We have developed a simple step-by-step guide to joining the ICO. But if you are still not sure of something, please feel free to get in touch.

Stage 1: Applying

  • You will need to submit a completed application form in response to a specific advert.
  • It is important for you to show how you meet the individual requirements for a specific role, so we ask that you don't send speculative applications.
  • When you are applying, please don’t send your CV to support your application. We won’t be able to consider it.
  • When we advertise a role, we always include a closing date. After this date, we can’t accept applications without prior agreement from our Human Resources Team.

Stage 2: Application pack

Job specification
This contains details about what the role involves and what skills you will need.

Application form
The answers and information you provide will enable us to understand and assess your skills, qualifications, career history and reasons for applying.

Equal opportunities form
The information given in this section will be removed from your application before consideration of candidates takes place and will not be made available to anyone involved in the selection process.

For guidance on filling in your application form, see our Hints and tips.

Stage 3: Short listing and interview

Short listing
All applications are assessed by the shortlisting panel according to the information you have supplied and against the criteria set out in the person specification. All applications are scored and compared in order to draw up the shortlist for the post.

Invitation to interview
If you are short listed, our HR team will contact you, usually at least a week before the interview date. We will also let you know if there are any additional requirements. Depending on the role, these may include a presentation, a written assessment or completing an online verbal reasoning assessment.

Special requirements
If you have been invited for an interview and have special requirements, please contact our HR Team so they can cater for your needs in advance.

Stage 4: Offer of employment

Employment offer
Our HR Team will send you a provisional offer of employment, along with a copy of the main terms and conditions of employment. Your offer will be made subject to satisfactory references, occupational health clearance,
proof of right to work in the UK and security clearance.

Evidence of qualifications 
The offer of employment may be withdrawn if you are unable to satisfy us that you have obtained the qualifications listed on the application form.

References
When offered the role, you will need to provide two referees from a combination of employer and academic referees. One should be from your most recent employer and at least one should cover a period of one year or more. If this is not possible you may be asked to provide additional referees. Personal references are not acceptable.

Occupational health clearance
When offered the role you will be asked to complete an online pre-employment medical questionnaire.
The results are sent directly to our Occupational Health providers who will screen it and confirm with us that you are fit for work.

Security clearance
As everyone at the ICO is under a duty to protect confidential information, it is imperative that you provide proof of identity, nationality and right to work in the UK before your appointment can start. Our HR Team will arrange this with you and can advise you on suitable forms of ID. All applicants who are offered employment will be subject to security checks as they will have access to government information and assets. Staff intending to work with the Information Commissioner’s Office must meet the Baseline Personnel Security Standard, which includes a Basic Check of unspent criminal convictions via the services operated by the Disclosure and Barring Service or Access NI. Some roles will require additional security clearance to Counter Terrorist Check, Security Check or Developed Vetting level which requires the disclosure of spend and unspent convictions as well as additional personal information. The job description and person specification will indicate if the role for which you have applied requires additional security checks.

Formal offer
Once references, occupational health and security have been validated, a formal offer of employment can be made. You will then be contacted to agree a start date and once this is confirmed you will be sent a letter detailing your first day arrangements along with your full contract of employment.