Board seeks Independent Volunteers to monitor PSNI recruitment process

28 April 2014

The Policing Board is looking for volunteers to monitor future PSNI recruitment campaigns.

Speaking about the process, Policing Board Chair Anne Connolly said: “The Board is seeking to appoint Independent Community Observers (ICOs) for future PSNI recruitment campaigns.

ICOs are volunteers from the community who monitor key elements of the PSNI recruitment process by measuring if the same procedures are applied to all candidates and evaluating whether facilities and arrangements are adequate. They then report back to the Policing Board on findings.

It is vitally important that procedures in place when recruiting and appointing PSNI Officers are fair and equitable so that each candidate is processed under the same conditions. It is also important that those who carry out the role of monitoring and reporting on the processes are independent of the Board and the police.”

Mrs Connolly added: “We are keen to hear from members of the community who wish to play their part in how our policing system operates. I would also like to pass on the thanks of the Board to ICOs who have taken time out of their lives in the past to undertake this role.”

Former ICO Ann Adams, a retired lecturer from Bangor says she became an ICO to make a contribution to wider policing in Northern Ireland. Ann, who has been involved in two previous recruitment campaigns, said: “I feel the process does need independent supervision to ensure absolute fairness towards all the applicants. The work of ICOs mean candidates can be assured of fair play and equality at key stages of the recruitment process.

My previous occupation meant I was familiar with examination process and, as this is a broadly similar situation, I felt I could make a contribution and intervene where arrangements fell short. I would encourage people to put themselves forward for this voluntary post if they feel they wish to contribute to policing in Northern Ireland.”


For further information please contact the Board’s Communications Office on 07801 738795.

Notes to Editors

Legislative requirements

Independent Community Observer (ICO) appointments are made in line with Section 10 of the Police (Recruitment) (Northern Ireland) Regulations 2001 which can be viewed at the following link:

Conditions of the post

The posts are voluntary and therefore unpaid, but reasonable out of pocket and travel expenses will be reimbursed


The following are excluded from being an Independent Community Observer:

  • serving and former police officers, police support staff and members and staff of the Policing Board or a Police Authority;
  • people who have been at any time convicted in Northern Ireland or elsewhere of any offence and have had a sentence of imprisonment passed, whether suspended or not;
  • people involved in any part of the PSNI recruitment process (for example as part of the Criminal Justice System, paid employment or as a lay assessor).
  • Applications

Notes to editors ends.