Member - Volunteers needed for Lay Observers

Body: Lay Observers
Appointing Department: Ministry of Justice
Sector: Regulation
Location: Coventry, Stoke on Trent, Newcastle, Chelmsford, St Albans, London, Nottingham
Skills required: Regulation
Number of Vacancies: 9 vacancies
Remuneration: Unremunerated though reasonable expenses will be reimbursed.
Time Requirements: Approx. 2 to 3 visits per month. This can be flexible depending on the needs of the courts and the individual.

Campaign Timeline

  • Competition Launched


  • Closed for Applications


  • Panel Sift


  • Final Interview Date

    TBC (We regret that we cannot reimburse expenses incurred in attending familiarisation visits or interviews).

  • Announcement


Vacancy Description

We are currently looking for new volunteers to join the Lay Observers helping to ensure that proper standards or care and decency are maintained.

Person Specification

Applicants do not need any special qualifications or experience as we will provide all necessary training and support. Candidates need to be over 18 years of age and live within approx. 30 miles of the above locations. You need to be enthusiastic, open-minded, possess effective communication skills and have the ability to exercise sound, objective judgment.

Additional Information

Lay Observers (LOs) are an independent group of ordinary members of the public who do an unpaid extraordinary job, and work an average of 2-3 days per month depending on the needs of the courts and the individual. Members are the eyes and ears of Ministers and monitor the day-to-day life in their local courts and the transportation of detained persons to ensure that proper standards of care and decency are maintained. Your background can be as a student, a person of working age or retired. We welcome applications from people over 18 and are particularly keen to hear from those of working age and individuals from black and minority ethnic communities, since these groups are under-represented within the LO organisation.

The role of LOs is to monitor the facilities provided and treatment received by those detained in court custody suites to confirm if they are treated with decency and respect and that their welfare is properly managed. They are also responsible for monitoring the facilities and quality of transportation used when detained persons are being moved between police stations, courts and prisons by observing and reporting the compliance with relevant rules and standards of decency. To ensure this is undertaken effectively LOs have unrestricted access to every part of the custody suite and transportation.

How to Apply

An application pack along with further details on how to apply is available from Completed applications should be emailed to by 14th August.

Reference Number: LO–July 2019. Please also note the area you are applying for on your application.

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