Senior Monitoring Environmental Law and Advice Officer

Office for Environmental Protection

Apply before 11:55 pm on Monday 4th July 2022

 

Details

Reference number

206472

Salary

£35,895 - £40,613

Grade

Senior Executive Officer

Contract type

Permanent

Type of role

Operational Delivery

Working pattern

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

Number of posts

1

Contents

Northern Ireland, West Midlands (England)

Summary

The Office for Environmental Protection (OEP)

The OEP is a new public body, established to protect and improve the environment by holding government and other public authorities to account.

We do this by: 

• Monitoring and reporting on UK and Northern Ireland governments' progress in meeting environmental improvement plan goals and targets set under the Environment Act 2021 
• Monitoring and reporting on the implementation of environmental law 
• Advising UK and Northern Ireland government ministers on proposed changes to environmental law, and other matters related to the natural environment 
• Investigating suspected serious failures to comply with environmental law by public authorities and enforcing compliance where needed 

We also receive complaints from the public about suspect failures to comply with environmental law. 

The OEP was legally created in November, under the Environment Act 2021, and since February we have become fully established after Parliament and the Assembly took the steps needed for our functions to commence.  The OEP is a non-departmental public body sponsored by Defra. This means it operates independently from Defra and will not be part of the UK Civil Service.

Our work covers England and Northern Ireland. 

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.

Job description

The OEP is the cornerstone of our environmental governance system now we have left the EU. It has a unique role in tackling some of the most pressing issues of our time, from climate change to biodiversity loss. This is an unrivalled opportunity to join the OEP and help build this function from the ground up, influencing how the OEP will operate in its crucial early years of existence.

The principal objective of the OEP is to contribute to environmental protection and to the improvement of the natural environment. It will provide independent scrutiny and advice, investigate complaints made through a free to use system about potential breaches of environmental law by government and public authorities, and carry out enforcement action where necessary. 

As Senior Environmental Law and Advice Officer, you will monitor and report on the implementation of  environmental law by government and other public bodies as a core statutory function of the OEP.  You will also research and develop aspects of advice to ministers when changes are proposed to environmental law, or on any other matter related to the natural environment if the OEP is asked by a minister. 

You will be responsible for leading on one or more themes or subject areas that the OEP is monitoring during a particular year.  You will gather information and evidence on the theme(s) and may also commission and oversee input from specialist expertise to ensure their findings are robust and evidence based.  You will develop recommendations and communicate persuasively to senior leaders in the OEP.   

 You will provide authoritative, objective scrutiny of environmental legislation (existing, new or amended) – conducting information gathering and analysis and generating specialist, well-evidenced reports or sections of reports.  You will assess whether environmental law is being implemented effectively and efficiently and having the intended effect, drafting conclusions to reflect your findings and recommendations for improvement. You will work with colleagues to publish findings and arrange for relevant reports to be laid before Parliament and the Northern Ireland Assembly.  

You will also work with other members of the OEP in a flexible and agile way, supporting priority areas of work across the OEP as required. 

We are looking for individuals, from any background, who have the enthusiasm and flexibility to work with our dynamic team. If this sounds like something you would be interested in, we would love you to get in touch. 

Location

The OEP is based at a Worcester location. Worcester is 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 the successful candidates. Staff will be expected to be based at and regularly attend the Worcester office, although non-contractual home working arrangements for part of the working week may be possible (subject to business agreement and need).

Staff members based in Northern Ireland will be employed on a permanent home working basis but there will be the expectation of regular travel to Worcester, the details of which will be discussed at interview.

Information Webinars:
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

Responsibilities

The role holder will have the following responsibilities:  

Scrutiny and advice on environment law and other matters
• Undertake authoritative, objective and detailed scrutiny of the implementation of environmental law in selected areas, intent and recommendations for improvement
• Undertake research and develop advice for ministers on existing, new and amended environmental law to influence and improve its development and implementation.
• Undertake research and develop advice on other matters relating to the natural environment when the OEP is asked to do so by ministers.
• Identify opportunities and issues concerning scrutiny and advice on environmental law and other matters for discussion with senior OEP managers and the Board, facilitating such discussions

Stakeholder/specialist engagement
• Call on specialist external experts and authorities, to gather information and to strengthen evidence, impartiality and proportionality in the OEP’s assessments. 
• Establish and maintain mechanisms to advise on and scrutinise environmental legislation, and its effectiveness, including the collection of technical / environmental data from stakeholders and its analysis by the OEP. 

 Reporting
• Draft specialist, well-evidenced reports, or sections of reports, on any relevant matters regarding the implementation of environmental law, within the priority areas determined by the OEP, for adoption by the OEP and presentation to government, Parliament and the Northern Ireland Assembly . 
• Draft high-quality advice for adoption by the OEP on changes to environmental law proposed by ministers, or on other matters relating to the natural environment when requested.

The above list of job duties 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.

Essential Experience, Skills and Qualifications 
• Qualified to at least undergraduate degree level in a subject relevant to the natural environment or to the development or implementation of environmental law or policy (or having equivalent understanding in these areas acquired though alternative qualifications and experience)
• Experience of developing, implementing, or assessing the impacts or effectiveness of environmental law 
• Experience of impartially analysing evidence and drawing sound conclusions and recommendations exploring different perspectives and options with an open and enquiring mind 
• Ability to work collaboratively with colleagues as well as internal and external experts, negotiating and influencing effectively
• Experience of delivering complex advice in an easy to digest but in-depth style 
• Experience of managing and escalating risks and proven ability to prioritise and coordinate workloads to competing deadlines 
• Experience of solving problems and developing possible new approaches, for example as evidenced by previous involvement in changing and improving processes and identifying new and improved ways of working 


Desirable experience   
• Experience of horizon scanning and keeping up to date with government policy development is desirable 
• Experience in relation to the development or implementation of environmental law or other environmental issues in Northern Ireland would be advantageous but is not essential

Behaviours

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

  • Making Effective Decisions
  • Changing and Improving
  • Communicating and Influencing
  • Delivering at Pace
• Flexible working to allow for variations in your hours from day to day, suiting your needs, and where this is compatible with business needs.  
• 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

Security

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 and Experience.
Application Process
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 Skills, Experience and Qualification criteria; and behaviour statements.

Further details around what this will entail are listed on the application form.

Sift
Should a large number of applications be received, an initial sift may be conducted using the lead behaviour, “Making Effective Decisions”. 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.

Interview
If successful at application stage, you will be invited to interview where you will be assessed on experience and behaviours.

At interview, you may be required to deliver a presentation or complete and additional assessment exercise.

All interviews will take place online using MS Teams.

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

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

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 oeprecruitment.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.

Accessibility
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.grs@cabinetoffice.gov.uk 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 accessni@ani.x.gsi.gov.uk

Childcare Vouchers
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

Coronavirus
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.

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.
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 : OEP Recruitment Team
  • Email : recruitment@theoep.org.uk

Recruitment team :

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

Further information

Complaints 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 Government Recruitment Services via email: oeprecruitment.grs@cabinetoffice.gov.uk If you are not satisfied with the response you receive from the Department, you can contact the Civil Service Commission: Click here to visit Civil Service Commission

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