Making an application
We want you to be sure that we're the right business for you
This is your opportunity to shine. Remember, you only get one opportunity to apply for each vacancy – applications can’t be reviewed or edited once submitted. So, please make sure you provide as much relevant information as possible… we want to know about you and your achievements.
To apply, please select the ‘apply’ button under the vacancy you’re interested in. Complete the details requested and upload your CV onto the form, then select ‘submit application’. Applications are processed shortly after the stated closing date.
The recruitment process
If your application is shortlisted, you'll be invited to an interview with exercises to demonstrate your skills – it also gives us the chance to see what position best suits your talents, whether it’s the role you applied for or another that you may not have considered yet.
Interviews are held locally to the particular vacancy and give you the chance to show us your skills and knowledge along with the opportunity to find out more about us and meet people within the organisation that support the Agency Network.
What to expect
The process will involve situational and competency-based exercises, so we’d highly recommend reviewing our Agency Success Factors. It’s worth remembering that you are being assessed against the competencies for the role so it will pay to do your groundwork before the day.
We will advise of the specific exercise process via conversations and emails. In addition you will be asked to bring copies and originals of your academic qualification certificates with you to the interview, as well as your UK issued Driving Licence, so please make sure you have these available. If you have any problems obtaining these please speak to the Recruitment team.
Shortly after the interview (which will include exercises) we’ll be in touch with an offer of verbal feedback. If successful, you’ll be invited to a further stage. Through-out the process the recruitment team and local contacts are available to support your application and discuss additional questions that you may have about the business.
Shortly after the process is complete we’ll be in touch with verbal feedback. If successful, an offer of an Agency Agreement will be discussed. On verbal acceptance, we will proceed with the recruitment check process below. We understand moving to a new role can be daunting, but you won’t be on your own as there’s a dedicated team to guide you through each step of the process.
Can I work part-time?
As you’ll be running your own business, how you manage your time is your own decision. However, the demands of the job dictate that the role is full time and is not suitable for somebody looking to work part-time hours. Please note, where relevant you will be expected to work a minimum of 20 hours per month for the relevant farming union.
I am already an insurance intermediary - can I run an NFU Mutual agency alongside my existing business?
No. NFU Mutual operates via a tied Agency Network through which our products and services are sold, and NFU Mutual members are supported.
In simple terms, what are the implications of being self-employed?
Self-employment means that your contractual relationship with NFU Mutual will be through an Agency Agreement. This clearly sets out both your responsibilities and those of NFU Mutual. Essentially you will be running your own business and be responsible for your tax liabilities. We would recommend that you discuss these aspects with a qualified accountant.
Is my level of income guaranteed?
No, as you would be self-employed, we cannot guarantee your income. The starting income advertised indicates the level that NFU Mutual would reasonably expect you to earn in the first year, based on the current renewal income of the agency. It’s highly unlikely that you’ll earn less than this in your first year, though it is not a guarantee. After this, your income will be as great as your ambition. It’s worth noting that the advertised income for Group Secretary roles includes the relevant farming union salary, which is based on working 20 hours per month at National Minimum Wage.
What about absences such as sickness or maternity?
As a self-employed person you will not receive maternity rights with the exception of a potential entitlement to receive statutory Maternity allowance from the government. As a self-employed person you will not receive a sickness benefit. However, NFU Mutual does allow commissioned Agents to draw commission for 8 weeks (increasing to 12 weeks after 5 years’ service) where absent due to maternity or sickness. We recommend that our Agents make adequate arrangements for sickness and accident insurance.
What is the regulatory position under FCA?
As a commissioned Agent your agency business would be registered with the FCA as an Appointed Representative of NFU Mutual. You will be required to be registered with the FCA as an Approved Person. As such you would be required to meet the FCA Fit and Proper requirements of Integrity, Competency and Solvency. Before your appointment can be confirmed you will need to fill in an FCA questionnaire and complete a solvency check to ensure that your assets exceed your liabilities.
What support will I have to succeed?
While we want you to run the agency as your own business, you will have the reassurance of being backed by NFU Mutual which has a clear intent to grow all aspects of its business within a defined target customer base. Support is on hand via a regional team of Sales Managers, Sales Development Consultants and Quality Development Consultants, as well as a raft of support from our Head Office in Stratford-upon-Avon. In addition, you’ll be supported in your farming union responsibilities by regional farm policy advisers, membership and public relations staff, and by a County Advisor assigned to your office. There is also plentiful support available through the NFU Headquarters in Stoneleigh, Warwickshire; NFU Scotland Headquarters in Ingliston, Midlothian or Ulster Farms Union Headquarters in Belfast. Within your first three months you will be expected to attend NFU Mutual’s New Agents Induction Workshop. This is an interactive and informative three-day workshop covering many business areas that you as a new Agent will find essential. It is hosted by business related speakers / Agents and takes place in Stratford-upon-Avon. It will outline the help and support that is available to you as you embark upon your new career. It’s also an excellent opportunity to build a network group with your fellow new Agents and to share ideas with each other.
