Chief Commissioner and Commissioners for the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland

Body: Equality Commission for Northern Ireland
Appointing Department: Northern Ireland Office
Sectors: Charity & Public Sector, Communities, Health and Social Care, Regulation
Location: Equality House, Belfast
Skills required: Audit and Risk, Business / Commercial, Change Management, HR, Legal / Judicial, Regulation
Number of Vacancies: 1 Chief Commissioner and 6 Commissioners
Remuneration: Remuneration for the Chief Commissioner role will be within the range of £70,522 to £80,847 (or on a pro-rata basis for less than a full-time appointment). Remuneration on appointment will normally be the minimum of the range. The provisions of the Principal Civil Service Pension Scheme will apply to your service as Chief Commissioner. The Commissioner roles attract an annual remuneration of £5,000; this will be paid in equal monthly instalments. These positions are not pensionable. Travel and incidental expenses will be reimbursed in line with the Equality Commission’s travel and subsistence policy.
Time Requirements: The Chief Commissioner role is offered on both a full or part-time basis and the Commissioner roles are part-time. The exact time commitment for the Chief Commissioner role will be discussed with candidates at the interview stage. The expected time commitment for the Commissioner role is approximately 2 days per month for Commissioners. Occasional evening and weekend meetings may occur.


An announcement has been made on the outcome of this appointment.

View Announcement

Campaign Timeline

  • Competition Launched


  • Closed for Applications


  • Panel Sift


  • Final Interview Date


  • Announcement


Vacancy Description

The role of Chief Commissioner and six Commissioner positions will become vacant at the end of February 2020 when their current terms of appointment expire.


The Chief Commissioner has particular responsibility for providing effective strategic leadership on matters such as:


  • Representing the views of the Commission to the public.
  • Overseeing the corporate planning process and formulation of the Commission’s strategy for discharging its statutory duties in accordance with its statutory remit as defined in legislation.
  • Encouraging high standards of propriety and promoting the efficient and effective use of staff and other resources throughout the Commission.
  • Ensuring that the Commission, in reaching decisions, takes proper account of guidance provided by the Northern Ireland Executive.
  • Providing a regular assessment of the performance of individual Commissioners.
  • Ensuring that the Commission meets at regular intervals throughout the year and that minutes of meetings accurately record the decisions taken and, where appropriate, the views of individual Commissioners.


The Chief Commissioner has no executive or managerial responsibility for the day-to–day work of Commission staff.


All Commissioners are expected to:


  • Ensure the Commission fulfils its functions in accordance with its statutory remit.
  • Support and assist the Chief Commissioner in developing policy and in providing strategic direction and in ensuring effective and efficient performance of the Commission’s statutory duties.
  • Monitor the Commission’s performance to ensure that it fully meets its aims, objectives and performance targets.
  • Accept corporate responsibility for ensuring that the Commission complies with any statutory or administrative requirements for the use of public resources including acting in a way that promotes high standards of public finance, including the promotion of regularity, propriety and value for money;
  • Assist the Chief Commissioner in ensuring that high standards of corporate governance are adhered to.
  • Represent the Commission as required in public functions.
  • Apply personal expertise in contributing to the work of the Commission as a whole.
  • Ensure compliance with the Code of Practice for Board Members of Public Bodies.
  • Attend Commission meetings regularly.


Membership of the Commission is a challenging and rewarding opportunity.  It calls for people who can work effectively with a wide range of individuals and who have good judgment, resilience, sensitivity and vision of a high order.  

Person Specification

The Equality Commission for Northern Ireland requires a blend of expertise relevant to its work. The Chief Commissioner must have exceptional leadership, representational and communications skills and must be confident in advising Ministers, the Northern Ireland Executive and Assembly Committees on a wide range of equality issues. He or she must be able to give strategic direction to the work of the Commission; unite and lead a team of Commissioners from diverse backgrounds; forge good working relations with partner organisations across the public, private and voluntary and community sectors; maintain proper corporate governance and support the Chief Executive in ensuring that the Commission runs efficiently and effectively. The post requires judgment, resilience, sensitivity and vision


Outstanding individuals are also sought to become members of the  Commission; people who understand the considerations that influence the environment in which it works and can command the confidence of all sides of the community in Northern Ireland, work constructively with others, think strategically and make clear and well informed judgements.

Essential Skills

All candidates for these roles will need to demonstrate:


  • That they understand the needs and interests of those affected by the Commission’s work on equality and good relations;
  • That they could make a personal contribution to the strategic direction of the Commission and assist it in carrying out its functions;
  • That they can build productive and respectful relationships with fellow Commissioners, colleagues and the communities which are impacted by the Commission’s work and decisions; and
  • A reputation for personal integrity, professional conduct and credibility, with an exceptional sense of propriety.


In addition, candidates for the Chief Commissioner role need to be able to demonstrate:


  • A strong track record of leadership in the private, public or voluntary sectors and a commitment to the principles of good governance; and
  • Excellent communication skills and ability to collaboratively develop a strong direction and culture for an organisation.


The Advisory Assessment Panel will assess your suitability for appointment by comparing the information you provide in your application summary form, personal statement and CV against the essential criteria. You should therefore review the skills requirements as detailed above before preparing your personal statement and CV.


How to Apply

The Northern Ireland Office is committed to the principle of public appointments on merit with independent assessment, openness and transparency of process and to providing equal opportunities for all.  All application summary forms, CVs and personal statements received by the closing date will be acknowledged and put before a duly constituted Advisory Assessment Panel that will include an independent member. The Panel will short list candidates to be invited to interview and then make recommendations to the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland who in turn may wish to meet those candidates recommended for appointment to each position before deciding whom to appoint.


Applications should be sent by email to: or by post to: Competition Co-ordinator, Corporate Governance Team, Northern Ireland Office, Stormont House, Belfast, BT4 3SH


The closing date for applications is Monday 18 November 2019.


For your application to be properly considered by the Advisory Assessment Panel you must return:


  • The completed application summary form, including your personal statement (no more than two sides of A4) summarising your proven ability related to the essential criteria and person specification. Your statement should provide specific and detailed examples to demonstrate how you meet the essential criteria (including what you did to achieve a specific result);
  • A full CV (including education and professional qualifications, career history, and relevant achievements and responsibilities); and
  • Monitoring Questionnaire.




Candidates selected at short listing stage will be interviewed by the Advisory Assessment Panel in early January 2020.  Interviews will take place in Belfast.  If you require any further information about the application process you should contact the competition coordinator by email to or telephone on 028 90527041.

ECNI 2020 - Chief Commissioner & Commissioner - Monitoring Questionnaire
ECNI 2020 Candidate Information Booklet -Final
ECNI 2020 - Chief Commissioner & Commission Member Application Summary Form
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