The Judicial Appointments Commission (JAC) now invites applications for Chairs of the Valuation Tribunal for England (VTE).
Launch date: 3 September 2019 at 13:00
Closing date: 17 September 2019 at 13:00
Number of vacancies: 30
Locations: Across England in the following geographical locations:
- 6 based in Maidstone/Ashford area
- 6 based in London/Bromley area
- 5 based in Newcastle/Darlington/Carlisle area
- 4 based in Norwich/Cambridge/Bury St Edmunds area
- 4 based in Exeter/Truro/Plymouth area
- 3 based in Birmingham, Leicester, Lincoln or Nottingham area
- 2 based in Leeds, Sheffield, Wakefield area
Candidates are expected to live or work in the region they wish to sit and will be allocated to an area by their home or work address. Candidates should note that some travel in their assigned area (and possibly other areas) will be expected.
Salary: Chairs of the VTE do not receive a daily fee. A limited financial loss allowance will be available subject to meeting criteria that will be provided on appointment. Travel and subsistence will be reimbursed in accordance with The Secretary of State for The Ministry of Housing, Community & Local Government determination of allowances.
Overview of the role
VTE Chairs are local people from a wide cross-section of society who, like magistrates, are lay volunteers.
Terms and conditions
Information about the VTE can be found on the JAC Information Page and the VTE website.
Successful candidates must commit to a minimum of 15 days per annum on Tribunal business, inclusive of training, meetings and any other responsibilities or activities. The number of sitting days is subject to VTE caseloads and may fall short of the minimum commitment.
Reading about candidates previously selected for this role is a useful way of finding out more about the skills needed. You may wish to read Lola Moses’ case study.
To be considered for appointment you must meet the eligibility requirements for this post.
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
Reasonable length of service
There is no upper or lower age limit for candidates apart from the statutory retirement age of 72. The age at which someone is appointed must allow for a reasonable length of service before retirement, which for these posts is set at 5 years.
The Commission will make the decision as to whether a candidate will be able to provide a reasonable length of service.
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.
Any candidate wishing to use VTE sitting days as judicial experience towards other judicial roles, which require previous sitting experience, should note that this role may not constitute judicial experience. It would be for you to show sittings in the VTE demonstrated equivalent experience for any future judicial roles you apply for.
The Selection and Character Committee (SCC) will ultimately make the decision as to whether any VTE sitting experience can be considered as equivalent to judicial experience.
Open for applications: 1pm on 3 September 2019
Close for applications: 1pm on 17 September 2019
Qualifying test joining instructions issued by email (if applicable): by 24 September 2019
Online qualifying test: 2 October 2019
Eligibility checks being conducted: October 2019
Outcome of online qualifying test issued: by 15 November 2019
Request for independent assessments: 18 November 2019
Deadline for the receipt of independent assessments: 2 December 2019
Selection days: 27 January 2020 to 7 February 2020
Character checks being conducted: February 2020
Outcome of selection process expected by: end May 2020
You should 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 Chair of the VTE who is performing the role effectively.
Candidates are not asked to provide competency examples at the application stage, these will be tested at the Selection Day. Candidates will be required to complete an online application containing basic details, including their personal profile, character profile and contact details of 2 independent assessors.
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. This will take place between 7am and 9pm on 2 October 2019. If fewer applications are received and an online qualifying test is not deemed necessary, shortlisting will be against the eligibility criteria only, taking account of the information provided in your application.
All applicants will receive an email advising whether the qualifying test will be taking place, by 24 September 2019. If you have not received this email by 25 September 2019 please contact the JAC at VTEC143@judicialappointments.gov.uk.
The qualifying test will consist of multiple choice Situational Judgement questions and will be no more than 45 minutes. No legal knowledge is required for the Qualifying Test. However, the questions are based on Tribunal scenarios so you may wish to familiarise yourself with the role and operations of the Tribunal before sitting the Qualifying Test.
If you are unable to sit the test on the date specified above due to exceptional circumstances, please email VTEC143@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
At the point of application, you will be required to provide contact details for 2 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 relevant competency framework. You should nominate assessors who can provide recent examples of your performance.
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.
Independent assessments will be requested on 18 November 2019 and must be returned by 2 December 2019. Late independent assessments may not be considered. You are therefore advised to notify, where possible, your assessors in advance that you intend to apply and inform them of the period during which assessments will be sought.
You must ensure the correct details (title and email addresses) are provided because all correspondence with your independent assessors will be via email. Errors will cause delays in your assessor being contacted.
