Number of vacancies: 100 immediate appointments
Launch date for applications: 13:00 on 6 November 2018
Closing date for applications: 13:00 on 20 November 2018
Locations: Vacancies across England, Scotland and Wales
Salary: £110,335 (Salary Group 7). London Group 7 posts attract a London salary lead of £2,000 per year and a London allowance of £2,000 per year.
Overview of the role
The Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007 created a 2-tier tribunal system: a First-tier Tribunal and an Upper Tribunal. The new structure brought together individual tribunals that had similar interests or operating practices into Chambers.
The seven First-tier Tribunal Chambers are:
- General Regulatory
- Health, Education and Social Care
- Immigration and Asylum
- Social Entitlement
- War Pensions and Armed Forces Compensation
Each Chamber is headed by a Chamber President; overall responsibility for the tribunal system and judiciary rests with the Senior President of Tribunals.
View the tribunals structure and find out more about the jurisdictions within each Chamber
Tribunals often sit as panels consisting of a legally qualified chair (the judge) and non-legal members with specific areas of expertise, though certain types of cases or appeals can be presided over by a judge sitting alone. Except in cases that involve national security or evidence of a very personal nature, substantive final hearings in tribunal cases are held in public.
During the hearing the judge must ensure that the overriding objective (to deal with cases fairly and justly) is observed, which will include all parties having the opportunity to participate in proceedings as fully and fairly as possible. Many cases involve individuals putting their own case forward without legal assistance. The judge should therefore help ensure the system is accessible to all by guiding parties through the procedures appropriately.
During the case, the judge and non-legal members can ask questions on any point that needs clarification or which will assist the tribunal in reaching a decision. The judge also decides on all matters of procedure that may arise during a hearing.
Before reaching a decision the tribunal will consider the evidence and hear submissions from both parties. The tribunal’s decision will then be given either at the hearing, or later in writing. In either case, the parties receive a written decision.
Terms and Conditions
Group 7 - Judicial Pensions Note
MOJ JUPRA 1993 Pension Scheme Guide
MOJ NJPS 2015 Pension Scheme Guide
Location and jurisdiction
Appointments are to the First-tier Tribunal, candidates are expected to be initially assigned to one of the following chambers:
- 1 post in the General Regulatory Chamber (GRC)
- 5 posts in the Health, Education and Social Care Chamber (HESC)
- 41 posts in the Immigration and Asylum Chamber (IAC)
- 8 posts in the Property Chamber (PC)
- 41 posts in the Social Entitlement Chamber (SEC)
- 4 posts in Tax Chamber (TC)
Appointments are expected mainly across England; 7 are expected in Scotland and 5 in Wales. There are no Welsh language requirements for posts in Wales. All of the posts in Scotland and Wales are across IAC and SEC.
One of the candidates assigned to IAC in Scotland may also be required to spend some of their time covering work in Northern Ireland.
Final deployment decisions will be a matter for the Chamber Presidents. It may not always be possible to deploy successful candidates in line with their preferences, depending on business need and specialism required. Candidates may, therefore, be deployed to any of the chambers or locations. In circumstances where the preferences of candidates do not match requirements/specialisms, the Chamber Presidents will take account of the order of merit to give those who are most meritorious priority of assignment to a chamber or location.
Your posting preferences
You are required to indicate in your application the chambers and regions you do wish to be considered for. This will be collated for deployment purposes only and will be used by the senior judiciary as part of deployment discussions. It is, therefore, very important that you consider which chambers and locations you are prepared to work in. Deployment will be dependent on business need. While Judicial Office will do its best to assign successful candidates in line with their preferences, it may not always be possible to do so. This will play no part in the selection process.
General Regulatory Chamber
Judges sit throughout venues for England and Wales
Health Education and Social Care Chamber
Mental Health often involves working from home and predominantly London, however could include Manchester and Leicester. SEND/Care Standards/Primary Health Lists involves working from home or based at nearest HMCTS hearing centre, including Darlington.
