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Background and key purpose of the role
The Court Usher acts as an essential first point of contact for all the court users involved in hearings. There will be regular contact with the judiciary, assisting the administrative staff with the smooth flow of court work. You will meet members of the public and their legal representatives; prepare court /hearing rooms, and complete documentation, as well as ensuring the court runs smoothly and efficiently. You will also carry out some general clerical work as required to support the work of HMCTS.
Although many of the tasks are straightforward, regulated by well-established guidelines and/or detailed instructions, an Usher needs to be prepared to react quickly and professionally to situations, some of which may be unexpected. You will be comfortable in dealing sensitively and professionally with people from all walks of life; many of whom may be vulnerable and under stress. Advice and support is readily available and there is little discretion to depart from standard procedures, which may well require you to take a firm stance when those procedures are not understood or welcomed by a court user. Ushers work within a team with regular management support and are responsible for their own time.
Whilst initially you will be allocated to a specific court or office base, there will be a need for flexibility to work on an ad hoc basis at other courthouses and local HMCTS offices.
Key responsibilities may include:
AdministrationCollecting and delivering files and bundles to the judiciary and clerks ensuring they have the necessary papersProviding support to colleagues & judiciary outside of court / hearing timesGeneral clerical work, including use of computers and SwitchboardFilling out formsOperating recording equipment and maintaining records of recordings of hearingsSort and deliver lists of hearings for internal & external notice boards
CorrespondenceCompleting standard forms, etc where the information is clearly defined.Straightforward drafting such as acknowledgements and receipting, confirmations, court orders, warrants etc.
Post HandlingOpening, sorting, distributing and dispatching post as requiredCollecting and delivering post from appropriate offices
Monitoring StockEnsuring Court rooms are supplied against requirements for relevant forms and stationaryCollecting and delivering stationary around the offices
Data Entry and recordingResulting, checking accuracy and completeness against guidelines or a proforma, straightforward money handling e.g. issuing jury payments, spending petty cash under instruction.
Operating equipmentOffice and court equipment e.g. computers, fax machines, scanners, photocopiers, switchboards, franking machines, messaging equipment, tape, and video recorders etc.
Handling telephone callsAnswering standard enquiries and passing messages to others.
Arranging meetingsPreparing rooms for hearings, tribunals, trials, meetings and clearing the court / hearing room down at the end of the day etc.Using electronic diaries
Reception of parties to courtIncluding members of the public, judiciary, juries, solicitors and barristers, the police, representatives of external Agencies etc.Providing information related to proceedings, escorting court users into and from the building, swearing oaths etc.Calling people into court / hearing rooms in priority order, discussing with Court Clerks and Legal Advisers and liaising with the Witness Service as necessaryAnswering face to face enquiriesKeeping parties informed of changes eg, of courtrooms and hearing times
The post holder is required to work in a flexible way and undertake any other duties reasonably requested by line management which are commensurate with the grade and level of responsibility of this post.
Skills & Qualifications
2 GCSE’s at Grade C or above, or equivalent qualifications OR have experience of working with the public in a busy public service environment. Ability to use a computer at the level required for the work.
Operational Delivery in HMCTS
This role is part of the Operational Delivery Profession. Operational delivery professionals are the outward face of government, providing essential services to the public in a variety of roles. They work in many different departments and agencies across the breadth of the UK, delivering service to customers inFace-to-face roles in HMCTS for example a court usherContact Centre roles in HMCTS for example call centre advisersProcessing roles in HMCTS for example Staff at the County Courts Money-Claims Centre and Courts and Tribunal Administration
Being part of the operational delivery profession means belonging to a cross-government community of people. This will offer you access to information on professional standards, skills development and qualifications to help you continue to improve your development and performance and expand your career options.