Head of Inspection and Assessment, Children’s Services Regulation, Quality Assurance.

To be based at nearest Tusla office. The post holder will be required to attend fortnightly meetings in Estuary House, Henry St.
 Salary:  See Description for Details
Other   Permanent
Closing Date: 26/09/2022 Closing Time: 12:00
Recruitment start: 08/09/2022


Job Summary

Details of service

The Child and Family Agency was established on 1st January 2014 and is responsible for a range of statutory functions including provision of child protection, alternative care, specified regulatory services and a range of family support services.  The Agency has commenced a major improvement programme with significant focus on Practice, Culture and Structure.


The Agency currently has responsibility for a budget in excess of €800m and delivers its services through circa 5,000 people in 350 locations across the Country.


The Child and Family Agency has responsibility for the following range of services:

  • Child Protection and Welfare
  • Family Support
  • Alternative Care
  • Adoption
  • Tusla Education Support Services (TESS)
  • Domestic Sexual and General Based Violence (DSGBV)
  • Children’s Service Regulation
  • Counselling and Therapeutic Supports


Further information is available on www.tusla.ie


Post Specific Service: About Tusla’s Quality Assurance Directorate

Tusla’s Quality Assurance Directorate is concerned with promoting continuous improvement and effective risk management in services for children and families. It delivers its functions though the following functions:


Children’s Services Regulation:

Early Years’ Inspectorate: The Early Years’ Inspectorate is the independent statutory regulator of Early Years’ Services and is responsible for registering and inspecting pre-schools, playgroups, crèches, day care, childminders. school age care and similar services. Its role is to promote the quality, safety, and appropriate care of children by robust regulation of the sector.


Alternative Education Assessment: Children who are educated at home or who attend a non-recognised school (i.e., a school that is not funded by the Department of Educational and Skills) must be registered with Tusla by their parents/guardians. The registration process requires that an assessment or assessments be carried out to determine whether the child is receiving a certain minimum education and therefore can be placed on the statutory register of children educated outside of a recognised school.  Children who are educated in an independent school setting can also be placed on the register where it is determined that the school is providing a minimum education to the pupils who are enrolled there.


Alternative Care Regulation: The team registers, inspect, monitors and reports on alternative care settings for children who cannot live with their families The service is responsible currently for the registration and inspection of non-statutory residential care settings for young people, as well as the monitoring and audit of non-statutory foster care providers.


Service Experience, Governance and Risk Systems:

Service Experience and Feedback

Part 9 of the Child and Family Agency Act 2013 governs complaints procedures and reviews, complainants’ rights, referral to the Ombudsman, and annual report requirements. “Tell Us “Is Tusla’s policy governing feedback and complaints. The team is responsible for managing Tell Us, including training other Tusla staff nationwide, collecting metrics, channelling complaints and feedback, and dealing with individual complaints. The team is also involved in encouraging participation of children and listening to the voice of the child in Tusla and Tusla-funded

Risk and Incident Management: The team is responsible for the corporate risk register, and all aspects of risk and incident management systems within the Agency. The team aims to ensure Tusla is aware of the nature of its risks, their status and how they are being managed.


Practice Assurance and Performance Systems:

Performance Reporting and Information: The Performance Reporting and Information team collates analyses and reports on quality and risk data relevant to the child and services. It identifies trends and performance data to support accountability and transparency, inform policy development and legislative reform, to demonstrate where standards and targets are being met, and identify risk and support decision-making at all levels of the organisation.


Quality Assurance and Monitoring: The team monitors and reports on service delivery against standards, regulations, and legislative requirements, and seeks to ensure that service improvement activity takes place in response to reviews. The post holder will have accountability and responsibility for the effective planning, design, implementation, and delivery of Tusla regulatory inspections and assessments. Tusla is the statutory regulator of the early year’s sector, child safeguarding statement compliance and alternative care and education settings.


Purpose of role

The main purpose of the role is to provide excellent direction and leadership to effectively deliver high quality, intelligence driven and responsive statutory regulation of early years, non-statutory alternative care and education, school age childcare and childminders. This will be done in accordance with relevant legislation, regulations, standards and adhere to Tusla policy.


This post holder will also be responsible for leading and driving continuous improvement in the Inspectorate regulatory model to ensure that it is risk-based, proportionate and responsive and makes the best use of resources and regulatory interventions.

The role demands the capability to successfully lead and manage the various Inspectorates current statutory inspectorate and assessment functions. Developing staff and teams by building their capacity and capability. In addition, understanding and influencing regulatory policy and working with and influencing the senior decision makers in the system to be managed in line with government policy.


The post holder will also ensure the effective and efficient alignment of service priorities with the Head of Registration and Enforcement

Job Objectives

Main Duties and Responsibilities


Leadership and Management

  • Provide strong leadership in the development and implementation of an integrated inspection model across the directorate.
  • Provide advice to the National Service Director, Children Services Regulation in relation to matters concerning inspection methodology and outputs.
  • Account for the effective strategic and administrative delivery of the functions.
  • Represent Tusla in an informed, professional, and credible manner.
  • Participate in the development and review of the Regulation Strategy for the agency.
  • Active participation in the Children Service Regulatory Senior Management Team , contributing to the  strategic development  the service
  • Lead the Inspection teams and associates to ensure effective and efficient management and delivery of services.
  • Contribute to building of synergies between the Children’s Services Regulation teams and the wider directorates.
  • Undertake proactive engagement with, and leadership and advice to the Department of Children and Youth Affairs, to ensure that the relevant policies are appropriate and that the necessary resources are secured and phased for the operational delivery of the regulatory program prior to any commencements.
  • Develop strong and effective relationships with key stakeholders and other regulatory bodies both within Ireland and internationally.
  • The successful candidate will at times be requested to deputise for the National Service Director.


