Chief Commissioner Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission

Body: Northern Ireland Office
Appointing Department: Northern Ireland Office
Sector: Charity & Public Sector
Location: Belfast
Skills required: Regulation
Number of Vacancies: 1
Remuneration: The position attracts an annual remuneration within the range £71,932 to £82,464.
Time Requirements: The position is offered on a full-time or part-time basis


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

The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, the Right Honourable Brandon Lewis CBE MP, has announced the appointment of Alyson Kilpatrick as the new Chief Commissioner of the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission.

Date: 27/07/2021

View Announcement

Campaign Timeline

  • Competition Launched


  • Closed for Applications


  • Panel Sift


  • Final Interview Date


  • Announcement

    27/07/2021 at 12:00


Assessment Panel

Vacancy Description

The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland invites applications for the role of Chief Commissioner of the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission (NIHRC).

The NIHRC was established in 1999. It is a public body independent of the Government. It operates as an executive non-departmental public body sponsored by the Northern Ireland Office.  The NIHRC champions and guards the rights of all those who live in Northern Ireland.

The Chief Commissioner is responsible to the Secretary of State for ensuring that the NIHRC’s policies and actions are consistent with its statutory duties.

Person Specification

An outstanding individual is sought to become Chief Commissioner of the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission.  The successful applicant will be someone who can give strategic direction to the work of the NIHRC while uniting and leading a team of commissioners and forge good working relations with partner organisations across the public, private and voluntary and community sectors.  It is essential that the Chief Commissioner can command the confidence of all sides of the community in Northern Ireland.

Candidates for this demanding role will need to demonstrate in their applications and at interview:

  • Strong and visible leadership skills, with the ability to challenge constructively, influence and negotiate with key stakeholders at local, national and strategic levels;
  • Knowledge of human rights law, and of the scope and limits of the NIHRCs work in Northern Ireland, and the considerations that influence the environment in which it operates;
  • The ability to analyse information and exercise judgement across a broad spectrum of policy and high level human rights issues;
  • The ability to build productive and respectful relationships with fellow Commissioners, senior stakeholders and diverse communities;
  • An ability to communicate effectively in public including through the media; and
  • A reputation for personal integrity, professional conduct and credibility, with an exceptional sense of propriety.

Additional Information

The Northern Ireland Office is committed to the principle of appointment 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.

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.

How to Apply

Unfortunately, in the current circumstances, we are unable to accept hard copy applications by post for this competition.

Completed Applications must be sent by email to: by the closing date of 28 February 2021.

Please enclose with your application:

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

Candidates do not need to reside in Northern Ireland but regular travel to Belfast and outside the UK will be required for the role.

Northern-Ireland-Human-Rights-Chief Commissioner-2020-Application-Summary-Form
Northern-Ireland-Human-Rights- Chief Commissioner-2020-Diversity-Monitoring-Form
NIHRC Chief Commissioner - Candidate Information Booklet -
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