Policy Specialist

HM Revenue and Customs

Apply before 11:55 pm on Tuesday 27th September 2022



Reference number



£52,598 - £59,294


Grade 7

Contract type


Business area

HMRC - CS&TD - Indirect Tax

Type of role


Working pattern

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

Number of posts



Liverpool, Manchester


At HMRC we are committed to creating a great place to work for all our colleagues; an inclusive and respectful environment that reflects the diversity of the society we serve. 

We want to maximise the potential of everyone who chooses to work for us and we offer a range of flexible working patterns and support to make a fulfilling career at HMRC accessible to you.

Diverse perspectives and experiences are critical to our success and we welcome applications from all people from all backgrounds with the experience and skills needed to perform this role.

About HMRC:

HMRC is the UK’s tax, payments and customs authority, and we have a vital purpose; we collect the money that pays for our public services and help families and individuals with specific financial support. We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity. We do not discriminate based on race, religion, colour, national origin, sex, gender, gender expression, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, or disability status. We will ensure that individuals with disabilities are provided reasonable accommodation to participate in the job application or interview process, to perform crucial job functions, and to receive other benefits and privileges of employment. Please contact us to request accommodation.

About the Role:

This role is based in the VAT Infrastructure and Soft Drinks Industry Levy team in Indirect Tax directorate. The team lead a broad and diverse portfolio of policy projects in the VAT space which are high-profile, interesting and have real world impact on UK citizens. We recently delivered the Soft Drinks Industry Levy and the Government’s largest fiscal response to the pandemic, the VAT Deferral Scheme, as well as supporting post-EU Exit opportunities which prioritise Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Job description

About You:

You will be responsible for delivering strategic and insight-led improvements to the successful operation of VAT as well as delivering key and high-profile policy projects. The team is based in Liverpool and Manchester. 

We are looking for a couple of Policy Specialists who: - 

  • Are creative, driven and politically aware, and who use evidence to build strong policy proposals.
  • Are passionate about enabling the wider group and directorate.
  • Shares our belief that good policy is facilitated, not arrived at in isolation, and can only be delivered in partnership with strong stakeholders and close working with our customers.
  • Are motivated by building new teams, greater capability, effective networks and a strong brand.
  • Want to fix the hard stuff. 

We can promise you complex, challenging and interesting projects which will place you at the forefront of future tax policy. Come and help us with our journey or get in touch to find out more.


  • Own a portfolio of high-profile Government Minister policy areas.
  • Lead a team of Analysts to deliver our long-term VAT and Tax improvements.
  • Use evidence-based data gathering to identify gaps in current policy and strategy to improve on emerging proposals.
  • Craft solid policy options and share them across the leadership base to ensure a holistic, detailed and joined-up approach that show clear policy proposals which senior collaborators can agree to.
  • Work with our Treasury Policy Partners to ensure parity and support of approach across them and HMRC whilst enshrining your own policy work and best practice.
  • Understand and craft policy together with your colleagues whilst if needed, deputise for senior staff when needed.
  • Work consistently with corporate partners - lawyers, HR, analysts and wider HMRC partners - to ensure their resource is requested and deployed promptly whilst promoting good governance and collaboration.

Essential Criteria:

  • Not a yes person, but an influential stakeholder manager, who has a strong and friendly approach to collaboration and communication. A true networker across the organisation, promoting any policy and operational changes.
  • Be a persuader, a doer and a teacher who manages upwards to identify, challenge and find solutions for areas of disparity.
  • Can tackle sophisticated problems whilst driving decisions toward the right level and whilst including all relevant partners.
  • Can wrangle senior leaders together when needed and have an ability to calmly and effectively mobilise several parts of HMRC to come together and deliver for businesses, the citizen and the Exchequer.
  • Someone who always thinks about the bigger picture, wider context and would have their finger on the pulse of policy evolution and design in VAT Infrastructure within HMRC.
  • Have strong and impactful written and verbal communication skills – for the regular briefing of senior partners and ministers, whilst working across HMRC and with other Government bodies.

Desirable Criteria:

  • Have demonstrable experience in policy design, strategy design and/or in leading legislation
  • An understanding of or a working technical knowledge of Value Added Tax (VAT)


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

  • Seeing the Big Picture
  • Making Effective Decisions
  • Leadership
  • Delivering at Pace
  • 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%

Team members that are moving offices as a result of the Locations Programme will be entitled to a Moves Adjustment Payment for three years where they incur additional costs. This is calculated based on the difference between the costs of travelling to and from the new and old office, over a weekly period. You will get more detail on this as part of targeted locations move communications.

Find more about HMRC benefits in for further information or visit


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

This vacancy is using Success Profiles, and will assess your Behaviours, Strengths and Experience.

As part of the application process you will be asked to submit your name-blind CV, and a 750 -word Statement of Suitability.

For your CV 

Please provide details of your most relevant experience which align with the Responsibilities part of the job advert in the box. This will be scored.

Statement of Suitability should provide evidence of:

Please provide evidence, in no more than 750 words, of how your experience matches the Essential and Desirable Criteria of the job advert.

Keep in mind the "About You" Part of the advert. Please provide evidence and examples of your suitability for the role and consider using the ‘STAR’ method to structure your statement. This will be scored. 

Desirable Criteria will only be scored in a tie break situation. 

If a large number of applications are received an initial sift will take place against the Statement of Suitability. 

