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Operational Delivery

Criminal Appeal Office Caseworker – 43264
£26,411 - £30,324
London

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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

Pay Span or equivalent: Band D Background

The Tribunals Service and Her Majesty’s Court Service have been integrated into a single Agency, Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service from 1st April 2011. Bringing these two organisations together will remove duplication in management functions and increase the efficiency of the administration, which will enable HMCTS to reduce what it spends away from the front line by around

£40m a year.

There will be high expectations of all staff regardless of the job they do and the need for more robust performance management. The organisation will be adopting new ways of working to ensure that it focuses on just that which is essential in the new Agency.

Band D staff will need to display a commitment to four key principles: Continuous change, LEAN principles, managing uncertainty and improving performance. All those appointed to new roles in HMCTS must be wholeheartedly committed to these principles and evidence this in their application.

Overview

As a new organisation HMCTS is embarking on a period of significant change. Strong leadership is a critical element in this being successful. Jobholders who have responsibility for managing staff will

be required to provide clear direction and focus, visibly championing the changes which deliver greater efficiencies. The HMCTS Delivery Directors expects managers in the organisation to operate in a culture of openness and honesty, demonstrating a commitment to change through involvement and empowerment, and by delivering results.

Please note: this job title covers a number of similar specialist casework roles in the sentence and conviction groups. The job holder may be required to line manage a team of band E administrative staff.

The key purposes of these roles are to:

  • To prepare sentence or conviction and special jurisdiction appeal cases for the consideration of CACD judges in accordance with office targets, taking account of offenders’ earliest date of release and any other factors of urgency such as age, vulnerability and ill health.
  • To assist in the delivery of performance against targets.

Key responsibilities

Operations                      

To prepare sentence or conviction and special jurisdiction appeal cases for the consideration of CACD judges in accordance with office targets and procedures. This will include but is not limited to the following:

In Sentence Group

  • Checking for effective grounds of appeal, returning ineffective grounds and checking an accurate case record has been created on the office case management system.
  • Personally determining the priority of each case (approximately 1,000 per year per caseworker) based upon factors including the age, health, earliest release date of the applicant and identifying whether to send the case to the Registrar of Criminal Appeals to consider a referral directly to the full Court of Appeal.
  • Identifying, from the grounds of appeal, what documents and transcript will be required by the Single Judge when making a decision on leave to appeal; obtaining these documents from CJS partners, including obtaining confidential material from the police.
  • Checking Crown Court indictment, record sheet and transcripts for possible unlawful sentences and referring to CAO lawyers for legal advice.
  • Preparing case papers for consideration by the Single Judge in accordance with the Criminal Appeal Act and Crim. Procedure Rules.

In Conviction Group

  • Personally acting as casework support to HEO and lawyer case officers for own allocated caseload (approximately 200 complex cases per year per caseworker); implementing case directions given by senior judiciary or case officers and obtaining documents from CJS partners for the Single Judge and full Court of Appeal.

In both Sentence and Conviction Groups

  • Management of a team of band E administrative staff, ensuring they meet office targets and accurately send / respond to letters, forms and documents sent to / received from applicants/appellants, legal representatives and CJS partners (please note that not all casework band D roles include staff management).
  • Responsibility for dealing with correspondence and enquiries.
  • Personally obtaining information on appellants’ means as appropriate, identifying cases with an aura of wealth and referring to LAA Special Investigations Unit, preparing representation orders and a Note to Court setting out options re: the making of a recovery of defence costs order.
  • Using the case management system, monitoring the progress of own caseload, liaising with CJS partners and resolving problems as required, adhering to strict targets for sending cases to the Single Judge and average waiting times; preparing cases for listing, including the production of court bundles.
  • Personally arranging the release of applicants from custody following a bail grant, producing the order and ensuring all pre-release conditions have been complied with; ensuring information is sent promptly to Witness Care Units to keep victims informed.

Corporate operational responsibilities

  • Contribute to the delivery of operational, performance and service standard targets.
  • Provide statistical data for the management team and judiciary.
  • Contribute to meeting the objectives set out in the business plan, with particular focus on the team’s area of work.
  • Monitor and proactively report on HMCTS operational controls.
  • Ensure the risk management system and standards are applied by all staff in line with HMCTS/MOJ policy. Alert others, as appropriate, to risks which are not capable of local resolution.
  • Deal with customers and complaints and address route causes of complaints.
  • Apply LEAN principles, tools and techniques to working practices to improve efficiency of operations.

Team leadership

  • Assign responsibilities for action and monitoring progress against plans.
  • Ensure that performance management and reward & recognition systems are utilised effectively throughout area of responsibility, ensuring consistent standards through benchmarking, and encouraging and rewarding good ideas and creativity.
  • Identify staff potential and develop in line with business and individual needs.
  • Be responsible for health and safety issues for the team and their immediate working environment.
  • Take a lead in employee engagement activities to maintain good working relationships with staff and to improve service delivery and staff morale / motivation.
  • Ensure staff are aware of HMCTS strategic objectices/and or updated in relation to corporate messages.
  • Role model HMCTS values, and apply policies and procedures (including diversity, attendance and discipline).
  • All Band D staff are expected to perform other management roles in addition to their own role.

Processing and managing casework

  • Work with staff to ensuring that casework is appropriately managed, providing advice where process deviations have occurred.

Calculations and analysis

  • Identify and implement solutions to local problems, referring more complex problems to a Cluster Delivery Manager.

Communicating with the public, juries, the judiciary, other court and tribunal users and representatives of other agencies and organisations

  • Maintain effective working relationships with the judiciary, supporting agencies, voluntary and user groups. Working with agencies to improve the level of service offered to users.
  • Provide feedback to staff, judiciary and other stakeholders on performance against targets.
  • Think beyond own area of responsibility, considering wider policy and organisational implications of issues.
  • Attend and contribute at meetings of relevant User Groups.

Representation

  • Represent the function you have been assigned to at an operational level

Specialisms

  • Recent knowledge and experience of working in the Criminal Justice System, particularly in the Crown Court or Criminal Appeal Office is essential.

Accountability

  • Reporting to a Senior Casework Manager.

Other duties

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.

Additional Information

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.

Benefits

The MoJ offers a range of benefits:

Annual Leave

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.

Pension

The Civil Service offers a choice of pension schemes, giving you the flexibility to choose the pension that suits you best.

Training

The Ministry of Justice is committed to staff development and offers an extensive range of training and development opportunities.

Support

  • 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.

Networks

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 Moj-recruitment-vetting-enquiries@gov.sscl.com);

2-    To Ministry of Justice Resourcing (resourcing-services@justice.gov.uk);

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.