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Senior Assistant Assembly Clerk – Job Specification

Job Specification

Job Title: Senior Assistant Assembly Clerk

Salary range: £46,859 – £48,273

Grade: Assembly Grade 5

Directorate: Parliamentary Services

Business Area/Office: Clerking

Accountable to: Assembly Clerk (AG4)

Accountable for: Assistant Assembly Clerk (AG6)


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 important 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 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:

  • Providing or 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 the Speaker, Committee Chairpersons and Deputy Chairpersons, Members, and senior managers (defined as AG4 and above).
  • Preparing or contributing to written and oral advice for the Speaker on items of business tabled by Members, for approval by the Assembly Clerk (where required).
  • Supporting Members to develop legislative proposals or amendments to legislation by providing written and oral procedural, policy development and/or drafting advice, under the direction of the Assembly Clerk.
  • Under the direction of the Assembly Clerk, preparing draft amendments for Members/Committees and plenary briefs for the amending stages of Bills for the Speaker, for approval by the Assembly Clerk.
  • Preparing or 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.
  • Under the direction of the Assembly Clerk and within the business unit, clerking committee meetings or sub-committee meetings, if required, and providing written and oral advice to Chairpersons and Deputy Chairpersons at external meetings and events.
  • Preparing inquiry/scrutiny plans and draft committee reports for approval by the Assembly Clerk.
  • Undertaking or commissioning research into key areas of interest to Members and committees to inform future work such as policy scrutiny, committee inquiries, private member’s legislation or the drafting of legislative amendments.
  • Preparing draft requests for legal advice.
  • Leading, managing and developing individual staff members or a small team to ensure the delivery of team objectives and front line services to a range of stakeholders, including by providing appropriate induction, training and development as required.
  • Developing and maintaining effective relationships with key stakeholders including Members, officials from Executive departments and agencies, other legislatures, private and voluntary organisations, and members of the public to inform the conduct of Assembly business.
  • 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 by providing draft papers, participating in working groups and performing other duties as allocated by the Clerk Assistant/Assembly Clerk.
  • Leading on the development, review and delivery of specific projects and work streams within the particular business unit under the direction of the Assembly Clerk.
  • Quality assuring the work of staff to ensure compliance with legislation, Standing Orders and other procedural guidance in order to meet agreed service standards.
  • Ensuring the best use of resources, including financial budgets, by making recommendations to manage this, under the direction of the Assembly Clerk.
  • Checking and approving purchase orders and invoices in line with organisational policy and within approval levels.
  • Effectively using Microsoft Office and bespoke internal Assembly software systems and databases to carry out work.
  • Managing information and records in accordance with established policies and statutory requirements.
  • 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.
  • Carrying out other duties that the Northern Ireland 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 Assembly and the political environment in which it operates including the current challenges facing the Assembly.


  1. At least a primary degree, minimum 2:2 classification, in any subject and at least 3 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.


  1. At least 5 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, departmental officials, and other external stakeholders, which support the delivery of objectives.

Shortlisting Criteria:

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

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:

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.