Northern Ireland Civil Service - Voluntary Exit Scheme 2015 (Closed)

This page provides you with current information on the NICS voluntary exit scheme (VES), as well as access to previously published information.

Latest update on the NICS VES scheme, (6 April 2016)

The NICS Voluntary Exit Scheme has now closed and no further selection will take place.

Final Exits - Tranche 5

The final tranche of exits (Tranche 5) will take effect on 31 May. If you are a line manager for a member of staff leaving in Tranche 5, you may find it helpful to use the VES leaving checklist. Line Managers with staff leaving via the Scheme are reminded that they do not need to update the termination screens on HRConnect.  

Other updates

The Scheme Analysis section will continue to be updated as more information on the Scheme becomes available.

Background to the scheme

The purpose of the NICS-wide Voluntary Exit Scheme, launched on the 2nd March 2015, was to address the significant budget pressures facing departments in the context of the agreed 2015-16 Budget, by delivering an NICS paybill reduction. Selection under the Scheme took place in the 2015-16 financial year only, although the effective exit date for those leaving in the fifth and final tranche of the Scheme will be the end of May 2016, to allow for the 3-month notice period that applies. By the time these last exits take place, 2,990 people will have left the NICS under the Scheme, saving around £87 million per year in pay bill costs. The Scheme also delivered savings of around £24 million in the 2015-16 financial year and has played a significant part in enabling departments to live within their budget allocations.

Scheme information

This section provides the information booklet and updated question and answer brief relating to the NICS Voluntary Exit Scheme: 

If you applied online, you can still use the link below to access the NICS internal vacancy website. When logging on, please remember to use the same email address as used to receive Scheme notification emails:

This quick reference guide explains how to access and use the scheme application site. Applicants can view their selection status as the Scheme progresses, and respond if given an offer to exit on a specific date:

This user guide provides advice on what action individuals, line managers, Departmental HR and Corporate HR need to take under this Scheme. Line managers are asked to make Departmental HR aware if a member of their staff who has applied for the scheme has a change of circumstances that could impact on their application:

This Leaving Checklist provides a short reminder of the action to be taken if you are leaving under the Scheme or are the line manager of someone leaving:

Civil Service pensions information

This section provides links to the civil service pensions calculators page which includes the compensation calculator staff were asked to use before making an application for the scheme. However please note that, if you are selected for exit on a specific date, civil service pensions will provide you with a personal quote of the compensation you would receive and any pension options available to you. This section also provides a link to the general rules of the civil service compensation scheme relating to voluntary exit:

Additional sources of information

This document signposts you to sources of information and advice relating to career choices, finances, further education etc for staff considering applying under the voluntary exit scheme:

Communications to staff

This section provides communications issued to all staff relating to the voluntary exit scheme.

Scheme Analysis

This section provides generic information relating to the numbers and composition of Scheme applicants. It will be updated as the Scheme progresses, to include information relating to the number of exits under the Scheme.


This section provides information relating to the possible large scale redeployment of staff following the end of the NICS Voluntary Exit Scheme.

Post Project Evaluation

The post project evaluation report can be found here

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