Principal Economist - RAPID and Environmental Planning

Ofwat (Water Services Regulation Authority)

Apply before 11:55 pm on Sunday 14th July 2024



Reference number



£55,031 - £75,000
Please read the attached Candidate Pack for more details on salary and pensions.

Job grade

Band 4 - Principal

Contract type


Business area

OFWAT - RAPID - Economics Hub within RAPID & Environmental Planning

Type of role


Working pattern

Flexible working, Full-time, Part-time

Number of jobs available



Birmingham (B5 4UA) or London (E14 4HD) based with hybrid working

Job summary

We are Ofwat, the Water Services Regulation Authority, a non-ministerial government department responsible for regulating the water sector in England and Wales.

We are at the source of everyday life. We help the sector build trust and confidence with customers, the environment and wider society: keeping water flowing, bills affordable and helping ensure the health of our rivers and waterways. 

We are looking for a Principal Economist to lead our economics hub within the RAPID (Regulator’s Alliance for Progressing Infrastructure Development) and EP (Environmental Planning) directorate. The RAPID economics hub plays a crucial role in providing economic advice and recommendations to address possible regulatory and commercial barriers for the delivery of new major infrastructure (particularly new reservoirs, water recycling projects, and major water transfers). 

This is a unique and exciting, once in a career, opportunity to work on some of the most important capital projects in the water sector.

You can find out more about why you should join Ofwat, our strategy, values and our framework for success in the attached Information for Candidates Pack.

Job description

You will join the team at an exciting time as we have just completed an important consultation on commercial structures / arrangements required for major infrastructure. Ofwat will shortly be setting out its PR24 draft determinations which will set out funding for development work as projects transition towards delivery.

You will have the opportunity to work collaboratively with other directorates across Ofwat, including the Price Review directorate in setting cost allowances and incentives, and the Major Projects and Markets Directorate, which project manages the major infrastructure solutions in the RAPID programme to completion from the procurement stage. You will also work closely with other regulatory partners, with the opportunity to develop knowledge and experience outside of economics.

Ultimately, this role provides a chance to create a lasting impact for customers for generations to come and create a legacy.

Key Deliverables

In this role you will be expected to: 

Economic advice and analysis

  • Manage, provide direction and deliver economic advice across RAPID to inform the development of future regulatory and commercial frameworks, cost allowances and incentives to support the successful delivery of nationally significant infrastructure projects.
  • Collaborate with Ofwat, external experts and water companies to develop and evaluate the impacts of policy options, to enable RAPID to propose final options to take through RAPID/Ofwat governance process for approval.
  • Contribute to the wider work of RAPID to support the progression of its programme of infrastructure options through the development (gated) process.


  • Provide briefings and presentations (internal/external) on the policy areas to explain and seek internal agreement to the proposals, and external views.
  • Attend external meetings with regulators, Governments and water industry leads to explain aspects of our regulatory and commercial workstreams.

People Management

  • Manage a team of 4 Senior Associate Economists, including providing strategic oversight of the workplan, allocating / delegating work to the team, and supporting them in their development.
  • Contribute to the wider leadership of RAPID.

Person specification

To be successful in this role you will need the below essential experience, skills, knowledge and attributes:

Experience, skills and knowledge 

  • Lead criterion: Experience of developing and delivering economic advice in a regulatory or commercial setting to deliver long-term outcomes.
  • Experience of solving complex problems, managing trade-offs, and influencing stakeholders to deliver strategic outcomes.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills, including the ability to explain policy issues and policy options, as well as work with internal and external stakeholders, particularly communicating complex or technical information to a non-technical audience.
  • Experience of working under pressure - planning, prioritising and managing a varied and changing work programme / workload to meet different, and often tight, deadlines.
  • Experience of managing and supporting a team in developing quickly evolving policy areas.
  • Ability to work independently, and as part of a team, using creativity and innovative approaches.


  • Adaptable Thinker
  • Delivers Outcomes
  • Committed Learner
  • Promotes Collaboration

Attributes as per Ofwat's Framework for Success for Principal Band. You can read more about Attributes here.

Why You Should Join Us: 

We’re forward-thinking, creative, innovative, and ambitious. We constantly push the boundaries and embrace new ways of working.  

With us, your work matters, your voice is heard, and your impact is felt. Ours is a culture of trust, flexibility, autonomy, collaboration, and innovation. We all want positive change for water customers, the environment, and the future of water.  

