Candidate Information Booklet

Assembly Grade: 2

Salary Range: £96,498 – £99,508

Completed Application Forms must be submitted no later than 4pm (UK time) on Friday 11 November 2022.

Please retain a copy of this booklet for your reference throughout the selection process.



An exciting opportunity has arisen for an outstanding individual to join the Northern Ireland Assembly’s (the Assembly’s) Senior Management Team (SMT) as Director of Corporate Services. This is a challenging and rewarding position and you will make a significant contribution to the leadership, life and work of the Assembly.

Working at the Assembly offers a dynamic and rewarding career. You will be joining an exceptional, high-profile organisation with a dedicated and inclusive team, working in a fast moving and constantly changing political environment, where no two days are the same.

We are seeking a talented, motivated, energetic leader focused not only on delivering the highest quality of services, but also on maintaining and developing a professional, highly skilled and motivated workforce. You should have a passion for the Assembly and be able to bring ambition, innovation and fresh thinking to our services and how we deliver them.

You will be working in the iconic Parliament Buildings, in a politically complex and sensitive environment and you should actively demonstrate our values of professionalism, respect, impartiality and integrity in everything you do.

We offer a competitive salary, excellent pension provision and a range of other employee benefits listed on the Recruitment website.

Please read the information provided in this booklet carefully and if you feel you are the person we are looking for, I would be delighted to hear from you. Applications are very welcome from the public, private and voluntary sectors.

If you would like to find out more about the post before making an application please contact or telephone 028 9052 1760.

Lesley Hogg, Clerk/Chief Executive


About Us

The Assembly is at the heart of political and public life as the democratically elected Parliament that represents the interests of Northern Ireland and its people.

As a key element of the Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement, the Assembly exercises executive and legislative authority on devolved matters. Comprising 90 Members, the Assembly has three main functions – making legislation, scrutinising the Executive and representing constituents.

In accordance with the Northern Ireland Act 1998, the staff, services and facilities which are needed to support the work of the Assembly are provided by the Assembly Commission, a corporate body comprising the Speaker and five Members of the Assembly. The day-to-day running of the Assembly is delegated to the Clerk/Chief Executive and the SMT.

The Assembly Commission therefore provides the infrastructure (including Parliament Buildings), facilities and staff to allow the Assembly and its Committees to meet and to encourage public awareness of, and engagement with, the parliamentary process. It also pays the salaries of Members and reimburses the expenses which enable them to undertake their duties both at the Assembly and in their constituency offices.

The Assembly Commission is a high-achieving and professional organisation providing impartial support to the Assembly and its Members. The Assembly Commission is independent of the Executive and the Northern Ireland Civil Service and our staff are not civil servants.

The Assembly Commission has a staff of around 370 and an annual revenue budget of £51m. Our organisational structure is illustrated on the Recruitment website.




About the Role

The Director of Corporate Services reports directly to the Clerk/Chief Executive. As a member of SMT, the Director of Corporate Services provides collective strategic and operational leadership and advises and supports the Clerk/Chief Executive in her non-procedural duties.

SMT comprises the Clerk/Chief Executive, the Director of Corporate Services, the Director of Legal, Governance and Research Services and the Director of Parliamentary Services.

The Director of Corporate Services is a critical role with significant responsibility for leading and managing the Assembly Commission’s main corporate functions of Finance, Human Resources (HR), Building Services and Usher Services, with approximately 140 staff.

  • Financial services – corporate strategy development, business planning, budgeting, monitoring, financial reporting, payroll services for staff, Members and Members’ staff, the administration of financial support to Members and the administration of the Assembly Members’ Pension Scheme.
  • HR services – recruitment and retention, learning and development, industrial relations (for example, the administration of discipline and grievance procedures), performance management, attendance management, equality and good relations. HR advice and support services to Members.
  • Building services – maintenance and management of the Grade-A listed Parliament Buildings, health and safety, sustainable development, catering, cleaning and the supply of office stationery and equipment.
  • Usher services – visitor management and internal and external security.

The Director of Corporate Services requires a range of highly effective leadership and management skills and an extensive level of relevant experience to manage these corporate functions effectively and efficiently and to continue to transform their delivery through innovation and the development of high-performing teams.

The Director of Corporate Services will also play a key role in developing, implementing and monitoring the Assembly Commission’s Corporate Strategy and Corporate Plan.

We are therefore seeking an impactful leader, with a track record of achievement and an ethos of customer focus and continuous improvement to deliver high-quality, progressive and efficient services.


Core Responsibilities

Strategic Leadership

  • Contribute to the strategic and collective leadership of SMT.
  • Contribute to the development, monitoring and review of the Assembly Commission’s ambitious Corporate Strategy, Corporate Plan and Annual Plans.
  • Lead on, or contribute to, the development of corporate policies to support the business of the Assembly Commission.
  • Build and maintain effective and constructive strategic relationships with Members, government officials, legislatures and a range of other key stakeholders such as the Commissioner for Standards and the proposed new Remuneration Board (formerly the Independent Financial Review Panel).
  • Lead and direct strategic transformation through benchmarking and best practice against other similar organisations.

People and Performance

  • Provide dynamic and visionary leadership for staff, creating an enthused and responsive workforce that is highly proficient and focused on delivering excellence in all aspects of the organisation.
  • Embed a culture of learning and innovation and ensure that staff are appropriately qualified, experienced and skilled in order to deliver the services required by the Assembly.
  • Promote a strong performance culture by focussing on targets and outcomes.
  • Embed a culture of continuous improvement through organisational development, transformational change and innovation to deliver services that are high-quality, progressive, efficient and customer focused.
  • Develop and maintain an organisational performance framework to ensure successful and timely delivery of contracts and projects.

