Noel worked in Health and Social Services for over 20 years, holding a number of senior management positions. He was Chief Executive of the Probation Board for Northern Ireland from 2003 to 2007. From 1989 to 2005 Noel was a member of a European Association ‘Quartiers en Crise’, an association of 25 European cities promoting a community development approach to regeneration in cities. He was a member of the Criminal Justice Board for Northern Ireland between 2003 and 2006, and in 2007/2008 he was interim Chief Executive of the West Belfast Partnership Board.
Since 2009, Noel has been Programme Manager for a European programme delivered in Northern Ireland and border counties, involving agencies including Intercomm, PSNI and Garda Síochána as well as the Irish Congress of Trade Unions and Incore at the University of Ulster.