through involvement in or exposure to it.

Abilitythe aptitude or potential to perform to the required standard. 

Technical – the demonstration of specific professional skills, knowledge or qualifications.

Assembly Skills and Behaviours –the actions and activities that people do which result in effective performance in a job.

Strengths – the things we do regularly, do well and that motivate us.

All elements will be assessed for this role and the selection methods that will be used are detailed below. Further information on the Recruitment and Selection Framework are included in the Guidance on Recruitment and Selection for Applicants.

Online testing may be used as a shortlisting tool. Invitation to test does not imply that an applicant possesses the essential criteria. The tests will be held online and instructions and further information will be issued to applicants after the closing date for applications. Only those applicants who meet the minimum standard, and who score highest in the tests, will be considered for the next stage of the selection process, the eligibility sift. 

The essential criteria reflect the experience and knowledge that an applicant must possess in order to be able to undertake the role. An eligibility sift will be carried out on the basis of the information contained in the essential criteria section of the application form. You must therefore demonstrate clearly in your form how, and to what extent, you meet with the essential criteria for the post. 

The selection panel reserve the right to use shortlisting as part of the selection process for this post. Should shortlisting be used, the shortlisting criterion listed in the Job Specification will be applied. The selection panel reserve the right to set a minimum standard for the shortlisting criterion and/or to only invite those who score highest in the shortlisting criterion to the next stage of the selection process. If shortlisting is not necessary, all applicants who have demonstrated the essential criteria will proceed to the next stage of the selection process.  

As part of this stage of the selection process, applicants will be required to complete:

a) a written exercise;

b) an interview, which will address the information contained in the Job Specification and will assess elements of the Recruitment and Selection Framework; and

c) the preparation and delivery of a presentation to the selection panel. The subject of the presentation will be advised to the applicant on the day of the interview.

Interviews are planned for 28, 29 and 30 March 2022.

The selection panel reserves the right to hold a further interview stage if deemed necessary.


Further information on the Recruitment and Selection process is available in the Recruitment and Selection Framework and Guidance on the Recruitment and Selection for Applicants.

Assembly Clerk
Cléireach Tionóil

Below you will find everything you need to apply for the position.

Read all the information about the job and the associated guidance related to working in the Assembly:

You are now ready to complete the online application:

Please note the application form will be unavailable on Saturday 22nd January 2022 between 00:00 – 12:00 due to maintenance on the system.

If you are unable to access the form during this time please try again later.

The deadline for applications expired at 12 noon on Monday 24 January 2022.

If you applied for this opportunity and would like to view your application you can do so by logging in to the application portal.

Further Information

If you require more information on the recruitment process, please contact the Human Resources Office on 028 90 521446/028 90 521741 or email

Visit our website for further information about the Assembly.

Good Luck

Please note the application form will be unavailable on Saturday 22nd January 2022 between 00:00 – 12:00 due to maintenance on the system.

If you are unable to access the form during this time please try again later.