Victims’ Commissioner for England and Wales

Body: Office of the Victims' Commissioner
Appointing Department: Ministry of Justice
Sector: Judicial, Prison & Policing
Location: London
Number of Vacancies: 1
Remuneration: £108,000
Time Requirements: 37 hours per week

Campaign Timeline

  • Competition Launched

    25/08/2022

  • Closed for Applications

    10/10/2022 at 11:00

  • Panel Sift

    w/c 7 November 2022 (TBC)

  • Final Interview Date

    w/c 12 December 2022 (TBC)

  • Announcement

    TBC

 

Assessment Panel

Vacancy Description

Section 49 of the Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Act 2004 prescribes that the Commissioner must:

  • promote the interests of victims and witnesses;
  • encourage good practice in their treatment; and
  • keep under review the operation of the Code of Practice for Victims of Crime (Victims’ Code).

The Commissioner may, for any purpose connected with the performance of their duties as above, make proposals to the Justice Secretary for amending the Victims’ Code (at the request of the Justice Secretary or on their own initiative); make a report to the Secretary of State; make recommendations to an authority within their remit and consult any person they think appropriate. The Commissioner is required to produce and publish an annual report on performance to the Justice Secretary, the Attorney General and the Home Secretary, and to give advice to a Minister of the Crown or the Treasury when required to do so.

The draft Victims Bill set out proposed changes to strengthen the role of the Victims’ Commissioner, including a requirement to lay their annual report before Parliament. There is also a requirement for criminal justice agencies and government departments to respond to the recommendations set out in these reports within 56 days of them being published.

Key Responsibilities:

Leadership

  • Acting as the key government advisor to promote the interests of victims and witnesses, encouraging good practice in their treatment, providing national leadership and raising awareness of victims’ issues.
  • Highlighting and promoting the needs of victims of crime across various sectors and Commissioners, to ensure they are best able cope with and, as far as possible, recover from the effects of crime and engage with the criminal justice system.

Partnership Working

  • Develop wide-ranging and strategic working relationships with a number of stakeholders, including individuals and organisations, victims of crime, criminal justice agencies, service providers, third sector organisations, as well as the media.
  • Whilst noting the independence of the role, the Victims’ Commissioner will be expected to develop an effective relationship with the Secretary of State for Justice, junior Ministers and policy officials from across government. They will also be required to give evidence to parliamentary committees and provide expert advice as and when required.
  • The Commissioner will need to work particularly closely with Commissioners across government, such as the Children’s Commissioner and Domestic Abuse Commissioner, and will need to work in partnership with other organisations when this would deliver the most effective results.

Identifying and actively promoting examples of good practice and in doing so make proposals to the Secretary of State in respect of the Victims’ Code (at the request of the Secretary of State or on their own initiative); make reports to the Secretary of State; and make recommendations to any authority within their remit and consult any person they think appropriate.

Management and Accountability

  • The Commissioner must prepare in respect of each calendar year a report on the carrying out of the functions of the Commissioner during the year sending a copy to the Secretary of State for Justice, the Attorney General, and the Home Secretary.
  • Lead a team of staff (civil servants), who will support the Commissioner in their duties.
  • The Commissioner will be required to meet regularly with the Secretary of State for Justice and other Ministers responsible for victims’ issues, including attendance at regular meetings such as the Victim and Witness Advisory Group.

Other Specific Responsibilities

  • Gain first-hand knowledge and understanding of the victims’ landscape.
  • The Victims’ Commissioner will not act in relation to individual cases, although they may use the lessons of an individual case to inform their work.
  • The Victims’ Commissioner will not commission, provide or fund services. The responsibilities of the Victims’ Commissioner may be revised during the course of the appointment, in particular as a result of changes to the powers as prescribed under the legislation.

Person Specification

Essential criteria

Candidates will be able to demonstrate the following:

  •  Credibility to work with victims, victims’ organisations, and senior levels of government or the public sector including heads of criminal justice agencies and other independent Commissioners  such as the Domestic Abuse Commissioner and, Police and Crime Commissioners;
  •  Have knowledge of the issues concerning victims of crime, victims’ organisations and the criminal justice system;
  •  Evidence of strategic leadership with an ability to successfully deliver priorities and support cultural transformation across the criminal justice system;
  •  Experience of using the media effectively and appropriately to communicate messages and engage the wider public;
  •  A clear understanding of the role of evidence-based analysis in informing public bodies in areas of political and public attention and sensitivity; and
  •  The ability to work independently and provide robust, independent advice, under a high level of public scrutiny.

