Tuesday, 15 May 2018

General Secretary Election - Job Description

In order to assist in the discussion regarding election of the next Napo General Secretary, here is the latest Job Description, revised in March 2018 apparently:-

General Secretary 

The post-holder is the senior elected employee in Napo. The General Secretary is elected for a 5 year term. The post is line managed by the National Chair and is directly accountable to Napo’s National Executive Committee. 

Leading the Union 
  • The post-holder provides strategic leadership and ensures strategic alignment across all areas of Napo’s activity and outputs. The post-holder leads the Napo senior staff group and will attend Officers and Officials meetings as a voting member and will attend NEC and AGM to present reports on behalf of the staff group. 
  • They are expected to role model Napo’s values and principles at all times, in relation to all aspects of the work and conduct. This includes role modelling inclusive and non-discriminatory behaviours and actively championing equality of opportunity, including in negotiations with employers when operating as a manager and leader on behalf of the elected group of employers within Napo. 
  • The General Secretary may also be asked to take on the responsibilities of National Officials in relation to one or more local branches, on a permanent basis and/or as cover. This recognises the advantage of first hand front-line experience at local level in aiding understanding in National Negotiations. This would include all of the responsibilities regarding coaching local representatives, developing a local Branch plan, promoting recruitment of new members, etc. 
  • The General Secretary should be seen as a leader for members and potential members of Napo and is therefore responsible for producing high quality written and on-line communications for Napo members either directly or via delegation. This will include use of social media and other methods to disseminate messages to members and potential members. 
  • The General Secretary will also actively champion and support the professional and personal development of Napo employees, elected Officers, Representatives and other activists, including by fully supporting positive internal performance management and development. 
  • The post-holder will role model a commitment to personal professional and personal development, as an organisational leader and professional champion for the probation and family court services. In particular, this will include developing, maintaining and articulating an understanding of professional practice expectations on Napo members to enable effective representation of Probation and Family Court services externally. 
  • The post-holder also has lead accountability and responsibility for all day to day Napo output and activity, including ensuring strategic alignment and appropriate consistency between different negotiating aims and policies - culminating in presenting the Annual Report to the Annual General Meeting, and incorporating presenting relevant reports to each NEC meeting (delegated in exceptional circumstances). This will incorporate: 
Production of the Annual Report 

Production and then implementation of the Napo operational plan, informed by the decisions of the Annual General Meeting, NEC strategies and decisions made by democratic processes. 

Ensuring resources and support are available so that members’ can access representation and support in line with the Napo Membership Contract* or any other agreement about levels of service. 

Accountability for the oversight of Napo’s overall financial affairs, in consultation with the Finance Officer and the elected Vice Chair (Finance). Responsible for signing the accounts. 

The General Secretary also acts as Official Returning Officer for all Napo’s National elections and ballots. Administrative aspects of these functions can be delegated appropriately dependent on workloads and other work pressures. 