But for us, change is more than what happens on the outside – we’ve always pushed boundaries internally, too. From becoming the first Civil Service organisation to achieve ‘Smarter Working’ status, to gaining our prestigious ‘Smarter Working Maturity’ award, we’ve consistently demonstrated our commitment to embracing innovative ways of working. Our people do their best work when given freedom over where, when, and how they work. Which is why we trust our teams to balance meaningful collaboration in the office with the flexibility of working from home. 

You will also benefit from:

  • Excellent employer pension contributions of 28.97% (around £15,942 to £21,727.5 per annum for this role). You can find further details about pension schemes under Terms and Conditions in the Candidate Pack.
  • 27.5 days leave (25 days annual leave + 2.5 days privilege leave) increasing to max 32.5 days with each year of service, plus bank holidays
  • Access to exclusive discounts on a variety of goods and services, including retail 
    outlets, theatre tickets, holidays, insurance, and a gym membership.
  • Flexible working arrangements that suit your lifestyle.
  • Fees paid for membership of relevant professional bodies.
  • Up to 3 volunteering days per year.
  • Generous shared parental leave and pay.
  • Enhanced sick pay.
  • Regular development opportunities.
  • Health and wellbeing initiatives.
  • Season ticket loan for home-to-office travel.
  • Cycle-to-work scheme.

Selection process details

How to apply

Apply through the Civil Service Jobs website where you’ll be asked to create an account and complete an application form (CV and personal statement). If you’re unable to make an electronic application, please contact and we will support you in completing your application.

Please ensure you have submitted your application in full ahead of the deadline listed below. Unfortunately, we won't be able to consider late applications.

Selection timetable

  • Closing date: 23:55 on 14 July 24
  • Sifting: week commencing 15 July 24
  • Interview date(s): week commencing 22 July 24

Assessment process

Sift Stage

At sift stage we assess your application against key essential skills, experience, and knowledge, listed in the professional requirements section above. 

In your application, please state clearly how your skills, experience, and knowledge meet the essential criteria.

In the event of receiving a large number of applications, a pre-sift may take place on just the following lead criterion: 

  • Experience of developing and delivering economic advice in a regulatory or commercial setting to deliver long term outcomes.

In your personal statement, please tell us how your skills and experience meet the lead criterion, with examples if appropriate. 

You may find the STAR method useful in structuring your personal statement. 

Interview Stage

We will assess your Experience, Skills and Knowledge as well as Attributes (set out in the professional requirements section) at Interview Stage.

You can read more about Attributes in Ofwat’s Framework for Success.

As part of the interview process, we may require a short presentation. Further details will be provided to shortlisted candidates upon invitation to interview.

Please note that the interviews will be conducted via video conferencing software such as Microsoft Teams.

If you have any queries about any aspect of this role, selection process, or you require any reasonable adjustments please email

Please read the attached "Candidate Information Pack" for details on terms and conditions.

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


Successful candidates must undergo a criminal record check.
People working with government assets must complete baseline personnel security standard (opens in new window) checks.

Nationality requirements

This job is broadly open to the following groups:

  • UK nationals
  • nationals of the Republic of Ireland
  • nationals of Commonwealth countries who have the right to work in the UK
  • nationals of the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein and family members of those nationalities with settled or pre-settled status under the European Union Settlement Scheme (EUSS) (opens in a new window)
  • nationals of the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein and family members of those nationalities who have made a valid application for settled or pre-settled status under the European Union Settlement Scheme (EUSS)
  • individuals with limited leave to remain or indefinite leave to remain who were eligible to apply for EUSS on or before 31 December 2020
  • Turkish nationals, and certain family members of Turkish nationals, who have accrued the right to work in the Civil Service
Further information on nationality requirements (opens in a new window)

Working for the Civil Service

The Civil Service Code (opens in a new window) 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 (opens in a new window).
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.
The Civil Service also offers a Redeployment Interview Scheme to civil servants who are at risk of redundancy, and who meet the minimum requirements for the advertised vacancy.

Diversity and Inclusion

The Civil Service is committed to attract, retain and invest in talent wherever it is found. To learn more please see the Civil Service People Plan (opens in a new window) and the Civil Service Diversity and Inclusion Strategy (opens in a new window).
The Civil Service welcomes applications from people who have recently left prison or have an unspent conviction. Read more about prison leaver recruitment (opens in new window).
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 :
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Recruitment team

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Further information

If you feel your application has not been treated in accordance with the recruitment principles and you wish to make a complaint, you should contact Ruth Noake, Head of Talent & OD, Corporate Enablers (People), Ofwat, Centre City Tower, 7 Hill Street, Birmingham, B5 4UA in the first instance. If you are not satisfied with the response you receive from us you can contact the Civil Service Commission at

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