Office for Environmental Protection
Apply before 11:50 pm on Sunday 21st August 2022
Type of role
Environment and Sustainability
Number of posts
Do you enjoy working with experts, universities, and research centres to understand the latest environmental trends?
Can you summarise that information into clear, accessible reports for Ministers, Parliament and the public?
If so, then we want to hear from you.
The OEP’s mission is to protect and recover the environment. Created by the Environment Act 2021, our role is to hold Government and public bodies to account. We do this in several ways, including by making annual reports to Parliament on Government’s progress under its Environmental Improvement Plans and its associated suite of targets.
These roles are based within the OEP’s Insights Directorate which leads on the preparation of reports for the Westminster Government and the Northern Ireland Executive. Our remit is broad: we cover biodiversity, habitat quality, status of rivers and seas, air quality as well as waste and resources.
In addition to reporting on Government’s progress, the Directorate supports other OEP Directorates to deliver their specialist functions, including the investigation of environmental complaints and legal actions to hold public bodies to account.
With a total staff of just over 50, we are a small, dynamic, friendly and flexible organisation covering both England, Northern Ireland, and environmental matters reserved to the UK Government. We offer flexible working arrangements, high profile, dynamic work and the chance to have an impact on improving the state of the environment.
The OEP is based in Worcester, a thriving county town with three mainline stations providing good links to London, Bristol, and Birmingham. Great Britain based staff will initially be contractually based at Worcestershire County Hall, and then at a new Worcester OEP office location, details of which will be shared with successful candidates.
Northern Ireland based staff will be contracted as home workers but there will be the expectation of regular travel to Worcester, the details of which will be discussed at interview.
The natural environment is important for everyone and we aim for our teams to reflect the diversity of our society. Your personal qualities will be as important as your professional experience and applications are welcomed from all backgrounds.
Through our monitoring and reporting, we analyse and comment on government’s progress. We make recommendations on how progress could be improved across the goals, targets and plans. We also provide commentary and advice on the adequacy of environmental monitoring.
The role-holder will support the directorate through one of three teams, each led by a Grade 6 Head of Environment and Policy Analysis. Each team has a particular focus:
1. Monitoring, critically assessing, and reporting on government’s progress in improving the natural environment in accordance with the EIPs, goals and targets in England
2. or Northern Ireland.
3. or providing wider expert analysis and insight in support of all OEP functions, strategic objective and wider corporate priorities through research activities, and the management of external expert inputs.
This is an unrivalled opportunity to join the OEP and help build its function from the ground up, influencing how the OEP will operate in its crucial early years of existence. In the next 12 months, the successful candidate will be supporting the delivering of activities, across one of the three work areas. This could include supporting across several of the following activities:
• Publish a report to independently assess the UK government’s progress in delivering its 25-year environment plan and against environmental targets for England, making recommendations for improvement.
• Publish a report to independently assess the Northern Ireland executive’s progress in delivering its environmental improvement plan when in place, making recommendations for improvement
• Provide and publish advice to the Northern Ireland and UK governments on their Environmental Improvement Plans as they are adopted or revised
• Evaluate and report on the UK government’s approach to its required test of whether environmental targets will significantly improve the natural environment in England
• Scrutinise government’s progress in areas the OEP has identified as priorities
• Develop and deliver a research programme to identify critical gaps in evidence and understanding of the natural environment, policy, and delivery plans
• Develop expert and independent panels to support our work.
• Develop insights in delivering sustained environmental improvement across nutrient management, soil health and air quality.
The above list of responsibilities is not exclusive or exhaustive and the post holder will be required to undertake such tasks as may reasonably be expected within the scope and grading of the post.
The OEP work on a wide variety of issues at any given time, and we are looking for people who are be able to work flexibly across multiple work areas, and who have the enthusiasm to help us grow as an organization. If this sounds like something you would be interested in, we would love you to get in touch.
To see recent examples of the work that the OEP Insights directorate has been involved in, please check out our website; here
As the OEP is a new organisation, we will be hosting a webinar during the application period to provide potential candidates with further information about the OEP and the roles – for more information please visit the event page: http://oeprecruitment.eventbrite.com
• 2.1 degree or a postgraduate qualification in an environmental science, social science or environmental economics discipline, or equivalent experience.
