Reappointment of the Non-Executive Chair and Five Non-Executive Members to the Northern Ireland Social Care Council

Date published: 24 August 2022

Health Minister Robin Swann has announced the reappointment of the Non-Executive Chair and five Non-Executive Members to the Northern Ireland Social Care Council (NISCC).

doh public appointments

Mr Paul Martin has been reappointed as the Non-Executive Chair; Mrs Sarah Browne and Mrs Roslyn Dougherty have been reappointed as Non-Executive Stakeholders Members; Dr David Hayes and Miss Jaqueline McGarvey have been reappointed as a Non-Executive Registrant Members with effect from 1 April 2022 to a date not later than 31 March 2026. Mr Gerard Guckian has been reappointed as a Non-Executive Lay Member with effect from 1 May 2022 to a date not later than 30 April 2026.

These appointments were made in accordance with the Code of Practice issued by the Commissioner for Public Appointments for Northern Ireland.

The Non-Executive Chair position attracts a remuneration of £18,701 per annum and carries a time commitment of 2 days per week. The Non-Executive Member positions attracts a remuneration of £6,842 per annum with a time commitment of 2 days per month. 

The Northern Ireland Social Care Council was founded as the regulatory body for the social care workforce in Northern Ireland and was established in October 2001 under the Health and Personal Social Services Act (NI) 2001. As a non-departmental public body (NDPB); it is accountable to the Northern Ireland Assembly and sponsored by the Department of Health (NI) (Office of Social Services). The Social Care Council is helping to raise standards in the social care workforce by registering social care workers; setting standards for their conduct and practice and supporting their professional development. The Council comprises a Non-Executive Chair and 12 Non-Executive Members.

Notes to editors: 

  1. Mr Paul Martin qualified as a Social Worker in 1973. In 1988, after working in a number of frontline positions, Paul joined the Ministry of Health and Social Services as a Social Services Inspector and from 1996-2000 served as Assistant Chief Social Services Inspector. Until 2009 Paul was the Chief Social Services Inspector/Officer and Advisor to the Minister for Health and Social Services responsible for social care and social policy development. Responsibilities included the establishment of the NISCC and the reform of Social Services and executive lead responsibility for the Family and Child Care Programme. Paul moved to Jordan in 2013 to take up another EU Resident Advisor role and on his return continued, through NI-CO, with his work there with the MoSD focusing on the development of social care. In 2017 Paul accepted the position of Honorary Consul for The Republic of Bulgaria in Northern Ireland. Paul took up his first appointment as Chair of the NISCC in April 2018.


  1. Mrs Sarah Browne qualified as a Social Worker in 1981 and she worked in the South Eastern Trust and legacy Down Lisburn Trust for 38 years prior to her retirement in December 2016. Prior to retirement she held the post of Assistant Director for Older People's Services and was responsible for the planning, commissioning and delivery of high quality health and social care services. Sarah has been the Northern Ireland Trustee on the Board of Hourglass since June 2018. Hourglass is a national charity working to end the harm, abuse and exploitation of older people in the UK. Sarah has served as a Non-Executive Stakeholder Member of the NISCC  since April 2018. Sarah was awarded an OBE for her contributions to the Social Care Sector in Northern Ireland in the New Year's Honours List 2016.


  1. Mrs Roslyn Dougherty is a qualified Social Worker with almost 40 years’ experience who has worked across a range of professional and managerial positions. Prior to her retirement in 2016 she was the Assistant Director for Social work in South Eastern Trust with responsibility for Learning Development and Research across the Social Work and Social Care workforce.   Since retirement Roslyn has remained very engaged with Social Work and Social Care in Northern Ireland. She was a member of the NISCC Fitness to Practice Committee and stepped down from this role to take up the position of Council Member in April 2018. She is a part time lecturer on the Degree in Social Work at Belfast Metropolitan College and has acted as personal tutor for post qualifying students on the Research Methods programme.  Roslyn was a member of the Governing Body for the North West Regional College until June 2022 where she chaired the Resources committee. She is a trustee on Action Deaf Youth, a charity which provides services to deaf children and young people across Northern Ireland.


  1. Mr Gerard Guckian is a partner in a firm of solicitors in Londonderry, having qualified in 1985. He is a former Chairman of Altnagelvin Hospital Health and Social Services Trust (2004-2006) and former Chairman of the Western Health and Social Care Trust (2006-2016). Within those roles Gerard chaired the Trusts’ Governance and Remuneration and Terms of Service Committees. Having served as a Non-Executive Director before those appointments, Mr Guckian has a lengthy experience of leadership in Health and Social Care in Northern Ireland. He served on the representatives group of the Northern Ireland Confederation of Health and Social Care for 11 years, chairing that organisation for two terms. He is currently a Trustee of Foyle Hospice. Gerard currently holds one other public appointment as a Non-Executive Member of the Safeguarding Board for Northern Ireland NI (SBNI). This appointment attracts an annual remuneration of £6,842 with a 2 days per month time commitment.


  1. Professor Davy Hayes qualified as a Social Worker in 1988 and worked as both a practitioner and trainer in Family and Child Care services in North and West Belfast. He joined the staff of Queen's University Belfast in 2005 and is currently Professor of Child Protection and Safeguarding in the School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work. Davy completed his PhD in 2008 and his teaching and research interests are focused on service user experiences of the child protection and criminal justice systems and the practice and experiences of professionals who operate the child protection system. He is a member of the British Association of Social Workers (BASW) and Vice Chair of its Northern Ireland Standing Committee. He is also a member of the Association of Child Protection Professionals and sits on the Editorial Board of the Association’s journal, Child Abuse Review.


  1. Miss Jacqueline McGarvey is a qualified Social Worker with over 30 years’ extensive experience working within Statutory and Voluntary Agencies within Children and Family, Adult and Disability Services. Jacqui has been an Independent Social Work Consultant since June 2016, during that time she has been appointed and currently working in: Safeguarding Board in Northern Ireland to undertake CMRs (Serious Case Management Reviews) for children; as Panel Member for the National Independent Review Panel for People with a Disability, HSE Ireland; Interim Panel Member of the Historical Institutional Abuse Redress Board Northern Ireland; Panel Member of the Scottish Redress Board and Consultant for the HSC Leadership Centre.  Jacqui currently holds one other public appointment as an Interim Non-Executive Member to Regulation & Quality Improvement Authority. This appointment attracts an annual remuneration of £6,406 with a 2-3 days per month time commitment.


  1. Appointments to the NISCC are made with the approval of the Health Minister. 


  1. All appointments are made on merit and political activity plays no part in the selection process. However, the Commissioner for Public Appointments, Northern Ireland, requires the political activity of appointees within the last 5 years to be published. The appointees have declared that they have not engaged in any political activity in the last five years.


  1. With the exception of Mr Guckian & Miss McGarvey, each appointee has declared they hold no other public appointments.


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