Preparing written evidence for your application

Competency frameworks (legal and non-legal roles) and writing a self-assessment

Competency frameworks are used throughout the selection process to assess candidates’ ability to effectively carry out the roles. You will be expected to demonstrate either that you possess the required competencies or that you have the ability to acquire them quickly through specific examples.

Competencies are specifically tailored to each role through job analysis, including discussions with those already in post or who understand the needs of the role. Each competency framework will be published on the information page for the specific selection exercise on our website.

Many roles will ask you to complete a self-assessment referring to the competency framework. Therefore, we recommend you take a look at our guidance on completing your self-assessment.  The guidance contains useful information on:

  • What strong self-assessments include
  • Using the SOAR model to structure your self-assessment
  • Dos and don’ts when writing your self-assessment
  • An outstanding and insufficient self-assessment example
  • Examples of how the panel assess the self-assessment

To assist candidates with identifying relevant examples for each competency, we’ve also created a choosing the best examples page. The page contains useful information on:

  • What each competency area covers
  • What strong examples contain in each competency area
  • Prompts which may help you to consider which of your examples will be relevant for each competency

The competency frameworks incorporate the judicial skills and abilities framework used by Courts and Tribunals Judiciary and the Judicial College. This means that role holders are assessed by the same measures at every stage of their career.

The competencies continue to ensure fair and accurate selection by panels against clear criteria.

Skills and abilities and writing a statement of suitability (senior and leadership roles)

We assess candidates for the High Court, s9(4) Deputy High Court judge, s9(1) authorisations and Leadership roles against a set of skills and abilities. These skills and abilities are aligned to the judicial skills and abilities framework used by the judiciary and Judicial College, and lists the ways in which a person demonstrates the required skills and abilities when working effectively in post.  We use different skills and abilities for different exercises, for example:

  • High Court judge skills and abilities criteria
  • s9(4) Deputy High Court judge and s9(1) authorisation skills and abilities criteria
  • Leadership skills and abilities criteria

Details will be provided in the role advert.

For exercises using the skills and abilities, you will need to complete a statement of suitability to demonstrate that you meet the criteria. The statement of suitability is your opportunity to tell us about the experience and knowledge you have for the post. You must provide specific examples to evidence how your skills and experience are transferable to the post – and of the requisite level – and how they will enable you to perform effectively in the role.

The advice above for writing a self-assessment still applies for a statement of suitability but at this level, we expect candidates to have experience and knowledge of the skills and abilities required and the ability to pitch themselves appropriately. Therefore, we don’t have the same sort of requirements around how the statements should be structured, for example, and allow candidates to take a bespoke approach, presenting their evidence the way that best suits them.

You might also be required to submit a brief CV and written work that further evidences how you meet the criteria, and there will be a career history section of the application. The statement of suitability should not simply be a reiteration of your career history.


For some senior and leadership roles, you may be asked to provide a CV. You should use the CV as an opportunity to draw the panel’s attention to the standout moments in your career; in short, the CV should act as a highlights reel specifically pulling out the things that have provided you with the experience and skills necessary to apply for the role.

In contrast, the career history section of your online application provides the panel with a factual and chronological timeline of your career to date but does not offer the same opportunity as the CV to unpack specific cases or specific roles.

Non-legal eligibility Statement

To apply for non-legal roles, candidates must show how they satisfy the eligibility requirements for the post. This is a relatively straightforward but incredibly important step; applicants will not be able to go any further in the process if they have not provided clear evidence of their eligibility.

There are two ways we might ask for information about your eligibility. For some roles, you will simply need to list relevant experience and memberships. For other roles, you may need to provide an eligibility statement.

If you are asked to provide an eligibility statement, you should read the eligibility requirements closely and make sure your statement explains how you meet these specific requirements. You will not need to complete a self-assessment or provide further documents such as a CV at this stage.