Q&A Session | Hiring & Criminal Records – Fair & Safe Recruitment Practice in Northern Ireland

Join us for a one-hour interactive session where we will address and discuss employer questions around Fair and Safe Recruitment practices in Northern Ireland.

  • Date:

    28 Apr 2021

  • Time:

    10:30 - 11:30 AM

  • Location:


  • Price:


Join us for a one-hour session where we will discuss employers questions on Fair and Safe Recruitment practices in Northern Ireland in relation to hiring people with criminal records. The panel on the day will be made up of Tom Clarke from AccessNI, Roisin Lavery from the Equality Commission, Sara Neilson from Business In The Community and Jonny Pardoe from NIACRO. We will also be joined by Vicki Johnston from Farran’s Construction who will share their recruiting experiences.

Purpose of the event

The purpose of the session is to allow HR professionals, recruiters and employers ask questions of the panel around best practice to make sure that they are following fair and safe policies and procedures. Please register via Eventbrite to be sent a secure Zoom joining link in advance of the event. To make best use of our time on the day we would ask that questions are sent to us in advance – please put questions in the booking form on Eventbrite.

About our panelists

Tom Clarke – General Manager, AccessNI

Tom Clarke is the General Manager of AccessNI, the criminal history disclosure service for Northern Ireland. Tom is a career civil servant employed by the Department of Justice. Since 1979 he has worked in a number of different roles within the Department and became General Manager of AccessNI in January 2008 shortly before the launch of the service in April 2008.

Tom has overseen the transformation of the AccessNI service from a paper based, manually driven organisation to a fully digitised service in terms of both applications and the issue of certificates.

Roisin Lavery – Equality Development Officer, Equality Commission for NI

Roisin Lavery is an Equality Development Officer with the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland. For the past 16 years she has lead public promotional campaigns raising awareness of the introduction of new equality legislation including age, sexual orientation, disability and special education.

Since 2017, Roisin has been working with NI’s HR professionals to encourage equality of opportunity by providing training and advice on employment equality duties and establishing best practice in the workplace.

Victoria Johnston – Stakeholder Engagement Lead, Farrans Construction

A Stakeholder Engagement Lead with Farrans Construction, Victoria has been working throughout the UK on several strategic building and civil engineering projects. She is passionate about delivering social value in the areas in which she works and a key aspect of this is creating sustainable employment opportunities for those furthest removed from the workplace.

Over the past ten years of industry practice Victoria has also delivered stakeholder engagement, community legacy initiatives and company communications, as well as highly successful marketing & PR Campaigns for large scale events, product launches and strategic business development .

Sara Neilson – Employability Manager, Business In The Community NI

Sara has 18 years employability experience in Scotland, London and Northern Ireland and is passionate about helping to raise aspirations and encourage everyone to engage fully in society to the best of their ability.

Sara leads the Business In The Community’s efforts in supporting businesses to engage those furthest removed from employment to gain the skills and aptitudes they need to become work-ready. Alongside this, her role involves campaigning to change attitudes of employers towards a more sustainable and responsible approach to workforce development.

Jonny Pardoe – Disclosure Specialist, NIACRO

Jonny Pardoe is the Disclosure Specialist in NIACRO and helps people (employers, further education providers, statutory and voluntary agencies and individuals) understand the impact of having a criminal record in Northern Ireland. With a HR background, he has over 10 years experience of working with and for people who have been in contact with the criminal justice system in both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. Jonny is passionate about seeing people being treated fairly and being given opportunities to change the ending of their stories for the better.

Jonny delivers training and support for employers and also runs the disclosure helpline in NIACRO.

About Ban the Box

This session is part of the Ban the Box campaign with aims to give people with convictions a fairer chance at securing employment, by encouraging companies to ask the conviction question at a later point in the application process. This reduces the risk of unfair discrimination and overlooking talent.

Click here to find out more about Ban the Box and to download the Ban the Box Toolkit: A Practical Guide for Employers.