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Clerk Assistant

Are you ready for a high profile and senior position in the Northern Ireland Assembly?

Clerk Assistants manage and oversee the conduct of Assembly business, providing clear, accurate and concise written and oral parliamentary advice; often working in real time in a politicised and pressurised environment; and in the public eye.

Clerk Assistant

The duties and responsibilities of the job include:

  1. Ensure that accurate, timely, impartial and confidential procedural advice is provided to the Speaker, Deputy Speakers, Committee Chairs, Party Whips, Members, party support staff, the Clerk/Chief Executive and the Director of Parliamentary Services.
  2. Support the Speaker and Deputy Speakers through the provision of procedural and administrative advice during plenary sittings of the Assembly (‘Clerk at Table’).
  3. Ensure that best practice parliamentary procedures are in place to support the tabling of questions and motions, laying of papers, conduct of plenary business and conduct of committee business, and ensure that these procedures are communicated to Members and staff.
  4. Ensure that best practice parliamentary procedures are in place to support the passage of all legislation through the Assembly including drafting support for Bills and amendments, and advice on admissibility.
  5. Champion strategies and plans to support and improve the impact and effectiveness of the Assembly and its committees, including through programmes to support Member development.
  1. Develop an effective network with Members to ensure that working relationships are maintained and issues dealt with promptly.
  2. Manage the interface between Executive departments and the Assembly Secretariat in bringing forward Executive business.
  3. Develop and maintain relevant external relationships to the Assembly to ensure that the work of the Clerking teams is informed by best practice and to collaborate, where necessary, on delivery.
  1. Quality assure the work of Clerking teams to ensure compliance with legislation, Standing Orders and other procedural guidance in order to meet agreed service standards.
  2. Lead and manage individuals and teams to ensure delivery of business objectives.
  3. Build high performing teams and deliver through others using a coaching style of leadership.
  4. Establish and communicate service standards for the Bill, Business and Committee offices.
  5. Manage resources effectively and ensure that appropriate resources are in place to deliver in their areas of responsibility within Corporate Plan. This includes preparation of annual budgets.
  6. Assist in the preparation of the Corporate Plan and Risk Register and prepare directorate contributions to corporate policies and plans.
  7. Undertake such other duties appropriate to the level of the position, as the Director of Parliamentary Services may reasonably direct.
  8. Comply with the Assembly Commission’s Equal Opportunities and Dignity at Work policies and procedures; and
  9. Carry out other duties that the Assembly Commission reasonably requires of you.

What we offer you

  • Salary range: £70,422 - £72,548
  • The standard working week is 37 hours, excluding meal breaks (42 hours gross).
  • An annual leave allowance of 25 days, increasing incrementally by one day per year up to a maximum of 30 days.
  • All permanent Secretariat staff are enrolled into the Civil Service Pension Scheme from their first day of employment.

Essential Criteria

Applicants must, by the closing date (12 noon 13th March 2020):

  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.

AND

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

OR

  1. at least 5 years’ senior management experience* in each of the areas detailed at (a) – (d) in the job description.

What does a Clerk Assistant do?

Clerk Assistants manage and oversee the conduct of Assembly business, which is delivered through a number of procedural offices including the Bill Office, the Business Office and the Clerking and Member Support Office. 

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 Bill Office is also responsible for providing advice to Members on the admissibility of proposed amendments to Bills and for supporting the development of Members Bills. 

The Business Office supports the work of plenary sessions of the Assembly. The Business 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.

The Clerking and Member Support Office (CAMS) has responsibility for supporting statutory and other Committees established by the Assembly.  The CAMS Office arranges and services committee meetings, events and visits, records committee proceedings, commissions research and advice, and drafts committee reports and speeches.  The CAMS Office also provides advice and guidance to Committee Chairpersons and Members through the Chairpersons’ Liaison Group, and is responsible for the implementation of the Member Development Strategy. In addition the CAMS Office provides the Secretariat to the Independent Financial Review Panel.

Each of these procedural offices is staffed by a number of clerking teams.

Quick Q&A for this job...

The Northern Ireland Assembly Commission is a corporate body established by section 40 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998 and employs a Secretariat to serve the Assembly.

The Commission provides the Assembly, or ensures that the Assembly is provided with, the property, staff and services for the Assembly to carry out its work. 

How much is the salary?

The salary range is £70,422 – £72,548. This is an Assembly Grade 3 position. 

When is the closing date?

Completed application forms must be submitted by 12 noon 13th March 2020.

What is Parliamentary Services?

Clerk Assistants manage and oversee the conduct of Assembly business, which is delivered through a number of procedural offices including the Bill Office, the Business Office and the Clerking and Member Support Office.

Who would I report to?

The successful candidate will be accountable to the Director of Parliamentary Services.

Where is the job based?

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

Are you ready for the challenge?

Completed forms must be submitted by 12 noon 13th March 2020

Working at the Assembly

Further Information

If you require more information on the recruitment process, please contact the Human Resources Office on 02890 520327.

Visit our website for further information about the Assembly.

Good luck!