Why does NFU Mutual operate through a self-employed commissioned network?
We believe that in order to drive our business forward, our Agents need to be in control of investing in and growing and developing a valuable local business in an entrepreneurial way. Your income will come from the commission earned by the agency and as this is unlimited you can increase your income in accordance with the growth of the agency business.
Will I need to recruit and be responsible for my own staff?
Most of NFU Mutual’s agencies are fully established offices with a current team of staff. When you’re appointed as an Agent, you take over the position as their employer under TUPE regulations. Going forward you will be responsible for recruiting and managing your team as their employer, including performance management and financial arrangements such as Pay as you earn (PAYE) and National Insurance (NI). We recommend that you discuss these aspects with a qualified accountant.
How does the role of Agent and farming union representative fit together?
Alongside your appointment as a self-employed NFU Mutual Agent, in which you manage your agency and sell insurance products and introduce Financial Services, many of our Agents also represent and champion British farming locally for the Farming Unions - it’s a partnership that is beneficial to farmers, to the Unions and to NFU Mutual. In the role of Group Secretary or Group Manager for Northern Ireland, you will be employed by the Farming Union to support its members - informing, organising and acting as a champion for your local farming community. You’ll make meaningful - and potentially profitable - connections with farmers, growers, stakeholders and the rural community at large. You’ll represent your local agricultural community, sharing expertise and standing up for the countryside, developing relationships, and playing a valuable role in sustaining the UK’s agricultural industry.
What will be my farming union responsibilities?
As a Group Secretary you’ll ensure that the Union connects in a relevant way with farmers, growers, stakeholders and the rural community. Building the Union’s profile, you’ll manage membership and the related potential membership income, attend meetings and events, and provide assistance and direction for members to help solve their farm business problems. You’ll gain and share knowledge and provide information on the Union’s policy priorities and membership services.
What support will I have to succeed?
How will you make the most of your new role? With our help, of course. Becoming an asset to the farming community is easier than you think when you’ve got a supportive, expert network behind you. Our headquarters and regional offices offer expertise, advice and specialist support. Whether you need help with marketing and media, advice from a policy specialist who really understands the issues farmers face, or a chat about sales and retention, we’re here to help you.
I don’t have a farming background - can I still apply?
Experience of – or an affinity with farming and rural matters – puts you at a distinct advantage, especially when it comes to Agent roles that include a Group Secretary or Group Manager position. However, if you feel you have the right skills and experience, why not apply? We are happy to consider applications from candidates who do not have a farming background. If you’re ready to join the rural community and can demonstrate your conviction, our comprehensive training and support programme will help you find your feet. Of course, you’ll need to show that you’ve got the right combination of skills and experience for the role, and how you plan to keep learning beyond your farm familiarisation. After all, the role is centred on the farming industry and so a genuine understanding of how the industry operates is essential.
I don’t have any insurance experience, is it worth me applying?
Of course, experience in insurance gives you a head start, and will make you stand out from the crowd. However, what’s more important is your ability to build strong relationships and manage your team. We welcome candidates with sales and sales management experience from any industry, as full insurance training will be provided.
What is the dress code for the assessment process?
What will you do with my data?
Will there be any group exercises during the interview?
No. During each element of the recruitment process you are assessed individually on your skills and knowledge. The process involves a situational interview and competency-based exercises, and the recruitment team will keep you fully informed of this process through-out your application.
Criminal record check requirements
The personal information that you provide to us as part of your application and any subsequent activities relating to your application will be used by NFU Mutual and other parts of the Group for the purpose of assessing your suitability for the role you have applied for. If you progress to interview stage or offer, you should be aware that we undertake screening for all prospective employees which includes criminal records.
We therefore encourage you to disclose this information as early as possible in the recruitment process. (Please be aware that some spent criminal offences may be considered if you are applying for a post where exemptions apply under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act). In some cases we also undertake financial checks, which may remain on your record.
Who carries out this check on NFU Mutual's behalf?
Security Watchdog carries out our Criminal Record Checks. It is an independent organisation with extensive experience in security and compliance, providing innovative solutions in the audit, advisory, pre-employment and employment screening and security recruitment fields. Find out more by visiting the Security Watchdog website.
What information do we need from you so that DBS checks can be carried out?
- Highest academic and professional qualification certificates
- UK issued Driving Licence (Photocard)
- UK issued Passport
And one document from the list below
- EU photo identity card (EU countries only)
- Bank or Building Society statement (UK)*
- Credit card statement (UK)*
- Utility bill (UK) (not mobile phone)*
- Mortgage statement**
* Documentation should be dated within the last three months
** Documentation should be dated within the last 12 months
Financial Conduct Authority approval
Once our internal recruitment checks are complete, we will place you forward for FCA approval. We will update you once this is received and discuss a suitable start date.