80585 - Press Officer

£39,868 - £43,535
12 Months
Northern Ireland
MOJ NIO Erskine House, BT1 4GF
Fixed Term , Loan
Up to 12 months
Full Time, Part Time, Flexible Working
Communications / Marketing

About us

A Commission that serves the people of Northern Ireland

The Independent Commission for Reconciliation and Information Recovery (ICRIR) is being set up to provide information to families, victims and survivors of Troubles-related deaths and serious injury, and to work towards reconciliation for all parties.

I accepted the role of Chief Commissioner because I believe this is worth doing. The people of Northern Ireland and all those affected by the Troubles need the legacy of the past to be properly dealt with. Previous attempts to address this have failed but that doesn’t mean we can simply give up.

The importance of reconciliation is known by all those who have been affected by the Troubles and its legacy. For each and every person, that will mean something different. I want the new Commission to be designed in the way that best serves the people of Northern Ireland.

I believe we have a real opportunity here to deliver the answers that people are looking for. To do this, we need to build an independent organisation that’s founded on integrity, expertise and fairness. 

Sir Declan Morgan, Chief Commissioner-designate

Who we are

The Independent Commission for Reconciliation and Information Recovery was established by the Northern Ireland Troubles (Legacy and Reconciliation) Act and is currently being set up. The primary role of the Commission will be to provide information to families, victims and survivors of Troubles-related deaths and serious injury and to promote reconciliation.

The Commission is being established as an independent, arms-length body. It will be classified as a Non-Departmental Public Body.

The Commission will have its HQ in Belfast and further operational sites in Northern Ireland and London. Travel to all locations will be required, but hybrid working arrangements will help us support a range of flexible working patterns. This is an exciting opportunity to join an organisation with a unique and vital remit.

About this role

Job title: Press officer

Number of roles: 1

Salary: £39,868 - £43,535

Location: Our main operational base is in Belfast, where this role is based. We also have a small office presence in London. The nature of this role means the successful candidate will need to be available to support media events in person, often on a daily basis, in Belfast and around Northern Ireland.

Please note these roles are not part of the Northern Ireland Office and will be based in our offices in May Street, Belfast. Until the Commission is legally established in December, some details on our listings will refer to the Northern Ireland Office’s departmental headquarters in Erskine House.

Outside of media work, you may also work from your home address, in line with guidance on hybrid working and with the agreement of your line manager. Occasional travel to our London office will also be required.

Contract type:

This role is available as a full-time fixed-term appointment for one year, with the option to extend. Civil servants and those employed in accredited non-departmental public bodies may also apply on a loan or secondment basis.

Depending on the timing of our legal establishment, our staff may be temporarily engaged through the Northern Ireland Office for a short period, until ICRIR is established as a separate legal entity.

Duration: 1 year with the option to extend to two years

Security level: You will need to be cleared to Security Check level or willing to go through the clearance process on appointment. Information about the vetting process can be found online.

Closing date: 3rd November 2023

Job description

ICRIR is already in the news and has a busy and active media profile, receiving interview bids frequently for our Commissioners-designate and managing both proactive and reactive media opportunities.

This vital role will see you out and about ‘on the ground’, supporting our senior spokespeople at interviews, press conferences and other media engagements. You’ll work with our Head of News to plan proactive media activity, triage bids from journalists and deal with unexpected queries from the media. It’s vital that our press operations are friendly, professional and smooth-running and we’ll look to you to help us deliver this.

You’ll be working in a small (but growing) and friendly Communications Team within the ICRIR team, which is also growing fast. You’ll have regular exposure to our Commissioners as we set up the Commission to begin operations in 2024. This is a really exciting time to join ICRIR.

Duties and responsibilities

Duties may include but may not be limited to the activities listed below:

  • Accompany senior spokespeople e.g. the Chief Commissioner in interviews and press conferences
  • Help to prepare media events in advance, preparing briefings, liaising with journalists and organising logistics
  • Handle incoming media enquiries professionally and quickly, clearing responses appropriately
  • Provide tactical advice to colleagues on how to handle media issues
  • Undertake daily media monitoring in office hours
  • Support the team with developing ICRIR’s social media presence.

Person specification

We’re looking for an enthusiastic, confident and energetic communications professional with some prior experience either as a journalist or within a press office. You’ll have a clear understanding of the media world, how it functions and how to get the best out of media opportunities and you will also need a good understanding of the Northern Ireland media environment.

You will be confident working with people at all levels and experienced in supporting senior leaders with media and or events and visits.

Essential criteria:

  • Experience working in a press office or as a journalist
  • Knowledge of the Northern Ireland media environment and NI politics and current affairs
  • Willing to obtain SC security clearance

Desirable criteria:

  • Experience managing social media for a busy organisation
  • Experience with video content
  • Already hold SC security clearance.