If your application progresses, you will be assessed against your CV, with successful applicants invited to interview. 

During the panel interview, you will be asked behaviour-based questions to explore in detail what you are capable of, and you will be asked strength-based questions to also explore what you enjoy and your motivations relevant to the job role. 

Interviews will take place via video link. Sift and interview dates to be confirmed.

Please take extra care to tick the correct boxes in the eligibility sections of your application form. We understand mistakes sometimes happen but if you contact us later than two working days (Monday-Friday) before the vacancy closes, we will not be able to reopen your application for you. The inbox to contact is: hmrcrecruitment.grs@cabinetoffice.gov.uk  - Use subject line to insert appropriate wording e.g. Please re-open my application - 236327 & vacancy closing date 27.09.2022.

Security Update

If you are successful and transferring from another Government Department, we will carry out a check of your identity, nationality, and immigration status (including the right to work in the UK) and a criminal record check before confirming your appointment. 

Successful candidates must pass a Disclosure and Barring Security Check. Please note that HMRC have an exemption under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974, which enables us to make enquiries about both unspent and spent convictions. 

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.

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.

HMRC transformation

HM Revenue and Customs is currently going through an exciting ten-year transformation programme to create a tax authority fit for the future. As part of this, we are committed to providing high-quality jobs and giving employees a great place to work, whichever location you work from. 

HM Revenue and Customs has made significant progress with its plans to locate in 14 large, modern, flexible offices, equipped with high-speed digital infrastructure supporting improved customer service and compliance activity. These collaborative workspaces will enable smarter working and great training and development facilities, allowing for the sharing of expertise, local training, promotion, and provide great ongoing career development opportunities. 

These offices will be located in central locations in the following towns and cities close to accessible transport links: Glasgow, Edinburgh, Belfast, Newcastle, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Nottingham, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Croydon, Portsmouth and Stratford.  

In addition, there will also be a small number of specialist sites where the work cannot be done anywhere else, in Gartcosh (near Glasgow), Telford, Ipswich, Worthing and Dover, as well as our headquarters in central London. What’s more, our Welsh language service has people located in Porthmadog, as well as Cardiff. 

We are letting you know about our future plans because if you are recruited into an office that is not one of these locations, you will be expected, subject to HM Revenue and Customs applicable policies, to move to one of these locations in the future. In some cases, this will be via one of our nine transitional sites. 

For more information please contact the vacancy holder.

Terms and Conditions

We really hope you decide to apply for this role. If you’re successful you need to know that in February 2021 members of recognised trade unions (ARC and PCS) voted to approve a pay and contract reform offer. This means that HMRC will adopt new terms and conditions for all colleagues as part of a multi-year pay deal and contract offer, the pay deal period is 01 June 2020 – 31st May 2023 and terms and conditions changes take place from the 01 June 2021 onwards. These terms will apply to colleagues who already work in HMRC and if you join us, it will apply to you too. We’ve put together a summary of the key changes that will be made and you can find this attached to the Job Advert.  


If you are currently working for an OGD and would like to consider the impact on your pay when joining HMRC, please see the attached document "Pay on Transfer from OGD" for further information. (Please note the attached document could also be called “Combined T&C and OGD Pay English”) 

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

Further Information

Customer facing roles in HMRC require the ability to converse at ease with members of the public and provide advice in accurate spoken English and/or Welsh where required. Where this is an essential requirement this will be tested as part of the selection process. 

A reserve list may be held for a period of 6 months from which further appointments can be made. 

After interview, a single merit list will be created and you will only be considered for posts in locations you have expressed a preference for. Appointments will be made in strict merit order in line with the set number of roles in each location.

After interview, a single merit list will be created and you will only be considered for posts in locations you have expressed a preference for. Appointments will be made in strict merit order in line with the set number of roles in each location.

Any move to HMRC 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 here.

HMRC welcomes applications from those who need to work a more flexible arrangement and will agree to requests where possible, taking into account our operational and customer service needs. We can’t guarantee that we can meet all requests to work flexibly, as agreement will be subject to business ability to accommodate, and any request to work a more flexible arrangement should be made prior to your acceptance of the provisional offer.

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

Important information for existing HMRC contractual homeworkers

This role may be suitable for existing HMRC employees who are contractual homeworkers. Occasional attendance to the office will be required where there is a business need, so please take into account the advertised office locations for this role when submitting an application and only select locations from the ‘location preferences’ section that you are able to travel to.

Reasonable adjustment:

We want to make sure no one is put at a disadvantage during our recruitment process because of a disability, condition or impairment. To assist you with this, we will reduce or remove any barriers where possible and provide additional support where appropriate. Please see our Disability Matters: How we can support you during our selection process booklet for more details. 

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

  • Contact Government Recruitment Service via hmrcrecruitment.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.

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.
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 initiative.
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 : Elizabeth Wilson
  • Email : elizabeth.wilson1@hmrc.gov.uk

Recruitment team :

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

Further information

Appointment to the Civil Service is governed by the Civil Service Commission’s Recruitment Principles. You have the right to complain if you feel a department has breached the requirement of the Recruitment Principles. In the first instance, you should raise the matter directly with the department concerned via complaints.grs@cabinetoffice.gov.uk. If you are not satisfied with the response, you may bring your complaint to the Commission. For further information on bringing a complaint to the Civil Service Commission please visit their web pages: https://civilservicecommission.independent.gov.uk/recruitment/recruitment-complaints/

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