Guidance

Work with us

Parole Board member recruitment

Applies to England and Wales

Work with us - Parole Board specialist member recruitment campaign

About the Parole Board

Parole Board Terrorist Risk Specialist Member Recruitment Campaign

PLEASE NOTE: This campaign closed to applicants on 17/05/21

The key task of all members of the Parole Board is to make rigorous, fair and timely risk assessments about individual cases which have the primary aim of protecting the public and which contribute to the rehabilitation of offenders where appropriate.

We are seeking to strengthen the cohort of Parole Board members with the relevant specialist skills to decide cases related to terrorist risk. We welcome applications from people from all cultural backgrounds and relevant professional backgrounds.

This is a role requiring senior level experience. You will be expected to use your knowledge of terrorist risk (or similar fields), risk assessment tools and/or risk management skills to work independently, and in consultation with other Parole Board colleagues, in deciding if a prisoner should be released or in certain circumstances recommended for open conditions.

As well as bringing specialist knowledge of terrorist risk, you will be expected to take a full and active part in all aspects of the panel’s decision making. Specialist members are expected to become accredited to chair oral hearings, for which additional training will be provided. You will be required to attain Developed Vetting (DV) clearance. This role is open to those who live in all regions of England and Wales. The role is home based, with hearings undertaken in person and remotely. Travel will be required to London and to attend oral hearings during the working day in secure establishments across England and Wales

Am I eligible to be a Terrorist Risk Specialist Member?

Terrorist risk specialist members must:

  • Have demonstrable substantial professional experience in one or more of the following fields:

  • Terrorism
  • Extremism
  • Radicalisation
  • Gang offending
  • Hate crime
  • Organised crime

This professional experience will be in one or more of the following functions

  • Investigation
  • Intelligence gathering and/or assessment
  • Judicial roles
  • Managing high risk offenders in the community
  • Rehabilitation of offenders and/or tackling radicalisation or extremism
  • Development of policy or legislation
  • Academic research
  • Any other function focussed upon protecting national security from the threat of terrorism (you will be required to specify)

  • Have knowledge and understanding of risk assessment and/or risk management in the context of terrorist related offending
  • Have no outstanding professional conduct or fitness to practice matters
  • Be willing to undertake Developed Vetting (DV) and accept that your appointment will be conditional on achieving it. It is desirable that you already hold DV clearance.
    *You must also be willing to undertake DV Renewal, currently required within 7 years.

If you meet the above criteria please apply here

Can I apply to be a judicial member?

Please note, we are not currently recruiting for judicial members but you can sign up here to be notified when the next campaign opens.

Our previous eligibility criteria for judicial members has been:

  1. A retired High Court Judge;
  2. A retired Senior Circuit Judge; or
  3. A Circuit Judge, who retired in the three years preceding the closing date for applications or is currently serving and will be retired by the date of the initial induction training.

If you sit as a part-time judge, tribunal judge, magistrate, or any other judicial role that isn’t mentioned above, you can apply to be an independent member.

Can I apply to be a psychologist member?

Please note, we are not currently recruiting for psychologist members but you can sign up here to be notified when the next campaign opens.

Our previous eligibility criteria for psychologist members has been:

  1. Registered as a practitioner psychologist with the Health Care Professions Council (HCPC);
  2. With knowledge and understanding of forensic risk assessment.
  3. No outstanding fitness to practice matters

This is a senior level position where it is expected individuals will use their knowledge of psychology, risk assessment tools and risk management skills, to work independently and in consultation with other Parole Board colleagues in deciding if an offender should receive parole.

Can I apply to be a psychiatrist member?

Please note, we are not currently recruiting for psychiatrist members but you can sign up here to be notified when the next campaign opens.

