*Closes 03rd December*

The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) is seeking to appoint a Non-Executive Member to the Office for Environmental Protection (OEP). The OEP will be established as an independent Non Departmental Public Body by the provisions of the Environment Bill to provide an environmental oversight function. Its broad roles will be to: provide independent scrutiny and advice on the development and implementation of environmental law and policy; investigate environmental complaints from members of the public; and oversee the delivery of environmental law by public authorities, taking steps to bring about compliance where needed. The headquarters of the OEP are located in Worcester. A hybrid working system of meetings in Worcester, alternating with online meetings, is in operation.

Further information about the organisation, can be obtained from the OEP website at: https://www.theoep.org.uk/(external link opens in a new window / tab)

Time Commitment and Remuneration

Non-Executive Members will be expected to spend between four and six days per month on OEP business. This includes preparing for meetings and travelling time. The remuneration is £425 per day and reasonable travel expenses are paid. The appointment is non-pensionable.

Terms of Appointment

The appointment may initially be on a non-statutory basis with the expectation that the successful candidate will be formally appointed to the OEP if and when the NI Assembly gives approval to the commencement of the provisions in the Environment Bill allowing the OEP to function in NI. The successful candidate will be appointed from 28 February 2022 initially for a period of up to five years, with the possibility of reappointment for a second term – up to a 10 year total maximum.

Application Process

Applicants will be expected to complete an application form demonstrating clearly how they meet the essential criteria for appointment. A sift of applications will be carried out, followed by a shortlisting process, should the number of interviewees need to be reduced to a manageable level. The sifting and shortlisting will be carried out by the scoring of application forms against the criteria listed in the Candidate Pack. After interviews have been completed the panel will provide to the DAERA Minister a list, in alphabetical order, of those candidates considered suitable for appointment. The DAERA Minister will select a preferred candidate from that list, in consultation with the Defra Secretary of State and the Chair of the OEP.

A Guaranteed Interview Scheme (GIS) applies to this appointment – the aim of the GIS is to provide applicants with a disability the opportunity to demonstrate their abilities beyond the initial application stage. Applicants with a disability who meet all of the essential criteria at the sift stage will automatically be offered an interview. Their application will not be subjected to any short-listing which may take place.

Essential Criteria

The essential criteria are:

  • ability to support a new body in its development and evolution, ensuring it is established and that it operates effectively and efficiently;
  • ability to analyse complex issues at a strategic level in ways which are impartial, evidence-based, creative and focused and contribute to proportionate solutions;
  • ability to work collaboratively, providing support and challenge to an executive team in order to ensure effective delivery;
  • highly effective leadership, interpersonal and communication skills, demonstrating an ability to influence and engage with a diverse network of stakeholders along with the ability to inspire confidence at all levels.

Candidates must also have experience in one of the following:

  • Northern Ireland environmental law (within the meaning of Part 1 of Schedule 3 to the Environment Bill); or
  • environmental science in Northern Ireland; or
  • environmental regulation in Northern Ireland.

Desirable Criteria

It would be desirable for Candidates to have experience in one of the following:

  • practical understanding and experience of NI government, governance, politics or public service systems, particularly in relation to the environment;
  • skills and experience in the area of environmental economics;
  • skills and experience in the areas of air quality, soil quality or biodiversity

More information about this competition and about public appointments in general is available from the NI Direct website(external link opens in a new window / tab).

An application form can also be downloaded here:
Application Form and Guidance

As the Schedule to the Commissioner for Public Appointments (Northern Ireland) Order 1995 has not yet been updated to include the Office for Environmental Protection, this is not technically a regulated appointment. However, the process will follow as closely as is practicable the Code of Practice for Ministerial Public Appointments in Northern Ireland and will be conducted in co-operation with the Commissioner for Public Appointments for Northern Ireland (CPANI).

Reference to the process being regulated by CPANI in the local press recruitment advertisement was an administrative error.

An application pack and further information is available by contacting Alan Gibson, Environment Bill Team, 2nd Floor Klondyke Building, Cromac Avenue, Belfast BT7 2JA Tel: 028 90569732 or e-mail environment.bill@daera-ni.gov.uk

This material will also be made available, on request, in other formats such as Braille, large print, audio, etc. All reasonable adjustments will be made to accommodate the needs of applicants/candidates with a disability.

Closing date: Completed applications must be returned to the Department by Friday 3rd December at noon.

Equality of Opportunity

DAERA is committed to the principle of public appointments based on merit with independent assessment, openness and transparency of process. DAERA is committed to equality of opportunity and welcomes applications regardless of gender, age, marital status, disability, religion, ethnic origin, political opinion, sexual orientation or whether or not you have dependants. Since young people, people from black and ethnic minority backgrounds and people with disabilities are currently under represented in the OEP, applications from these groups would be particularly welcome.