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UCD Students’ Union is accepting applications for the role of Returning Officer.

The application deadline will be Wednesday 2nd September at 17:00.


Applications should be sent by email, in confidence, to david.fitzsimons@ucdsu.ie with the subject line ‘Returning Officer Application’.


Please contact david.fitzsimons@ucdsu.ie with any queries regarding this role, allowing 24 hours for a response.

Service Level Agreement

UCD Students’ Union Returning Officer


The Union Returning Officer will be expected, jointly with the Chief Returning Officer to supervise all elections and referenda. They will be responsible for the administration of all SU elections and referenda and in particular will be responsible for the appointment and management of presiding officers, polling clerks and other personnel as they consider necessary and shall make all arrangements as they consider necessary in the discharge of their duties, subject to the provisions of the Students’ Union Constitution and, in as far as they consider to be reasonably practicable, in accordance with the Electoral Acts as amended.


The position of the Union Returning Officer shall be appointed, in accordance with Article 18.2 of the Union’s Constitution, by the Chief Returning Officer. This appointment will be made following a recruitment and interview process which shall be attended by the Students’ Union President and a second Students’ Union representative. The Students’ Union President will be the official point of contact for the Union Returning Officer for all day to day contact, but in the case where there is a conflict of interest, the Deputy President will assume control. In the case of a secondary conflict of interest an elected representative, appointed by a majority vote of the Union Executive, will be the point of contact for the Returning Officer. Upon appointment to the position, the Union Returning Officer will remain in post for the remainder of the academic year, and the academic year thereafter. The successful candidate will serve a two year term. Responsibilities / terms of service


1. The Union Returning Officer should commit to regular meetings with the Union President, with at least three meetings taking place each semester.

2. The Union Returning Officer shall work closely with the Students’ Union, and the University, to complete a constituency review before nominations open for Union Council elections.

3. All election dates should be agreed upon with the Students’ Union President, or the Official Union Representative, to ensure maximum engagement with the student body. Polling times and locations shall be set and arranged by the Union Returning Officer, again in conjunction with the Students Union President or official Union Representative.

4. In advance of any election or referenda, the Union Returning Officer must publish a draft polling scheme at least one week prior to the relevant polling date, along with a list of all validly nominated candidates.

5. The Union Returning Officer must compile a list of students eligible to vote in each faculty prior to polling dates.

6. The Union Returning Officer shall put in place regulations governing the conduct of candidates and campaigners in respect of elections and referenda.

6a. Such regulations must be made publicly available via the union website www.ucdsu.ie.

7. The Union Returning Officer will be responsible for the recruitment of all presiding officers and polling clerks where necessary. Notice announcing the recruitment of these positions should be advertised prior to elections, and recruitment procedures must follow the current practice and format whereby applications and candidates with the most experience will be given preference over other applicants (subject to availability, performance and competence). Those applying to work in respect of a specific election and/or referendum will be asked not to apply is a conflict of interest would arise by virtue of the applicant’s involvement in a campaign in that election or referendum. Any appointments with any other form of potential conflict of interest will be flagged to the Chief Returning Officer and the President or Official Union Representative.

8. The agreed remuneration for presiding officers and polling clerks should be approved by the Chief Returning Officer and the Students’ Union President.

9. Any issues raised during an election process will be reported to the IADB and in consultation with the President/Representative, all issues will be addressed at the earliest convenience and a resolution will be identified.

10. The Returning Officer should assist the Students Union President and the Students’ Union Executive in investigating, trialing and implementing an accurate and secure online voting system.

11. In accordance with the Students’ Union Constitution, in the event of any disagreement, the Chief Returning Officer shall be consulted. The Chief Returning Officer shall have the power to overturn or countermand any decision or action of the Union Returning Officer.

12. All databases containing items of personal data must be stored and/or destroyed in compliance with GDPR legislation, along with the Student Union’s policy regarding same.

13. All emails, databases, keys and ballot boxes remain the property of the Students Union. Upon expiration of this contact, the Union Returning Officer shall ensure that an official handover is carried out with either the incoming Union Returning Officer, the Chief Returning Officer, or the Students’ Union President.

14. The Returning Officer must take special care to ensure that UCDSU and UCD diversity and inclusion policies are adhered to and, where deemed appropriate, publicised throughout each election period.

14a. The Returning Officer will be offered diversity and inclusion training as it becomes available to UCDSU Sabbatical and Staff teams