• Ability to think and operate strategically, ensuring plans and activities reflect the broader political, economic, legal and social context.
• Uses sound judgement and critical thinking to analyse and tackle complex issues, at pace. Working knowledge of applying Government guidance is helpful e.g. the Green, Aqua and Magenta books.
• Collect, analyse, interpret and present multi-disciplinary evidence using quantitative and qualitative methods. Apply analytics to the production of policy-relevant evidence.
• Excellent communication and interpersonal skills, with the ability to communicate complex analysis clearly and confidently both verbally and in writing for multiple audiences.
• Working collaboratively across teams and stakeholders to develop insights in the context of broader environmental policy, and an ability to pro-actively develop and manage relationships with a broad range of internal and external stakeholders.
• Undertake and/or commission individual high quality research projects involving the development of the evidence base and analysis to support reporting and recommendations to government.
• Be a strong team player, with a flexible and adaptable mindset, able to work across a wide range of projects and change direction quickly in response to changing demands.
• Proactively identify and manage risks in your work, and liaise with senior colleagues across the Directorate to identify and review and resolve strategically important issues as they emerge.
OEP is an equal opportunities employer and welcomes opportunities for all suitably qualified persons. OEP will not discriminate on grounds of race, age, disability, gender, (including gender reassignment), sexual orientation, religious belief or political opinion.
All appointments will be made based solely on merit.
We'll assess you against these behaviours during the selection process:
- Seeing the Big Picture
- Delivering at Pace
- Communicating and Influencing
- Making Effective Decisions
We only ask for evidence of these behaviours on your application form:
- Seeing the Big Picture
We'll assess you against these technical skills during the selection process:
- The ability analyse and interpret information to identify gaps and recommend improvements.
• Generous Annual Leave allowance
• An Employee Assistance Programme providing free and confidential 24/7 telephone advice service to staff
• An Occupational Health Service (OHS) to provide a range of support services to help with the way you feel at work.
• Outstanding Learning and Development support including paid study leave
• Salary Sacrifice Schemes such as Cycle to Work and Charitable Giving
• Season Ticket and Rental Deposit Loans
• Access to a huge range of retail discounts and offers through an employee discount portal
Selection process details
As part of the application process you will be asked to complete a CV detailing qualifications and work history; a 750 word statement of suitability on how you meet the essential experience and skills criteria; and one behaviour statement on the Lead behaviour, Seeing the Big Picture.
Further details around what this will entail are listed on the application form.
Should a large number of applications be received, an initial sift may be conducted using the lead behaviour, Seeing the Big Picture. Candidates who pass the initial sift may be progressed to a full sift, or progressed straight to assessment/interview.
Sift and interview dates are to be confirmed.
If successful at application stage, you will be invited to interview where you will be assessed on experience, behaviours and technical skills.
At interview, you may be required to deliver a presentation or complete and additional exercise.
All interviews will take place online using MS Teams.
A reserve list may be held for a period of 12 months from which further appointments can be made.
New entrants are expected to start on the minimum of the pay band.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 you are experiencing accessibility problems with any attachments on this advert, please contact the email address in the 'Contact point for applicants' section.
Criminal Record Check
If successful and transferring from another Government Department, a criminal record check maybe carried out.
In order to process applications without delay, we will be sending a Criminal Record Check to Disclosure and Barring Service or Access NI 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.email@example.com stating the job reference number in the subject heading.
For further information on the Access NI confidential checking service telephone: the Access NI Helpline on 0300 200 7888 and ask to speak to the operations manager in confidence, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Any move to Defra from another employer will mean you can no longer access childcare vouchers. You may however be eligible for other government schemes, including Tax Free Childcare. Determine your eligibility at here
We are closely monitoring the situation with regard to Coronavirus, and will be following central Government advice as it is issued. There is therefore a risk that recruitment to this post may be subject to change at short notice. Please continue to follow the application process as normal and ensure that you check your emails regularly for any updates from us as this is how we will communicate with you.
Feedback will only be provided if you attend an interview or assessment.
Working for the Civil Service
Contact point for applicants
Job contact :
- Name : The OEP Recruitment Team
- Email : email@example.com
Recruitment team :
- Email : firstname.lastname@example.org