Policy Advisor

Department of Health and Social Care

Apply before 11:55 pm on Sunday 25th February 2024



Reference number



£32,188 - £38,628
Leeds: £32,188-£35,005; London: £36,244-£38,628
A Civil Service Pension with an average employer contribution of 27%

Job grade

Higher Executive Officer

Contract type


Length of employment

This role is being advertised on a permanent basis. If preferable, Loan or Secondment options will also be available for existing Civil Servants (Loan) and applicants from accredited NDPBs or any other employer (Secondment).

Business area

DHSC - Global Health - Health Protection, Strategy and Vaccines

Type of role


Working pattern

Flexible working, Full-time, Job share, Part-time

Number of jobs available



Leeds, London

Job summary

In DHSC, we are proud of our purpose – to enable everyone to live more independent, healthier lives for longer. To achieve this, and create a great place to work, we have four values: we are inclusive, we constantly improve, we challenge, and we are agile. If this sounds like an environment you’d like to work in, we’d love to hear from you.

We are committed to creating a great place to work for our colleagues that reflects the society we serve. Diverse perspectives and experiences are critical to our success. We welcome applications from people from all backgrounds with the experience and skills to perform these roles.

The Vaccines Team’s mission is to deliver effective policy, in collaboration with partners, to enable timely and equitable deployment of COVID and Flu vaccines and maximise health outcomes across the nation. In delivering this mission, we work closely with key stakeholders across the vaccines landscape, including NHS England, the UK Health Security Agency (which also covers the COVID Vaccine Unit and the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation), the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, Devolved Governments and other governmental departments, to ensure that our health and social care systems are able to successfully provide COVID-19 and Flu vaccines to those eligible. 

The team is responsible for developing policy to support ongoing delivery of seasonal vaccination campaigns, monitoring uptake of COVID and Flu vaccination – working with partners to promote vaccination across all groups and ensuring that delivery of COVID-19 and Flu vaccination programmes as much as possible aligned across the Devolved Governments, Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies.

Job description

The COVID-19 and flu vaccines team develops policy to protect those vulnerable to COVID-19 and flu via a programme of highly impactful seasonal vaccination campaigns. Our work is guided by the independent Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) and we work in close in collaboration with partners (including NHSE and UKHSA), as well as the Devolved Administrations. The post holder would work in the flu policy team, alongside colleagues focussing on the COVID-19 vaccine, but the postholder would be expected to develop a working knowledge of vaccination policy generally.

Person specification

Role responsibilities

This role will involve extensive engagement with a wide range of stakeholders from DHSC, arms-length bodies and other government departments. The main responsibilities of the role include:

  • Day-to-day management of the policy area, which includes monitoring uptake data and updating senior officials and Ministers on progress
  • Drafting advice to Ministers and senior leaders on policy issues
  • Building and maintaining good relationships with stakeholders in the Department and across government
  • Communicating information clearly and concisely, both in writing and verbally, to a range of partners
  • Working with your team to develop a broader understanding of your policy area and of vaccine policy more generally, and the challenges and opportunities associated with it
  • Helping develop public facing communications for the programme, including guidance for patients and preparation for Parliamentary debates.

Key skills and experience required for the role

The essential criteria for the post are:

  • Strong communication skills, both written and oral, with an ability to tailor your messages to meet the needs of different audiences
  • The ability to grasp complex issues readily, and to build on that to help develop policy
  • The ability to collaborate with a range of policy colleagues and stakeholders to achieve desired outcomes
  • The ability to deliver high quality work in a timely fashion.


We'll assess you against these behaviours during the selection process:

  • Seeing the Big Picture
  • Making Effective Decisions
  • Working Together
Alongside your salary of £32,188, Department of Health and Social Care contributes £8,690 towards you being a member of the Civil Service Defined Benefit Pension scheme. Find out what benefits a Civil Service Pension provides.
  • Learning and development tailored to your role
  • An environment with flexible working options
  • A culture encouraging inclusion and diversity
  • A Civil Service pension with an average employer contribution of 27%

Selection process details

This vacancy is using Success Profiles (opens in a new window), and will assess your Behaviours, Strengths and Experience.

Sift date: expected W/C 26/02/2024

Interview date: expected W/C 11/03/2024

Interview location: By video

The available interview slots will be released with the sift scores. 

Applications will be sifted on Behaviours, CV, and Statement of Suitability

Please use your CV to set out your career history, highlighting specific responsibilities and achievements that are relevant for this role. These can be found in the ‘key skills and experience required for the role’ section of the advert.

Please use your statement of suitability to (in no more than 500 words) outline how you meet the key skills and experience required for the role as set out in the job advert.

An initial sift based on the lead behaviour of Seeing the Big Picture may be held if a large number of applications are received. Candidates who pass the initial sift may be progressed to a full sift or progressed straight to assessment/interview.

