Senior Assembly Usher Recruitment Opportunity
(Part-time position 0.5 FTE – 18.5 hours on average per week)
Candidate Information Booklet
Assembly Grade: 7
Salary: £32,122 – £33,232 (pro rata) (plus 12.5% shift disturbance allowance and on-call allowance)
Deadline: Completed Application Forms must be submitted no later than 12 noon (UK time) on Monday 3 July 2023.
Please retain a copy of this booklet for your reference throughout the selection process (you can download a PDF version of this booklet using the link above).
Thank you for your interest in the position of Senior Assembly Usher in the Northern Ireland Assembly (the Assembly).
The Assembly operates in a dynamic political and legislative environment, and as a newly appointed Senior Assembly Usher you will be provided with an excellent opportunity to make an important and valued contribution to Assembly business at Parliament Buildings.
Working at the Assembly offers a rewarding career. As a Senior Assembly Usher, you will play an important role in ensuring that security and order are maintained at Parliament Buildings. This is an exciting opportunity to join a high-profile organisation with a dedicated and inclusive team.
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.
If you would like to find out more about the post before making an application please contact [email protected] or telephone 02890 521626.
Steven Baxter, Director of Corporate Services
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 and 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 Senior Management Team.
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.
The Assembly Commission has approximately 370 staff and an annual revenue budget of £51m.
- About the Role
- The Person
- On Call Rota Requirements
- Core Responsibilities
- Essential Criteria
- Shortlisting Criteria
- Skills & Behaviours
- Equal Opportunities Statement
- Completing the form
- Recruitment and Selection Framework
- Stages of the Selection Process
- Guaranteed Interview Scheme
- Key Employee Benefits
- Terms and Conditions of Appointment
- Equality Monitoring
- Merit List
- Communication during the recruitment process
- Further Information
In the role of Senior Assembly Usher, you will act as a team leader, reporting directly to a Principal Assembly Usher, and will assist in the provision of a safe and secure environment to support Assembly business.
You will also be part of a six-person Senior Assembly Usher team with specific responsibility for the management of the Assembly Usher and Control Room Operator teams, ensuring that they are deployed appropriately to meet business requirements.
The post-holder will be required to work into late evenings to provide support for Assembly business. Some weekend working will be required as part of an on-call rota.
Appropriate training will be provided to enable you to carry out the role. Please note all external duties require staff to wear a stab vest, weighing 5kg. External duties include, Search (East Glen), External Patrol, Front Door, West Glen and Car Park.
You may previously have worked effectively within a team in the past, or be able and willing to do so as a new Senior Assembly Usher, and you should have the ability to communicate clearly and effectively as you carry out your new and important role.
You must also be willing and keen to adopt a customer facing focus, as you engage with a wide range of persons involved within business at Parliament Buildings.
This is a part-time opportunity at present, working an average of 18.5 hours per week, and forms part of a job-sharing arrangement. There may be opportunity to increase working hours in the future, up to full-time, by agreement between the Northern Ireland Assembly Commission and the post holder. As a Senior Assembly Usher, you will be required to work within an 8-hour shift pattern. The anticipated work pattern is three days one week and two days the following week (may be subject to change). In addition to normal salary, this post attracts a 12.5% Shift Disturbance Allowance (SDA).
An example shift pattern is detailed below (these times may vary according to operational requirements and staff availability):
- Week one – Shift pattern worked between Monday – Friday (0730 – 1530)
- Week two – Shift pattern worked between Monday – Friday (1000 – 1800)
- Week three – Shift pattern worked between Monday – Friday (1430 – 2230)
Overtime working when Assembly business runs late during weekdays or when business or events are running at weekends, will also be required. In accordance with the Staff Overtime Pay Policy, overtime will be paid at normal plain time rate up to 37 hours per week.
As a Senior Assembly Usher, you will also be required to participate in an on-call rota. On the rota you will provide on call cover normally up to three nights and one weekend (Saturday or Sunday) per month, though this may vary dependent upon Assembly business.
