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Participation and Outreach Manager Recruitment Opportunity

Candidate Information Booklet


Assembly Grade: 5

Salary: £48,734 – £50,204

Completed Application Forms must be submitted no later than 12 noon (UK time) on 30 January 2023.

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



Thank you for your interest in the position of Participation and Outreach Manager in the Northern Ireland Assembly Commission (the Assembly Commission).

The Assembly operates in a dynamic and fast paced parliamentary and political environment, and as the newly appointed Participation and Outreach Manager, you will have a unique opportunity to make an important and valued contribution to Assembly business at Parliament Buildings.

Strengthening the Assembly’s engagement with the public is at the heart of our Corporate Strategy 2018-23.  As Participation and Outreach Manager, you will have a key role to play in the delivery of this strategy, by measurably working to strengthen public engagement and participation in the work of the Assembly.  You will play an important role in advancing and encouraging the public’s understanding of the Assembly and the democratic process in Northern Ireland.

This is an exciting opportunity to join a high-profile organisation, and to apply your skills, experience and knowledge in a challenging and very rewarding position.

In turn, 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 the Candidate Information Booklet carefully and if you are interested in this exciting post, I would encourage you to submit your application.

Gareth McGrath
Director of Parliamentary Services


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.

Established as a key element of the Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement, the Assembly comprises 90 Members (MLAs) and has three main functions – making legislation, scrutinising the Executive and representing constituents.

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 Senior Management Team.

The Assembly Commission 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.

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




About the Role

As Participation and Outreach Manager, you will report to the Public Engagement Manager within the Parliamentary Services Directorate and will be accountable for Assistant Assembly Clerks (AG6).

The role of Participation and Outreach Manager is creative, diverse and dynamic.  Your work will cover three main areas of responsibility: Public and Stakeholder Engagement; Committee Engagement and Parliamentary Engagement.  You will take the lead in providing opportunities for inclusive, transparent and meaningful engagement between the Assembly and the general public through a variety of methods.  Alongside your team you will be responsible for design, implementation, promotion and evaluation of such activities.

The Assembly Commission’s core values are Professionalism, Respect and Impartiality, and Integrity in all we do, and these values guide how we deliver our services.

Core Responsibilities

As Participation and Outreach Manager, and a member of the Parliamentary Services team, you will primarily work in Parliament Buildings. Your duties will include:

Public and Stakeholder Engagement
  • Lead the development and implementation of a programme of public and stakeholder focused outreach and oversee the building and maintenance of relationships within that community base.
  • Lead the creation of online and offline content to explain the work of the Assembly.
  • Represent the Assembly at conferences and events, including the delivery of presentations, participation in panel discussions etc.
  • Lead the arrangement and delivery of events.
Committee Engagement
  • Lead the development, management, delivery and promotion of high profile and/or complex engagement activities for Assembly Committees, the Speaker’s Office, the Assembly Commission and for other parliamentary functions as required.
  • Lead cross-directorate project teams to deliver Committee engagement plans that contribute to effective scrutiny/policy development or corporate activities.
  • Develop and maintain effective relationships with colleagues in other Assembly Commission services to ensure that the necessary expertise is utilised effectively to deliver Committee engagement programmes and corporate activities.
  • Provide comprehensive and authoritative written and oral evidence to Committees on the preparation, project development and results of Committee engagement projects.
  • Anticipate future trends and demands in public engagement, including innovations in digital technology, and take account of the political environment in utilising them.
Parliamentary Engagement
  • Deliver high-quality parliamentary and VIP delegation inward visits, including managing the liaison with all delegations to establish objectives, and oversee the development of programmes, briefings and logistics.
  • Co-ordinate interaction with other parliamentary bodies including the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, the British-Irish Parliamentary Assembly and other organisations, including managing inward and outward visits.
  • Manage a demanding and wide-ranging workload of complex tasks, often to be completed within tight deadlines and in accordance with service standards.
  • Develop and maintain effective relationships with a wide range of stakeholders including Members, representatives from international parliamentary bodies, and private and voluntary organisations.
  • Prepare briefing papers, draft speeches, speaking notes.
  • Communicate the work of the Assembly using a variety of methods.
  • Manage the efficient and effective use of resources to achieve best value for money, including the monitoring and profiling of budgets, reviewing staffing, setting, monitoring and ensuring achievement of performance objectives.
  • Embed evaluation and continuous improvement in the work of the team.
  • 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.
  • 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.


