External Engagement Officer

Office of the Children's Commissioner

Apply before 11:55 pm on Sunday 5th December 2021


Reference number



£28,500 - £30,000


Executive Officer

Contract type

Fixed Term

Length of employment

12 months

Type of role

Communications / Marketing

Working pattern


Number of posts




About the job


The Children's Commissioner for England promotes and protects the rights of children, especially the most vulnerable. This includes special responsibilities for the rights of children who are in or leaving care, living away from home or receiving social care services.

Independent of Government, the Children’s Commissioner has unique powers to help bring about long-term change and improvements for children. She does this by first gathering evidence: talking to children and young people, requesting information from public institutions and then carrying out research and compiling information on the wide range of things that affect children’s lives. She is the ‘eyes and ears’ of children in England.

It is an exciting time to join the Children’s Commissioner’s Office. The new Commissioner, Dame Rachel de Souza, has launched the Childhood Commission, a once-in-a-generation review of the future of childhood which will identify the barriers preventing children from reaching their full potential, and come up with solutions to these problems. It included the largest ever survey of children in England, The Big Ask. This survey aimed to reach every child in England, and asked them how the pandemic changed their lives, what their aspirations are and the barriers to reaching them, how things are at home, how their communities and local environment could be improved, and how they feel about the future and the challenges facing the world.

Job description

Please note this post is fixed term and office based for around 3 days per week (Central London). We would also consider applications from candidates seeking a secondment, subject to approval from the candidate’s host organisation. We welcome applications from both inside and outside the Civil Service.

This is an external facing role with responsibility for managing relationships with parliamentarians and external stakeholders. You will explore ways to develop our relationships with stakeholders, keeping in close touch with them to promote our agenda and be informed about theirs.

You will also keep up to date with political changes and current affairs, being able to provide responses to Oral Parliamentary Questions and briefings for MPs.

Whilst the post holder has specific responsibilities, as a member of a small team it will be necessary to become familiar, through time, with other associated aspects of the work of the Office in order to provide cover for colleagues during busy periods and absences. The post-holder will be proactive and willing to contribute to the overall performance of the team.

Essential skills/experience:
• Direct experience in External Affairs, Government relations and/or stakeholder engagement roles and customer relationship management.
• An eye for emerging issues and trends which might influence or benefit our work.
• Strong influencing skills and the ability to build rapport with a range of stakeholders, complemented by the ability to prioritise and manage competing demands
• A track record of working collaboratively with colleagues at every level across an organisation and with external partners.
• An understanding of political/news landscape, able to advise on risks and reputational issues and demonstrate political awareness
• Experience of contributing to a fast-moving project and working to tight deadlines
• Excellent written and verbal skills.

Desirable skills/experience:
• Public sector experience, either in local or central government
• Experience of using insight and evaluation to improve communications.
• Stakeholder management experience related to campaigns that have a low cost/ no cost element
• Experience of briefing senior officials
• Excellent knowledge of Microsoft packages such as Excel and PowerPoint.


Key responsibilities will include:
• Keeping MPs, think tanks, charities and third parties informed of the OCC’s work
• Draft guidance on OCC’s work to support Select Committees in their work
• Facilitate relationships between the OCC and key stakeholders in Whitehall and Parliament, including implementing a plan to significantly boost the awareness of the OCC’s work across Parliament
• Building relationships with cross-Party MPs
• Be aware of all legislation relevant to the OCC’s work as it moves through Parliament in order to provide support to the Office and liaison where appropriate
• Third Party and MP briefings on topics related to the work that the OCC is undertaking; framing our policy and research reports into appropriate briefings for MPs and other key stakeholders.
• Preparing responses to Oral Parliamentary Questions
• Providing regular updates for MPs, including producing a newsletter detailing the current work of the OCC
• Organising visits with MPs to keep them informed of the OCC’s work
• Maintaining a database of MPs and their office contacts, updating and recording changes as necessary
• Brief the Commissioner and wider team on political developments
• Attend meetings and events on behalf of the Commissioner, often outside of normal working hours
• Organise events and engagement with policy makers within Whitehall and Westminster


• Learning and development tailored to your role
• An environment with flexible working options [Please note that all OCC staff are dividing their time between our offices in Westminster and home working].
• A culture encouraging inclusion and diversity
• A Civil Service pension
• 25 days annual leave in your first year, increasing by one day for each year of service to a maximum of 30 days, plus 8 bank and public holidays and 1 day of privilege leave for the Queen's birthday

Things you need to know


Successful candidates must pass a disclosure and barring security check.
People working with government assets must complete basic personnel security standard checks.

Selection process details

lf you would like to be part of our team please visit our website https://www.childrenscommissioner.gov.uk/about-us/vacancies/ for details about how to apply.

The closing date for the receipt of completed applications is midnight on 05 December 2021.

Interviews for short-listed candidates are expected to take place during the week beginning 13 December 2021.

Feedback will only be provided if you attend an interview or assessment.

Nationality requirements

This job is broadly open to the following groups:

  • UK nationals
  • nationals of Commonwealth countries who have the right to work in the UK
  • nationals of the Republic of Ireland
  • nationals from the EU, EEA or Switzerland with settled or pre-settled status or who apply for either status by the deadline of the European Union Settlement Scheme (EUSS)
  • relevant EU, EEA, Swiss or Turkish nationals working in the Civil Service
  • relevant EU, EEA, Swiss or Turkish nationals who have built up the right to work in the Civil Service
  • certain family members of the relevant EU, EEA, Swiss or Turkish nationals
Further information on nationality requirements

Working for the Civil Service

The Civil Service Code sets out the standards of behaviour expected of civil servants.

We recruit by merit on the basis of fair and open competition, as outlined in the Civil Service Commission's recruitment principles.
The Civil Service embraces diversity and promotes equal opportunities. As such, we run a Disability Confident Scheme (DCS) for candidates with disabilities who meet the minimum selection criteria.

Apply and further information

Once this job has closed, the job advert will no longer be available. You may want to save a copy for your records.

Contact point for applicants

Job contact :
Name :  OCC Recruitment
Email :  OCC.Recruitment@childrenscommissioner.gov.uk
Recruitment team :
Email :  OCC.recruitment@childrenscommissioner.gov.uk

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