NICVA seeks Voluntary and Community Sector nominations for the Government & Voluntary Sector Joint Forum

31 Jul 2022 Kathy Maguire    Last updated: 6 Jan 2023

NICVA is currently seeking nominations from the voluntary and community sector to represent the sector on the Joint Government Voluntary and Community Sector Forum (Joint Forum).

This current recruitment round is to fill a recent vacancy on the Voluntary Community Sector (VCS) Panel and to create a reserve list of voluntary and community sector candidates, should further vacancies arise over this current Joint Forum Term.

What is the Joint Forum? 

The Joint Forum between the Government and the Voluntary and Community Sector NI commonly known as the Joint Forum is made up of representatives from central and local government (Public Sector Group) and the voluntary and community sector (Voluntary and Community Sector Panel) in Northern Ireland. It facilitates an open discussion about the relationship between the two sectors.

In partnership these two groupings are charged with taking forward the Joint Forums current Work Plan and helping establish its future focus and direction.

The Joint Forum is supported by NICVA and the Voluntary and Community Division in the Department for Communities (DfC).

The Joint Forum was originally established in October 1998 with the overarching aim of:

"develop[ing] and lead[ing] an effective working relationship between Government and the Voluntary and Community Sector in Northern Ireland"

The key functions of the Joint Forum are:

• To Act as a Forum for discussion of Shared Issues.

• To help Build Relationships and Mutual Understanding across the public and voluntary and community sectors.

• To help Shape Policy and Practice.

This is an exciting period to be involved in the work of the Joint Forum, which is currently undergoing a period of development and review .

The Joint Forum currently meets three-four times a year, to help progress a shared work plan. The voluntary and community sector panel also meets independently from the public sector group in preparation for each full Joint Forum meeting.  Joint Forum members contribute to the work of the Joint Forum, at various stages via participation in particular subgroups or work streams, aimed at advancing the Joint Forums Workplan. Current subgroups are addressing the Funding Relationship between the sector and Government  and at models of Communication and Engagement between both sectors.

 You can find out more about the Joint Forums structures and view it's current Terms of Reference  here.

What is the role of a Voluntary and Community Sector Panel (VCS Panel) member?

The Voluntary and Community Sector Panel (VCS Panel) is made up of 15 representatives from across the voluntary and community sector in Northern Ireland. You can view the current list of representatives here.

It is chaired by a VCS panel member Chair and Co Chair, nominated by VCS panel members, and is supported by NICVA as secretariat.

Voluntary and Community Sector Panel members are selected by a sub-committee of the NICVA Executive following an open nomination process.

Voluntary and Community Sector Panel members are expected to attend Joint Forum meetings (currently held approximately three/four times per year) and VCS Panel meetings held prior to each full Joint Forum meeting, in order to ensure they represent the issues pertinent to their particular sub-sector.

Voluntary and Community Sector Panel members are also expected to actively contribute to thematic work groups and ad hoc meetings, or events aimed at advancing the joint work plan for the Forum.

Voluntary and Community Sector representatives are also responsible for ensuring that their own ‘community of interest’ is consulted on and kept informed of Joint Forum developments as appropriate.

It is anticipated that all Joint Forum members will commit adequate time and attention to their representative role and make an active contribution to the Joint Forum and its priority work areas.

How can I nominate someone?

NICVA is now inviting organisations and groups working within the voluntary and community sector in Northern Ireland to nominate persons to be considered for selection for the Joint Forum. 

Please note the nomination process is open to all members of the voluntary and community sector.

The new sector representative(s) will be chosen by a subgroup of the NICVA Executive Committee using the selection criteria attached. As advised there are  currently 2 vacant positions available and the remainder of  selected candidates will form a reserve list , to fill future vacancies as required.

To submit a nomination, please complete the attached Nomination form and return via email to Geoff Nuttall, Head of Policy & Public Affairs, NICVA  E: [email protected]

The closing date for receipt of completed applications/nomination forms is Friday 26th August 2022 at 1pm .


To Find Out More...

For more information about the Joint Forum and/or the role of a Voluntary and Community Sector panel member, please visit here.

Where practical, we can also arrange an informal discussion with a current Voluntary and Community Sector Panel (VCS Panel) member to find out more about what’s involved in being a Joint Forum representative. To discuss this please contact [email protected]'s picture
by Kathy Maguire

Policy Development Officer

[email protected]

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