The House of Commons is recruiting an A1 Clerk. A1 Clerks are recruited to band rather than post and successful candidates will join a circulatable pool of Clerks and may be circulated from time to time between the following offices:
The Committee Office comprises the staff of most select committees, the Scrutiny Unit, the Web and Publications Unit, and the Media and Communications Service.
The Committee Office provides support and advice for all aspects of the work of select committees. Each committee has a secretariat, headed by a Clerk.
Chamber Business team
The Chamber Business team supports the business of the House, providing procedural services and advice. It comprises four key offices:
- The Table Office is the place where Members of Parliament table Parliamentary Questions (PQs) and Early Day Motions (EDMs). The Office also produces the House’s Order Paper and associated business papers for each day’s sitting.
- The Journal Office produces the authoritative record of proceedings in the House and provides a variety of procedural advice and services to the House. It also provides staff and administrative support for certain select committees.
- The Public Bill Office administers all business relating to public legislation. It provides Clerks for general committees including public bill committees.
- The Private Bill Office administers the House’s procedures applying to private legislation and provides advice on those procedures to Members, parliamentary agents and others.
Clerk of a select committee, leading the staff team (typically of 5-9 people) supporting Members of Parliament in scrutinising the Government’s performance in a particular policy area, and reporting their findings and recommendations to the House. Select Committees work in different ways, choosing approaches and methods appropriate to their topics of inquiry.
Key roles and responsibilities
Typical duties which A1 clerks can expect to undertake include:
- Acting with autonomy in all aspects of the management of the Committee and relations with its Members, giving effect to the collective decisions of the Committee
- Delivering the Committee’s programme of inquiries and other activities
- Resource management of the Committee’s support, leading a team of staff, line managing the other members of the team, managing the contribution of external specialist advisers and taking responsibility for committee expenditure
- Managing relationships between the Committee and (a) its staff, (b) Government departments (c) the House and (d) external organisations and individuals
- Giving authoritative procedural and policy advice to the Chair and Members, and advice on select committee practice to witnesses
- Supervising the drafting of the Committee’s reports before they go to the Chair, and of briefing material (and in some cases drafting part or all of such documents personally)
- Representing the Committee at internal and external meetings and events.
Experience and skills
- Ability to adopt a strategic view of their role within the House of Commons Service and their immediate Team, showing a flexible approach to managing priorities and workloads within available resources. Demonstrates the House’s values, including commitment to diversity and inclusion. Ability to motivate a team and to manage people inclusively, helping staff to develop their skills, addressing under-performance and delegating effectively.
- Demonstrable ability to provide high level authoritative advice on complex issues and proven ability to rapidly acquire required specialist knowledge. Ability to understand the functions, practice and procedures of the House of Commons and its committees and to quickly develop the competence to provide authoritative procedural advice to Members of Parliament and others, without supervision, either as the Clerk of a Departmental Select Committee or as the senior person on duty in a procedural office. A demonstrated commitment to the sharing of knowledge and best practice.
- Demonstrable experience of working effectively in complex or highly charged environments, identifying and mitigating potential risks and seeking advice where appropriate. A good understanding of the political and legal context in which the House of Commons carries out its business and an ability to work in a politically impartial way.
- Sound judgement, a high level of analytical skills, ability to devise pragmatic solutions to complex problems, and ability to draft clearly and edit others’ work to a high standard.
- The ability to build good working relationships with senior stakeholders, including delivering difficult messages when necessary. Ability to communicate effectively and authoritatively with a wide range of both internal and external stakeholders.
- Excellent organisational and planning skills with the ability to translate aims into practical objectives, maximising effective and efficient use of resources. Proven ability to anticipate the needs of senior and other stakeholders, devise innovative ways of delivering better services, and see ideas through to delivery.