Operational Management

  • Manage and appropriately escalate the Regulatory Need to Knows to the National Service Director.
  • Lead and manage a high quality, effective and person-centered service both operationally and administratively.
  • Ensure that the agency is organised and managed to fulfil the breadth of regulatory inspection responsibilities in a fit for purpose manner that incorporates the effective behaviors, decision-making, systems and processes and learning requirements to drive a high-quality regulatory model.
  • Establish and maintain the appropriate systems for measuring and monitoring the key components of high performing inspection service with clear articulation of the required objectives, targets and key performance indicators at function, team and individual levels.
  • Work closely with relevant Managers within the agency’s different directorates to ensure a seamless and integrated approach to regulation, business partnering and other functions within Tusla.
  • Ensure that regulatory function activities contribute to, and are compliant with, the organisational requirements for quality management, health and safety, relevant legislation, and the general duty of care.
  • Maintain awareness and knowledge of contemporary operational regulation development theory and methods and provide suitable interpretation to directors, managers, and staff within the organisation.
  • Ensure the effective and successful management of a diverse and distributed workforce with a style that supports and enables people through strong performance management, active communication, and personal development.
  • Lead the effective management and delivery of organisational change programs, and organisational re-design as appropriate, for staff within the various teams.
  • Ensuring and driving consistency in practice and judgement within inspection and assessment.
  • Ensure that a risk management system is in place and working effectively at all levels of operations.
  • Manage and ensure that inspection processes follow the policies, processes and procedures defined by Tusla and are to the highest standards of objectivity and quality.
  • Be responsible for the quality and accuracy of reports both internal and publicly produced
  • Work with the Head of Registration and Enforcement on case preparation and represent Tusla in court as required
  • Develop appropriate policies, service plans, targets, and work programs, to ensure the integrated delivery and implementation of high quality, cost effective, child centered regulatory inspection
  • Identify training needs for staff assigned and assist in the design and delivery programs.
  • Supervise, assign and monitor performance of staff in areas of responsibility.
  • Collect/collate data/statistics/information as required in a timely manner
  • Ensure that inspectorate practice is delivered to the highest standards of integrity and accountability.


Information, Complaints, Adverse Incident Reporting & Unsolicited Information

  • Ensure that appropriate systems and processes are in place to engage with and respond to individuals who express concerns (and or complaints) in an informative, public-friendly and respectful manner, and that the management of complaints by providers is effectively regulated.
  • Ensure that the inspectorates comply with the Incident management system
  • Act as Freedom of Information (F.O.I.) Review Officer for the regulatory functions.
  • To ensure that the National Service Director, Children Services Regulation is provided with updates and information concerning the management of high-risk services.
  •  Ensure timely and high-quality responses to parliamentary questions and political representations
  • Provide analytical and insight into the findings from inspections
  • Contribute to the CSR publications
  • Act as required as complaints officer for the service.
  • Prepare document s and cases for presentation at regulatory enforcement forums.
  • Ensure that available resources are utilised effectively.



  • Inform and contribute to the work of the Quality Assurance Directorate Management Team.
  • Contribute to the business planning of the Directorate and Tusla.
  • Provide support to the wider management team as required.
  • To brief and prepare relevant information for Tusla legal advisors in respect of cases those being escalated to or have been appealed in the courts system.


Health & Safety


  • Comply with and contribute to the development of policies, procedures, guidelines, and safe professional practice and adhere to relevant legislation, regulations and standards.
  • Have a working knowledge of the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) Standards as they apply to the service for example National Standards for Child Protection and Care and comply with associated Tusla – Child and Family Agency protocols for implementing and maintaining these standards as appropriate to the role.
  • To support, promote and actively participate in sustainable energy, water, and waste initiatives to create a more sustainable, low carbon and efficient health service.


The above Job Description is not intended to be a comprehensive list of all duties involved and consequently, the post holder may be required to perform other duties as appropriate to the post which may be assigned to him/her from time to time and to contribute to the development of the post while in office. 


Please refer to the Candidate Information pack attached to this campaign for full and further detail.

Skills Required

Applicants must by the closing date of application have the following:

  • Relevant qualification suitable to the delivery of the requirements of role at a minimum level 8
  • Have a minimum of 3 years’ experience at senior management level in a relevant organisation
  • Experience of at least 3 years at senior management level with experience in the delivery of regulatory programmes
  • Possess the requisite knowledge and ability (including a high standard of suitability and management ability) for the proper discharge of the duties of the office.



A candidate for and any person holding the office must be fully competent and capable of undertaking the duties attached to the office and be in a state of health such as would indicate a reasonable prospect of ability to render regular and efficient service.



Each candidate for and any person holding the office must be of good character.

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