Open Competition: Communications Specialist (Higher Executive Officer)


The Probation Service is an agency within the Department of Justice. We pay an important role in helping to reduce the level of crime and to increase public safety by working with offenders to help change their behaviour and make good the harm done by crime. We are the lead agency in the assessment and management of offenders in our community.

The Probation Service is holding an open competition for the appointment of Communications Specialists (Higher Executive Officer).

Location: Haymarket, Smithfield, Dublin 7

Closing date: 5pm, Wednesday 25 October 2023

To apply, please submit a current CV (of not more than 2 pages) and a cover letter of no more than 1 page outlining your experience relevant to the role to [email protected]. The email should be entitled "HEO Communications Specialist – candidates name".

Please see the information booklet for full details about this competition:


The Role

The successful Communications Specialist / Higher Executive Officer will be an integral part of the communications team working closely with the Assistant Principal for Communications, Administrative Officer and wider management team to provide dynamic communications support to the Service.


The duties of Communications Specialists appointed to the team include (but are not limited to):

  • Supporting the unit’s effective roll-out of the Probation Service strategic communications strategy, including providing assistance with corporate messaging, brand development, digital, social, media relations, public affairs and stakeholder management, supporting delivery and evaluation.
  • Provide assistance and support around key Probation Service events including the event planning, preparing briefing materials, providing communications support to the wider team.  
  • Editing content for delivery across a variety of mediums such as social media channels, articles for the website, intranet, PR, video production and eNewsletters;
  • Supporting the production of clearly written, understandable and structured communications materials including press releases, responses to parliamentary questions, and briefing materials.
  • Oversee successful rollout of the Probation Service media relations plan including direct engagement with journalists across Ireland and overseeing the in-house press office.
  • Contribution to the development of the Probation Service social media and public awareness campaigns with particular focus on the promotion of community sanctions and the work of community based projects.
  • Support the continued rollout of the Probation Service public affairs plan which is aimed at better informing public representatives, bodies and agencies about the work of the Service and its impact on community safety.
  • Developing stakeholder engagement and public information initiatives.
  • Drafting speech and briefing packs for the Probation Service Senior Management, Department Ministers, etc.
  • Building and maintaining positive stakeholder relationships with the Department of Justice, agencies, offices and bodies across the criminal justice sector.
  • Supporting the development of policies, protocols, templates and other key documents for the function. Managing and maintaining these documents, carrying out periodic review and evaluation.
  • Oversee communications quality and branding to ensure that all communications are suitably adapt for the chosen channel and their target audience.
  • Manage and develop direct reporting staff.
  • Other duties as required.


Key Benefits of Role

  • Competitive compensation: the salary scale for this post is €53,955 - €67,951
  • Access to Civil Service Wellbeing and Employee Assistance Programme
  • Access to the Single Public Service Pension Scheme
  • Blended Working Policy
  • Access to other employee schemes such as Cycle to Work, Tax Saver Commuter Schemes, Career Break Scheme in the Civil Service, Flu Vaccinations at Work, etc.
  • Family Friendly Work Policies


For further details about this open competition, please see the information booklet:


We are committed to a policy of equal opportunity and encourage applications under all nine grounds of the Employment Equality Act.