Court Usher – 37156
£17,988 - £19,502
We welcome and encourage applications from everyone, including groups currently underrepresented in our workforce and pride ourselves as being an employer of choice. To find out more about how we champion diversity and inclusion in the workplace, visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/ministry-of-justice/about/equality-and-diversity
Two of the three available posts will be based at St Albans Crown Court and the third based at St Albans Magistrates’ Court. However, all successful candidates will be required to work at both St Albans sites and Hatfield Magistrates’ Court, as and when required.
Background and key purpose of the role
The Court Usher acts as an essential first point of contact for all the court users involved in hearings. There will be regular contact with the judiciary, assisting the administrative staff with the smooth flow of court work. You will meet members of the public and their legal representatives; prepare court /hearing rooms, and complete documentation, as well as ensuring the court runs smoothly and efficiently. You will also carry out some general clerical work as required to support the work of HMCTS.
Although many of the tasks are straightforward, regulated by well-established guidelines and/or detailed instructions, an Usher needs to be prepared to react quickly and professionally to situations, some of which may be unexpected. You will be comfortable in dealing sensitively and professionally with people from all walks of life; many of whom may be vulnerable and under stress. Advice and support is readily available and there is little discretion to depart from standard procedures, which may well require you to take a firm stance when those procedures are not understood or welcomed by a court user. Ushers work within a team with regular management support and are responsible for their own time.
Whilst initially you will be allocated to a specific court or office base, there will be a need for flexibility to work on an ad hoc basis at other courthouses and local HMCTS offices.
Key responsibilities may include:
- Collecting and delivering files and bundles to the judiciary and clerks ensuring they have the necessary papers
- Providing support to colleagues & judiciary outside of court / hearing times
- General clerical work, including use of computers and Switchboard
- Filling out forms
- Operating recording equipment and maintaining records of recordings of hearings
- Sort and deliver lists of hearings for internal & external notice boards
- Completing standard forms, etc where the information is clearly defined.
- Straightforward drafting such as acknowledgements and receipting, confirmations, court orders, warrants etc.
- Opening, sorting, distributing and dispatching post as required
- Collecting and delivering post from appropriate offices
- Ensuring Court rooms are supplied against requirements for relevant forms and stationary
- Collecting and delivering stationary around the offices
Data Entry and recording
- Resulting, checking accuracy and completeness against guidelines or a proforma, straightforward money handling e.g. issuing jury payments, spending petty cash under instruction.
- Office and court equipment e.g. computers, fax machines, scanners, photocopiers, switchboards, franking machines, messaging equipment, tape, and video recorders etc.
Handling telephone calls
- Answering standard enquiries and passing messages to others.
- Preparing rooms for hearings, tribunals, trials, meetings and clearing the court / hearing room down at the end of the day etc.
- Using electronic diaries
Reception of parties to court
- Including members of the public, judiciary, juries, solicitors and barristers, the police, representatives of external Agencies etc.
- Providing information related to proceedings, escorting court users into and from the building, swearing oaths etc.
- Calling people into court / hearing rooms in priority order, discussing with Court Clerks and Legal Advisers and liaising with the Witness Service as necessary
- Answering face to face enquiries
- Keeping parties informed of changes eg, of courtrooms and hearing times
The post holder is required to work in a flexible way and undertake any other duties reasonably requested by line management which are commensurate with the grade and level of responsibility of this post.
Skills & Qualifications
2 GCSE’s at Grade C or above, or equivalent qualifications OR have experience of working with the public in a busy public service environment. Ability to use a computer at the level required for the work.
Operational Delivery in HMCTS
This role is part of the Operational Delivery Profession. Operational delivery professionals are the outward face of government, providing essential services to the public in a variety of roles. They work in many different departments and agencies across the breadth of the UK, delivering service to customers in
- Face-to-face roles in HMCTS for example a court usher
- Contact Centre roles in HMCTS for example call centre advisers
- Processing roles in HMCTS for example Staff at the County Courts Money-Claims Centre and Courts and Tribunal Administration
Being part of the operational delivery profession means belonging to a cross-government community of people. This will offer you access to information on professional standards, skills development and qualifications to help you continue to improve your development and performance and expand your career options.
Working Arrangements & Further Information
Some of MoJ’s terms and conditions of service are changing as part of Civil Service reform. The changes will apply to staff joining MoJ who are new to the Civil Service. Staff joining MoJ from other civil service employers will transfer onto the new MoJ terms if they are already on ‘modernised’ terms in their current post or onto ‘unmodernised’ MoJ terms if they are on ‘unmodernised’ terms at their current post. Details will be available if an offer is made.
Flexible working hours
The Ministry of Justice offers a flexible working system in many offices.
The MoJ offers a range of benefits:
Annual leave is 25 days on appointment and will increase to 30 days after five years’ service.
There is also a scheme to allow qualifying staff to buy or sell up to three days leave each year. Additional paid time off for public holidays and 1 privilege day. Leave for part-time and job share posts will be calculated on a pro-rata basis.
The Civil Service offers a choice of pension schemes, giving you the flexibility to choose the pension that suits you best.
The Ministry of Justice is committed to staff development and offers an extensive range of training and development opportunities.
- A range of ‘Family Friendly’ policies such as opportunities to work reduced hours or job share.
- Access to flexible benefits such as voluntary benefits,retail vouchers and discounts on a range of goods and services.
- For any moves across the Civil Service may have implications on your ability to carry on claiming childcare vouchers
- Paid paternity, adoption and maternity leave.
- Free annual sight tests for employees who use computer screens.
The opportunity to join employee-run networks that have been established to provide advice and support and to enable the views of employees from minority groups to be expressed direct to senior management. There are currently networks for employees of minority ethnic origin, employees with disabilities, employees with caring responsibilities, women employees, and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees.
Working for the Civil Service
The Civil Service Code sets out the standards of behaviour expected of civil servants.
We recruit by merit on the basis of fair and open competition, as outlined in the Civil Service Commission’s recruitment principles. Should you feel that the recruitment process has breached the recruitment principles you are able to raise a formal complaint in the following order
1- To Shared Service Connected Ltd (0845 241 5358 (Monday to Friday 8am – 6pm) or e mail Mojfirstname.lastname@example.org);
2- To Ministry of Justice Resourcing (email@example.com);
3- To the Civil Service Commission (details available here)
The Civil Service embraces diversity and promotes equality of opportunity.
There is a guaranteed interview scheme (GIS) for candidates with disabilities who meet the minimum selection criteria.
Grading Structure Review
The Ministry of Justice is currently undergoing a review of posts which are currently graded at Band A to realign our grading structure with the majority of the wider Civil Service.
Posts advertised at Band A may be graded at either Grade 6 or Grade 7 once the review has taken place.
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