The Judicial Appointments Commission (JAC) now invites applications for Fee-paid Service Members of the First-tier Tribunal, War Pensions and Armed Forces Compensation Chamber (WPAFCC).
Launch date: 13:00 on 16 May 2019
Closing date: 13:00 on 30 May 2019
Location: across England and Wales
Number of vacancies: 9 immediate vacancies
Fee: £226.84 a day
The WPAFCC hears appeals against decisions from the Secretary of State for Defence in relation to War Pensions and Armed Forces Compensation Schemes. The Tribunal is a wholly independent judicial body covering England & Wales (Scotland and Northern Ireland have their own Tribunals). There will be no primary location allocated; successful candidates will be expected to travel to venues as and when required across England & Wales. Travel expenses will be covered.
The Tribunal has been in existence since the War Pensions Act 1919.
The War Pensions Scheme started in 1918 and continues in respect of injuries that occurred before 5 April 2005. For injuries after 5 April 2005 a new Scheme, the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme applies.
There is more information about the chamber on the gov.uk website: https://www.gov.uk/war-pension-armed-forces-compensation-tribunal
The War Pensions Scheme (Service Pensions Order 2006)
- whether applicants are entitled to a disablement Pension
- the percentage at which the War Pensions Agency makes an assessment of disablement
- whether there is entitlement to other associated/supplementary allowances e.g. for mobility needs/ widows
The Armed Forces Compensation Scheme
- whether you are entitled to an award
- the amount of the award under the application of the tariff based scheme to the injury
Terms and Conditions
Judicial Pension Scheme 1993
New Judicial Pension Scheme 2015
Reading about candidates previously selected for this role is a useful way of finding out more about the skills needed. Read service member Isabel McCord's case study.
To be considered for appointment, you must meet the eligibility requirements for this post. It is your responsibility and in your own interest, to ensure that you meet the eligibility requirements before submitting an application. Eligibility will be assessed prior to selection days.
To be eligible for appointment you must meet the following requirements:
Statutory Eligibility Criterion
Members of the First-tier Tribunal, who are not judges, are appointed by the Lord Chancellor under paragraph 2(1) of Schedule 2 to the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007. Under paragraph 2(2) of that Schedule, the qualifications for appointment are prescribed in Statutory Instrument 2008/2692.
A person is eligible for appointment if he/she is a person who has substantial experience of service in Her Majesty’s naval, military or air forces.
Explanation of "Substantial Experience"
Potential Service Members could be drawn from those who have at least 7 years' service (either serving or recently retired) at Lieutenant Commander, Squadron Leader or Major rank and above, and Warrant Officers and Senior Non-Commissioned Officers of the Regular or Reserve Forces. Recently retired would usually mean within the last 7 years so that the member has up-to-date knowledge of the matters being considered. They are likely to have had deployed operational experience, experience of supporting operations and of command, staff or unit responsibilities for personnel matters. A wide understanding of the military ethos and service working practices would be a fundamental element of this substantial experience. Candidates would also be expected to have an understanding of all 3 Armed Forces.
Reasonable length of service
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 Fee-paid Service Member of the First-tier Tribunal, War Pensions and Armed Forces Compensation Chamber should allow for a reasonable length of service. For this position it is usually 5 years before retirement.
The JAC will decide whether a candidate will be able to provide a reasonable length of service.
At the time of application, candidates will need to fulfil one of the following nationality requirements:
- be a citizen of the United Kingdom
- be a citizen of the Republic of Ireland
- be a citizen of a commonwealth country or
- hold dual nationality, one of which falls in one of the above categories
Other relevant information
Crown servants do not normally receive additional remuneration for observations, training, First-tier Tribunal sittings or, indeed, any other fee-paid judicial office held concurrently. However, if you can demonstrate that any such sittings are undertaken during a period of unpaid leave or on non-sitting days from your civil service post, then fees may be payable. If you are already a member of the First-tier Tribunal, assigned to one or more Chamber(s), it is not necessary for you to apply in the JAC competition solely to seek further or alternative assignments. This JAC competition is for those seeking an appointment, which you already hold. The Senior President of Tribunal’s Assignment Policy enables cross-assignment outside a JAC recruitment campaign. All assignments are subject to business needs. Candidates appointed to the First-tier Tribunal may be assigned to any First-tier Chamber throughout the course of their First-tier Tribunal appointment. Any existing fee-paid member wishing to be assigned is advised to speak to their Chamber President.
If you are currently working or have recently worked for the Service Personnel and Veterans Agency, there is a potential risk of conflict/perception of bias. This should not discourage you from applying. However, you are asked to note that if you are successful in this competition, you will not be able to sit on a case in which you have had any involvement.
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: 16 May 2019 at 13:00
Close for applications: 30 May 2019 at 13:00
Online qualifying test: 27 June 2019
Outcome of shortlisting process: late July 2019
Independent assessments requested: 29 July and returned by 19 August 2019
Provisional selection days: 5 September to 12 September 2019
Outcome of selection days: end November 2019
In your application, you are required to complete an eligibility statement to demonstrate, in no more than 250 words, how you satisfy the statutory eligibility criterion for this post. You should read the "Explanation of Substantial Experience" above before setting out your own experiences which demonstrate how you meet the criterion.
