Vacancy -- Commissioner for Older People in Wales

Vacancy details

Commissioner for Older People in Wales
The Commissioner will be required to work regularly outside normal office hours at evenings and weekends, in order to attend meetings and to be accessible to older people. He/she will also be required to travel regularly within Wales, and occasionally within the UK, Europe or further afield.
£90,000 per year. The salary is subject to tax and national insurance and is pensionable. Any increase in remuneration will be determined by Welsh Ministers and be in accordance with the annual findings of the Senior Salaries Review Body.

Function of body

In 2003, the Welsh Government launched the first strategy for Older People in Wales. This was a ground-breaking achievement that was widely recognised. In 2013, Phase 3 of the Strategy for Older People in Wales was launched spanning 10 years, 2013 - 2023. It focusses on the three priorities identified by older people which were to have access to the social, environmental and financial resources to age well in Wales. In light of the recent implementation of legislation impacting on older people, the Social Services Well Being (Wales) Act; the Well Being Future Generations (Wales) Act and the Regulation and Inspection of Social Care (Wales) Act, we intend to review and refresh the present Strategy to ensure it continues to effectively address the issues which are important to older people in Wales.

In 2008, Wales led the way in appointing the first Commissioner for Older People. The Commissioner for Older People (Wales) Act 2006 established a fully independent Commissioner with a robust set of powers to ensure that the interests of the people in Wales, who are aged 60 or more, are safeguarded and promoted and that services are improved to meet their needs.

The office currently has 20 staff, and 2 Directors, the Welsh Government provides a budget of £1.545 million per annum.

The Welsh Government published the findings of a full and independent review of the role and functions of the Children’s Commissioner for Wales in 2015. Although the Children’s Commissioner was the main focus of the review, there were a number of recommendations which have implications for all of the Welsh Commissioners. It is, therefore, important for candidates to be aware that there could be future changes affecting the role, functions and terms and conditions of the post.

Role description

The Commissioner for Older People will:

Be a source of information, advocacy and support for older people in Wales who are aged 60 or more;

Promote the provision of opportunities for, and the elimination of discrimination against, older people in Wales;

Encourage best practice in the treatment of older people in Wales; and

Review the adequacy and effectiveness of law affecting the interests of older people in Wales.

The Commissioner’s specific role will be:

To provide national leadership that will make a difference to older people’s lives by establishing strong partnerships and powerful relationships with people and organisations to drive improved outcomes and influence policy, legislation, decision-making and practice that affect older peoples’ lives

To scrutinise the Welsh Government, other public bodies or by persons listed in Schedule 2 of the Commissioner for Older People (Wales) Act 2006 Act to ensure they deliver responsive services to older people.

To champion the voice of older people across Wales and ensure their views and concerns are taken into account by working with older peoples’ groups and networks across Wales.

The efficient financial management of the Commissioner’s office, fulfilling the role of Corporation Sole and Accounting Officer and to provide an annual report to the First Minister.

To undertake, commission, or provide assistance for another to undertake or commission, research or educational activities in connection with any of the Commissioner’s functions.

To review the arrangements made by certain bodies for dealing with advocacy, whistle blowing and complaints (as defined in the legislation) to ascertain whether, and to what extent, the arrangements are effective in safeguarding and promoting the interests of older people in Wales.

To support older people in making complaints or representations in relation to the Welsh Government and defined services, and in prescribed proceedings.

To issue best practice guidance as required by the Commissioner for Older People (Wales) Act 2006 and the Commissioner for Older People in Wales (Amendment) Regulations 2008.

To work jointly and collaboratively with the other Commissioners and the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales and as appropriate.

To manage the team of staff forming the Office of the Commissioner, ensuring provision of an effective service in both the Welsh and English languages and meeting the demands of a busy workload.

Welsh language skills

The Welsh Government acknowledges the importance of developing and growing bilingual capabilities in public appointments in Wales, and welcomes applications from candidates who demonstrate their capability to work in both English and Welsh.  The following list of language requirements represents an objective assessment by the recruiting body of the Welsh language skills required to undertake the duties of this particular post.
No skills
No skills
Can understand parts of a basic conversation
Can hold a basic conversation in Welsh

Person specification

To be considered, you must be able to demonstrate that you have the qualities, skills and experience to meet all the essential criteria for appointment.

Essential Criteria

The person we are looking for will have the following key competencies:

A demonstrable commitment to promoting and safeguarding the interests of older people.

Knowledge and understanding of the issues and problems facing older people in Wales and of the broad policy context within which relevant services operate.

Excellent governance knowledge with experience at a senior level. The ability to lead an organisation that responds to the needs of older people in Wales, whilst managing a heavy workload.

Highly developed interpersonal networking and presentational skills. The ability to command the confidence of older peoples and the wider public, Welsh Government, the National Assembly for Wales as well as a range of organisations including health, local government, the third sector, the public and the media.

The ability to interact effectively with, and respond to pressure from, the media in order to drive change, highlight best practice and promote awareness of older peoples rights.

Knowledge and understanding of the United Nations Principles for Older Persons, equality and diversity principles and the ability to make representation to the UK Government.

Desirable Requirements

Whilst not essential, candidates who can demonstrate the following are particularly welcomed:

Knowledge and an operational understanding of range of services used by older people including transport, health, housing and social services, employment and adult education.

Knowledge of the regulation and inspection regimes used to inspect a range of public services used by older people.

Welsh Language

The Commissioners’ office has the necessary Welsh Language capability, to support the operation and delivery of a bilingual service. As such, Welsh Language skills are not considered as an essential requirement for this appointment, but a basic level of skills is desirable.

Interview dates

1 January 2018
15 January 2018

Closing date

13/10/2017, 23:55

Additional information

For further information regarding the role of the Commissioner for Older People in Wales, please contact Neil Jones, Welsh Government:
Tel: 03000 61 5860

If you need any further assistance in applying for this role, please contact the Welsh Government’s Corporate Shared Service Centre Helpdesk on 029 2082 5454 or

For further information about Public Appointments in Wales, please visit

How to apply

To apply for this role, click on the ‘Apply’ button below. The first time you apply for a post, you will need to complete a registration form for the Welsh Government’s online application system.  You will only need to register once, and you will be able to keep yourself updated on the progress of your application, and any other applications you make, via your registered account.

Once you’ve registered, you’ll be able to access the application form.  To apply you will need to submit two supporting documents. The first, a document outlining how your knowledge, skills and experiences meet the criteria for the role as outlined in the information for candidates.  This document should be no more than 2 sides of A4.  Your application may be rejected if you exceed this limit.  The second document is a full, up to date CV.  The two documents should be uploaded to the ‘Reasons for applying’ section of the online application form.

In your application, you will also be asked to provide details of any activities which have helped you to develop skills that would be useful in a public appointment role, and list the organisations for which you undertook these activities.  We also need to know about any political activity that you’ve undertaken over the last 5 years. 

It is recommended that you register for an account and access the application form as soon as possible so that you see how the application form is structured, before starting to prepare your evidence.  You don’t have to complete the application form all in one go.  You can save your responses, and log in and out as required, until you’re ready to submit – just follow the guidance in the application form.

If you’d like to apply for this opportunity in Welsh, please use the ‘Newid Iaith / Change Language’ link at the top of this page, to take you to the Welsh version of this advert, from which you can apply in Welsh.

If you need any further assistance in applying for this role, please contact the Welsh Government’s Corporate Shared Service Centre Helpdesk on 029 2082 5454 or 

For further information about Public Appointments in Wales, please visit

Commissioner for Public Appointments logo

This vacancy is closed to applications.