Last year the Judicial Appointment Board for Scotland commissioned independent research to consult with stakeholders, past applicants and potential applicants to understand their perceptions of the Board and how it has been operating.
The research took place over the summer and included 45 in-depth qualitative interviews and a quantitative online survey.
Respondents welcomed this research. They were positive about the Board taking this approach to help improve the way it does its work.
Respondents said that it is important to have a fair and transparent system, and the formalised approach is better in principle than the old ‘tap on the shoulder’ method of judicial appointment. However, a number of points with the current process were identified which are summarised below:
- The application form can be daunting and time consuming to complete. While some suggested that it should be a challenging process, the balance of opinion was that the current system is too onerous.
- The most frequently commented upon element of the process was the competency based approach. All respondent types raised excessive focus on this approach as an issue.
- The lack of personalised feedback available after the sift was also a source of frustration for a number of those who were unsuccessful at sift stage.
- The time-period between initial application and final outcome was also mentioned as being an issue, particularly for those who were applying for jobs in other locations and thinking about relocating their families.
The Board would like to thank those who took the time and effort to contribute to this research. The key themes are in line with perceptions provided anecdotally from stakeholders and applicants and consistent with the Board’s current priorities. The Board will ensure it addresses the key themes identified in the research as we con-tinue to test our direction and pace of travel.