Immigration and Asylum Chamber:
- London: Hatton Cross, Taylor House
- North Shields
- Scotland - Glasgow, including Northern Ireland
- Wales - Newport
- London, but expected to travel throughout England and Wales
Social Entitlement Chamber:
- Central London
- North East
- North West
- Scotland: Glasgow
- South East
- Wales and South West
Other relevant information – existing judicial office holders
A First-tier Tribunal Judge must live within reasonable travelling distance of the principal venue at which he or she sits.
If you are an existing First-tier Salaried Tribunal Judge and wish to apply in order to change your current assignment(s), you should discuss your options with your Chamber President in the first instance.
Candidates should be aware that as a consequence of the TCE Act 2007, the Senior President of Tribunals (the Appropriate Authority as designated by the Judicial Appointment Regulations 2013) would be unable to appoint someone to the office of Judge of the First-tier Tribunal if they already hold that same office (even if they are currently assigned to a different Chamber or jurisdiction), as otherwise he would be appointing to the same office twice.
However, the Senior President wishes to be able to appoint individuals to the First-tier Tribunal even where an individual has currently been holding that office. Therefore, where such a candidate is successful in a JAC exercise, they will be required to resign from any current appointment as a Judge of the First-tier Tribunal, before being appointed to their new post. The Ministry of Justice has confirmed that this will not affect your continuity of service and there will be no impact on your pension benefits.
However, to enable them to continue sitting additionally in their previous Chamber(s) or jurisdiction(s), the Senior President of Tribunals has confirmed that – subject to their and the Chamber President’s consent – he will also, following their new appointment, assign them back to their previous Chamber(s) or jurisdiction(s).
If you are an existing Employment Tribunal judge upon appointment to the First-tier Tribunal you will be expected to retain your Employment Tribunal appointment. Any sittings in the Employment Tribunal will be agreed with the Chamber President/President and is subject to business needs of the First-tier and the Employment Tribunal.
If you are another existing fee-paid judicial office holder/judge, upon appointment to the First-tier Tribunal it may be possible to retain your existing appointment(s). Depending on the specific appointment this will need to be agreed with the relevant senior judge and HMCTS.
It is the government’s intention to devolve responsibility for the currently reserved tribunals which sit in Scotland. This will apply to some jurisdictions in the First-tier Tribunals, and the devolution transfer is on a date to be determined but unlikely to be before 2021–22. The present understanding is that judicial office holders sitting wholly or mainly in relevant tribunals in Scotland will have the opportunity to elect to transfer to the devolved system at that stage, or to elect to remain as a UK tribunals office holder in accordance with their terms of appointment and conditions of service.
Salaried part-time working
All vacancies are open to salaried part-time work at a minimum of 50%. The exact working pattern(s) will have to be agreed between HMCTS, the Tribunal and the successful candidate(s) at the time of appointment. You are required to state on your application if you are interested in salaried part-time working. This information is collected for deployment purposes only and plays no part in the selection process.
Reading about candidates previously selected for judicial roles is a useful way of finding out more about the skills needed: www.judicialappointments.gov.uk/case-studies
To be considered for appointment you must meet the eligibility requirements for this post. As we will not be assessing eligibility until after the shortlisting stage, it is your responsibility, and in your own interest, to ensure that you meet the eligibility requirements before submitting an application.
Judges of the First-tier Tribunal are appointed by the Senior President of Tribunals under paragraph 1(1) of Schedule 2 to the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007, as amended by paragraph 42(2) of Schedule 13 to the Crime and Courts Act 2013. To be eligible for appointment as a Judge of the First-tier Tribunal, you must meet the following requirements:
2 (a) satisfies the judicial-appointment eligibility condition on a 5-year basis;
(b) is an advocate or solicitor in Scotland of at least five years’ standing;
(c) is a barrister or solicitor in Northern Ireland of at least five years’ standing, or
(d) in the SPT’s opinion, has gained experience in law which makes the person as suitable for appointment as if the person satisfied any of paragraphs (a) to (c).
The meaning of “gain experience in law” is set out in section 52(2) to (5) of the above Act and relates to a period engaged in law related activities. Relevant qualification means a barrister, a solicitor or a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives.
In order to meet the statutory qualifications for appointment, a solicitor must appear on the Roll
For this exercise candidates are not required to hold a judicial appointment. Please be aware that the statement about previous judicial experience on the personal profile part of the application does not apply to this exercise.
