Work with us blog: independent members, transferrable skills
Aruna Walsh, independent member, has written a blog about how she was able to transfer skills and experience gained outside of the criminal justice sector into becoming an experienced Parole Board member.
When I first saw the advertisement for new Parole Board members I didn’t really consider it seriously. My whole career had been spent in sales, marketing and operations – and in the main, in retail, and my degree is in Music and History, so how could I possibly be suitable for such a role?
On closer reading of the requirements, however, I noted that the skills being sought were in analysis, evaluation, communication, working collaboratively, drawing on written and orally heard information, and electronic working. There was no specific mention that you had to have previous involvement in the criminal justice sector or legal fields. When I reflected on the roles and responsibilities I had held to date it became apparent that I had in fact gained experience in all these skills and used them day in day out to make key decisions.
Having been successful in my application I was then given training and a mentor. Since then I have undertaken various accreditations, which combined with my previous transferable skills and life experiences have enabled me to thoroughly enjoy the work I do as an independent member, a role I have now held for nine years.
Due to the way the work is allocated there is an element of flexibility, with all the preparation done from home. Time management, self - motivation, and the ability to take on board an array of information from which you then draw on to make key decisions about risk and public protection are also very relevant and I would encourage others from all walks of life to consider the opportunity if you are looking for a role that is stimulating, challenging and rewarding.