Information for Applicants

Information for Parliamentary Reporter Applicants

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 Northern Ireland Assembly Commission (Assembly Commission) is a corporate body established by section 40 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998.  It must provide the Assembly, or ensure that the Assembly is provided, with the property, staff and services required for the Assembly’s purposes. The Commission employs a Secretariat to serve the Assembly. The organisational structure of the Assembly Secretariat is illustrated on the Recruitment website.

Parliamentary Reporters work in the Office of the Official Report (Hansard), which is part of the Parliamentary Services Directorate. The Office is responsible for providing the official reports of sittings of the Assembly and meetings of Assembly Committees and a range of other reporting and editorial services.


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

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 arrive no later than 12 noon on 28 September 2020.

You can access the application form here.


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

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 of the above 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.


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.

Stages of the Selection Process

1. Online Testing

Online verbal reasoning 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. 

2. 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. 

3. Job-related Skills Test

Those applicants who come through the first two stages will then be invited to a thorough job-related skills assessment, which will include tests covering the use and knowledge of English. Those applicants who meet the minimum standard and who score highest in this third stage will be invited to interview. 

4. Interview Stage

A selection panel will interview applicants who have met the minimum standard and scored highest at the job-related skills test — the third stage. The interview will address the information contained in the job specification and will assess elements of the Recruitment and Selection Framework.

5. Further Interview Stage

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

Guaranteed Interview Scheme

The Guaranteed Interview Scheme (GIS) has been developed for applicants with disabilities or those with a long-term impairment or health condition that is expected to last for at least 12 months and 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 the next stage of the selection process.

If an assessment or test is used as a shortlisting tool then applicants applying under GIS will not be required to complete the assessment or test and will move to the next stage of the selection process.

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.

The application form will include a section on disability, and an applicant can indicate whether they wish to apply under the GIS for that particular role and the basis on which they qualify for the GIS.

Applicants with disabilities or a long-term impairment or health condition who require reasonable adjustments to enable them to participate in any part of the selection process should indicate this on their application. A member of the Human Resources Office will then contact the applicant to discuss.


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).  Parliamentary Reporters will be required to work a greater number of hours during periods when the Assembly is sitting, including working late evenings. They may also be required, on occasion, to work at weekends and on public holidays.

In addition to the usual public and privilege holidays, there is an annual leave allowance of 25 days, increasing incrementally by one day per year up to a maximum of 30 days. Annual leave will be granted subject to business need and the right to take leave will be restricted when the Northern Ireland Assembly is sitting.

As an equal opportunities employer, we are happy to talk about the possibility of flexible working in this role with the successful applicant.

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

Details of our employee benefits are available on our recruitment website

Equality Monitoring

Under Fair Employment legislation, we are required to monitor the community background 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 opportunities for the same post.


Communication during the recruitment process

The NI Assembly Recruitment Office 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 Recruitment Office emails are automatically filtered as spam by email providers.


Further Information

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

Further information about the Assembly can be obtained on the Internet at website:

The “Information for Applicants” does not constitute any term or condition of employment.