Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration

Body: Home Office
Appointing Department: Home Office
Sectors: International, Judicial, Prison & Policing, Regulation
Location: London
Skills required: Legal / Judicial, Regulation, Transformation
Number of Vacancies: 1
Remuneration: £130,000
Time Requirements: Full time


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

Home Secretary Priti Patel has today (15 March 2021) welcomed the appointment of David Neal as the new Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration.

The Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration is an independent monitoring body sponsored by the Home Office that reports on the efficiency and effectiveness of the immigration, asylum, nationality and customs functions carried out by the Home Secretary, officials and others on her behalf.

Mr Neal takes up the role having formerly served as head of the Royal Military Police and Commander of the 1st Military Police Brigade.

Home Secretary Priti Patel said:

I congratulate David Neal on his appointment as Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration and look forward to working with him as he sets his inspection plan and makes recommendations to drive improvements across the Border, Immigration and Citizenship System.

Mr Neal will start his new role on 22 March 2021 and has been appointed on a 3-year term following a rigorous recruitment process in line with the Governance Code on Public Appointments.

David Neal said:

I am delighted to return to public service in such an important and high-profile role in an area which affects us all. I am honoured that the Home Secretary has appointed me as Chief Inspector, a role that is vital in monitoring and reporting on the efficiency and effectiveness of our country’s border and immigration functions. I look forward to leading the team and continuing to deliver a comprehensive and high-quality inspection programme.

David Neal’s appointment follows the tenure of David Bolt who steps down from the role of Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration on 21 March 2021.

David Neal was appointed by HM The Queen as the Provost Marshal (Army) and commanded the 1st Military Police Brigade from 2016 until 2019.

He led the Royal Military Police through major reforms including the Service Justice System Review, and was responsible for Operation Northmoor, the Royal Military Police investigation into allegations of illegal killings by British troops in Afghanistan.

From 2015 to 2016 he was the senior Military Police and Gendarmerie officer in NATO’s Allied Rapid Reaction Corps.

From 2012 to 2015 he was responsible for the assurance and inspection of the United Kingdom’s detention facilities across the world, including in Afghanistan and on Royal Navy ships.

From 2011 to 2012 Mr Neal was an instructor and mentor at the Joint Services Command and Staff College educating and developing UK and international students from the military and civil service, in preparation for their assumption of high rank.

Mr Neal graduated from the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in 1994 having read English Literature at Bangor University. He is a Chartered Security Professional and Chartered Manager.

View Announcement

Campaign Timeline

  • Competition Launched


  • Closed for Applications


  • Panel Sift


  • Final Interview Date

    27 & 28 Aug

  • Announcement


The Government has adapted the recruitment process around the UK’s coronavirus restrictions while ensuring a fair and open competition. This includes planning for remote interviews.


Assessment Panel

Vacancy Description

The Home Secretary is seeking to appoint an Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration.

The Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration provides independent scrutiny of the UK’s border and immigration functions, providing security, confidence and assurance as to their effectiveness and efficiency. They report annually to the Home Secretary and their reports are placed before Parliament.
Leading a team of approximately 30 staff you will strive to continually improve the UK’s approach to the Border, Immigration and Citizenship System.
Candidates will have experience of working successfully at a senior level, ideally within a regulation or enforcement arena. Whatever your background, you will appreciate the importance and opportunity that this role presents. Excellent communication skills, decisiveness, independence and unquestionable integrity will be essential.

The role is offered on a three-year term, with the possibility of re-appointment.

Person Specification

Part One – Essential skills and Experience

  • Proven track record of leading an organisation, operating at Board level or equivalent, with associated financial and people management skills.
  • Demonstrable experience of the consistent delivery of excellent performance outcomes within a changing operational environment.
  • Evidence of contributing to the development of a sound strategic direction for an organisation.
  • Evidence of building strong and effective working relationships with internal and external stakeholders, displaying sensitivity to their views and an ability to handle conflict diplomatically.
  • Evidence of the ability to analyse and make judgements from complex data and contribute to workable recommendations on complex and sensitive issues.
  • Evidence of the ability to gain respect and keep the confidence of key stakeholders including Ministers and senior government officials through effective communication and influencing skills (both oral and written).


Part Two – Personal abilities and behaviours

You should also be able to demonstrate:

  • That you are at ease working within a given statutory framework.
  • Decisiveness and independence.
  • High standards of corporate and personal conduct, including a sound understanding of and strong commitment to equal opportunities, public service values and principles of public life, enabling you to act impartially and uphold the role of ICIBI.


Additional Information

The successful candidate will be required to have or to undergo security clearance to Developed Vetting (DV) level. Pre-appointment checks will also be undertaken on immigration and criminal convictions. It usually takes 3-6 months to obtain the security clearance. The role will be offered on a conditional basis until the successful candidate has passed all checks.

How to Apply

Please submit the following 4 documents, clearly labelled, by email to:

  1. A comprehensive CV (maximum two sides A4, minimum 11 font) setting out your career history and including details of any professional qualifications.
  2. A short supporting statement (maximum two sides A4, minimum 11 font) giving evidence of the strength and depth of your ability to meet the essential criteria for the role. Please provide specific examples to demonstrate how you meet each of the experience, qualities and skill areas identified in the person specification.
  3. Please complete and return via email the forms at Annex B, relating to referees, conflicts of interest and nationality.
  4. In addition, please complete the Diversity Form at Annex C. Please click on the link to the Public Appointments website for further information on recording whether or not you have a disability.

Please include the heading (Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration) in the subject box.

Please submit your application documents as 4 separate attachments.

Annex B - Supporting documentation 2020 - Final
diversity-monitoring-form-accessible (5)
Home Office Privacy Notice - Final
2020 06 10 - ICIBI Recruitment Pack - Final_
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