Additional information: posts in Wales
Candidates for posts in Wales need to have an understanding, or the ability to acquire the understanding, of the administration of justice in Wales, including legislation applicable to Wales and Welsh devolution arrangements. This will be assessed at selection day.
Candidates must be either a UK citizen, a citizen of another Commonwealth country, or a citizen of the Republic of Ireland at the time of application. Other European Union citizens are not eligible to apply.
There is no upper or lower age limit for candidates apart from the statutory retirement age of 70. However, the age at which someone is appointed as a Salaried Judge of the First-tier Tribunal must allow for a reasonable length of service of 5 years before retirement.
The Commission will make the decision as to whether a candidate will be able to provide a reasonable length of service.
Candidates who already hold judicial appointment and were first appointed before March 1995, may have a preserved retirement age of 72. This includes candidates first appointed to a judicial office listed in Schedule 7 to the Judicial Pensions and Retirement Act 1993. Such candidates should inform the JAC about their retirement age.
You should note that the House of Commons Disqualification Act 1975 applies to this office. For further details please refer to the outline terms and conditions.
Open for applications: 6 November 2018 at 13:00
Close for applications: 20 November 2018 at 13:00
Qualifying test instructions issued by email: by 27 November 2018
Online qualifying test: 4 December 2018
Outcome of online qualifying test issued: by 19 December 2018
Online Scenario test instructions issued by email: by 8 January 2019
Online Scenario test: 15 January 2019
Eligibility checks being conducted: mid March 2019
Outcome of online scenario test issued: By 22 February 2019
Request for independent assessments: By 25 February 2019
Deadline for the receipt of independent assessments: 11 March 2019
Formal selection day invitation issued: by 4 March 2019
Selection days will take place in two blocks: 3 to 17 April and 1 to 16 May 2019
Statutory consultation comments sought: June 2019
Character checks being conducted: June 2019
Outcome of selection process expected by: end of August 2019
Additional interviews (if required following application of the equal merit provision): week commencing 29 July 2019. Further information regarding the equal merit provision can be found below.
Please read the competency framework for the role and the job description before making your application. There are 5 competencies in total that list the behaviours of a Salaried Judge of the First-tier Tribunal who is performing the role effectively.
Your online application plays an important part in the selection process. You must complete all required sections, ensuring that the information you provide is clear and accurate.
The self-assessment section of the application is your opportunity to tell us about the experience and knowledge you have for the post. You must provide examples and evidence of why you feel your skills and experience are transferable to the post and why they will enable you to perform effectively in the role. You should link your examples to the competencies required for the post, having regard to the job description. The self-assessment should not simply be a reiteration of your career history.
Any information in excess of 250 words per box will not be used to support your application. Note form is acceptable. Guidance on completing the candidate self-assessment and choosing the best examples in your self-assessment.
Statement of Suitability
In addition, you should complete a short statement of suitability (of no more than 300 words) detailing your skills and experience for your top two chamber choices. This information will play no part in the assessment of your application by the JAC but, if you are successful, will be provided to Judicial Office to assist with deployment.”
Stage 1: Online qualifying test
All applicants will receive qualifying test instructions by email by 27 November 2018. If you have not received this email by noon on 30 November 2018 please contact the JAC immediately.
All applicants will be invited to participate in an online qualifying test on 4 December 2018 between 07:00 to 21:00.
In advance of the test you are advised to familiarise yourself with the following material:
Stage 2: Online scenario test
If you are successful in the online qualifying test (stage 1), you will be invited to sit an online scenario test.
You will receive online scenario test instructions by email by 8 January 2019. If you have not received this email by noon on 11 January 2019 please contact the JAC immediately.
Applicants will be invited to participate in an online scenario test on 15 January 2019 between 07:00 to 21:00.
If you are unable to sit the test(s) on the dates specified above due to exceptional circumstances or because it is a religious holiday, please email SJFTT109@judicialappointments.gov.uk and we will arrange for you to take the test(s) on a later date (which will fall no more than a week after the original date).
