Guidance Note – Services to Members


Introduction: The purpose of this document is to provide you with an overview of the supports and services you can expect as a member of the Association.

When you join the Association, you become part of a large and diverse collective of fellow members across all areas of the civil and public service. It is a vibrant forward looking and widely respected union that has member support and engagement to the forefront of its objectives. Member support includes the provision of individual representation and advice.

The Association has unique arrangements in place, where you as a member are provided with direct access to the AHCPS full time official dealing with your branch. You can either send a query or contact request to or call us on the Head Office number on our website at

The Association strives to ensure that it’s resources, both human and financial, are directed to the utmost benefit of the membership.

Please see below important points of information for members:

  1. The Executive emphasises the benefit of newly appointed Assistant Principal and Principal Officers joining the Association as close as possible to the time of their appointment. An applicant is considered a member from the time of approval of their application even if there is a delay in affecting deductions with NSSO or other employers as applicable.
  2. Where an individual joins the Association at the time of appointment, and unfortunately experiences difficulties during probation, or at any later stage during their career, the Association will fully support them.
  3. Within departments and agencies, the AHCPS has branch committees in place with a branch chair and secretary appointed at the annual general meeting of the branch. These officers together with a full time official engage with HR and management on an ongoing basis and at Departmental Councils to ensure members’ interests are fully represented.
  4. The Association negotiates Pay through the National Wage Agreements and strives to ensure the terms and conditions of members’ employment are not altered without agreement.
  5. Our officials spend extensive time advising and representing members with difficulties and have developed wide-ranging expertise in this regard.
  6. When necessary, support to members can include legal advice.
  7. Except where the Executive Committee decides otherwise, the Association does not provide representation or advice (including legal advice) at any stage on issues that are open at the time of joining or pre-date membership as a consequence of an individual’s decision not to apply for membership. In reaching its decision on such matters the Executive will take into account previous union membership. Examples of open and pre-existing issues are set out in Appendix 2.
  8. The Association has in place an online membership application facility that can be accessed at the following link: Application for Membership – AHCPS
  9. The Association provides a wide range of other services to members (see Appendix 1 below) and the Executive Committee and officials regularly review and evaluate these services to ensure that they are meeting members’ needs.


Appendix 1 – Other Services

  • Group Life Assurance – 0.48% of gross salary & is tax deductible
  • Salary Protection via Income Continuance Policy costing 0.57% gross salary/tax deductible
  • €5,000 Bereavement Grant covering member & spouse or civil partner
  • Health Cover – Lyons
  • Legal Services
  • General Financial Advice – Investment & AVCs – Symmetry Financial Mgt. & Cornmarket
  • Mortgage protection – Lyons, Symmetry Financial Mgt.
  • Reduced Hotel Rates
  • Retirement Courses
  • Discounted Insurances – Car, Dental, Home & Travel from various underwriters
  • PO Interview Training
  • T-LAC Training – assistance of Roffey Park Institute
  • Women in Leadership & Well Being type seminars
  • Webinars


Appendix 2 – Situations where the AHCPS would not generally provide advice/representation 

as a consequence of an individual not applying for membership

  • An Assistant Principal or Principal Officer appointed in a position for 2-years, encountering a difficulty in a disciplinary matter in year 3, and turning to the Association for membership and representation only at that stage in their appointment.
  • An AP or PO under probation who does not join the Association close to the time of appointment, but after a number of months experiences difficulties with his or her probation review and turns to the Association for advice or representation.
  • An AP or PO, not a member of the AHCPS, managing an underperformance issue or Personal Improvement Plan for a HEO in his or her unit, who has a complaint made against them under the Dignity at Work Policy or the Civil Service Grievance Policy by the HEO concerned.
  • A newly appointed PO, not a member of the AHCPS, who successfully goes through his or her probation but a year later has a change of Assistant Secretary and turns to the Association for advice and assistance on serious PMDS and interpersonal difficulties that emerge.