Appendix 7: Guidelines of OCPA Code for Lay Adviser recruitment

Guidelines on the Commissioner for Public Appointments (CPA) Code of Practice and Delegated Authority for the Appointment of MAPPA Lay Advisers

A number of sponsors of multiple regional bodies or other public appointments have agreed to adopt a proportionate CPA requirements model to ensure that the principles of the new Code are met for their public appointments processes. This includes Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA) Lay Advisers.

Ministerial approval has been given through delegated authority to select MAPPA Lay Advisers on behalf of the Minister. The NOMS MAPPA team will gain Ministerial agreement to the appointment processes and the measures in place for ensuring that the CPA principles are adhered to every three years.

The Model requirements and delegated authority are:

The Role of Sponsors

1. Sponsors (the NOMS MAPPA team) need to be able to demonstrate that all public appointments have complied with the new Code of Practice. Sponsors must keep the record of compliance for each campaign for at least two years for audit purposes. As such, it is essential that MAPPA areas provide the NOMS MAPPA team with a completed Panel Chair's Report and all diversity questionnaires submitted by all candidates.

The Selection Panel

2. A Selection Panel must be convened to oversee the appointment process and a Panel Chair must be assigned. The Panel Chair is responsible for ensuring that the campaign complies with the CPA Code of Practice.

The Essential Criteria and Advertisement

The essential criteria used in the advert should be suitable to recruit a strong and diverse field of candidates.

An External Perspective

3. The Selection Panel must include an external perspective, this will be met by a member of the body, or associated body, from a neighbouring or different area or region as a member of the Selection Panel. i.e. The independent member of the Selection Panel should be selected from a neighbouring MAPPA area, not from the recruiting area. Alternatively, the independent selection panel member could be a member of another MoJ or government body, i.e. from the Independent Monitoring Boards (IMBs).

4. Members of the Selection Panel will:

  • Be competent to fulfil their role on the Selection Panel
  • Understand the principles and requirements of the CPA Code
  • Remain Members of the Selection Panel throughout the appointment process.
  • Declare any conflicts of interest that are relevant to their participation as a Selection Panel Member. Where the conflict is considered significant enough to have an impact on either the outcome of the process or the public perception of the process, the matter should be referred to the sponsor or PAT for consideration before the selection process can proceed.
  • Pay particular attention to attracting a strong and diverse field of candidates, including those from underrepresented groups.

5. If a member of the Selection Panel knows, or knows of, one or more of the applicants, they will inform their fellow Panel Members and explain the nature of the relationship or knowledge. If the nature of any relationship between a Selection Panel Member and an applicant means it may be inappropriate for the Panel Member to assess the applicant, the Panel Chair must consult the sponsor or PAT and agree the appropriate action.

6. The Panel should, within the context of exploring conflicts of interest, explore any significant political activity of the candidates within the last five years. This includes holding office, public speaking, making a recordable donation or candidature for election.

7. Any expenses incurred by the external member of the Selection Panel should be met by the body, its sponsor or local partner agencies.

The Selection Panel Chair's Reports

8. The Selection Panel Chair must produce a Chair's Report at the end of the each of the sift and interview processes. The Reports should summarise and evidence the reasons for the Panel's conclusions, including the reasons why those not recommended for interview or appointment were considered less suitable than those who were recommended. The Reports should also describe the stages and outcome of the selection process; how the external perspective was achieved; and confirm that the process was conducted in accordance with the CPA principles of merit, fairness and openness. The Reports should be provided to the Sponsor and retained for at least two years. A template for the Reports that should be used is attached.

9. The Selection Panel Chair report must provide the Minister with the following:

- A written assessment of each interviewed candidate's suitability for the role.

- A single appointable candidate for each post advertised.

Delegated Authority for Ministerial Approval

10. Delegated authority has been obtained for the recruitment of MAPPA Lay Advisers. As such it is not necessary to inform the Minister before commencing a recruitment campaign (although the NOMS MAPPA team must still be informed) or keep the Minister updated on progress. Panels can also select a single eligible candidate for appointment by the Minister.

