State Board Vacancies – Appointment of Members to the Social Workers Registration Board – July 2012
In accordance with the Government’s recent decision to widen the opportunity for board membership of state bodies, the Minister for Health, Dr. James Reilly, TD, invites expressions of interest from suitably qualified and experienced persons interested in being appointed to the Social Workers Registration Board and who would be representative of the interest of the general public.
The Health and Social Care Professionals Council (the Council) is an independent regulator established to protect the public by promoting high standards of professional conduct and professional education, training and competence amongst registrants of 12 designated health and social care professions.
It was established under the Health and Social Care Professionals Act 2005 (the Act). CORU is the umbrella term used to describe the Health and Social Care Professionals Council and the 12 registration boards established for each of the professions governed by the Act.
The 12 professions are (a) Clinical Biochemists; (b) Dietitians; (c) Medical Scientists; (d) Occupational Therapists; (e) Orthoptists; (f) Physiotherapists; (g) Podiatrists; (h) Psychologists; (i) Radiographers; (j) Social Care Workers; (k) Social Workers; (l) Speech and Language Therapists; and any other health and social care profession deemed appropriate by the Minister for Health.
Each registration board will consist of 13 members with responsibility for registration and education functions. The Council will oversee and co-ordinate the work of these boards to ensure consistency and effectiveness in CORU’s regulatory regime.
The Act provides that each registration board will have 13 members and will have a lay majority. In accordance with section 28(4) of the Act the initial composition of each registration board will consist of the following members:
Six persons of whom,
- three are engaged in the practice of the profession,
- two are engaged, as members of the profession, in the management of services provided by the profession, and
- one is engaged in the State in the education and training of persons with respect to the practice of the designated profession.
Seven members of whom
- one is representative of the management of the public health sector, the social care sector or both sectors,
- one is representative of the management of a voluntary or private sector organisation concerned with health or social care,
- one is representative of third level educational establishments in the State involved in the education and training of persons in the practice of the designated profession (this person is to be nominated by the Minister for Education and Skills)
- four are representative of the interests of the general public.
Term of Office
Members of a registration board hold office for a term of 4 years from the date of his/her appointment. No person may hold office as a member of a registration board for more than 2 consecutive terms.
The Social Workers Registration Board
This Board was the first of the 12 registration boards to be appointed, in August 2010. The Social Workers Register was opened on the 31st May 2011. In keeping with the Act, 2 of the lay members’ positions will become vacant in August 2012.
The Minister for Health is seeking to appoint two persons to the Social Workers Registration Board who are representative of the interests of the general public.
Functions of the Social Workers Registration Board
Protecting the public is central to the registration board’s object. The registration board does all things necessary and reasonable to further its object and exercises its powers and performs its functions in the public interest.
The Social Workers Registration Board will play a critical role in meeting this objective. As a member of the board you will contribute to decision making on areas fundamental to the regulation of Social Work.
This will include
- Establishing and maintaining the register of members of the profession
- Deciding on applications for registration and issuing certificates of registration
- Setting the standards of performance and the code of conduct and ethics expected of registrants
- Giving guidance to registrants concerning
- ethical conduct
- practice of the profession
- continuing professional development
- Monitoring the continuing suitability of programmes for the education & training of applicants for registration
- Approving new courses
- Making recommendations with respect to sanctions in Fitness to Practise cases
- With the approval of the Council, conducting research into education & training relating to the practice of the profession
- Maintaining statistical records which must be available for research & planning
- Recognising qualifications gained outside the state in the boards function of Competent Authority
The Social Workers Registration Board has collective responsibility to the public in the performance of its duties.
Probity and Conflict of Interest
Board members on appointment assume significant duties such as responsibility for the proper conduct of the registration board’s affairs, to hold information obtained in their role as Board member confidential and to act in accordance with public policy and high standards of probity.
In order to qualify for appointment a person must not have any conflicts of interest likely to interfere with his/her ability to play a full part on the board. Confidentiality is a key element to the work of the Social Workers Registration Board.
