Adjudicating at the Concern Debates

You are here

Adjudicating at the Concern Debates

Welcome to the adjudicators' section of the Concern Debates website. Below you will find information on the role of the debates adjudicator, how to apply or re-register, and all the resources you will need to adjudicate a debate.

Adjudicators at the National final of the 2015 Concern debates. Photo taken by Hazel Coonagh.

A celebration of Concern Debates adjudicators 

To celebrate the invaluable contribution that adjudicators make to the debates programme, Concern would like to invite you all to an evening of fun, food and conversation! We'll have three celebrations over the coming weeks around the country. If you can join, please let us know by sending an RSVP to [email protected].

Dublin, 1 February, 7 to 9pm: Concern Worldwide 52-55 Camden Street Lower Dublin 2.

Cork, 8 February, 7 to 9pm: The Hibernian Hotel Mallow.

Athlone, 22 February, 7 to 9pm: Sheraton Hotel Athlone.

Invitation to Concern Debates adjudicator's celebration.

With 130 schools competing every year in at least four debates, adjudicators are the lifeblood of the Concern Debates programme as each debate requires three independent adjudicators. Between October and January, the Concern Debates team will be organising over 400 individual Debates and would love for you to sign up to our wonderful panel of adjudicators and hear the insightful views of today’s youth on global issues.

We are on hand in Concern Debates HQ to support existing and new adjudicators in training and any queries you may have! Please also download a copy of our brand new Adjudicator Handbook.

What skills should an adjudicator have?

  • No expertise is required but an open mind is essential!
  • Good listening skills and the ability to evaluate 
  • An ability to give constructive criticism

What kind of commitment is involved?

Generally adjudicators will adjudicate at one debate per month (during the school year) but they are free to adjudicate at as few or as many debates as they wish.

Some people are free only at certain times of the year or on certain nights – just let us know when you are available on the adjudicator's availability form.

How does it work?

  • If you are interested in being an adjudicator, simply fill in the adjudicator availability form and post or email it to Concern Worldwide
  • When a Debate is happening in your area, you will be contacted by us to check if you are free to adjudicate
  • If you are available to adjudicate, Concern will send you the details of the debate: venue, motion etc
  • Debates generally begin at 8pm and are over by 9.30pm


  • Concern organises training in a number of key locations across Ireland for adjudicators and provides a very helpful guide regarding how the debates work
  • The Concern Debates staff is always at the end of the phone to answer any queries you may have

Information and training 2017-2018

We are currently recruiting for new adjudicators and we will be running training and information sessions for new adjudicators in the early autumn for the 2017–2018 school year. Please contact [email protected] for further information and details of the location.

Our Training dates are:

Thursday 5th October: Dublin

Thursday 19th October: Galway

If you would really like training but are unable to attend any of the sessions, let us know and we will try our best to arrange another session that suits you.

Webinar: introduction to adjudicating the Concern Debates