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All about Senior Independent Panel Members (SIPMs) Transcript

I’m Cindy Butts and I’m a senior independent panel member.

As a senior independent panel member I’m involved in all aspects of the recruitment process, so that’s everything from reviewing the applicant the candidate pack involved in long listing, short listing in the interview process so playing an active part in all of the aspects of recruitment, but there’s one crucial difference and it’s really important. So as a senior independent panel member it’s my role to guarantee the integrity of the process to make sure that the process aligns with the principles and the code for public appointments and if they don’t then it’s my responsibility to highlight where any breaches of the code may have occurred or whether I’ve got any other concerns about the way which the process was run.

Senior Independent Panel Members are not involved in every single appointment they are used for the most significant appointment so that’s appointments where perhaps the body itself has a big budget or indeed the role is incredibly high profile so it’s the most senior appointments and those that are the most significant where I would get involved.

It’s really important to have senior independent panel members involved in senior appointments because they are the individuals who will be independent of the department, independent of the body in question and also be able to provide public reassurance that the process has been fair it’s been robust, it’s based on merit, to be able to challenge and to scrutinise and to bring that different perspective to the table.

So after the interview stage all of the panel members will think long and hard and deliberate and really try and take in to account not just candidates performance at interview but look at all of the information that we’ve gathered so that will include the application process any references that we’ve taken and we will try and decide those candidates who we believe are above the line so candidates who can do the role, and we will put all of that information together in a report and that will be sent to to the relevant Minister and it will be for the Minister to make the decision we provide him with a choice and he or she will make that final decision.