83796 - Investigating Officer, Judicial Appointments and Conduct Ombudsman’s (JACO) Office

The national salary is £32,827 - £35,678, London salary is £37,174 - £40,403. Your salary will be dependent on your base location
1
12 Months
London, Yorkshire and the Humber
Leeds , London
102 PETTY FRANCE (MOJ) LONDON, SW1H 9AJ, 5 WELLINGTON PLACE LEEDS, LS1 4AP
HEO
HEO
Permanent
Full Time, Part Time, Part Time/Job Share, Flexible Working
Operational Delivery

The Judicial Appointments and Conduct Ombudsman is recruiting permanently for a Band C (HEO Equivalent) Investigating Officer role. This campaign is being run externally and so is open to all who consider themselves suitable for the roles and meet the eligibility criteria in the wider advert within Civil Service Jobs.

Location:

Successful candidates will have the option to be based at one of the following locations:

  1. 102 Petty France, London
  2. 5 Wellington Place, Leeds

Occasional travel between the two locations may be required.

In order for Policy Group to meet its evolving business needs all Policy Group staff are expected to attend their base location (102 Petty France or 5 Wellington Place Leeds) at least 2 days a week.  This hybrid working arrangement is not contractual and as a result staff could be asked to attend their base location more frequently.

Ways of Working

At the MoJ we believe and promote alternative ways of working, these roles are available as:

  • Full-time, part-time or the option to job share
  • Flexible working patterns
  • Flexible working arrangements between base locations, MoJ Hubs and home.

If we receive applications from more suitable candidates than we have vacancies for at this time, we may hold suitable applicants on a reserve list for 12 months, and future vacancies requiring the same skills and experience could be offered to candidates on the reserve list without a new competition.

We welcome and encourage applications from everyone, including groups currently underrepresented in our workforce and pride ourselves as being an employer of choice. To find out more about how we champion diversity and inclusion in the workplace, visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/ministry-of-justice/about/equality-and-diversity

Salary

New entrants to the Civil Service will be expected to join on the minimum of the pay range. 

If you are already a civil servant and are successful in an external recruitment competition for a role with us, your starting pay will be the better of:

  • promotion terms or transfer terms, as appropriate; or
  • pay on appointment arrangements (minimum of pay range)

Main Activities / Responsibilities

This is primarily a complaint investigation and complaint management role. As part of this the job holder will be required to:

  • Conduct detailed and forensic analysis of often complex information.
  • Consider whether further queries are required to ensure that complaints are thoroughly and fairly considered.
  • Prepare advice for the JACO, including draft reports and letters, ensuring that conclusions are evidence-based and will stand up to scrutiny, and discussing cases with him.
  • Make appropriate enquiries with the “Investigating Bodies” complained against, maintaining strong working relationships withput compromising the JACO’s independence.
  • Work effectively as a member of a team, discussing points of interest to ensure a consistent approach and to share best practice.
  • Manage the caseload to ensure that investigations are progressed timeously and appropriate records are maintained, taking account of special needs and requests for reasonable adjustments necessary to enable people to participate in the JACO process.
  • Ensure that complainants are aware of the limitations of the JACO remit and that they are kept up to date regarding the position in the investigations in question.
  • Ensure that sensitive documents and records are appropriately protected.
  • Respond to queries and considering other correspondence received during the course of an investigation or in response to the Ombudsman’s reports.

Other duties include:

  • Drafting contributions to the Ombudsman’s Annual or six monthly reports.
  • Responding to requests for information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and the Data Protection Act 2018.
  • Providing briefing and advice on other issues within the JACO remit, including participating in training sessions run by Investigating Bodies, where requested and appropriate.
  • Responding tactfully and sensitively to queries from the public and others, whilst avoiding creating unrealistic expectations about the JACO remit.
  • Reviewing and developing the JACO corporate and other communications material.

The Ministry of Justice (MoJ)

MoJ is the largest government department, employing over 90,000 people with a budget of approximately £10 billion. Each year, millions of people use our services across the UK - including at 500 courts and tribunals, and 133 prisons in England and Wales.

Further information can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/ministry-of-justice

What we do

We work to protect the public and reduce reoffending, and to provide a more effective, transparent and responsive criminal justice system for victims and the public. We are also responsible for the following parts of the justice system:

  • courts
  • prisons
  • probation services
  • attendance centres

We also work in partnership with other government departments and agencies to reform the criminal justice system, to serve the public and support the victims of crime. We are also responsible for making new laws, strengthening democracy, and safeguarding human rights

Priorities

  • A prison and probation service that reforms offenders
  • A modern courts and justice system
  • A Global Britain that promotes the rule of law
  • A transformed department that is simpler, smarter and more unified

Band C Investigating Officer – the role

The JACO Office is an independent Arms-length Body (ALB), comprising eight members of staff supporting the JACO, Mr Douglas Marshall, in carrying out his statutory functions. It is reliant on the Ministry of Justice for funding and a range of services, including IT, accommodation, finance and accounting, and Data Protection Officer services, all provided under a Memorandum of Understanding.

