Church of Scotland - Ministries Council - assessment work

Church of Scotland - Ministries Council

Discernment Scheme


Person Specification: National Assessors



Task Description

The Ministries Council is looking for people with appropriate skills to engage in assessment work as part of the Discernment Scheme related to selection of Candidates for ministry.  The requirements of the job of National Assessors will be to:

  • chair Local Review meetings at which decisions are made as to whether or not Applicants may proceed to a National Assessment Conference.Local Review meetings normally last up to 2.5 hrs per Applicant and Assessors are required to write up an agreed Local Review Report based on six assessment headings within 3 working days of a Review;
  • work with teams of Assessors at National Assessment Conferences, assessing the suitability of Applicants for acceptance as Candidates in training for Church of Scotland ministry.Assessment Conferences last for 3 days each, during which Applicants are seen over a 30 hour period.Each National Assessor is responsible for writing a report within tight time discipline, before working with the team to consider and decide on normally a maximum of 8 applicants;

The engagement of National Assessors is on a voluntary basis, but expenses incurred in the course of the work are reimbursed at rates set from time to time by the Ministries Council.


Skills and Aptitudes

In order to complete the task, National Assessors must show aptitude for, receive training in, and reach demonstrated competence in the following core skills:

  • interviewing techniques;
  • listening and observation;
  • assessment techniques;
  • report writing

Potential Assessors will engage in a selection process and commit themselves to initial training and ongoing training on an annual basis.  An appraisal scheme offering feedback and support will also be provided by the Council, and National Assessors will participate in this.

In order to complete the interviews to a satisfactory level, interviewers will also need to be able to:

  • interpret body-language;
  • reflect back and check out assumptions;
  • elicit information about and assess Applicants’ Christian experience and commitment;
  • assess Applicants’ integrity, preparedness, interpersonal and reflective skills, and awareness of issues of transition to ministry
  • understand and interpret Applicants’ description of a sense of calling.

In order to complete reports to a satisfactory level, interviewers will need to be able to:

  • write critically with sensitivity in an open-reporting system;
  • follow guidelines for style of report-writing and meet deadlines.

Interviewers will themselves have excellent interpersonal skills, openness to giving and receiving constructive criticism, and a disciplined approach to meeting deadlines.  They will also have an understanding of the ethos of the Church of Scotland and its ministries, a demonstrable Christian commitment, and an ability to empathise with the wide range of theological outlooks within the Church of Scotland.