The chairs designate of the six new Further Education Colleges were formally appointed in September 2006. Two have a Protestant community background, and four have a Roman Catholic community background The chairs designate will be appointed as chairs of the six new colleges on the date on which the mergers take place and will serve for a four year period. The selection process was monitored by the Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments for Northern Ireland to ensure that it was run in an open, unbiased and transparent manner.
32 people applied to become chairs of the six new further education colleges and 23 were interviewed. The community background of the applicants at each stage of the process is shown in the following table.
Number Percentage Number Percentage Number Percentage Number All applicants 16 50 13 41 3 9 32 Invited for interview 12 52 10 44 1 4 23
Invited for interview
The selection process was monitored by the Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments (OCPA) for Northern Ireland under their good practice kite mark scheme. The selection panel, which was balanced in terms of gender and community background, consisted of an OCPA-nominated independent assessor and two departmental officials. In line with recommended practice, the selection panel did not, at any stage, see the monitoring information relating to the community background of any applicant, which is requested purely for statistical purposes.