15216 - Court Usher
Background and key purpose of the role
The Court Usher acts as an essential first point of contact for all the court users involved in hearings. There will be regular contact with the judiciary, assisting the administrative staff with the smooth flow of court work. You will meet members of the public and their legal representatives; prepare court /hearing rooms, and complete documentation, as well as ensuring the court runs smoothly and efficiently. You will also carry out some general clerical work as required to support the work of HMCTS.
Although many of the tasks are straightforward, regulated by well-established guidelines and/or detailed instructions, an Usher needs to be prepared to react quickly and professionally to situations, some of which may be unexpected. You will be comfortable in dealing sensitively and professionally with people from all walks of life; many of whom may be vulnerable and under stress. Advice and support is readily available and there is little discretion to depart from standard procedures, which may well require you to take a firm stance when those procedures are not understood or welcomed by a court user. Ushers work within a team with regular management support and are responsible for their own time.
Whilst initially you will be allocated to a specific court or office base, there will be a need for flexibility to work on an ad hoc basis at other courthouses and local HMCTS offices.
Key responsibilities may include:
- Collecting and delivering files and bundles to the judiciary and clerks ensuring they have the necessary papers
- Providing support to colleagues & judiciary outside of court / hearing times
- General clerical work, including use of computers and Switchboard
- Filling out forms
- Operating recording equipment and maintaining records of recordings of hearings
- Sort and deliver lists of hearings for internal & external notice boards
- Completing standard forms, etc. where the information is clearly defined.
- Straightforward drafting such as acknowledgements and receipting, confirmations, court orders, warrants etc.
- Opening, sorting, distributing and dispatching post as required
- Collecting and delivering post from appropriate offices
- Ensuring Court rooms are supplied against requirements for relevant forms and stationary
- Collecting and delivering stationary around the offices
Data Entry and recording
- Resulting, checking accuracy and completeness against guidelines or a proforma, straightforward money handling e.g. issuing jury payments, spending petty cash under instruction.
- Office and court equipment e.g. computers, fax machines, scanners, photocopiers, switchboards, franking machines, messaging equipment, tape, and video recorders etc.
Handling telephone calls
- Answering standard enquiries and passing messages to others.
- Preparing rooms for hearings, tribunals, trials, meetings and clearing the court / hearing room down at the end of the day etc.
- Using electronic diaries
Reception of parties to court
- Including members of the public, judiciary, juries, solicitors and barristers, the police, representatives of external Agencies etc.
- Providing information related to proceedings, escorting court users into and from the building, swearing oaths etc.
- Calling people into court / hearing rooms in priority order, discussing with Court Clerks and Legal Advisers and liaising with the Witness Service as necessary
- Answering face to face enquiries
- Keeping parties informed of changes e.g., of courtrooms and hearing times
The post holder is required to work in a flexible way and undertake any other duties reasonably requested by line management which are commensurate with the grade and level of responsibility of this post.
Skills & Qualifications
2 GCSE’s at Grade C or above, or equivalent qualifications OR have experience of working with the public in a busy public service environment. Ability to use a computer at the level required for the work.
Key Civil Service Competencies
You will be required to provide evidence of the following key competencies at Level 1.
People who are effective are likely to…
Changing and Improving
- Review working practices and come up with ideas to improve the way things are done.
- Learn new procedures, seek to exploit new technologies and help colleagues do the same.
- Co-operate with and be open to the possibilities of change and consider ways to implement and adapt to change in own work role.
- Be constructive in raising issues with managers about implemented changes and the impact these are having on the service.
- Respond effectively to emergencies.
Making Effective Decisions
- Make and record effective decisions following the appropriate decision making criterion.
- Ask questions when unsure.
- Undertake appropriate analysis to support decisions or recommendations.
- Investigate and respond to gaps, errors and irregularities in information.
- Speak up to clarify decisions and query these constructively.
- Think through the implications of own decisions before confirming how to approach a problem/issue.
Leading and Communication
- Put forward their own views in a clear and constructive manner, choosing an appropriate communication method, e.g. e-mail/telephone/face to face.
- Act in a fair and respectful way in dealing with others.
- Write clearly in plain simple language and check work for spelling and grammar, learning from previous inaccuracies.
- Ask open questions to appreciate others’ point of view.
Collaborating and Partnering
- Proactively contribute to the work of the whole team.
- Get to know fellow team members/colleagues and understand their viewpoints and preferences.
- Seek help when needed in order to complete own work effectively.
- Be open to taking on different roles.
- Try to see things from others’ perspectives and check understanding.
- Listen to the views of others and show sensitivity towards others.
Managing a Quality Service
- Communicate in a way that meets and anticipates the customer’s requirements and give a favourable impression of the Civil Service.
