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Deputy Principal
Programme Compliance Manager
Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA)

“The opportunities for development are endless.”

I’ve worked in this role for over two years now. Before that I covered a lot of operational roles within the NI Court Service and also worked in the Driving and Vehicle Agency. My move to DAERA came about because I felt I needed a change, plus I had very little practical experience in audit/compliance or grant work and I thought it would be interesting and add value to my experience.

I work closely with internal and external stakeholders. My team carries out compliance checks on areas of the Rural Development Programme, on how EU funds are being spent, and we are also involved in some national schemes on tackling rural poverty and social isolation.

The job requires good planning and management, and strong communication skills are key, as there is a high level of interaction with all stakeholders. My responsibilities cover staff management, including learning and development, programme planning, financial management, report writing and so on.

One of the best aspects of the job is working with great staff who are confident in their roles because training and development needs were given a high priority at the outset. That, and seeing the fruits of the team’s labours as projects are completed, be it setting up a new business, improvements to a community hall, a new venture that will improve tourism in NI…

I’ve had a number of career highlights. Perhaps my proudest period was as Chief Clerk for the County Court Division of Londonderry during 2006–2008. I am also currently in a career highlight, as from February this year I am on loan to the Departmental Solicitor’s Office (DSO), and temporarily promoted to a Principal Legal Officer.

I think the NICS is a wonderful career choice for anyone. The range of jobs within any of the grades is very diverse and interesting, the quality of work is excellent, and the opportunities for development are endless. The NICS is also committed to real work-life balance policies for staff, which is very welcome. It promotes equality and diversity and really does work for the benefit of all in society.