Due to the nature of this role, it is only available on a full-time basis, with frequent presence required in person at our Belfast office and at external meetings and interviews.

Please note that we ask all ICRIR staff to complete a declaration of interests form which states any potential relevant interests relating to this role and ICRIR’s work.

Selection process

You can apply for this post through the Civil Service Jobs website at civilservice.gov.uk. We recruit using Success Profiles. More information on behaviours and success profiles can be found here.

The selection and interview process will consist of two stages.


Please provide a CV setting out your career history, with key responsibilities and achievements. Please ensure you have provided reasons for any gaps within the last two years.

Please also provide a statement of suitability (max 1000 words) setting out your key skills and experience against the essential and desirable criteria listed in the person specification.


At your interview, you will be assessed on the following success profile behaviours:

Managing A Quality Service

Delivering At Pace

Working Together

If you have any questions or would like an informal chat about the role before applying, please contact: HRenquiriesICRIR@icrir.independent-inquiry.com

Expected timeline

We will try and offer as much flexibility as we can, but it may not be possible to offer alternative dates for assessments or interviews. You are therefore asked to note the below timetable. Please note that these dates may be subject to change.

Closing date for applications: 3rd November 2023

Sift: Week Commencing 13th November 2023

Interviews: Week commencing 27th November

Please note that if you are successful in your application, you will be asked to list any interests you have which may be relevant to this role and consider any potential conflicts of interest.

Our recruitment process

All applications for employment are considered strictly on the basis of merit. This job description should not be taken as constituting conditions of employment.

Additional information received after the closing date will not be considered.  Failure to provide sufficient information in support of an application prior to the closing date will not be considered as grounds for an appeal if an applicant is not shortlisted for interview.

Guaranteed Interview Scheme

We operate the Guaranteed Interview Scheme, details of which are attached to the application form for this post.


Merit lists

If we identify more appointable candidates than we currently have posts available, we will hold applicant details on a reserve list from which further appointments can be made for a period of 12 months. This may include roles at a lower grade. If you don’t want to remain on the reserve list, please contact HRenquiriesICRIR@icrir.independent-inquiry.com to be removed. 



Is this role suitable for part-time working?

This role is only available on a full-time basis.

Where will the role be based?

This role is based in Belfast. Relocation costs will not be reimbursed, however, travel costs between Belfast and London can be reclaimed as an expense.

Can I claim back any expenses incurred during the recruitment process?

No. Unfortunately we will not be able to reimburse you, except in exceptional circumstances and only when agreed in advance.

What nationality do I need to hold in order to apply?

To be eligible for employment to this role you must be a national from the following countries:

  • The United Kingdom
  • The Republic of Ireland
  • The Commonwealth*
  • A European Economic Area (EEA) Member State
  • Switzerland
  • Turkey

Certain family members of EEA, Switzerland and Turkish nationals are also eligible to apply regardless of their nationality. (*Commonwealth citizens not yet in the UK, who have no right of abode in the UK and who do not have leave to enter the UK are ineligible to apply.) For further information on whether you are eligible to apply, please visit Gov.UK.

Reserved for UK nationals

Certain posts, notably those concerned with security and intelligence, might be reserved for British citizens. This is not a reserved post.

Is security clearance required?

Yes. If successful you must hold, or be willing to obtain, security clearance to SC level. Information about the vetting process can be found online.

What reasonable adjustments can be made if I have a disability?

We are committed to making reasonable adjustments in order to support disabled job applicants and ensure that you are not disadvantaged in the recruitment and assessment process.

If you feel that you may need a reasonable adjustment to be made, or you would like to discuss your requirements in more detail, please contact HRenquiriesICRIR@icrir.independent-inquiry.com.

Do you offer a Guaranteed Interview Scheme for Disabled Persons?

Disabled applicants who meet the minimum selection criteria in the job specification a

re guaranteed an interview. Selection will be on merit. If you wish to claim a guaranteed interview under the Disability Commitment, please indicate this in your application. It is not necessary to state the nature of your disability.

Is this recruitment guided by Civil Service Commission principles?

This recruitment is not overseen by the Civil Service Commission. However, the recruitment process will still be governed by the Civil Service Commission’s Recruitment Principles. More detailed information can be found on the Civil Service Commission website.

What do I do if I want to make a complaint?

The law requires that selection is on merit on the basis of fair and open competition. If you feel your application has not been treated in accordance with the Recruitment Principles, and you wish to make a complaint, contact mailto:HRenquiriesICRIR@icrir.independent-inquiry.com in the first instance.