Accountability and Corporate Governance

  • Maintain a robust framework for sound financial management and the monitoring and control of budgets to ensure the effective use of public resources and maximise value for money.
  • Prepare high quality, clear, concise papers and reports for SMT and the Assembly Commission to keep them appraised of relevant corporate matters.
  • Comply 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.
  • Manage information and records in accordance with established policies and statutory requirements.

You may also be required to carry out other duties that the Clerk/Chief Executive reasonably requires of you.


Essential Criteria

At the closing date for applications, applicants must have:

1. Successfully completed the professional examinations and be a full, current member of one of the bodies listed below:

a) Association of Chartered Certified Accountants

b) Chartered Institute of Management Accountants

c) Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy

d) Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales

e) Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland

f) Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland

Membership of alternative accounting bodies, recognised as equivalent by the selection panel, will be considered.

2. A minimum of 4 years’ senior management* experience in a significant and complex organisation** with responsibility for a range of corporate functions including finance, and developing, implementing and monitoring corporate strategies and effective operational plans.

3. Clear evidence of leading and developing a range of professional, highly- skilled, high performance teams to deliver effective outcomes and performance improvements in line with customer requirements.

4. A track record of leading on and delivering significant service restructuring and improvement and demonstrating flexibility, adaptability and resilience under pressure.

5. A track record of building and maintaining effective internal and external relationships with a range of key stakeholders where differing views have to be managed.

* Senior management is defined as membership of, or reporting directly to a team at the highest level of organisational management in the public, private or voluntary sector who have the day-to-day responsibilities of managing an organisation or company. For example, reporting directly to a Chief Executive, Director or to a company board.

** A significant and complex organisation is defined as having a range of diverse business functions and a budget in excess of £10m.


Skills and Behaviours

The following Assembly Skills and Behaviours will be assessed during the selection process:

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 and 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.


Equal Opportunities Statement

The Assembly Commission is committed to equality of opportunity in employment and welcomes applications from all suitably qualified applicants irrespective of religious belief, political opinion, race, age, gender, disability, marital status, sexual orientation or people with dependants or without. All applications for employment will be considered on the basis of merit.



The successful applicant will be based in Parliament Buildings, Belfast. Some opportunity for hybrid working may be available based on a business need.


Completing the form

Only the information presented in the application form will be considered by the selection panel. CVs or other supplementary material will not be accepted in place of, or in addition to, completed application forms. Completed online forms must be submitted by 4pm on 11 November 2022.

Access the application form.

Application forms submitted after the closing time and date will not be accepted.


Stages of 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.

Ability – the 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 which will be assessed for this role and the selection method(s) 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.


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.


Assessment Stage

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

a) an online leadership profile;

b) an assessment exercise which will be undertaken on the day of the interview; and

c) an interview.

Interviews are planned for 24 and 25 November 2022


Further Interview Stage

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.


Guaranteed Interview Scheme

The Guaranteed Interview Scheme (GIS) has been developed to support applicants with disabilities or those with a long-term impairment or health condition, that is expected to last for at least 12 months and which means that they cannot meet all of the shortlisting criteria. In these instances, provided that they have demonstrated in their application form that they meet the essential criteria for the role, the applicant will be invited to interview.

In instances where an assessment or test forms part of the selection process and is not a shortlisting tool, then all applicants must meet the minimum standard required including those applying under GIS.

When considering applications made under GIS, the Human Resources Office reserves the right to request medical information from the applicant’s general practitioner (through the applicant and with their consent).

If you are disabled and consider that you require reasonable adjustments to enable you to participate in any part of the selection process, please indicate this on the application or contact us at


Key Employee Benefits

We offer an annual leave allowance of 30 days for this role. In addition, we offer 12 days of public and privilege holidays.

The Assembly will enrol you into the Civil Service Pension Scheme from the first day of employment. Staff contribute between 4 and 9% of salary and the Assembly Commission contribute a further 28 to 35% of salary, depending on your rate of pay.

We also offer a range of non-salary benefits which include supportive family friendly policies; flexi-time; health and wellbeing initiatives including an Employee Assistance Programme; supported learning and development; Cycle to Work Scheme; Payroll Giving; and volunteering opportunities.

The successful applicant will be given suitable training, including formal specialised courses as necessary.

View further details of our employee benefits.


Terms and Conditions of Appointment

This is a permanent appointment. The successful candidate will be an employee of the Assembly Commission. All appointments are subject to the satisfactory completion of a six-month probationary period.

The standard working week is 37 hours, excluding meal breaks (42 hours gross). Working hours will be dictated by the mode of operation of the Assembly and may involve work into late evenings and on occasions, at weekends and on public holidays. The successful candidate will also be required to work such additional hours as may from time to time be reasonable and necessary for the efficient performance of your duties.

Equality Monitoring

Under Fair Employment legislation, we are required to monitor the community background and gender of those applying for jobs. You must therefore complete the equal opportunities monitoring section of the application form when applying for the post.


Merit List

The merit list will remain “live” for 18 months from the date it is signed and may be used to fill any further permanent or fixed term opportunities for the same post.


Communication during the recruitment process

The Assembly Recruitment Team will issue most communication electronically. You should therefore regularly check your email account to make sure you do not miss any important communication. Please note, sometimes the Recruitment Team emails are automatically filtered as spam by email providers.


Further Information

If you require more information on the recruitment process, please contact the Assembly Recruitment Team on 02890 521741.

Further information about the Assembly can be obtained on


The Candidate Information Booklet does not constitute any term or condition of employment.