The results of the stage 2 online scenario test will be sent by email by 22 February 2019.
Following each of the 2 shortlisting stages in this exercise, the JAC will produce a feedback report analysing how candidates performed overall. This report will also include information on the method of marking, including guidance and information on the distribution of marks available to applicants.
This report will be published on the JAC website. The JAC cannot provide bespoke feedback for individual candidates at the shortlisting stages; please do not make a request as exceptions are not made.
Independent assessments will be requested prior to the selection days, if you are shortlisted.
When applying, you will be required to submit contact details for your independent assessors. Please read the guidance about independent assessments before completing your application. Independent assessments will contribute to your overall assessment. They should provide evidence that you have the abilities relevant to the role as outlined in the competency framework.
When asked to provide details of your independent assessors you will see 4 boxes for the assessor details. However, you must give details of 2 assessors only. If you provide more than 2 we will only approach the first 2 listed.
Independent assessments should provide evidence that you have the competencies relevant to the role of a Salaried Judge of the First-tier Tribunal. Both of your assessors must, therefore, have sound and comprehensive knowledge of your work and one of your assessors should, ideally, be from your current employment. Depending on whether you already hold judicial office or not will determine the category or categories of assessors you must nominate as follows:
If you are a salaried judicial office holder, you will need to provide details of two judicial assessors. You should also discuss your application with your Leadership Judge.
If you are a fee-paid judicial office holder, you will need to provide details of one judicial assessor and one professional assessor.
If you do not currently hold a judicial office, you will need to provide details of 2 professional assessors.
A professional assessor could be:
- a senior partner or head of chambers if you are a solicitor or barrister
- a client, magistrate or local authority official if you are a sole practitioner
- a judge who is able to provide an assessment of your professional role
If you are a judicial office holder, a judicial assessor could be:
- the senior judge of the tribunal, court, jurisdiction or circuit where you sit most often or your appraising judge
- the Lord Justice Clerk
You must ensure all of the details (name, title and email address) are correct for both of your assessors. All correspondence with your assessors will be by email. It is important that the information you provide is correct to avoid any delay in the JAC being able to contact your nominated assessors.
Please do not nominate a JAC Commissioner as an independent assessor.
In addition you should not nominate Lord Justice Lindblom (Vice President of the Tribunals), the Lord President of the Court of Session, Sir Declan Morgan (Lord Chief Justice of Northern Ireland) or Sir Ernest Ryder (Senior President of the Tribunals) as independent assessors, as they are the Statutory Consultees and the Appropriate Authority respectively.
All candidates are advised to contact their independent assessors in advance of submitting their application. If you have any queries about who to nominate as your independent assessors, please contact the JAC.
If you are successful in the stage 2 online scenario test, you will be invited to a selection day. The selection days will take place in two blocks between 3 April to 17 April and 1 May to 16 May 2019. We will not be able to offer an alternative selection day outside of this period.
The selection days will take place at venues in Cardiff, Glasgow, Leeds, London and Manchester; you will be asked to indicate your preferred selection day location and your availability in the application form. Where possible, we will take into account your preference. However, due to the number of candidates and locations involved, we cannot guarantee that you will be offered a selection day at your preferred location.
The selection day will comprise a role play followed by a competency-based interview. The panel will be seeking evidence from you against the competencies for the post. Further details will be sent with the formal invitation to attend which you will receive by 4 March 2019. If you have not received this email by noon on 11 March 2019 please contact the JAC immediately.
Candidates applying for posts in Wales will be asked some additional questions at selection day relating to Welsh matters. This is to allow the panel to assess your understanding, or the ability to acquire the understanding, of the administration of justice in Wales, including legislation applicable to Wales and Welsh devolution arrangements. If you are considered unsuitable for the Welsh posts, this will not affect your suitability for a post in England.
Please note that selections are made solely on merit.
More information about selection day, including interviews and role plays
The JAC provides reasonable adjustments to ensure that candidates with disabilities are not placed at a substantial disadvantage. We will also consider making reasonable adjustments for those suffering from short-term injury or temporary illness. Details can be found in the JAC's reasonable adjustments policy. Candidates will have the option to outline their reasonable adjustment requirements on their JAC website account.