The JACO Office is supported by the Sponsorship Team and the Arms-length Body Centre of Excellence within the Ministry of Justice.

The JACO’s statutory role is to review and determine complaints alleging maladministration in:

  • The Judicial Appointments process. The vast majority of such complaints relate to matters considered by the Judicial Appointments Commission (JAC).
  • The Judicial Conduct investigations process. These concern matters considered by the Judicial Conduct Investigations Office, Tribunal Presidents or Advisory Committees in the first instance, which may have been referred for further consideration, including for determination by the Lord Chancellor and Lord Chief Justice. The JACO cannot say whether a Judicial Office Holder’s actions amount to misconduct.

The JACO does not provide an appeals mechanism in that he cannot say whether individuals should be appointed to Judicial Office and he cannot review the merits of decisions in judicial conduct matters. Nor can he comment on matters before the Courts or Tribunals.

Complaints to the JACO about the Judicial Appointments process can only be made by people who have applied for Judicial Office. Complaints about the Judicial Conduct investigation process can be made by both people who have previously complained about a Judicial Office Holder or the Judicial Office Holder (or former Judicial Office Holder) whose conduct has been considered under the Judicial Conduct Rules.

The JACO also engages in discussions with a view to improving the processes that fall within his remit. He provides an Annual Report which is laid before Parliament and a six-monthly report to the Lord Chancellor and Lord Chief Justice detailing his activities in the period from April to September each year.

The JACO Office comprises eight members of staff and is split into two teams:

  • The Casework Analysis Team (CAT) is responsible for the initial processing of post and consideration of complaints received to assess whether they raise issues that might lead to a case being upheld. It comprises one HEO Investigating Officer supported by an Administrative Officer who also supports the Business Manager.
  • The Investigation Team, which comprises four HEO Investigating Officers and managed by the Joint Head of Office/Senior Investigating Officer. The Team’s role is to investigate and provide advice and guidance (including draft reports) to the JACO in respect of cases which the initial assessment has suggested might be upheld. This includes managing the investigating process (which can be lengthy and generally involves seeking comments from the “Investigating Bodies” complained about; referring reports in draft to the Lord Chancellor and either the Lord Chief Justice or JAC Chairman; and dealing with other matters arising from their cases, such as requests for information under the access legislation).

The other Joint Head of Office is an SEO Business Manager.

The successful candidate will be a member of the Investigation Team.

The Investigation Team also discusses issues regarding matters in the JACO remit with interested parties and contributes to the JACO annual and six-monthly reports.

Potential conflicts of interest

Potential candidates are asked to identify:

  • Any past or present links (either personal or professional) with the bodies whose actions and processes the JACO can review; and
  • Any matters which might create, or which might be perceived as creating, a conflict of interest that might impact on the respective independence of the JACO investigation process and the bodies whose actions he can review.

The Sponsorship Team and the JACO will consider whether any such matters would be sufficient to make the candidate ineligible for appointment.

Skills and Experience

Behaviours:

  1. Making effective decisions: Analyse and accurately interpret data from various sources to support decisions. Find the best option by identifying positives, negatives, risks and implications. Present reasonable conclusions from a wide range of complex and sometimes incomplete evidence. Make decisions confidently even when details are unclear or if they prove to be unpopular.
  2. Seeing the big picture: Understand the strategic drivers for the JACO role, aligning where appropriate to wider organisational priorities whilst maintaining the JACO’s independence. Remain alert to emerging and previous issues and trends which might impact your work area. Seek out and share experiences to develop knowledge of the team’s business area.
  3. Communicating and Influencing: Communicate with others, using a range of communications media, in a clear, honest and enthusiastic way in order to build trust and explaining complex issues in an easily understood way, taking people’s individual needs into account; Deliver difficult messages with clarity and sensitivity, being persuasive when required. Consider the impact of the language used. Remain open-minded and impartial in discussions, whilst respecting the diverse interests and opinions of others.
  4. Delivering at pace: Show a positive approach to keeping efforts focused on the top priorities. To regularly monitor your own work against milestones ensuring individual needs are considered when taking work forwards. Act promptly to reassess workloads and priorities when there are conflicting demands.

Experience:

  1. The extent to which candidates’ experience makes them suitable for the role, as described above, will be assessed at both sift and interview.

Candidates applying from HMPPS should note that the Ministry of Justice does not have the same conditions of employment as HMPPS. It is the candidate’s responsibility to ensure they are aware of the terms and conditions they will adopt should they be successful.