Role description and person specification
The variety of issues will require board members that can add value through knowledge, experience or expertise gained in their current or previous roles. This will involve the ability to balance a strategic view of key decisions with a specialist or expert perspective, while being committed to the principle of collective decision making that underpins the Board’s role. It will also require understanding and experience of what it takes to develop a well-run, responsive and high performing public sector organisation. Having some appreciation of the environment in which the registration board operates and being patient/service user focused is desirable.
In order to carry out the functions of members of the Social Workers Registration Board it is necessary that members should have skills or expertise in some or all of the following areas:
- A knowledge and/or experience of the Irish health and social care system, including an awareness of emerging developments in health and social care research and practice
- An understanding of the issues involved in delivering social work services
- An understanding of educational approval and monitoring requirements in health and social care education
- A knowledge and appreciation of good corporate governance practices
- Experience of strategic management and managing organisational change
- Experience of chairing a group, and working effectively as part of a committee to reach sound solutions to problems or of working in a partnership environment
- Focus on patient/service user safety and clinical governance issues broadly
- Strategic awareness of the wider social, political, economic context in which the health/social care sector sits.
- Have experience of working in a regulatory/ regulated environment / service
- Have experience of policy development in particular in areas of governance and risk
- Have a proven record of management in the public health /social care sector as required
- The ability to articulate and advocate the views, concerns and expectations of consumers especially those who have experience as users of social work services.
Candidates should note that dependent on level of interest the selection process may include a short interview.
Time Commitment and Remuneration
Successful applicants will be expected to attend up to ten board meetings each year and members may also be nominated by the Board to serve on sub-committees of the Board/Council. Members will be required to devote as much time to duties of the board as necessary for the proper and efficient discharge of their duties. This will include time in preparation for board meetings and attending and preparing for board committee meetings, stakeholder meetings and events and other ad hoc meetings as required. By applying for the position it is assumed that you can meet this time commitment.
Members are obliged to comply with the relevant provisions of the Code of Practice for the Governance of State Bodies. This Code includes a description of the role and responsibilities of board members
Members will serve on a part-time basis and there is no remuneration for the positions. However, members are entitled to claim travel and subsistence allowances will be paid in respect of journeys undertaken to attend meetings of the Board or to transact its business, in accordance with approved public sector rates.
Meetings are usually held at CORU offices located in Sandyford, Dublin 18
Appropriate induction training will be provided to all new members
The Department is committed to the principles of public appointments based on merit, with independent assessment, openness and transparency of process.
By submitting an expression of interest the applicant accepts that appointments are made in the exercise of a statutory discretion, that the Minister is not obliged to consider the expressions of interest offered, that he is not confined to recommending an appointment from amongst those who have expressed an interest and is not bound by any statement set out in the notice.
How to apply
Anyone interested in being considered for appointment as a Board member should submit an application form via the following link www.publicjobs.ie/publicjobs/campaignAdvert/5533.htm together with detailed Curriculum Vitae not exceeding 3 pages.
In submitting expressions of interest, applicants should also set out clearly any actual or potential conflicts of interest that may arise should they be appointed to the Board.
The application process will consist of the following steps:
When you click on ‘Apply for this job’ you will be brought to the registration page. If you are already registered on www.publicjobs.ie you can log in using your username and password.
If you have not previously registered you will need to register your details, then you must go to “Choose a Job Category” on the left side of the screen. Click on “Membership of a State Board” and then click ‘Apply for this job’.
Step 1 – Download a PDF Application Form. This is an application form which you should complete and save to your PC.
Step 2 – Complete the Online Application Form. Most of this will be pre-filled from your registration profile. Then you will be asked to upload the PDF Application Form that you previously saved.
Step 3 – Attach a combined detailed CV not exceeding 3 pages.
Applications will be accepted up to and including 2nd August 2012.
We will treat all applications/expressions of interest confidentially and information will only be given to the appropriate personnel.