Position: Development Officer

Reporting to: Operations and Development Manager

Contract: Fixed-term 1 year [with an opportunity to renew, subject to funding]

Location: Dublin (some travel will be necessary)


Position Summary

Gaisce – The President’s Award is seeking an enthusiastic, confident and self-driven person to develop the reach of the Gaisce programme. The position holder will work within the Operations Team with a number of other Development Officers. The post holder will foster, encourage and support staff and/or volunteers within a broad range of organisations engaging with young people aged 15-25 [Schools/non-Schools/Special project groups] to become actively involved in the delivery of the Gaisce programme. This position requires a youth centred person with strong people, facilitation and organisational skills.


About Gaisce – The President’s Award

Gaisce – The President’s Award is a self-development programme for young people between the ages of 15-25, which is proven to enhance confidence and wellbeing through participation in personal, physical, community and team challenges. It is a direct challenge from the President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, to all young people to dream big and realise their potential.


Gaisce is non-competitive and self-directed: participant’s progress along each award level (Bronze, Silver or Gold) choosing personal, physical and community activities they wish to undertake and taking part in an adventure journey also. A trained adult mentor, their President’s Award Leader (PAL), supports them throughout the process. The more time and energy participants give, the greater the reward.


Young people who complete the Gaisce programme, receive a medal and certificate signed by the President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins. Should they progress to achieve a Gold award, Michael D. Higgins presents them with this at a special ceremony in Dublin Castle.


Gaisce is active across all 26 counties and, through the Joint Award Initiative, an innovating partnership with the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, young people living in Northern Ireland are able to achieve a Gaisce Award at any level too. Through a partnership with the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award, Gaisce Awards are also recognised internationally.


Since its inception in 1985, over 300,000 young people have participated in the Gaisce programme. Today, more than 24,000 young people register for the Gaisce challenge each year, pursuing the award through more than 800 organisations (Gaisce Award Partners) located right across the country. In any one year, Gaisce supports these organisations and the more than 1,200 President Award Leaders (PALs) working and volunteering in them to mentor young people through their Gaisce journey.


Gaisce celebrates the individuality of each participant and ensures while there are many pathways to achieving a Gaisce Award, each Gaisce journey is as unique and expansive as our participants determine and equally recognised.


The Role

Reporting to the Operations and Development Manager and working within the Operations Team, the role of the Development Officer is to support current Gaisce Award Partners and PALs, and to grow the reach of the programme through creating and supporting new relationships.  The post holder will support development work with Gaisce Award Partners and PALs on special projects and in various regions as needs arise.


Main Duties and Responsibilities

Working primarily within a given special project, geographic and/or sectoral area, which can be subject to amendment, the core duties and responsibilities are:


  • Support newly-trained and current PALs.
  • Be the point of contact for Gaisce Award Partners and PALs within an assigned area.
  • Grow the reach of the Gaisce programme through creating and supporting GAP/PAL relationships.
  • Complete general duties in relation to PAL/ GAP management, recruitment activities and other supports.
  • Identify trends and priorities supporting the needs of Gaisce Award Partners and PALs.
  • Development and deliver progression opportunities from bronze, to silver to gold.
  • Work closely with the Operations Team to ensure broader support for all Gaisce Award Partners and PALs.
  • Maintain, support and update CRM/On-line Systems as required.
  • Provide regular reports and updates including stats and analysis on annual targets to your Line Manager.
  • Prepare and report on your annual work plan as directed by your Line Manager and in accordance with the overall strategy and organisations work plan.
  • Coordinate special projects within your plan work plan as assigned.
  • Promote and present on the Gaisce programme to third-parties including delivery of PAL training.
  • Manage and support volunteers.
  • Support Gaisce events, training and ceremonies.
  • Undertake other duties as may be reasonably required from time to time, commensurate with the nature of the post.
  • Act in the best interest of Gaisce and in line with the values, vision and mission of the organisation.


Person Specification

Skills / Experience (Essential)

  • Professional qualification and/or relevant degree with a minimum of 2 years relevant experience.
  • We are especially interested to hear from individuals with knowledge and experience in development work within the youth sector.
  • Familiarity with the wider community, education and voluntary sector a particular advantage.
  • Demonstrable ability to build and maintain relationships with a diversity of people.
  • Excellent interpersonal, verbal and written communication skills (in English).
  • Excellent organisational and planning skills.
  • Strong IT skills.
  • Strong strategic, analytical and evaluation skills.
  • Full Driver’s Licence.


Skills / Experience (Desirable)

  • Familiarity with the Gaisce programme.
  • Train the Trainer (training can be provided for successful candidate)
  • Familiarity/understanding of the National Standards Quality Framework (NQSF).
  • People management (volunteers).
  • Experience using Salesforce or similar system.


Personal Attributes

  • Commitment to empowering young people to fulfil their potential.
  • Self-starter and team-player.
  • Motivated/Proactive.
  • Positive outlook.



Key Relationships

Reporting to the Operations and Development Manager, the successful candidate will work closely with other members of the Operations Team as well as other Gaisce staff.


This is a 1-year fixed term appointment with the opportunity for extension [subject to funding and organisational requirements]. There is a 6-month probationary period. The salary will commensurate with experience [information upon request]. The appointment is covered by the Single Public Service Pension Scheme and membership of the scheme will be compulsory for the successful candidate. There is a holiday entitlement of 25 days in the first twelve months, excluding public holidays. Hours of work are 35 hours per week.



Applications for the post are by application form which should be sent either by email to recruitment@gaisce.ie with the subject line ‘Ref: Development Officer Application’ or by post in an envelope (marked ‘Private & Confidential & Ref: Development Officer Application’) to: The Operations and Development Manager, Gaisce – The President’s Award, Ratra House, North Road, Phoenix Park, Dublin D08 YD62. Queries can be addressed to the same email address.




Closing dates for applications is strictly 5pm Friday 22nd of March 2019.


Those successfully selected for interviews will be invited to attend on Thursday 4th of April 2019.


All applications received within the deadline will be screened against the role requirements and the person specification.  As the work involves contact with young people, candidates under consideration for the role will be subject to the Garda vetting process. The successful candidate will undergo 2 reference checks before commencing employment.


Gaisce, Gradam an Uachtaráin – the President’s Award is committed to best practice and operates on the basis of equal opportunities. Applications are therefore invited from all suitably qualified and eligible candidates. Appointment will be based solely on merit and canvassing will disqualify.