On call duty will be scheduled on a rota and can cover overnights, weekends and public/privilege holidays. On call duty may require you to attend Parliament Buildings for supervisory purposes as determined by the Head of Usher Services or in response to incidents. Please note that it is your responsibility to ensure that you can travel to Parliament Buildings during this time (if required). On call allowance will be applicable during rostered cover.
As a Senior Assembly Usher, and member of the Assembly Usher Services team, your duties will include:
- Acting as team leader with line management responsibility for Assembly Ushers and Control Room Operators including their performance management.
- Managing shift patterns and rotas for the Assembly Usher and Control Room Operator teams efficiently and effectively in accordance with business needs as outlined in the Day List, Business Diary, and in accordance with senior management instructions.
- Overseeing and managing the Control Room and the operation of the Parliament Buildings Security System (PBSS) and ancillaries via supervisory visits and regular contact with staff.
- Ensuring staff compliance with Assembly policies and Standard Operating Procedures.
- Supporting the developmental and training needs of the Assembly Usher and Control Room Operator teams.
- Liaising with Parliament Buildings occupants in relation to access and egress arrangements for visitors.
- Assisting in the maintenance of good order during daily business, events, functions and official tours.
- Taking responsibility for routine supervision of security within Parliament Buildings and its precincts in accordance with Assembly Security policy and procedures.
- Ensuring incidents within Parliament Buildings and its precincts are promptly reported to senior management and recorded as appropriate.
- Overseeing the coordination and management of staff during emergencies and evacuations.
- Participating in providing Assembly Usher support to Plenary and Committee duties as required.
- Ensuring that the Assembly postal service is managed in an efficient, effective and secure manner, and that all daily postal targets are fully met.
- Ensuring staff are continually briefed in person and updated on Assembly business requirements and encouraging effective communications and the maintenance of a security and customer focused culture.
- Communicating and liaising with external agencies and organisations, including police, emergency services and other key stakeholders in relation to operational business.
- Complying 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.
Applicants must, by the closing date for applications have:
1. 5 GCSEs at grade A*- C including English Language and Maths. Applications will be considered from applicants with formal qualifications of an equivalent or higher standard to those stated.
2. At least two years’ experience in each of the areas detailed at (a) – (d) below:
(a) Managing, developing and motivating individuals or a team of staff to ensure effective service delivery.
(b) Assisting in reviewing and amending operational work plans in line with changing business needs.
(c) Using Microsoft Office packages, to include MS Word and Outlook.
(d) Providing excellent customer service to internal and external customers.
3. At least four years’ experience in each of the areas detailed at (a) – (d) listed above.
Should shortlisting be required, the following shortlisting criteria will be applied:
- One years’ experience of operational planning for an event or function.
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.
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. However, as females, Roman Catholics and ethnic minorities are currently under-represented in this staff group, we would particularly welcome applications from females, Roman Catholics and individuals of an ethnic minority. Additionally, young people (people under the age of 35) are currently under-represented in this staff group.
All applications for employment will be considered on the basis of merit.
The successful applicant will be based in Parliament Buildings, Belfast.
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 Monday 3 July 2023.
Application forms submitted after the closing time and date will not be accepted.
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, Ability, Assembly Skills and Behaviours 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.
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.
Applicants invited to interview which will assess the information contained in this booklet.
Details will be provided in the invite to interview letter.
Interviews are anticipated for week commencing: 28 August 2023.
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.
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.
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 [email protected].
You can get advice or assistance with making an application from your local Jobs and Benefits Office – contact details are available on NIDirect:
We offer an annual leave allowance of 25 days (pro rata), increasing by one day per year up to a maximum of 30 days (pro rata). In addition, we offer 12 days of public and privilege holidays (pro rata).
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 supportive family friendly policies; 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.
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 average hours worked each week is 18.5 (excluding meal breaks). Working hours will be dictated by the mode of operation of the Assembly and will involve work into late evenings and on occasions, at weekends and on public holidays.
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.
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.
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.
If you require more information on the recruitment process, please contact the Assembly Recruitment Team on 02890 520326.
Further information about the Assembly can be obtained on the Northern Ireland Assembly website (external link).
The Candidate Information Booklet does not constitute any term or condition of employment.