Please ensure you only nominate 2 assessors in line with the categories below:
Professional independent assessors
These are from people who can provide evidence based examples of your performance in your profession against the competencies for this post. One of your professional independent assessors should ideally be your line manager, head of chambers, or equivalent. You may also nominate a judge as a professional assessor, provided they are able to provide an assessment of your professional role against the competencies for this post.
Personal independent assessors
These are written by someone who can provide evidence-based examples of your suitability for the role against the competencies.
Please do not nominate a JAC Commissioner as an independent assessor or a member of the VTE.
If after reading the guidance above you are unsure of who you should nominate as an independent assessor, please speak to a member of staff.
If shortlisted you will be invited to a selection day which will take place in London between 27 January 2020 and 7 February 2020. 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. During the interview the selection panel will seek evidence from you against the competencies for this post.
The overall assessment by the panel will be provided to the JAC’s Selection and Character Committee who makes the selection decision for this role.
Information about selection day, including interviews
The JAC provides reasonable adjustments to ensure candidates with a disability are not placed at a disadvantage. We will also consider making reasonable adjustments for those candidates with a short-term injury or temporary illness. You may request a reasonable adjustment in your application.
Information on the reasonable adjustments policy
The JAC is required to carry out character checks on all candidates it intends to consider for appointment. This requires your signed consent.
You should be aware that the JAC expects all character matters to 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. You will have no opportunity to make further representations on any declared issue once the matter is before the Selection and Character Committee.
The JAC considers that it is your responsibility to ensure that any record concerning your character is accurate. Details of the bodies with whom JAC will make independent character enquiries are set out in paragraph 17 of the Good Character Guidance and you may wish to contact your professional body to ensure all matters recorded are known to you.
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.
You must continue to update the character section of your JAC profile. You have a continuing responsibility to disclose any matter that may arise at any time before you are notified of the outcome of your application.
Failure to disclose any relevant matter is likely to have an adverse effect on your application.
Equal merit provision
In line with its published policy, the Commission will apply the equal merit provision to this exercise for women.
According to the most recent data*, 50.5% of the usual residents of the United Kingdom aged 25 to 69 are women and 10.8% identify as being from a Black, Asian or Ethnic Minority (BAME) background. As of 2019, As of 2019, 49% of other* non-legal members on tribunals identify as women, and 11% of other** non-legal members on tribunals identify as being from a BAME background.
Guidance on the approach taken by the JAC to equal merit can be found here. The JAC will consider applying an equal merit provision at the shortlisting stages of this exercise and at the final decision-making stage, for the purpose of supporting greater judicial diversity.
*Mid-2017 Office National Statistics (ONS) estimates based on the 2011 census data
**using the Judicial Diversity Statistics 2019 and considering the category of other non-legal members on tribunals which covers Valuers, Dentists, Pharmacists, Optometrists, Farmers, Drainage specialists, financially qualified, Landowner, Lay, and other professional and service specialists.
The Commission, sitting as the SCC, will consider which candidates to recommend to the Appropriate Authority as set out in the Judicial Appointments Regulations 2013.
For this exercise the Appropriate Authority will be the Lord Chancellor, who can accept or reject the recommendation, or ask the Commission to reconsider it. The Lord Chancellor may not select an alternative candidate.
When considering the candidates to recommend for appointment, the Commission will consider all the information gathered, which includes the overall assessment report from the selection panel.
Outcome of the exercise
The JAC will issue results by email to all those interviewed at the same time. We hope this will be by the end of May 2020.
If you are not successful following the selection day, you may be able to 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 a qualifying test is included, you will be provided with your score in the test, shown as an overall percentage. The JAC will publish a full feedback report on candidate performance on the JAC website. If a qualifying test is not deemed necessary, the JAC is unable to provide you with individual feedback.
After selection day results have been issued, unsuccessful candidates identified as on the borderline of not being recommended for appointment will be offered individual feedback on request. Candidates that fall outside of this will be notified of the outcome of selection days and will be encouraged to refer to the post selection day generic feedback report. This will be published on the JAC website after selection days.
Candidates identified as borderline should make a request within 20 working days of the date of their outcome letter.
Induction training will be available to successful candidates.
Training may be provided as required dependent on the successful candidates' requirements.
Online training along with an appropriate number of observations, in addition to distance learning may also be available.
If you have any questions regarding this role or your application, contact the JAC at VTEC143@judicialappointments.gov.uk
Christopher McGrath: 020 3334 6854
Jonathan Smith: 020 3545 8752
Suzanne Aylward: 020 3334 6417