Our previous eligibility criteria for psychiatrist members has been:

  1. At least 5 years as a consultant psychiatrist in the UK
  2. Specialist registration as a medical practitioner with the General Medical Council
  3. A licence to practice is not required
  4. No outstanding fitness to practice matters

This is a senior level position where it is expected individuals will use their knowledge of psychiatry, risk assessment tools and risk management skills, to work independently and in consultation with other Parole Board colleagues in deciding if an offender should receive parole.

Can I apply to be an independent member?

Please note, we are not currently recruiting for Independent members but you can sign up here to be notified when the next campaign opens online form here.

Independent members come from a variety of professional backgrounds, you do not need to have experience in the criminal justice system to apply. We value transferable skills such as evidence-based decision making, independence of mind and judgement, interpersonal and communication skills. If you have these skills then we want you to apply, regardless of your background.

If you are interested in any upcoming recruitment for independent members, please register your interest using our online form here.

What does the work involve?

The key task of all members of the Parole Board is to make rigorous, fair and timely risk assessments about individual cases which have the primary aim of protecting the public and which contribute to the rehabilitation of offenders where appropriate.

At present we are only recruiting for Terrorist Risk Specialist Members and applicant need to meet the eligibility criteria.

As a Terrorist Risk Specialist Member of the Parole Board for England & Wales you will:

  • Analyse and critically evaluate information to identify continuing risks in parole cases referred by the Secretary of State, where information may come from a variety of sources including electronic dossiers and evidence given at oral hearings.
  • Apply terrorist risk knowledge, skills of assessment and management of risk/dangerousness in offender populations and professional judgement to parole cases to decide whether a prisoner can safely be released into the community; to set licence conditions where release is appropriate; and, in relevant cases, to decide whether to recommend a prisoner is transferred to open conditions.
  • Be proactive to identify and resolve issues in all allocated cases at the earliest opportunity, applying the current relevant law, procedure and guidance. Seek advice from subject experts within the Board, including specialist members, and legal and practice advisors.
  • Assess parole cases on referral to conclude on the papers or set directions for effective case management of those to be considered at an oral hearing.
  • Take an active part in oral hearings ensuring all areas of risk are identified and addressed by the panel, witnesses are questioned appropriately to inform the panel’s assessment of risk, and there is a full panel discussion of a case to properly weigh the evidence.
  • Contribute specialist knowledge and experience to the panel’s analysis of terrorist risk issues:
  • by clarifying those that are relevant to risk assessment and management;
  • by assessing the weight of intelligence, qualifications and experience of witnesses and authors, specific assessment tools used, overall quality of assessment and conclusions drawn; and
  • when two or more differing opinions exist in an area of terrorist risk.
  • Work collaboratively with other panel members to make judgements about the available evidence and to provide structured written reasons for the panel’s decision or recommendation in every case.
  • Use Parole Board IT effectively to access electronic dossiers, draft reasons for panel outcomes, communicate with the panel and colleagues and to undertake learning and development activity. Participate in oral hearings electronically, by telephone and/or video platform, as required.
  • Complete all mandatory training in line with Parole Board policy. Take responsibility for personal development by accessing materials and opportunities provided by the Board to remain up to date with current law, procedure, guidance and developments. Reflect individually and collectively on experiences and practice.
  • Achieve accreditation and maintain an active mixed portfolio of casework including paper panels and oral hearings. Terrorist risk specialist members are expected to achieve oral hearing chair accreditation and are eligible for other roles including duty work. The latter is encouraged where appropriate for business need and personal development.
  • Be an effective ambassador whenever representing the Parole Board. Contribute positively to the effective running of the organisation through non-casework activity including mentoring, quality assurance, governance, training and participation in consultation, working groups and development roles.
  • Travel in line with Parole Board policy to attend oral hearings in prisons throughout England and Wales. Also travel to the London office and other venues to attend Parole Board events, including training. Occasional overnight stays may be required and expenses will be reimbursed in accordance to the prevailing policy.

What does the Parole Board do?

The Parole Board works to protect the public by risk assessing prisoners to decide whether they can safely be released into the community. It sits as a court and makes risk assessments which are rigorous, fair and timely, based on information supplied by the prisoner, the prison and probation service and other expert witnesses.

