Job Title: Clerk Assistant
Salary range: £70,422 – £72,548
Grade: Assembly Grade 3
Directorate: Parliamentary Services
Business Area/Office: Clerking
Accountable to: Director of Parliamentary Services
Accountable for: Assembly Clerks
The Clerking business area in the Northern Ireland Assembly directly supports Assembly business in the Chamber and in committees, including scrutiny and legislation.
The 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 Assistants have a senior and high profile role in the Assembly, and the Clerk Assistant regularly sits at the ‘Table’ in the Assembly Chamber.
Clerk Assistants provide advice to senior office holders of the Assembly including the Speaker, Deputy Speakers, Committee Chairs, Members, the Clerk/Chief Executive and the Director of Parliamentary Services. Consequently, excellent political understanding is an essential requirement of the role, together with the ability to develop and maintain highly effective working relationships, particularly with party business managers (‘whips’) and Members.
The Clerk Assistants are operationally accountable for performance and delivery across a number of procedural offices including the Bill Office, the Business Office, Assembly committee teams and the Clerking and Member Support Office. As a senior leader responsible for business areas which are core to the operation of the Assembly, Clerk Assistants are required to set a strategic direction and take key decisions.
Experience of leading and managing the delivery of services centred around the application of rules and procedures, such as Standing Orders, is required for this role. Clerk Assistants are required to have, or to develop, an expert knowledge of parliamentary procedure, the Assembly’s Standing Orders, Speaker’s Rulings and Assembly conventions – including interpretation and application.
The role of Clerk Assistant is both demanding and challenging, operating as it does in a highly pressurised and scrutinised environment, and frequently outside of normal business hours.
The main duties and responsibilities of the post are:
Applicants for the post must, by the closing date for applications have:
2. 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). Applications will be considered from applicants with formal qualifications of an equivalent or higher standard to those stated.
3. at least 5 years’ senior management 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) effective direct leadership of a team to deliver high quality and effective advice in a legislature, statutory body** or company board*** on the rules and/or procedures governing and regulating its operation, to tight deadlines and quality assured output in a pressurised environment;
(b) preparation, collation and delivery of sound and elucidate written and oral advice directly to members of a legislature, a statutory body or a company board on its rules and/or procedures in a sensitive political or operational environment in compliance with policies;
(c) experience of working in an environment where differing views have to be managed, with the ability both to anticipate and negotiate such differing views; and
(d) experience of promoting and delivering a culture of continuous improvement, innovation, efficiency and value for money
*Senior management experience is defined as reporting directly to the top management levels of the organisation. For example, reporting directly to a Chief Executive, Director, Head of Business/Function or to a company board.
**Statutory bodies are defined as Government departments, Non-Departmental Public Bodies, public corporations or other public bodies which have a non-executive board of directors. ***Company board – defined as organisation of 100 employees or more.
***Company board – defined as organisation of 100 employees or more.
Should shortlisting be required, the following shortlisting criteria will be applied:
The interview questions will be based on the essential criteria and the following Assembly Skills and Behaviours:
Delivering a quality service
…is about providing a high-quality and efficient service to our customers. It is thinking ahead, managing resources effectively and delivering work on time and to a high standard. It is also using professional or technical expertise to enhance service delivery.
Building relationships and effective communication
…is creating and maintaining positive, professional and respectful internal and external working relationships through effective and appropriate communications.
Initiating improvement and delivering change
…is looking for and being open to new and innovative ideas and improvements to the service provided. It is being flexible and adapting positively and professionally to sustain performance when the situation changes, workloads increase or priorities change. It is about forming sound, evidence-based decisions and being accountable for results.
Managing & Leading Self and Others
… is setting high standards for ourselves. It is about guiding, motivating and developing others to achieve high performance. It is about engaging others in delivering a corporate vision of excellence, expertise and innovation in support of the Assembly as a legislature.
Parliamentary & Political Understanding …is displaying an appropriate understanding of the wider political environment; what the Assembly does and how our role fits in; and the level of public scrutiny to which the actions and decisions of Assembly staff are exposed. It requires impartiality, integrity and political sensitivity.