Introduction

1. The SPCB is committed to providing staff with the opportunity to participate in interchange with other Parliaments, Assemblies and public and private sector organisations. The intention is to make these opportunities as accessible as possible and, to do this, we have agreed the following framework with the organisations listed in paragraph 4.

2. This framework covers a wide range of different interchange arrangements to suit your individual circumstances and our business needs. The different arrangements are split into two main categories – formal arrangements and informal arrangements. These are:

Formal 

  • Swapping
  • Secondments

Informal

  • Twinning
  • Contact Groups
  • Job Shadowing

What is the difference between formal and informal arrangements?

3. Formal arrangements are when a formal contract has to be entered into between both organisations since some of your terms and conditions may be altered, (see paragraph 18 below). Any changes will be set out in detail in your contract which you will receive prior to joining the importing organisation, provided the Human Resources Office has been consulted in advance of the interchange arrangement. Full details of the formal and informal arrangements are set out in relevant accompanying pages.

Which organisations have agreed to these arrangements?

4. The framework and the arrangements within have been agreed with:

  • The House of Commons;
  • The House of Lords;
  • The European Parliament (only between the Scottish and European Parliament);
  • The Dáil;
  • The Northern Ireland Assembly;
  • The Welsh Assembly;
  • The Greater London Authority/London Assembly; and
  • The Scottish Government.

What are the arrangements for other organisations?

5. Although this framework has been agreed with those organisations listed in paragraph 4, we are also happy to explore interchange opportunities with any other external organisation on an individual basis. If you wish to explore such opportunities you should raise this with your Head of Office/Group in the first instance. If they agree that such an opportunity should be explored, they will consult the Human Resources Office on the best way to go about this.

What are the benefits of interchange?

6. We recognise that well-managed interchange arrangements can offer benefits to all parties involved. They can:

  • offer you a unique and valuable learning and capability development opportunity;
  • encourage a two-way transfer of skills, knowledge and experience between organisations;
  • allow greater flexibility in staff planning;
  • build strong working relationships between similar and diverse organisations;
  • demonstrate our commitment to corporate social responsibility; and
  • help you to see how your job fits in to the organisation.

Monitoring and evaluation

26. To assess whether these arrangements are working, the Human Resources Office will evaluate take-up by grade, office and gender against the different types of arrangements on offer. We will also evaluate the overall benefits to the business and to participants with other participating organisations. These arrangements may be subject to change as a result of this annual evaluation.

Enquiries

27. If you wish to discuss anything connected with possible or actual interchange arrangements, please speak to your line manager or the HR Enquiry Service on ext 86500.