Completing your Application

NIJAC provides a fair and transparent process for selecting applicants for judicial office to serve in Northern Ireland’s courts and tribunals.

We are committed to the principle of appointment solely on merit. We encourage and welcome applications from the widest possible range of applicants regardless of gender, ethnic and social background, marital status, sexual orientation, political affiliation, religion or disability.

The Applicant Information Booklet will include all anticipated relevant dates for the scheme, including advance notice of the intended Assessment dates. It is important that you ensure you are available to attend on these dates prior to making an application.

The information below will provide some advice on completing your application:

(Fuller advice is available in the various versions of Guidance to Applicants for Judicial Assessment and Selection.)

Personal Profile

The Personal Profile is a generic document and is a key document for applicants to make reference to when completing their application and in thorough preparation for the assessment and selection process.  

It is important because it sets out the criteria for appointment and is the basis against which applicants will be assessed throughout the short listing and assessment centre stages of the selection process. Applicants should consider how their experience is relevant or transferable to the areas in the Personal Profile, having also considered the Job Description and any other information regarding the office under recruitment.

What does the Personal Profile look like?

Five key areas are included in the Personal Profile. These are:

  1. Intellectual Capacity, Knowledge and Expertise
  2. Personal Qualities
  3. Understanding and Fairness
  4. Communication Skills, and
  5. Management Skills / Leadership and Management Skills

Within each of these areas there are a number of elements which must be addressed, therefore it is important for you to develop relevant examples.

How is it developed?

It has been developed through consultation and an analysis of judicial offices to determine the necessary skills, qualities, abilities and if specific knowledge is required.

The Personal Profile is:

Based on Ability

Identifying the necessary skills, qualities  and abilities that the ideal appointee should have. Some roles require specific knowledge and skills and through the assessment process you will have an opportunity to demonstrate your potential ability and transferability of skills.

Related to the Job

Reflects the requirements of the office outlined in the job description. On occasion, some specific knowledge or experience may be required e.g. Employment Judges will require knowledge/experience of employment law.

Measured throughout the process

E.g. your application form at shortlisting, an interview complemented by other assessment methods such as a situational judgement test or a role-play.

An example of a Personal Profile can be accessed below:
Generic Personal Profile (PDF 306 KB)

The STAR approach

You are required to provide specific examples to evidence how you meet each area of the Personal Profile.

The STAR approach will help to structure your answers in the application form and at the assessment stage. Focus mainly upon Action and Result.


  • Briefly outline the situation.


  • What was your objective?
  • What were you trying to achieve?
  • What is the context of the example?


  • What did you (not we) actually do?
  • What was your unique contribution and role?
  • This is what to concentrate upon the most.


  • Describe what the outcome was. What happened?
  • What did you learn?
  • Did you achieve, or not, what you set out to do?
  • What difficulties and challenges did you face?
  • Did you have to adapt your approach?