An opportunity has arisen to assist the the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner in regulating immigration advisers to ensure they are fit and competent and act in the best interest of their clients.
The Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC) is an executive non-departmental public body established by the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 to regulate the provision of immigration advice and services throughout the UK. It is led by the Immigration Services Commissioner - a corporation sole supported by the Deputy Commissioner.
The OISC seeks to protect consumers by ensuring the continuing fitness and competence of registered advisers and organisations, setting standards for registration and promoting good practice throughout the sector. In addition, it operates a scheme to receive complaints relating to immigration advice (whether or not provided by registered organisations) and it enforces the regulatory regime by identifying and, where appropriate, prosecuting individuals who are acting illegally. In addition the Immigration Services Commissioner monitors the effectiveness of regulation of the immigration advice sector by bodies in Scotland and Northern Ireland which are beyond the jurisdiction of the Legal Services Board.
Nature of the work
You will be working as part of one of the two Compliance and Complaints Teams, reporting to a Team Manager. The main purpose of your job will be to:
- Assess and decide complex applications for registration with the Commissioner and to ensure that only those who demonstrate the required standards of fitness and competence are authorised to be immigration advisers;
- Ensure those authorised to be advisers maintain compliance with the Commissioner's Code of Standards through auditing the organisation's operational practices;
- Investigate complaints made against registered immigration advisers and provide a written evidence based determination of the outcome of the complaint; and
- Represent and sustain the Commissioner's decisions at the Immigration Services Tribunal.
Duties and responsibilities
Your duties and responsibilities will include:
- Completing desk-based audits of applications and documents submitted by organisations;
- Liaising with advisers to answer queries and explain the regulatory process and the types of policies and procedures needed to gain registration. Working with advisers to help organisations achieve registration;
- Researching and investigating possible issues of concern relating to applicants such as previous criminal convictions, bankruptcy and experience of the immigration advice sector;
- Deciding applications for registration;
- Reviewing the results of competence assessments as part of an overall assessment of applicant's competence.
- Planning and carrying out audits of registered and applicant organisations. Writing up findings in an Identified Issues Report and taking any necessary follow up action;
- Responsibility for ongoing case issues arising from organisations and monitoring changes to the organisation- including changes to the adviser staff, the authorised level of the organisation, compliance with Continuous Professional Development requirements, changes to income;
- Carrying out desk-based and premises audits of organisations that need to re-apply for registration;
- Applying for and executing a warrant to enter and inspect premises where the Commissioner has concerns that cannot be addressed through the scheduled audit process.
- Investigate complaints made about authorised advisers by collecting sufficient evidence to be able to decide the complaint. Write a detailed report of the findings and apply a disciplinary sanction if necessary;
- Producing refusal reports in respect of organisations and advisers that are not deemed suitable to be within the scheme or operating at a specified level and making recommendations to cancel the registration of organisations or individual advisers where such organisations are found to be unfit or acting in an incompetent manner dealing with any subsequent appeal work, assisting where necessary with the preparation of appeal bundles and giving evidence to the Immigration Services Tribunal or the criminal courts
- Meet Key Performance Indicator targets and ensure electronic database systems are updated;
- Provide information, advice and support to complainants and those seeking to comply with the regulatory scheme;
- Contributing to the External Affairs objectives of the OISC - including making presentations and network building with community and business groups;
- Establish working relationships and communicating with other regulators and relevant external bodies in the immigration and asylum field including other Government and Law Enforcement agencies; and
- Contributing to the development of the compliance and complaints teams' policies and procedures through team meetings and working groups and contributing to the Outcome Objectives of the organisation as a whole.
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