Fulfilling legal responsibilities as Napo’s legally recognised Data Protection Officer. o Responsibility for ensuring that appropriate advice (including legal advice) is available to Napo staff, elected Officers and members on matters relating to: pay and conditions of service, employment law, trade union law (including constitutional and procedural matters), family court legislation and practice, probation legislation and practice, social policy legislation. 
  • The General Secretary oversees and co-ordinates all of Napo’s externally provided services to members, supported by the Finance Official, Elected Officer Group, HR & Office Manager, Assistant General Secretary, and others as appropriate. This will include: 
Reviewing contract performance and Napo Extra content, informed by member feedback and demand 
Ensuring providers can adequately support Representatives in communicating support available to members, to maximise the benefits to Napo. 
Assessing and addressing complaints relating to Napo Extra and wider member benefits. 
The post holder will be expected to work with relevant Napo staff to explore and where possible maximise revenue opportunities for Napo via sponsorship or advertising. 
  • The General Secretary has lead responsibility for ensuring Napo’s employment practices are appropriate, fair and in keeping with Napo principles and priorities (delegating activity where appropriate). In this regard they will work closely with the relevant Napo staff and the employers group to ensure that they are in possession of high quality advice and data and that arrangements are in place for the effective management, organisation and administration of Napo's staff, including Health and Safety and welfare, appointments and training. 
  • Accordingly, they will investigate, assess and present recommendations to the elected Officer Group relating to formal complaints about employees of Napo - supported and informed as appropriately by relevant line managers. All investigations and complaints will be managed in accordance with Napo’s values, rules and processes. 
  • Where the General Secretary receives complaints against Napo members and/or Representatives, they will assess grounds for a formal investigation and liaise with members of the elected Officer Group and NEC, in accordance with Napo rules. This will include making available advice on Napo processes and the Constitution. 
  • The General Secretary will be responsible for ensuring all complaints are dealt with in an effective, fair and timely manner, where the outcomes can be judged against Napo’s values, aims and principles. 
Influencing externally 
  • The General Secretary is Napo’s principle National Spokesperson. They have lead responsibility (with scope for appropriate delegation) for presenting Napo policies, principles and priorities to others. This will include face to face and written contact with all levels of Government, Ministers and Senior Leaders, the opposition and Parliamentarians. The post holder may be required to present written and/or oral evidence to Parliamentary select committees on behalf of members. This will also include the media; TUC and other affiliates; GFTU; allied pressure groups, charities and organisations supportive of Napo aims and values (and/or to whom Napo have affiliated) employers, or interested stakeholders/parties. Additionally the General Secretary will represent the interests of members at relevant external conferences and events such as the Trade Union Congress. 
  • To ensure accountability in this regard, the post-holder will actively support, have oversight of, and (where necessary to support delegated lead Link Officers and Officials) directly participate in relevant negotiations with all employers; and within relevant Napo Committees. The post holder will hold the AGS and Officials to account for their performance in achieving Napo priorities in negotiations with the employers. 
  • The General Secretary has lead responsibility for liaising with the Trustees of the Edridge Fund. They are expected to actively promote the fund and seek to encourage member and staff support and participation in the Funds’ work and activities. 
  • The General Secretary, in particular will be expected to be the lead for Napo on all matters relating to professional issues for Napo members. This will involve working closely with Elected Officers and Napo’s committees, especially its Professional Committees and Negotiation Committees to mainstream professional issues into our campaigning aims and priorities. They can also expect to lead initiatives identified in the Napo operational plan and by AGM to develop employer policies and practice around professional practice issues. They are also expected to champion professional issues in wider Napo communications. 
As with all Napo employees the General Secretary will also: 
  • Manage their time so as to adequately meet all aspects of the job. 
  • Support their own professional development. 
  • Participate positively in Napo events (e.g. NEC meetings, AGM, Professional Conferences, etc.) and Napo team meetings. 
  • Occasionally work unsocial hours or away from home overnight in the course of their Napo work. 
The General Secretary will be the line-manager for the Assistant General Secretary, Finance Official, the HR & Office Manager and the Administrator to the General Secretary. 

Notes: *The Napo Members’ Contract is an initiative that we anticipate implementing in 2018, following consultation.


  1. If I were to say that I think part of the job description should be to shout loud and publicly about any changes to the original contracts for TR, the I might not get told off for veering off topic for posting this little bit of information I find quite interesting.



    1. You are such a sweetie, getafix. No-one else would get away with this!

  2. Getafix's reference might be more significant than first glance suggests:

    "Asked about contracts that are in difficulties, “we have re-priced in some case” says [John] Manzoni. He then backs off somewhat and says “we have to be careful with regulations”. Really? Tell us more, do explain where you have broken the law! “Several I can think of where a re-pricing has taken place, where we have got it wrong”.

    Rhys Williams then said that we get more detail from open book contracts, we can see how they are doing, and try to price in a fair way – “where vendors are losing money on individual contracts we need to work with them to re-price it or change the spec”.

    But the EU and UK Regulations are clear on this. You can modify a contract if the “need for modification has been brought about by circumstances which a diligent contracting authority could not foresee”, AND the modification does not alter the overall nature of the contract, AND any increase in price is not higher than 50% of the value of the original contract or framework agreement. Even then, you must publish a notice in the OJEU to say you have modified the contract.

    Another part of the directive says this. A modification is considered “substantial” if it “changes the economic balance of the contract or the framework agreement in favour of the contractor in a manner which was not provided for in the initial contract or framework agreement”.

    So where does “re-negotiating the contract because the supplier isn’t making any money from it” stand in terms of the directives? It would appear to be breaking the rules – it certainly changes the economic balance, and the overall nature of the contract. And of course the key point is that the supplier won the competition on false pretences; I beat you to it by bidding a 5% lower price, but now the government has decided to pay me 10% more than my bid, or has relaxed the specification. So it may well be you deserved to win the contract in the first place."

    I hope the failed CRC bidders & charities saw the committee transcript & are angry, that civil servants who amended CRC contracts are shitting their pants & that scrutiny by any relevant authority of the whole CRC process unearths how unfair & cosy Grayling made it for his favoured chums.

    1. The Competition & Markets Authority, perhaps?

    2. Maybe unsuccessful TR bidders? Or an opportunity for the third sector to push their agenda?