Secondment Policy

12 Jun 2014 Alex Hastings    Last updated: 5 Jul 2014

This article outlines NICVA's secondment policy for employees who feel that they can benefit and be developed by a change of role.

Statement of intent

NICVA recognises that on occasions it is in the interests of the organisation to encourage secondments from an outside organisation to placement within NICVA or that NICVA staff may be seconded to an outside employer. NICVA welcomes the principles of secondment for the following reasons:

  • To enable staff to gain broader experience and to develop new skills which will be of benefit to NICVA.
  • To promote mutual understanding between different types of organisations and in particular those with whom NICVA has contact.
  • To provide a flexible means of developing staff resources.


Secondment is a voluntary process, therefore individuals are not obliged to apply for or accept an offer of secondment. Secondment is subject to experience gained being of benefit to the organisation and is also subject to release being agreed. NICVA employees must have completed a minimum of three years’ service before being eligible to apply for a secondment opportunity which exceeds one year. Requests for short-term secondments by individuals with less than three years’ service will be considered on an individual basis.

How opportunities for secondment arise

Secondments are an integral part of staff development. Secondments may arise either through NICVA identifying an organisation to which it feels a secondment would be useful. Alternatively, a host organisation may approach NICVA seeking a secondment from NICVA. In either case, NICVA will consider the proposal and having regard to the particular requirements of the opportunity available, will circulate it as widely as possible to staff.

There may be instances where an individual becomes aware of a potential secondment opportunity. In such exceptional cases, this should be discussed with the line manager in the first instance and then discussed with the Director of Corporate Services and Human Resources Manager to consider all the factors involved (including the financial implications, difficulties in the release of the individual and issues around finding a replacement for the individual).

As with all individual secondments, the ultimate decision will rest with the Chief Executive.

When secondment of a NICVA employee to another organisation has been agreed, the Human resources manager will initiate measures to consider and meet the implications arising for NICVA staffing. When a vacancy is created by a secondment:

The Chief Executive will consult with the staff of the particular function, the Management Group and SIPTU, and recommendations will be made to the Resources Committee as to whether the vacancy created by the secondment will be filled by either acting up from within NICVA staff, or by outside recruitment. The Resources Committee will consider the recommendations and will decide whether the vacancy created by the secondment will be filled by either of these options.

Where the vacancy cannot be filled by acting up within the function in question, the Chief Executive will consult with the Management Group and SIPTU with a view to deciding whether acting up from within NICVA staff is appropriate.

If the vacancy can be filled by acting up either from within the function or from another member of NICVA staff, the implications of that decision for the filling of further vacancies will be considered and met as above. The Human Resources Manager will subsequently report the decision to the Resources Committee.

Secondment opportunities within NICVA

Secondment Opportunities within NICVA will generally last between three months and three years and do not affect the terms and conditions of service of the seconded employee, who will remain an employee of the parent organisation.           

However, in the case of secondments or loan arrangements, where new conditions may apply, a written agreement will be signed by all of the parties involved. This agreement will set out any arrangements   covering salary, associated allowances, keeping-in-touch, training and development, performance appraisal, and any other relevant matters.

Secondments may be used to fill short term or fixed term vacancies within NICVA or as a development opportunity for the individual being seconded. Secondees to NICVA should be able to return to the same or similar job with their parent organisation at the end of the secondment period.

NICVA will as far as is reasonable, will work with and to accommodate the secondment policy of the parent organisation.

NICVA will meet salary costs and associated employers expenses. However, any additional administration costs from the parent organisation will be deducted from the total salary budget.           

Following a selection process NICVA will liaise with the successful candidate and their parent organisation to discuss the details and terms of the secondment. If all parties are in agreement the secondment will be confirmed.

We share NICVA’s policies to assist organisations in drafting their own. However, our policies are relevant to NICVA and are not samples. They should not be replicated, but may be used for reference purposes, in conjunction with other guidance available. NICVA cannot accept any claims arising from error or misinterpretation.'s picture
by Alex Hastings

Human Resources Manager

[email protected]

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