If you are not satisfied with the response you receive, you can contact the Civil Service Commission. For further information on bringing a complaint to the Commission, please visit their web pages:



What should I do if I think I have a conflict of interest?

Candidates must note the requirement to declare any interests that might cause questions to be raised about their approach to the business of the ICRIR. If you believe that you may have a conflict of interest, before submitting your application please contact HRenquiriesICRIR@icrir.independent-inquiry.com.

Data sharing

We will ensure that we will treat all personal information in accordance with data protection legislation, including the General Data Protection Regulation and Data Protection Act 2018.

The legal basis for processing your personal data

Processing is necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest.

Personal data are processed in the public interest because understanding employee experiences is important to inform decisions taken to improve these experiences, and ultimately organisation performance.

Sensitive personal data is personal data revealing racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious or philosophical beliefs, or trade union membership, and the processing of genetic data, biometric data for the purpose of uniquely identifying a natural person, data concerning health or data concerning a natural person's sex life or sexual orientation.

The legal basis for processing your sensitive personal data

Processing is necessary for reasons of substantial public interest for the exercise of a public body: it is important to know if groups of staff with specific demographic characteristics have a better or worse experience, so that appropriate action can be taken to level this experience.

Processing is of a specific category of personal data and it is necessary for the purposes of identifying or keeping under review the existence or absence of equality of opportunity or treatment between groups of people with a view to enabling such equality to be promoted or maintained.

Please note if you are successful in your application, your sensitive personal data will be used as part of the on-boarding process to build your employee record.

For further information please see the GDPR Privacy Notice.

Our offer

We offer a pleasant, modern, hybrid working environment which supports a range of flexible working arrangements, offering a good work/life balance.



Your pension is a valuable part of your total reward package. ICRIR are developing a competitive pension scheme where we will make a significant contribution to the cost of your pension.

Season ticket and bicycle loan

Interest-free loans allowing you to spread the cost of an annual travel season ticket or a new bicycle.

Generous annual leave and public holiday allowance

25 days annual leave on entry, increasing on a sliding scale to 30 days after five years’ service. This is in addition to eight public holidays.

Staff wellbeing

Flexible working: There may be access to Flexible Working Schemes allowing you to vary your working day as long as you work your total hours.

Generous paid maternity and paternity leave which is notably more than the statutory minimum offered by many other employers.

Childcare benefits (policy for new employees as of 5 April 2018): The government has introduced the Tax-Free Childcare (TFC) scheme. Working parents can open an online childcare account and for every £8 they pay in, the government adds £2, up to a maximum of £2,000 a year for each child or £4,000 for a disabled child. Parents then use the funds to pay for registered childcare. Existing employees may be able to continue to claim childcare vouchers, so please check how the policy would work for you here.

Onsite facilities: Opportunity to use onsite facilities including fitness centres and staff canteens (where applicable).

Personal development

Whatever your role, we take your career and development seriously, and want to enable you to build a successful career. It is crucial that our employees have the right skills to develop their careers and meet the challenges ahead, and you’ll benefit from regular performance and development reviews to ensure this development is ongoing. As an ICRIR employee, you’ll be entitled to a large range of benefits.

Inclusion and diversity

We value and support all our people and are committed to being an inclusive employer with a diverse workforce. We encourage applications from people from the widest possible diversity of backgrounds, cultures and experiences.

We are a new organisation and are using this opportunity to build a supportive and inclusive culture. We will develop strong and proactive staff networks, special leave policies for hospital appointments, reasonable adjustments put in place for those who need them, and diversity talent programmes to help everyone, irrespective of background, to achieve their potential.

We want all our people to feel valued for who they are and we are confident that you will find the Independent Commission for Reconciliation and Information Recovery a warm, welcoming and inclusive place to work.

Working Arrangements & Further Information

The MoJ offers Hybrid Working arrangements where business need allows. This is an informal, non-contractual form of flexible working that blends working from your base location, different MoJ sites and / or from home (please be aware that this role can only be worked in the UK and not overseas). Some roles will not be suitable for Hybrid Working. Similarly, Hybrid Working will not suit everyone’s circumstances. Arrangements will be discussed and agreed with the successful candidate(s) and subject to regular review.

For nationally advertised roles, the successful candidate(s) will be appointed to a MoJ office location, which may include their nearest Justice Collaboration Centre or Justice Satellite Office. This will be discussed and agreed on the completion of pre-employment checks.

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.

MoJ candidates who are on a specialist grade, will be able to retain their grade on lateral transfer.

All candidates who are currently in receipt of Mark Time / Pay Protection should ensure they are familiar with the new policy on permanent and temporary promotion which can be found on the employee intranet.

