Phelim was appointed Chief Executive on 26 November 2014. He joined HIQA as Director of Regulation and Chief Inspector of Social Services on 1 November 2012. He has 30 years of experience in health and social care services in Northern Ireland, most recently in Northern Ireland's equivalent health and social care regulatory body — the Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority (RQIA).
In RQIA, Phelim was Director of Operations and Chief Nurse Advisor and more recently, Director of Regulation and Nursing. In his role, he was responsible for the strategic development and execution of a full programme of regulation across adult and children's social care services including, nursing homes, residential care homes, day care services, domiciliary care services, residential children’s centres, residential family centres and voluntary adoption agencies. He also led the development of inspection methodologies to meet the increasing range of services.