Self-assessment is a critical part of your application. The panel assesses the information in your self-assessment against the competency framework to determine whether you meet the requirements of a post.
You must provide the panel with enough information to make a decision.
- read the competency framework for the post carefully to understand what you need to demonstrate in your self-assessment
- consider how your own experience relates to or is transferable to the competencies in the framework
- reflect on roles, tasks and situations in which you demonstrated those competencies
- select specific examples that best demonstrate the competencies as they are set out in the framework
The competency framework lists in bullet-points the requirements of the post under 5 headings:
- Exercising judgement
- Assimilating and clarifying information
- Possessing and building knowledge
- Working and communicating with others
- Managing work efficiently
Beneath each of these headings in the competency framework is a series of bullet-points listing the ways in which the competency might be demonstrated. You do not need to provide a separate example for every bullet-point in the competency framework.
The strongest self-assessments provide between 1 and 3 examples within each competency area, and demonstrate breadth, showing clearly how you approached each situation and achieved a successful outcome.
Your strongest examples might not come from a legal or judicial context. For instance, if you have not sat as a judge before, you may have chaired a committee or board meeting. You could draw upon any voluntary or pro-bono work you may have done – such as working with charities or schools – to provide examples of the competencies. You can use these examples in your self-assessment.
Using the SOAR model
The SOAR model is a way of setting out your examples that you might find helpful:
- Situation: use the first 10% of your example to explain briefly the situation and context
- Objective: use the next 10% to explain what were you trying to achieve and why
- Action: use the next 60% of your example to say what you did and how you did it. What was your exact role? What did you do?
- Result: Use the last 20% to explain the outcomes. Were your objectives achieved? How do you know it was due to your actions?
- Be clear and explicit so there is no doubt about how you tackled the task
- Quantify your success – explain how you made a difference
- Ensure the focus is on your actions and your responsibilities – explain the part you played
- Be concise as you are limited to approximately 250 words in each competency area, unless otherwise stated on the information page and application form
- Use your strongest examples in your application, but keep a note of others that are relevant as you may wish to use these at interview if you are invited to selection day. The panel may ask you to expand on examples from your self-assessment, or give further examples, so you should be familiar with what you said
- Don’t use hyperlinks as these will be disregarded by the panel
- Don’t simply list cases you dealt with in the past. The panel needs enough information to understand the impact of your actions and may not be familiar with specific cases
- Don’t feel that all of your examples need to come from your current or most recent employment. You will not be penalised for using older examples, or examples from other areas of your life, if they are still relevant and demonstrate your suitability
Next step: Choosing the best examples in your self-assessment