Job Specification

Job Title: Public Engagement Manager

Salary range: £60,143 – £61,967

Grade: Assembly Grade 4

Directorate: Parliamentary Services

Business Area/Office: Public Engagement

Accountable to: Clerk Assistant

Accountable for: Education, Events, Outreach and Youth Assembly teams


Job Purpose:

Public engagement is at the heart of the Assembly Commission’s Corporate Strategy 2018-23. The newly created post of Public Engagement Manager will have a key role in enhancing public confidence in the Assembly, embedding an understanding of our agreed system of democracy and promoting effective two-way dialogue with stakeholders.

Parliament Buildings is recognised locally, nationally, and to an extent internationally as an iconic building. The post holder will manage the delivery of key public events including high profile visits, and ‘set piece’ events. Consequently, awareness and understanding of political sensitivity and the management of relationships both internally and externally will be key requirements of the post.

The Public Engagement Manager will manage the delivery of a number of the public engagement focussed objectives of the Assembly Commission’s Corporate Strategy, including:

  • Developing new approaches to engagement, which enable the public to interact with the work of the Assembly.
  • Building connections with target groups including for example, support for greater female participation and the delivery of a Youth Assembly.
  • Improving the visitor experience in Parliament Buildings with a focus on customer service, public facilities and accessibility to Assembly business.
  • Embedding the value of public engagement, openness and transparency across every area of the Assembly Commission’s work.

The post holder will be responsible for engagement plans and stakeholder activities for the Northern Ireland Assembly and for Parliament Buildings, including:

  • Engaging citizens in the business of the Assembly, particularly committee business.
  • Education and youth engagement.
  • Northern Ireland Youth Assembly.
  • Parliamentary engagement.
  • Delivery of events in and visitors to Parliament Buildings.

In delivering these plans and activities, the post holder will be responsible for ensuring that the Assembly engages all communities and stakeholders inclusively, via the most effective means, and across varying platforms. The post holder will also ensure that the Assembly’s engagement activities fit with the Assembly Commission’s Corporate Strategy.


Job Description:

The main duties and responsibilities of the post are:

  • To manage the Education Service, Events, Outreach and Youth Assembly teams.
  • To promote public confidence in the Northern Ireland Assembly, building upon the established communications channels and ensuring regular and effective two-way dialogue with stakeholders.
  • To ensure the alignment of the work of the Public Engagement teams with the Assembly Commission’s Corporate Strategy.
  • To promote Parliament Buildings as an iconic building of local, national and international significance, as the home of the Northern Ireland Assembly, and as a prime destination venue.
  • To research and review the visitor experience facilities within Parliament Buildings and to develop strategies according to the findings, reimagining the potential for further strengthening public engagement.
  • To work closely with the Clerk Assistants and the Head of Communications to develop and maintain public perception of the Northern Ireland Assembly and enhance understanding of its work, focussing of the Assembly’s key functions of
    • Making laws
    • Holding the Executive to account
    • Representing the people
  • To provide a comprehensive, multi-media, multi-platform customer journey to convert the dis-interested or un-engaged into informed and engaged citizens thereby facilitating a participative democracy.
  • To play an active role in the life of the Assembly Commission, offering constructive challenge to ensure engagement is proactive, innovative and planned and considered at an early stage in Assembly business and activities.
  • To provide regular, evidence-based reports to the Clerk Assistant and to the Senior Management Group on stakeholder feedback, issues identified and engagement effectiveness.
  • To oversee all business area governance and budgetary activities to ensure adequate controls are in in place and risks are managed with effective administration, including recording relevant data.
  • Comply with all of the Assembly Commission’s staff policies and procedures including Equal Opportunities and Dignity at Work policies and procedures.
  • Managing information and records in accordance with established policies and statutory requirements.
  • You may also be required to carry out other duties that the Assembly Commission reasonably requires of you.


Essential Criteria:

Applicants for the post of Public Engagement Manager 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.


  1. 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) – (e). Applications will be considered from applicants with formal qualifications of an equivalent or higher standard to those stated.


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

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) Experience of quickly developing strong working relationships with key stakeholders internally and externally, with proven ability to take the initiative, fostering innovation to bring forward new ideas and come up with innovative solutions to problems, taking into account business context and constraints.

(d) Significant experience of delivering innovative engagement activities across a diverse organisation with different audiences, priorities and pressures and activity across multiple platforms.

(e) Application of marketing and engagement best practice, having added measurable value to organisations through application of these principles and in response to customer requirements, along with knowledge of the latest evaluation techniques to measure the effectiveness of communications and external relations activities delivered, including digital engagement activities.


Shortlisting Criteria:

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

Experience of leading and managing a public engagement team in researching and reviewing the visitor experience and facilities and implementing the findings.


Skills & Behaviours:

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

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.

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.

Building relationships and effective communication

…is creating and maintaining positive, professional and respectful internal and external working relationships through effective and appropriate communications.

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.

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.