Parole Board decisions are solely focused on whether a prisoner would represent a significant risk to the public after release. The risk assessment is based on detailed evidence found in the dossier (a collection of documents relating to the prisoner) and evidence provided at the oral hearing.

The Parole Board is responsible for considering parole reviews for prisoners serving indeterminate sentences – sometimes called ‘life’ sentences – where the sentence has no end date.

It also considers certain types of determinate sentence cases - where there is an end to the sentence – and some prisoners who have been sent back, or ‘recalled’, to prison.

To be eligible for parole, a prisoner will have served the minimum ‘tariff’, or punishment part of their sentence, set by the courts. Prisoners eligible for parole are only released into the community if the Parole Board decides it is safe to do so.

An offender released on a parole licence continues to serve the rest of their sentence in the community while being supervised by the Probation Service. This is known as ‘release on licence’ or parole.

Inclusion & Diversity commitment

The Parole Board is committed to inclusion and diversity. We encourage applications from all candidates regardless of ethnicity, religion or belief, gender, sexual orientation, age, disability or gender identity.

We are seeking to improve the diversity of the Parole Board membership and always welcome applications from people with black and minority ethnic backgrounds, as well as Welsh speakers.

We invite organisations, charities and individuals to contact workwithus@paroleboard.gov.uk to share their ideas and expertise for how we can continue to work to improve the Parole Board’s diversity in future recruitment campaigns.

What is it like being a member?

Some Parole Board members have written blogs to show potential applicants what the work entails and how they came to be a member in the first place.

Life at the Parole Board

His Honour Judge Geoffrey Kamil, CBE. Judicial member since 2000

I joined as Parole Board Member 175 in the year 2000. There were about 20 of us new recruits and most were connected in some way with the law — either judges, barristers, magistrates, ex-probation officers, or senior ex-police officers. There were no members representing any Minorities.

I can honestly say that I would not have continued as a Parole Board member if I did not enjoy my work. It is onerous but satisfying, especially when you have been able to reach a decision that is fair to the prisoner, the victim, and the public.

Read more from Geoffrey’s blog.

Independent members, transferrable skills

Aruna Walsh, independent member since 2009

When I first saw the advertisement for new Parole Board members I didn’t really consider it seriously.

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.

Read more from Aruna’s blog.

A new challenge that can fit around your other commitments

Cassie Williams, independent member since 2016

I joined the Parole Board in 2016 and have discovered so much more about risk assessments, psychology, people and myself than I thought would come from this role. I applied to become a Member as I was looking for a new challenge that worked around my busy family life as a mum to 3 young daughters, and professional commitments as a Barrister.

It isn’t always easy, but the ability to plan my Board commitments some months ahead allows me to take on as much or as little work as I want.

Read more from Cassie’s blog.

Terms of appointment

Public appointments

Parole Board members are ‘public appointees’, not employees, and operate independently when making judicial decisions.

Tenure

  • Members are appointed by Secretary of State for a five-year term with the possibility of re-appointment at the discretion of Ministers. Any re-appointment is subject to recommendation by the Parole Board based on satisfactory performance appraisal and business need. An active portfolio of casework will need to be evidenced. If re-appointed, members who are accredited chairs may serve in post for a maximum of 15 years subject to ministerial agreement.

Training

  • Training is provided and is mandatory. Attendance at training, in person or online, is fee paid at the prevailing rate and contributes towards the minimum time commitment.
  • All members are expected to become accredited to chair oral hearings, for which additional training will be provided.
  • In addition to training required for accreditation, there is an expectation that members will participate in other learning and development activities organised by the Parole Board.