The Person

As Participation and Outreach Manager you will need excellent communication, organisational and managerial skills.  The role is outward facing requiring you to engage with Members, high-level delegations, the general public and with colleagues across other business areas.  An awareness and understanding of political sensitivity, and the management of relationships both internally and externally, will be key requirements of the post along with the ability to deliver excellent services within an often-complex political setting.


Essential Criteria

At the closing date of applications, applicants must have:

(i) A degree in any discipline plus at least three years’ experience in each of the areas specified at (ii) below. Applications will be considered from applicants with formal qualifications of an equivalent or higher standard to those stated.


(ii) At least five years’ experience in each of the areas specified below:

(a) managing the provision of a range of outreach or engagement services;

(b) managing projects and events with a total budget in excess of £50,000;

(c) contributing directly to the development of creative engagement plans including researching, preparing written and oral recommendations to customers based on their needs and gaining approval for the plans;

(d) working within and leading teams to encourage innovation, improve performance and meet business objectives.


Shortlisting Criteria

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

One year’s experience of delivering innovative engagement activities across a diverse organisation with different audiences, priorities and pressures and activity across multiple platforms.


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.

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.

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.


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 dependents or without. All applications for employment will be considered on the basis of merit.



The successful applicant will be based in Parliament Buildings, Belfast. The role offers hybrid working whereby staff will have the opportunity to work from home for part of the week, subject to 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 12 noon (UK time) on 30 January 2023.

Launch the application portal and complete the application form.

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


Recruitment and Selection Framework

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.

The elements that will be assessed for this role are Experience, Technical, Assembly Skills and Behaviours and Strengths 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.


Stages of the Selection Process

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. 


The Selection panel reserve the right to use shortlisting as part of the selection process for this post. Should shortlisting be used, the shortlisting criterion listed in the Job Specification will be applied. The selection panel reserve the right to set a minimum standard for the shortlisting criterion and/or to only invite those who score highest in the shortlisting criterion to the next stage of the selection process. If shortlisting is not necessary, all applicants who have demonstrated the essential criteria will proceed to the next stage of the selection process.

Assessment Stage

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

a) a written exercise;

b) an interview, which will address the information contained in this booklet and will assess elements of the Recruitment and Selection Framework; and

c) the preparation and delivery of a presentation to the selection panel.

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 Recruitment and Selection for Applicants.


Guaranteed Interview Scheme

The Guaranteed Interview Scheme (GIS) supports 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 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. If you are applying under GIS it is therefore important that you include all relevant information in your application form. You should refer to the Guidance on Recruitment and Selection for Applicants for more information.

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 for that assessment or test, 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

You can get advice or assistance with making an application from your local Jobs and Benefits Office – contact details are available on NIDirect:

Find contact details for your local Jobs and Benefits Office


Key Employee Benefits

We offer an annual leave allowance of 25 days, increasing by one day per year up to a maximum of 30 days. In addition, we offer 12 days of public and privilege holidays.

The Assembly Commission 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 contributes a further 28 to 35% of salary, depending on your rate of pay.

We also offer a range of non-salary benefits which include hybrid working; 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.

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

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 post-holder will, from time to time, be expected to undertake travel to Parliamentary events in the UK and abroad and to work hours that are conducive to the needs of the Assembly and this may mean, for example, attending events into late evening. The timing of annual leave may be restricted and will be determined by the business of the Assembly.


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 of applicants deemed to be appointable 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 Northern Ireland Assembly website.


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