Job Specification

Job Purpose

The Clerking business area in the Northern Ireland Assembly directly supports Assembly business in the Chamber and in committees, including scrutiny and legislation.

Senior Assistant Assembly Clerks are responsible for providing support for key functions of the Assembly, including the conduct of Assembly business, the passage of legislation and the work of the Assembly Committees.

The role of Senior Assistant Assembly Clerk is both demanding and challenging, operating as it does in a highly pressurised and scrutinised environment, and occasionally outside of normal business hours.

Senior Assistant Assembly Clerks may be rotated between any of the Senior Assistant Assembly Clerk positions in the Bill, Business and Committee Offices.


Job Description:

The main duties and responsibilities of the post are:

  • The delivery of front line services to a range of stakeholders;
  • Managing and developing a team of staff and ensuring the best use of resources, including financial resources;
  • Providing and contributing to the provision of timely, accurate and authoritative advice, guidance and briefing on a range of procedural, policy and legislative matters relating to or arising from the work of the business unit to senior decision makers such as Committee Chairpersons and Deputy Chairpersons, Members, and senior managers (defined as AG4 and above);
  • Assisting in the undertaking or commissioning of research into key areas of interest to Members and Committees in order to inform future work such as policy scrutiny, Committee inquiries or legislative progress;
  • Assisting with the planning and management of the efficient and effective delivery of Committee business;
  • Under the direction of the Assembly Clerk and within the business unit, clerking Committee meetings or sub-Committee meetings and providing support for Chairpersons and deputy Chairpersons at external meetings and events;
  • Managing your workload and making effective decisions;
  • Developing and maintaining relationships with key personnel in Government Departments and agencies, press, media, private and voluntary organisations and members of the public;
  • Preparing and assisting in the preparation of draft speeches, speaking notes, and press releases for the Speaker, Committee Chairpersons, Deputy Chairpersons and others, to inform debates in plenary or for events outside the Chamber or the Assembly;
  • Preparing inquiry/scrutiny plans and draft Committee reports for approval by the Assembly Clerk;
  • Preparing draft amendments, scope letters and briefs for the amending stages of Bills for approval by the Assembly Clerk;
  • Assisting Members in the development of proposals and consultation documents as part of the Private Members’ Bill process;
  • Editing, scrutinising and clearing items of business tabled by Members e.g. Assembly Questions;
  • Contributing to the planning and delivery of corporate and directorate projects allocated to them by the Assembly Clerk or Clerk Assistant;
  • Complying with all Assembly Commission’s staff policies and procedures including Equal Opportunities and Dignity at Work policies and procedures; and
  • You may also be required to carry out other duties that the Assembly Commission reasonably requires of you.


Essential Criteria:

Applicants for the post 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.


2. at least a primary degree in any subject and at least 2 years’ 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 4 years’ 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) prioritising, planning and organising a demanding and diverse workload to ensure compliance with deadlines;

b) Managing, developing and motivating staff to ensure effective service delivery;

c) Providing authoritative written and oral advice on complex or politically sensitive matters to elected representatives or senior managers;

d) Developing and maintaining effective working relationships with key stakeholders such as senior managers, elected representatives, government departments, voluntary/ private organisations or media which support the delivery of objectives.


Shortlisting Criteria:

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

  • Applicants must demonstrate 2 years’ experience of contributing directly to the development or scrutiny of policy or legislation, including research or consultation and preparing recommendations for change or improvement.

Skills & 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.

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.