Standards in Public Life:

A full explanation of the principles can be found here

Public Appointments:

  • The Commissioner for Public Appointments ensures that appointments are made in accordance with the Governance Code and the principles of public appointments. All appointments follow a recruitment process set out in the Governance Code for Public Appointments.
  • You are also expected to adhere to the Code of Conduct for board members of public bodies

Work-life balance

Flexible working

Terrorist risk specialist members will be required to provide at least 35 days annually and will be supported with ongoing training and development. The work is part-time, flexible and can fit around other commitments. All work is undertaken digitally using secure laptops and equipment which we provide.

The time commitment includes preparation time for panels, which can be undertaken at home and in the evenings, to fit in with your other responsibilities. You will also be required to attend prisons for oral hearings during office hours. This may be online or in person.

You will be asked for your availability three months in advance and will be allocated work within the days you choose. There is no guarantee of work. You may give more time if there is work available.

Minimum annual commitment

Member type Minimum annual time commitment
Terrorist Risk Specialist 35 days
Independent members 115 days
Retired Judicial members 69 days
Psychologist members 35 days
Psychiatrist members 35 days

This time commitment includes oral hearings held at prisons (or via video-link), as well as paper hearings and preparation work, which can be carried out at home using secure laptops that we provide.

Members may be able to work more than the minimum commitment if there is work available. However, there is no guarantee of work.

Pay

The work is fee paid. Remuneration is subject to deduction of tax and National Insurance contributions at source. The role is non pensionable. Casework fees for specialist members range between £345 and £375 per day, depending on the role.

Oral Hearings

The daily rate varies depending on member type (i.e. specialist or non-specialist, panel chair or non-chair) and the nature of the work undertaken.

Member type Day rate for oral hearing preparation fee (per case)
Terrorist Risk 345 87
Independent 320 80
Judicial 320 80
Psychologist 345 87
Psychiatrist 345 65

Members can expect to attend two to three hearings per listed day, whether remotely or at a prison. You will be paid an additional fee for preparation of each case, which can be done at home to fit in with your other commitments.

Paper Hearings

Below is the day rate for members carrying out paper hearings at home and is based on eight hours work.

Member Type Day rate for paper hearings
Terrorist Risk 345
Independent 320
Judicial 320
Psychologist 345
Psychiatrist 345

Expenses

Parole Board members are home-based. Hearings can take place in person, online (video) or by telephone. There is a requirement to travel to attend hearings in prisons and other secure establishments.

You will also need to be able to travel to London for Parole Board business. You will be reimbursed for travel and subsistence expenses in line with the limits set out in the Parole Board member guidance. Travel time is not paid.

Abatement

If you currently receive a salary from the public purse your remuneration for the Parole Board role may be subject to abatement.

Prison establishments

A full list of prisons and their addresses can be found here.

Published 8 June 2020
Last updated 21 January 2021 + show all updates
  1. Added translation

  2. First published.

  3. The 2019 member recruitment campaign is now closed for applications (7 March at 12:00). People can still register their interest in working for the Parole Board at workwithus@paroleboard.gov.uk and will be notified when there is a recruitment campaign open in the region they live in.

  4. Information added to 'want to know more' section: the Parole Board is holding recruitment events in Bradford and Sheffield on 22 February to discuss why it must improve the diversity of its membership and to encourage people from all backgrounds to apply to be a member.

  5. The eligibility criteria has been added to make it clear who can apply. The campaign is open to almost everyone and please do ask us at workwithus@paroleboard.gov.uk if you are still unsure whether you are eligible to apply.

  6. The Parole Board member recruitment page has been updated on Tuesday 29 January with the following: * New video of Parole Board members speaking about their roles and why people should apply * Postcode checker for people who need to check if they live in an eligibile area to apply * The option to book in a call with the Parole Board secretariat, a Parole Board member, or a member of the Public Appointments team via the workwithus email address. #workwithus

  7. The campaign for new Parole Board members is now open. This page has been updated with guidance on how to apply, blogs from Parole Board members, and when people need to apply by. More information will be posted in due course and please send any questions to workwithus@paroleboard.gov.uk.