Guidance on the application process

What to expect

The selection process is thorough and detailed, often taking many months. 

Some vacancies attract hundreds of applications for only a handful of positions, and all applications are closely assessed. If you haven’t heard anything from us for a while, don’t assume you’ve been unsuccessful.

We have information and guidance on the various stages. Our usual process is:

  1. Application – please make sure you meet the eligibility criteria, whether the role is legal or non-legal
  2. Good character consideration (this sometimes happens later in the process)
  3. Shortlisting – this might include Online Tests, Telephone assessments or a paper sift of a statement of suitability, CV, or the eligibility information you provided
  4. Selection day
  5. Statutory consultation (see below)
  6. Selection decisions
  7. Feedback

Some selection exercises take longer than others, you can find out about average timelines for different exercises here.

You can also find out about regular recruitment exercises  that we run, for immediate and future appointments.

Selection process overview

This is an overview of our selection process. Here you can find more information on what the process could include.

Independent Assessments

Independent assessments are required either before a paper sift, or after a qualifying test, depending on the shortlisting process being followed. It will be made clear in the selection exercise information when independent assessments will be requested. During this stage, we also check that candidates meet the minimum eligibility and good character requirements.

Location and jurisdiction

If the vacancy includes multiple locations or jurisdictions, you will be asked which of those you want to work in.

This doesn’t guarantee that you will be offered a post in a preferred location, as it will also depend on business needs.

You may be recommended for any post in which you express an interest, so it is important that you indicate all areas where you would be prepared to work. A salaried judge must live within reasonable travelling distance of the courts or principal venue at which they will sit. No transfer applications can be made until a judge has served five years in the circuit they are appointed to.

Statutory consultation

We are required to carry out consultation as part of a selection exercise. Statutory consultation is carried out unless our Chairman and the Appropriate Authority (Lord Chancellor, Lord Chief Justice or Senior President of Tribunals) agree in advance to waive it. It would be waived if existing judges were unlikely to know the candidates applying for the role.

We consult a person (other than the Appropriate Authority) who has held the office that candidates are applying for, or someone who has other relevant experience. This person will be identified in the information for the selection exercise and will be sent summary reports for comment. With the agreement of the Appropriate Authority we may also consult another person who has held the same office or has other relevant experience.

The purpose of statutory consultation is to ensure candidates are of good character and have the relevant capability for the role.

We quality assure the material used in our selection exercises.