Desirable criteria

  • An understanding of Parliament and legislation

Eligibility

There must be no employment restrictions, or limit on your permitted stay in the UK.

This appointment is open to British or Commonwealth citizens, British Dependent Territories citizens, British Nationals (Overseas) citizens, British protected persons, citizens of the Republic of Ireland, European Economic Area (EEA) nationals or to those of other member states, and to certain non-EEA family members. Applicants must have rights of residence in the UK.

We welcome applications from all those who are eligible.

However, as the Victims’ Commissioner was established to carry out an independent function at arm’s length from the Government, we are mindful that appointing someone who is employed by a government department might compromise that independence – or perception of independence – as well as diminishing the confidence of stakeholders and the general public.

If you are in receipt of a salary from a government department and wish to apply, you should expect that – if selected for interview – the Advisory Assessment Panel will explore whether any perceived or real conflicts of interest might exist if you were to be appointed and, if so, how this might be managed or mitigated. The latter might include an undertaking to resign from government employment, if appointed, and – if considered appropriate – for there to be an interval between resignation and taking up appointment to the role.

Additional Information

Tenure: The appointment will run for an initial period of three years on a full time basis (consideration will be given to remote working patterns) with the possibility of reappointment for a further term, subject to satisfactory appraisal and at the discretion of Ministers.

Remuneration, Allowances and Abatement: Remuneration will be calculated pro rata with a full-time equivalent salary of £108,000.

The role is not pensionable. For members who receive a full salary from the public purse the remuneration otherwise payable to members is abated. Reasonable standard travel expenses will be payable.

Time commitment: 37 hours per week

Performance Appraisal: You will be assessed annually on performance by the Policy Director, Victims and Vulnerability Directorate, Ministry of Justice

Standards in Public Life: Public appointees are required to uphold the Committee on Standards.  Seven Principles of Public Life You are also expected to adhere to the  Code of Conduct for Board Members of Public Bodies

How to Apply

To make an application, please send:

  • A CV (maximum two sides of A4) detailing your qualifications, employment history and any appointments or offices you hold. Please also provide your preferred contact number and email address.
  • A personal statement (maximum two sides of A4) providing evidence against the role criteria and your suitability for the post, including evidence of leadership qualities and a vision for the organisation. Please consider the role and criteria carefully in preparing your statements. Information from AAPs indicates that applications which offer specific and tailored examples against the criteria, making clear the candidate’s role in achieving an outcome, are often the strongest.  Structuring the statement around the criteria using relevant headings also aids clarity.
  • Guidance on how to write a successful application can be found at Appendix 2.

Supporting Documents form (attached separately on cabinet office website)

Please also complete and return the Applicant Supporting Documents form which seeks the following information:

  • Conflicts of interest and Previous Conduct:  If you have any interests that might be relevant to the work of the Victims’ Commissioner, and which could lead to a real or perceived conflict of interest if you were to be appointed, please provide details in your supporting documents.

Given the nature of public appointments, it is important that those appointed as members of public bodies maintain the confidence of Parliament and the public. If there are any issues in your personal or professional history that could, if you were appointed, be misconstrued, cause embarrassment, or cause public confidence in the appointment to be jeopardised, it is important that you bring them to the attention of the Assessment Panel and provide details of the issue/s in your supporting letter. In considering whether you wish to declare any issues, you should also reflect on any public statements you have made, including through social media. The Advisory Assessment Panel may explore any issues with you before they make a recommendation on the appointment. Failure to disclose such information could result in an appointment either not being made or being terminated.

Conflicts might arise from a variety of sources such as financial interests or share ownership, membership of, or association with, particular bodies or the activities of relatives or partners.  If you need further advice, please contact Nalini Deen at PublicAppointmentsTeam@justice.gov.uk

  • Significant Political Activity – In line with the Governance Code for Public Appointments, details of any declared activity will be made public if you are appointed;
  • Number of other public appointments – please list any appointments currently held;
  • Referee details – please give names/contact details of two referees (who will be contacted if you are shortlisted for interview); and
  • Diversity monitoringPlease complete this online Microsoft DIVERSITY MONITORING FORM form. Information is requested for monitoring purposes only and plays no part in the selection process.  It will be kept confidential and will not be seen by the AAP.  Please go to the “how to apply” section of the job advertisement and complete the diversity monitoring.

Please send your CV, personal statement and supporting documents to:

PublicAppointmentsTeam@justice.gov.uk quoting reference PAT160060 in the subject line of your email.  We will acknowledge receipt.

 

Attachments
Supporting-Documents- March 2022
VC-Candidate-Infomation-Pack- 200922 Final
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