The number of applications we receive will determine the means by which shortlisting decisions are taken. If the number of applications far exceeds the number of vacancies, an online qualifying test will be used to determine which candidates are invited to a selection day. If it is necessary, the online qualifying test will take place between 7 am and 9 pm on 27 June 2019. If fewer applications are received and an online qualifying test is not deemed necessary, shortlisting will be against the eligibility criterion only, taking account of the information provided in your eligibility statement.
All applicants will receive an email advising whether the Qualifying Test will be taking place, with joining instructions if appropriate, by 12 June 2019. If you have not received this email by noon on 13 June 2019 please contact the JAC immediately.
The qualifying test will consist of multiple choice Situational Judgement questions and will take 45 minutes.
If you are unable to sit the tests on the dates specified above due to exceptional circumstances or because it is a religious holiday, please email FPWP131@judicialappointments.gov.uk and we will arrange for you to take the test on a later date (which will fall no more than a week after the original date).
All candidates should make the necessary arrangements to sit the test in a suitable and quiet environment ensuring consistent and reliable access to a stable internet connection.
Information about qualifying tests
If you are shortlisted you will be invited to a selection day which will take place in London between 5 and 12 September 2019. We will not be able to offer an alternative selection day outside this period.
The selection day will comprise situational questioning and a competency-based interview. Situational questioning involves asking you what you would do in a specific situation, based on challenging, real-life scenarios. Further details of the situational questioning will be sent along with the selection day invitation letter.
Competency-based interviews require you to provide detailed examples of situations in which you have been involved (explaining what the situation was, what you did and what the outcome was) to demonstrate you possess the abilities relevant to the role. There are 5 competencies in total listed in the Competency Framework. The competencies list the behaviours of a Tribunal Service Member performing the role effectively.
Watch a video of a mock interview
Independent assessments (formerly known as references)
When applying, you will be required to submit contact details for your 2 independent assessors (formerly referees). 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.
The JAC will only seek independent assessments for candidates who are shortlisted to attend a selection day. The JAC uses independent assessments as evidence of your suitability for the role. You should always nominate assessors who can provide recent examples of your performance.
If you are still serving in the Armed Forces, one of your independent assessors should be your senior officer. If you are retired and still have contact with your former senior officers, it would be helpful if they could provide an assessment for you. If you do not have contact, please provide names of 2 personal independent assessors.
Independent assessments will be requested on 29 July 2019 and must be returned by 19 August 2019. Late independent assessments may not be considered, therefore you are advised to notify your assessors in advance that you intend to apply and inform them of the period we will be requesting the assessment.
You must ensure the correct details (title and email addresses) are provided. All correspondence with your independent assessors will be by email. It is therefore imperative you ensure the details are correct to avoid any delays in your assessor being contacted.
The JAC provides reasonable adjustments to ensure that candidates with disabilities are not placed at a disadvantage. We will also consider making reasonable adjustments for those suffering from short-term injury or temporary illness. Details are in the JAC's reasonable adjustments policy. Candidates will have the option to outline their reasonable adjustment requirements in their JAC online profile.
The JAC is required to carry out character checks on all candidates whom it intends to consider for appointment. This requires your signed consent.
The information required to carry out the character checks is requested in the application form.
On 4 August 2016 the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975 (Amendment) (England and Wales) Order 2016 came into effect. It allows for the full disclosure to the JAC 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.
All character matters must be declared. Any matter that has not been disclosed by you and is brought to the JAC’s attention through its independent checks will be treated as your non-declaration of a relevant matter. Failure to disclose any relevant matter is likely to have an adverse effect on your application.
It is your responsibility to ensure that any record concerning your character is accurate; the character section of your JAC profile is kept up to date throughout the selection process; and that any matter that arises before you are notified of the outcome of your application is disclosed to the JAC. You will not have the opportunity to make further representations on any declared issue once the matter is before the Commission for consideration.
Details of the bodies the JAC makes independent character enquiries with are set out in paragraph 11 of the Good Character Guidance, you may wish to contact your professional body to ensure all matters recorded are known to you.
Equal merit provision
In line with its published policy, the Commission will apply the equal merit provision to this exercise.
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 tribunals (as of 1 April 2018), 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 11.3% of the UK population identifies as being from a Black, Asian or Ethnic Minority (BAME) background. The proportion of Tribunal Judges that are women is 46% and of those who declared their ethnicity, 11% declared they were from a BAME background.
If the JAC has applied the equal merit provision, it may be presented with a situation whereby it is unable to choose between 2 or more candidates on the basis of their relevant protected characteristics. For example, 2 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. Therefore, the JAC will invite those candidates to attend a second interview, to enable it to make a selection decision. The second interviews, if required, will provisionally be held between 4 and 8 November.
The Commission will consider which candidates to recommend for appointment to the Appropriate Authority which, for this exercise, is the Senior President of Tribunals (SPT).
In order to consider a recommendation, the SPT may request any information that was available to the JAC in making its recommendation. You should therefore, be aware that any information you provide in your application or during the selection process could be passed onto the SPT.
SPT can accept or reject a recommendation or ask the Commission to reconsider. The SPT cannot select an alternative candidate.
Outcome of the exercise
The JAC will issue results by email at the same time to all those interviewed. We hope this will be by the end of November 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.
Training will be provided as required. The successful candidate will have a 2-day induction course and will be required to attend 2 days of observation in the tribunal on appointment.
If you have any questions regarding this role or your application, contact the JAC at FPWP131@judicialappointments.gov.uk or by phoning
Abdalla Bidu 07562 433967
Linda McCabe 07784 275658