11. Appointees should not be informed of an appointment or re-appointment until it has been approved by the Minister.

Publicity

12. All appointments should be advertised on the Cabinet Office website. The PAT is able to provide a template which should be returned to the NOMS MAPPA team.

13. The CPA kitemark should be used on all publicity material for the appointment, available on request from HYPERLINK "mailto:public.appointmentsteam@justice.gsi.gov.uk" public.appointmentsteam@justice.gsi.gov.uk .

14. Any political activity must be publicised when the appointment is announced.

15. Appointments to bodies operating mainly or solely in Wales must pay attention to Welsh language requirements.

Complaints

16. Any individual may complain that a competition has not been in compliance with the principles of the CPA Code. Sponsors are responsible for making all applicants aware of their right to complain and the CPA complaints procedure. This should be included in the application form or the applicant's information pack.

17. In the first instance, complaints should be raised with the Sponsors. If the complainant remains dissatisfied, the complaint should be referred to CPA.

18. Any complaints should be lodged within 12 months of an appointment being made and all records of complaints should be kept for at least two years. Information on complaints must be supplied with the quarterly statistical return.

CPA Monitoring

19. Sponsors will provide Selection Panels with the documentation required for CPA monitoring, including the Panel Chair's Reports templates, which must be completed and returned to them before an appointment is made.

20. The Sponsor will examine the documents to ensure compliance with the CPA principles and if appropriate report the outcome to the Minister or delegated authority for making the appointment. If satisfied, the Minister will then be asked to make the appointment.

21. Competition information must be kept for at least two years by the body and the Sponsors, as CPA will audit departments for evidence of compliance with the CPA Code.

Announcement of the Appointment

22. The appointment must be announced on the MoJ public appointments web page. The PAT can provide the template for doing this. If the appointed candidate declared political activity on their application, these details must be referred to in the announcement.

23. The announcement of the appointment of the successful candidate must be publicised on a basis proportionate to the role.

Statistical Return

24. All MoJ public appointments are subject to a Quarterly Statistical Return which collects information on diversity and the type of appointment. Sponsors will be asked to collect this information for new appointments, reappointments and extensions. The information will be collated into a Quarterly Return for MoJ by the PAT.

Political Activity

25. Any political activity should be explored in the context of conflicts of interest during the Panel interview. This information should be recorded on the application form and Panel Chair's Report. It will be included by the Sponsor as part of the Statistical Return and should be publicised when the appointment is announced.

Induction for new appointees

26. A proportionate induction process should be carried out for all new appointees. Induction and Appraisal Guidance for Public Appointees is available from the PAT. The Guidance is kept under regular review and any comments and suggestions on how it can be amended or improved would be welcome.

Performance Appraisals for appointees

27. Performance appraisals should be carried out for all appointments as good practice. These should be carried out on a basis proportionate to the role.

28. Reappointments and extensions must only be made when a satisfactory performance appraisal has been carried out. Reappointment should not be the default option and decisions to reappoint need to be justified. Evidence of the appraisal must be retained for at least two years and be made available to sponsors on request, as they may be required for CPA audit purposes.

29. A Request for Lay Adviser Re-appointment must be submitted to the NOMS MAPPA team before a Lay Adviser is Re-appointed by the Minister.

30. Where no maximum lengths of tenure are specified, no individual will serve in any one body for more than ten years. Maximum length of tenure for MAPPA Lay Advisers is seven years.

Exemptions from the Model

31. For any exemptions to the requirements of the Model, the Selection Panel should approach the Sponsors who will test them against the CPA principles and consult with the Ministry of Justice's Public Appointments Team to advise if they are acceptable and / or if any measures need to be taken. Any decisions should be recorded and retained for at least two years.

MoJ Public Appointments Team

July 2015