JAC Recorder Competition 2018

They slipped this out:

“The JAC has received an amended vacancy request during the course of this selection exercise. There are now up to 160 vacancies (decreased from up to 250) including 2 Welsh speaking posts. This exercise remains non-jurisdictional and the JAC will recommend the most meritorious candidates for appointment.”

****** 27 November 2018 ******

Just ahead of the selection days I understand that the number of posts has jumped to 250 – very good news for those still involved.

***** 1 November 2018 *****

Candidates who have made it this far will learn about their selection day dates by 8 November – NB check your spam and junk folders.  Numbers who are through have not yet been confirmed my guess is it will be around 350 candidates for the 150 vacancies.

***** 21 August 2018 *****

Qualifying tests results due out tomorrow Wednesday 22 August  – check your e-mails and spam – fingers crossed!


**** Update 15 August 2018 ****

No technical problems reported with with stages 1 & 2 and results expected imminently.  Stage 3 is the hardest hurdle – this feedback taken from the recent DDJ Civil test may assist:

“The panel agreed that they would overlook minor errors made by candidates where the meaning was obvious, for example spelling mistakes and typographical errors. Stronger candidates scored a range of marks across both questions and underpinned their answers with a good grasp of the relevant civil procedure rules. They adopted a logical approach to their decision making. The strongest answers were clear and specific and identified the relevant factors.

Weaker answers failed to reach a conclusion or came to the wrong conclusion on the evidence provided. They often did not demonstrate a clear process to their decision making and may not have considered all the relevant factors when reaching their conclusions. The strongest answers were clear and specific and identified the key factors.

Generally, candidates with the highest marks had read and absorbed the scenario making specific references to the correct issues and directions to evidence their understanding of the matters that needed addressing. They referenced the relevant legislation making effective use of their time and word allocation.

Weaker candidates failed to manage their time effectively and therefore were not able to deal with the second question in enough detail. Some candidates failed to structure or communicate their answers clearly making their intent ambiguous. They failed to make a decision or set out their reasoning in sufficient detail…”

Full DDJ Civil Qualifying Test Report: here


This year’s Recorder competition launches on Tuesday 19 June and there are currently 150 vacancies. Last year’s competition was beset by problems, frustrations and delays. You can catch the gist of what happened to the 2,500+ candidates who applied here. As a result the JAC have simplified their process in line with other large fee paid competitions that they have been running this year.

To succeed and take your seat on the bench you will need to prepare professionally so that you can have an edge over your competition. This undated blog is written to help you understand what is required and what you need to do to be prepared, fully prepared.

As information is made available I’ll update this page as the competition progresses and you can follow my updates on Twitter 

The JAC have announced “There will be three stages to the selection process:

  • an online multiple choice test
  • an online scenario test
  • a selection day comprising an interview and role play”


But you will also need to submit evidence of how you demonstrate the competencies and nominate your two assessors/referees by 13:00 on 3 July 2018. 


Key Dates

Deadline for applications: 3 July 2018 at 13:00

1st Online qualifying test: 19 July 2018 

2nd Online Scenario test: 11 September 2018

Deadline Part 2 : 23 October 2018 at 13:00

Selection days: 3 December 2018 to 1 March 2019

Outcome notifications: Early June 2019

Character: read the guidelines carefully and ensure you disclose all relevant matters, failure to do so will be seen as you lacking integrity. Do check your speeding points, no more than 6 points (or one 6 point offence) currently on your driving license!

Short-Listing – Qualifying Tests – The Recorder Lottery

This has evolved so much that I have written a separate blog – where I explain what to expect and how they have evolved recently.

On-Line Application Form – Evidence of Your Competencies : give specific examples of how you demonstrate the competencies. It will take much more time than you think to complete a strong application that will differentiate you from other candidates. If you have not already started, start drafting now! Some tips  to stand out from the crowd.

Selection Day

They aim to shortlist in the ratio of about 3 candidates per vacancy – so perhaps 450 candidates as they seem to have ditched the telephone assessments.

Role Play – you will be given some reading and then a panel of 3 (1 judicial and 2 lay) will observe you hearing some actors who will respond to your questions and directions. The role play starts as soon as you enter the room. The panel will be looking to assess you against the competencies and looking for evidence of how you perform and demonstrate them.

Interview – again before usually the same panel of 3, they will probe the competencies, but not necessarily all of them depending on the evidence in your application form and from your assessors . My advice for interview success.

How I work with candidates.  Any questions or advice please call 0796 999 7335 or e-mail [email protected]


 For information about the workshops I’ve been running please see here.


Some Generous Feedback From Grateful Candidiates:

I got it!!!”

” I just wanted to say thank you so much for the assistance that you provided me with. Whilst plainly I can neither confirm, nor deny, anything, I wanted you to be aware that I could not have gone through the process at all without your assistance. It was utterly invaluable.” 

“Whatever happens, working with you has been an unmitigated pleasure. Really, really grateful.”

“Many thanks for your invaluable help. It made a huge difference and I’m very grateful!”

“I did get an email and it said that they are not going to appoint me… but I remain very grateful for your help which was invaluable.”

“I have to say despite all the brilliant things I had heard about you, I had my doubts… But the difference you have made to my application over a couple of hours has been amazing.”

” @wowthankyoutim Only praise from me – great interview coaching & excellent music recommendations.”

“I’ve been recommended for appointment. I’m over the moon. Your help throughout the selection process was invaluable. Tim, I really cannot thank you enough for your help and support throughout the selection process.”

“Not this year I’m afraid but I do want to thank you for all your help and expertise. I certainly felt much better prepared than I would have been and I think the experience will stand me in good stead in future.”

“I got the job!!!!! I’m waiting to hear where I will be sitting and for the official announcement obviously. Thank you so much. I couldn’t have done it without you.”