The interchange scheme is a collaborative initiative designed to:

  • promote and encourage an increase in the interchanging of people, information, ideas and good practice between the public, private, voluntary and social economy sectors in Northern Ireland;
  • facilitate the acquisition and application of new knowledge and skills through a business opportunity; and improve mutual understanding and enhance the effectiveness of organisations and individuals taking part in the interchange scheme.

Ways to Interchange

The Interchange Scheme is flexible, providing cost-effective benefits to those organisations who are partners to the Scheme.  It allows employees from the participating organisations the opportunity to learn from each other and to share good practice, ideas and experience.

It can take many forms and the following represent the Strands of Interchange available:

Filling Vacancies

A move on a temporary basis for a period, between three months and three years, without affecting employment status.  Can be achieved through:

  • Secondments
  • Attachments


An opportunity to explore how other organisations tackle particular business and operational issues and challenges.  Can be achieved through:

  • Twinning
  • Shadowing
  • Secondment/Attachment – Self-Nomination – An opportunity for individuals to seek an Interchange Opportunity to develop or enhance current skill sets.

Role of The Interchange Secretariat (NICSHR) in the Interchange Scheme

The Interchange Secretariat provides support and advice to Interchange partners and managers on how the Scheme works, and provides administrative support in relation to all opportunities (advertise in Weekly Opportunities Bulletin / manage the Interchange NI website  circulate electronically to non-NICS partner organisations, collate applications and forward them to the host organisation).  The Interchange Secretariat has no role in the selection of the suitable candidate.

The Interchange Secretariat is not responsible for agreeing the terms and conditions of the Interchange opportunity.  This is agreed between the two partner organisations involved in any interchange activity, i.e. the host and parent organisations, and a contract is drawn up between those two organisations before the opportunity commences.

The Interchange Secretariat maintains good relationships with Interchange partners and will circulate requests from organisations wishing to join the Scheme to current partners to seek their agreement.


Your information will be held and managed in accordance with the Data Protection Act/GDPR policies and procedures, including those relating to retention and disposal will be applied; the information will be used only for the purposes of this secondment, and will only be shared with any relevant third parties only with the explicit permission and assurance of NICSHR.

You can read the NICSHR privacy notice which is available at https://www.finance-ni.gov.uk/publications/nics-hr-privacy-notice