At interview candidates will be assessed on Behaviours and Strengths

To find out more about working in the department please visit our page on the Civil Service Careers Website here 

Applicants who are appointable but were not successful in appointment to this vacancy, may be held on a reserve list for up to 12 months, and contacted if similar vacancies become available. 

Please be aware that some travel may be required across the DHSC estate. 

Please note that applicants will require BPSS clearance. 

Further Information

A reserve list may be held for a period of 12 months from which further appointments can be made.

Any move to DHSC from another employer will mean you can no longer access childcare vouchers. This includes moves between government departments. You may however be eligible for other government schemes, including Tax Free Childcare. Determine your eligibility at https://www.childcarechoices.gov.uk

Reasonable Adjustment

If a person with disabilities is put at a substantial disadvantage compared to a non-disabled person, we have a duty to make reasonable changes to our processes. 

If you need a change to be made so that you can make your application, you should: 

Contact Government Recruitment Service via dhscrecruitment.grs@cabinetoffice.gov.uk as soon as possible before the closing date to discuss your needs. 

Complete the ‘Assistance required’ section in the ‘Additional requirements’ page of your application form to tell us what changes or help you might need further on in the recruitment process. For instance, you may need wheelchair access at interview, or if you’re deaf, a Language Service Professional. 

If successful and transferring from another Government Department a criminal record check may be carried out. 

In order to process applications without delay, we will be sending a Criminal Record Check to Disclosure and Barring Service on your behalf.

However, we recognise in exceptional circumstances some candidates will want to send their completed forms direct. If you will be doing this, please advise Government Recruitment Service of your intention by emailing Pre-EmploymentChecks.grs@cabinetoffice.gov.uk stating the job reference number in the subject heading. 

New entrants are expected to join on the minimum of the pay band.

Applicants who are successful at interview will be, as part of pre-employment screening, subject to a check on the Internal Fraud Database (IFD). This check will provide information about employees who have been dismissed for fraud or dishonesty offences. This check also applies to employees who resign or otherwise leave before being dismissed for fraud or dishonesty had their employment continued. Any applicant’s details held on the IFD will be refused employment. 

A candidate is not eligible to apply for a role within the Civil Service if the application is made within a 5 year period following a dismissal for carrying out internal fraud against government.

If you are experiencing accessibility problems with any attachments on this advert, please contact the email address in the 'Contact point for applicants' section.

Existing Civil Servants and applicants from accredited NDPBs are eligible to apply, but will only be considered on loan basis (Civil Servants) or secondment (accredited NDPBs). Prior agreement to be released on a loan basis must be obtained before commencing the application process. In the case of Civil Servants, the terms of the loan will be agreed between the home and host department and the Civil Servant. This includes grade on return.

Terms and Conditions

Candidates should note that DHSC’s Terms and Conditions of employment changed from 1 October 2013. It is the candidate’s responsibility to ensure they are aware of the terms and conditions they will adopt should they be successful. 

New Entrants to the Civil Service

New entrants appointed in grades AA to G6 will receive DHSC’s modernised terms and conditions:

  • Annual Leave: 25 days on entry rising by one day for each completed year of service to a maximum of 30 days and pro-rata for part-time staff
  • Privilege Leave: 1 day - for the King’s birthday
  • Hours of Work: 37 hours (net) per week for full time staff in all geographical locations, including London and pro rata for part-time staff
  • Occupational Sick Pay (OSP): one month full pay/one month half pay on entry, rising by one month for each completed year of service to a maximum of five months’ full pay and five months’ half pay
  • Mobility: Mobility clause in contracts allow staff to be mobile across the Civil Service
  • Probation: 6 month probation period

Existing Civil Service staff transferring from another Government department, on either level transfer or promotion

All staff moving to DHSC will transfer onto DHSC’s modernised terms and conditions (as outlined above). 

Existing DHSC staff, appointed on either level transfer or promotion

If DHSC’s modernised terms and conditions are already held, the employee will retain those terms and conditions. If DHSC’s pre-modernised terms and conditions are held, the employee will transfer onto DHSC’s modernised terms and conditions (as outlined above).

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.
This vacancy is part of the Great Place to Work for Veterans (opens in a new window) initiative.
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 : Neil Townley
  • Email : neil.townley@dhsc.gov.uk

Recruitment team

  • Email : dhscrecruitment.grs@cabinetoffice.gov.uk

Further information

If you feel your application has not been treated in accordance with the Recruitment Principles and you wish to make a complaint, in the first instance, you should contact the DHSC Central Recruitment Team at DHSCrecruitment@dhsc.gov.uk
If you are not satisfied with the response you receive from the Department, you can contact the Civil Service Commission: https://civilservicecommission.independent.gov.uk/contact-us/

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