The Certification Officer is an independent statutory person. The post, which is part-time was established under The Industrial Relations (Northern Ireland) Order 1992.
The Certification Officer's powers were extended and strengthened by The Trade Union and Labour Relations (Northern Ireland) Order 1995 and The Employment Relations (Northern Ireland) Order 1999 and The Employment Relations (Northern Ireland) Order 2004.
The legislation provides the Certification Officer with powers to determine a range of complaints by trade union members against their unions and to ensure that the internal affairs of trade unions and employers' associations are properly conducted.
The Labour Relations Agency (LRA) is responsible under Article 69 of the 1992 Order for providing the Certification Officer with finance and support services but in no way affects the Certification Officer's independence of both the LRA and its sponsor, the Department for the Economy (DfE), in the performance of her duties.
The Office of the Certification Officer is defined as a "Public Authority"for the purpose of Section 75 of the NI Act 1998.
The Certification Officer holds Complaint Handler Membership of the Ombudsman Association.
The current Certification Officer, Mrs Sarah Havlin, was appointed on the 15th of June 2012.
NB: The Certification Officer for Northern Ireland wishes to advise Great Britain based trade unions with Northern Ireland members, who are changing their rules in accordance with the provisions of the Trade Union Act 2016, that they should as a matter of consistency, keep this office appraised on the said changes.