- Actively seek information from customers to understand their needs and expectations.
- Act to prevent problems, reporting issues where necessary.
- Gain the knowledge needed to follow the relevant legislation, policies, procedures and rules that apply to the job.
- Encourage customers to access relevant information or support that will help them understand and use services more effectively.
- Take ownership of issues, focus on providing the right solution and keep customers and delivery partners up to date with progress.
Operational Delivery in HMCTS
This role is part of the Operational Delivery Profession. Operational delivery professionals are the outward face of government, providing essential services to the public in a variety of roles. They work in many different departments and agencies across the breadth of the UK, delivering service to customers in
- Face-to-face roles in HMCTS for example a court usher
- Contact Centre roles in HMCTS for example call centre advisers
- Processing roles in HMCTS for example Staff at the County Courts Money-Claims Centre and Courts and Tribunal Administration
Being part of the operational delivery profession means belonging to a cross-government community of people. This will offer you access to information on professional standards, skills development and qualifications to help you continue to improve your development and performance and expand your career options.
This post will be based at Sussex Central Listings BN2 0JD, but the successful candidate will also be required to work at Brighton County Court, as and when required.
Working Arrangements & Further Information
Some of MoJ’s terms and conditions of service are changing as part of Civil Service reform. The changes will apply to staff joining MoJ who are new to the Civil Service. Staff joining MoJ from other civil service employers will transfer onto the new MoJ terms if they are already on 'modernised' terms in their current post or onto 'unmodernised' MoJ terms if they are on 'unmodernised' terms at their current post. Details will be available if an offer is made.
Flexible working hours
The Ministry of Justice offers a flexible working system in many offices.
The MoJ offers a range of benefits:
Generous allowances for paid holiday starting at 25 days per year, and rising as your service increases. There is also a scheme to allow qualifying staff to buy or sell up to three days leave each year. Additional paid time off for public holidays and 1 privilege day. Leave for part-time and job share posts will be calculated on a pro-rata basis.
The Civil Service offers a choice of pension schemes, giving you the flexibility to choose the pension that suits you best.
The Ministry of Justice is committed to staff development and offers an extensive range of training and development opportunities.
A range of ‘Family Friendly’ policies such as opportunities to work reduced hours or job share.
Access to flexible benefits such as salary sacrifice arrangements for childcare vouchers, and voluntary benefits such as retail vouchers and discounts on a range of goods and services.
Paid paternity, adoption and maternity leave.
Free annual sight tests for employees who use computer screens.
The opportunity to join employee-run networks that have been established to provide advice and support and to enable the views of employees from minority groups to be expressed direct to senior management. There are currently networks for employees of minority ethnic origin, employees with disabilities, employees with caring responsibilities, women employees, and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees.
Working for the Civil Service
The Civil Service Code sets out the standards of behaviour expected of civil servants.
We recruit by merit on the basis of fair and open competition, as outlined in the Civil Service Commission's recruitment principles.
The Civil Service embraces diversity and promotes equality of opportunity.
There is a guaranteed interview scheme (GIS) for candidates with disabilities who meet the minimum selection criteria.
Closing Date: 2nd January 2017 at 23:55 hours
If you require any assistance please call 0845 241 5359 (Monday to Friday 8am - 6pm) or e mail Mojfirstname.lastname@example.org Please quote the job reference.
To apply for roles in MOJ you will need to confirm your employment history for at least 3 years prior to the date of application so that pre-employment checks (BPSS) can be undertaken. If you have spent significant time abroad (a total of 6 months in the past 3 years) you would be required to give a reasonable account of the reasons why.
For some roles you will be required to successfully complete National Security Vetting at Counter Terrorism (CTC), Security Clearance (SC) or Developed Vetting (DV) level as a condition of appointment. To meet CTC/SC/DV requirements you will normally need to have been resident in the UK for at least 3/5/10 years prior to the date of application (The level of checks that are required are stated in the advert).
If you do not meet the above requirements, you may still be considered if, for example:
- You've been serving overseas with HM Forces or in some other official capacity as a representative of HM Government
- You were studying abroad
- You were living overseas with parents
In such cases you will need to be able to provide referee cover for the period(s) of residence overseas. The duration of overseas residence and the country of abode will also be taken into account.
You will be required to provide statements describing your skills and experience relevant to each of the stated competencies below. We recommend that you structure your example as Situation, Task, Action and Result.
For further details on civil service competency framework see https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/civil-service-competency-framework
In the event of a large number of applications, a sift on the lead competency may take place. If this happens, the lead competency will be the first one listed in the advert.
During the application or interview process, you may be asked to undertake an additional assessment. If this is applicable this will be listed in the advert or when you are invited to interview.
This Vacancy is closed to applications.