The MoJ is proud to be Level 3 Disability Confident. Disability Confident is the approach through which we offer guaranteed interviews for all people with disabilities meeting the minimum criteria for the advertised role as set out in the job description.

Application process

You will be assessed against the Civil service success profiles framework.

Experience

You will be asked to provide your Work History during the application process in order to assess any demonstrable experience, career history and achievements that are relevant to the role.

Behaviours

Please provide examples of how you have met each one of the behaviours listed below (see Annex A for more information):

  • Making Effective Decisions.
  • Seeing the Big Picture.
  • Communicating and influencing.
  • Delivering at Pace.

Please also refer to the CS Behaviours framework for more details at this grade (Level B– Grade or equivalent):

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/717275/CS_Behaviours_2018.pdf

Should we receive a large number of applications, we will sift primarily on the lead behaviour of Making Effective Decisions. Successful applicants will then be invited to an interview, testing both behaviours and strengths.

Candidates invited to Interview

Please note that interviews will be carried out remotely.

Candidates invited for interview will be required to complete a short exercise aimed at testing drafting and analytical skills. This will feed, in particular, into the assessment of candidates’ ability to make effective decisions and to communicate effectively.

During the panel interview, you will be asked behaviour-based questions to explore in detail what you are capable of, and strengths-based questions to also explore what you enjoy, and your motivations relevant to the job role.

There is no expectation or requirement for you to prepare for the strengths-based questions in advance of the interview, though you may find it helpful to spend some time reflecting on what you enjoy doing and what you do well.

You can refer to the CS Strengths dictionary for more details:  Success Profiles - Civil Service Strengths Dictionary (publishing.service.gov.uk)

Interviews are expected to take place mid-March 2024

Contact information  

Please do get in touch if you would like to know more about the role or what it is like working in our team. Further information on the post can be obtained from Joan Wilson Joan.Wilson@judicialombudsman.gov.uk or Heather Wrankmore  Heather.Wrankmore@judicialombudsman.gov.uk

Annex A - The STAR method

Using the STAR method can help you give examples of relevant experience that you have. It allows you to set the scene, show what you did, and how you did it, and explain the overall outcome.

Situation - Describe the situation you found yourself in. You must describe a specific event or situation. Be sure to give enough detail for the job holder to understand.

  • Where are you?
  • Who was there with you?
  • What had happened?

Task - The job holder will want to understand what you tried to achieve from the situation you found yourself in.

  • What was the task that you had to complete and why?
  • What did you have to achieve?

Actions - What did you do? The job holder will be looking for information on what you did, how you did it and why. Keep the focus on you. What specific steps did you take and what was your contribution? Remember to include how you did it, and the behaviours you used. Try to use “I” rather than “we” to explain your actions that lead to the result. Be careful not to take credit for something that you did not do.

Results - Don’t be shy about taking credit for your behaviour. Quote specific facts and figures. Explain how the outcome benefitted the organisation or your area. Make the outcomes easily understandable.

  • What results did the actions produce?
  • What did you achieve through your actions and did you meet your goals?
  • Was it a successful outcome? If not, what did you learn from the experience?

Keep the situation and task parts brief. Concentrate on the action and the result. If the result was not entirely successful describe what you learned from this and what you would do differently next time. Make sure you focus on your strengths.

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.

Benefits

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.

Pension

The Civil Service offers a choice of pension schemes, giving you the flexibility to choose the pension that suits you best.

Training

The Ministry of Justice is committed to staff development and offers an extensive range of training and development opportunities.

Networks

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.

Support

  • 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.

Interviews are expected to take place mid-March 2024

16/02/2024, 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 - 83796.

Contact information  

Please do get in touch if you would like to know more about the role or what it is like working in our team. Further information on the post can be obtained from Joan Wilson Joan.Wilson@judicialombudsman.gov.uk or Heather Wrankmore  Heather.Wrankmore@judicialombudsman.gov.uk

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

Behaviours
Making Effective Decisions - 250 word limit
Seeing the Big Picture - 250 word limit
Communicating and Influencing - 250 word limit
Delivering at Pace - 250 word limit
Experience
Work History
A sift based on the lead behaviour, Making Effective Decisions, may be held if a large number of applications are received. If a large number of applications remain after the initial sift, your application will be progressed to a full sift, where all behaviours will then be considered.

Interview stage assessments

There is 1 interview stage for this vacancy.
Behaviours
Making Effective Decisions
Seeing the Big Picture
Communicating and Influencing
Delivering at Pace
Strengths may also be assessed at interview but these are not shared in advance.
Additional Assessment(s)
Written Exercise

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.

The Civil Service welcomes applications from people who have recently left prison or have an unspent conviction. Read more about prison leaver recruitment.

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.