Flexible working hours

The Ministry of Justice offers a flexible working system in many offices.


The MoJ offers a range of benefits:

Annual Leave

Annual leave is 25 days on appointment and will increase to 30 days after five years’ service.

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.


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.


  • A range of ‘Family Friendly’ policies such as opportunities to work reduced hours or job share.
  • Access to flexible benefits such as voluntary benefits, retail vouchers and discounts on a range of goods and services.
  • For moves to or from another employer or moves across the Civil Service this can have implications on your eligibility to carry on claiming childcare vouchers. You may however be eligible for alternative government childcare support schemes, including Tax Free Childcare. More information can be found on GOV.UK or Childcare Choices. You can determine your eligibility at https://www.childcarechoices.gov.uk/.
  • Paid paternity, adoption and maternity leave.
  • Free annual sight tests for employees who use computer screens.

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. Should you feel that the recruitment process has breached the recruitment principles you are able to raise a formal complaint in the following order

The Civil Service embraces diversity and promotes equal opportunities. As a Disability Confident employer, MoJ are committed to providing everyone with the opportunity to demonstrate their skills, talent and abilities, by making adjustments throughout all elements of the recruitment process and in the workplace. MoJ are able to offer an interview to disabled candidates who meet the minimum selection criteria, except in a limited number of campaigns.

You will be able to request reasonable adjustments to the recruitment process within the application form. If you need additional help completing the application form, please contact the SSCL Recruitment Enquiries Team.

We encourage applications from people from all backgrounds and aim to have a workforce that represents the wider society that we serve. We pride ourselves on being an employer of choice. We champion diversity, inclusion and wellbeing and aim to create a workplace where everyone feels valued and a sense of belonging. To find out more about how we do this visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/ministry-of-justice/about/equality-and-diversity.

Expected Week commencing 27th November 2023.

03/11/2023, 23:55 hours.

If you require any assistance please call 0345 241 5359 (Monday to Friday 8am - 6pm) or e mail Moj-recruitment-vetting-enquiries@gov.sscl.com Please quote the job reference - 80585.

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.

Success Profiles will enable a fairer and more inclusive method of recruitment by enabling us to assess the range of experiences, abilities, strengths, behaviours and technical/professional skills required for different roles. This flexible approach to recruitment focuses more on finding the right candidate for the specific role. To find out more about Success Profiles to support your application please click here for further guidance.

if you feel that your application has not been treated in line with the Civil Service Recruitment Principles, please contact SSCL (Moj-recruitment-vetting-enquiries@gov.sscl.com) in the first instance

We have provided detail of the assessment stages and areas being assessed to help you prepare for completing your application form, and to advise of what will be assessed following this, if you successfully pass the application stage.

Application form stage assessments

Statement of Suitability - 1000 word limit

Interview stage assessments

There is 1 interview stage for this vacancy.
Managing a Quality Service
Delivering at Pace
Working Together

A Great Place to Work for Veterans

The "Making the Civil Service a Great Place to work for veterans" initiative includes a guaranteed interview scheme to those who meet the minimum criteria to provide eligible former members of the Armed Forces with opportunities to secure rewarding jobs. Allowing veterans to continue to serve their country, and to bring highly skilled individuals with a broad range of experience into the Civil Service in an environment, which recognises and values your previous service in the Armed Forces.
For further details about the initiative and eligibility requirements visit : https://www.gov.uk/government/news/making-the-civil-service-a-great-place-to-work-for-veterans

Redeployment Interview Scheme

Civil Service departments are expected to explore redeployment opportunities before making an individual redundant. The MoJ are committed, as part of the Redeployment Interview Scheme, to providing opportunities to those who are 'at risk of redundancy'.

MoJ are able to offer an interview to eligible candidates who meet the minimum selection criteria, except in a limited number of campaigns. Candidate's will not be eligible for the Redeployment Interview Scheme if they are applying on promotion.

This job is broadly open to the following groups:

· UK nationals

· nationals of the Republic of Ireland

· nationals of Commonwealth countries who have the right to work in the UK

· nationals of the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein and family members of those nationalities with settled or pre-settled status under the European Union Settlement Scheme (EUSS) (opens in a new window) https://www.gov.uk/settled-status-eu-citizens-families

· nationals of the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein and family members of those nationalities who have made a valid application for settled or pre-settled status under the European Union Settlement Scheme (EUSS)

· individuals with limited leave to remain or indefinite leave to remain who were eligible to apply for EUSS on or before 31 December 2020

· Turkish nationals, and certain family members of Turkish nationals, who have accrued the right to work in the Civil Service

Further information on nationality requirements (opens in a new window) https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/nationality-rules

This Vacancy is closed to applications.