As required by the Judicial Appointments Regulations 2013, the JAC is required to consult a person (other than the Appropriate Authority) who has held the office for which candidates are applying, or someone else with other relevant experience. For this selection exercise, the JAC will consult with Lord Justice Lindblom, Vice President of the Tribunals, Sir Declan Morgan, Lord Chief Justice of Northern Ireland (Northern Ireland post only) and the Lord President of Scottish appointments (Scottish posts only). The information provided by the Statutory Consultees will be used to inform selection decisions.
Information on statutory consultation
The JAC is required to carry out character checks on all candidates whom it intends to consider for appointment. This requires your signed consent.
A signed copy of the consent form should be completed and returned to SJFTT109@judicialappointments.gov.uk by 23 November 2018.
The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975 (Amendment) (England and Wales) Order 2016 allows for the full disclosure of all spent cautions and convictions to assess good character.
You must declare and disclose all past convictions and cautions, regardless of whether they are spent or unspent. Failure to declare any matters that come to light from the JAC's checks may prejudice the outcome of your application. Read the good character guidance before applying.
You may update the character section of your JAC profile at any time. This is your continuing responsibility throughout the process for any matter that may arise up to the point of appointment.
Equal merit provision
In line with its published policy, the Commission will apply the equal merit provision policy to this exercise. If the Commission, sitting as the Selection and Character Committee, considers 2 or more candidates to be of equal merit, a candidate may be selected for the purpose of increasing judicial diversity. The Committee will use the provision based on the data declared by candidates in the diversity section of their online account.
The relevant datasets that will be used to identify any under-representation are taken from the 2011 Census, detailed Characteristics, England and Wales (ONS 2012) and the diversity statistics showing the background of the courts judiciary (as of 1 April 2016), based upon primary appointment, as published on the Judiciary website.
The population of the United Kingdom ('usual residents') aged 25 to 74 that are women is 50.4%, while BAME is 11.3%. The proportion of Salaried Judges of First-tier Tribunal that are women is 47% and of those who declared their ethnicity 11% declared they were from a BAME background.
The Committee may be presented with a situation whereby it is unable to choose between two or more candidates on the basis of their relevant protected characteristics, for example, two candidates assessed as being of equal merit may both be white men. If this situation arises, the equal merit provision cannot be used to make a selection. The Committee will, therefore, invite those candidates to a second interview, to enable it to make a selection decision. The provisional date for the second interview is the week commencing 29 July 2019.
The Selection and Character Committee will consider which candidates to recommend to the Appropriate Authority as set out in the Judicial Appointments Regulations 2013.
In order to consider a recommendation, the Appropriate Authority may request any information that was available to the JAC in making its recommendation. You should be aware that any information you provide in your application or during the selection process could be passed onto the Senior President of Tribunals and the Lord President of the Court of Session.
For this exercise the Appropriate Authority will be the Senior President of Tribunals who can accept or reject a recommendation or ask the Commission to reconsider. The Appropriate Authority may not select an alternative candidate. For Scottish vacancies, Judicial Office will consult with Scottish Ministers before the Senior President makes appointments. The Senior President of Tribunals will inform the Lord Chancellor of the recommendations.
Outcome of the exercise
Please note that we will issue results by email to all those interviewed at the same time. We hope this will be by the end of August 2019.
If you are not successful following the selection day, you can request written feedback. You should make this request within 6 weeks of the email informing you that you have not been successful. We will aim to respond to your request within 20 working days.
If you are offered a post you will normally be expected to take up the post within 6 months.
A general overview of the selection process is available
Successful candidates will be expected to attend induction training, this training is expected to take place in January 2020; they may also have to attend observations.
Candidates without previous judicial experience will also be required to attend a Cross-Jurisdictional Faculty Induction Seminar and will be contacted by the Judicial College, following accepting their appointment, to arrange a place on one of these seminars.
If you have any questions regarding this role or your application, please contact SJFTT109@judicialappointments.gov.uk or a member of the selection exercise team:
Sean Conway 020 3334 6710
Christine Holtz 020 3334 6854
Linda McCabe 020 3334 6588