Personal Assistant to The Housing and Planning Deputy Directors

Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government

Closing date: 27 Mar 2018

Reference number



£23,895 (National) or £26,808 (London)


Executive Officer

Contract type


Business area


Type of role


Working pattern

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



Number of posts




About the job

Job description


Successful candidates for roles based in our 2 Marsham Street building must meet the security requirements before they can be appointed. The level of security needed is counter-terrorist check and the process can take up to 8 weeks to complete.

You are therefore required to complete the attached Annex A form (PART A ONLY) and either email the signed version directly to Alternatively, you can post the completed form to MHCLG HR, Ground Floor, Rosebrae Court, Woodside Ferry Approach, Birkenhead, CH41 6DU. This will be processed in cases only where the candidate should be successful in applying for the post. The remainder will be securely destroyed.

Please note that successful candidates will need to pass the CTC security checks – this requires you to have been resident in the UK for the past 3 years. Please refer to the attached document “MHCLG Notes on Security Clearance” for further information on Counter Terrorism Clearance (CTC). Thank you.

Overview of Area of Work:

The Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) is a ministerial department at the heart of the Government’s economic and social agenda, focused on creating great places to live and work and giving more power to local people to shape what happens in their area.
The Housing and Planning Group is recruiting at least 5 Personal Assistants (PA) posts (EO Grades) in total, 3 in the Homelessness, Leasehold and Private Rented Directorate, 2 in Social Housing. Successful applicants may also be considered for other roles in Housing and Planning Group. Applicants should express a preference for which role they wish to apply for and consider the requirements for this role when completing their applications. Successful applicants will then be offered roles in the relevant Directorate based on the best fit for the individual roles. Suitable applicants not allocated to a post may also be considered for unfilled roles in the other Directorate or for other roles in the Housing and Planning Group

Homelessness, Leasehold and Private Renting roles

This is a newly established directorate taking forward a renewed focus on a set of critical areas for both the Secretary of State and the Government as a whole.
1 x Leasehold Reform
1 x Homelessness Division
1 x Private Rented Sector
We are looking for 3 enthusiastic and high-performing EO PAs to help deliver our exciting programme of upcoming work.

Leasehold Reform

The Leasehold, Commonhold and Rent Charges Division is responsible for taking forward a programme of leasehold reform, as set out in the Government's response to the consultation on Tackling Unfair Practices in the Leasehold Market. It is a growing policy division because of the scale of the reforms that need to be delivered through both primary and secondary legislation. It attracts significant public and Parliamentary interest. The Division’s responsibilities include:
• legislating to prevent the sale of new build leasehold houses except where necessary;
• making certain that ground rents on new long leases – for both houses and flats – are set at zero financial value;
• working with the Law Commission to support existing leaseholders and make the process of purchasing a freehold or extending a lease much easier and cheaper.

Private Rented Sector Policy

Private Rented Sector (PRS) Division is responsible for policies affecting private rented housing including combatting “rogue landlords, improving the quality of private rented accommodation, tenants’ rights and the activities of letting agents. It is a growing division with an expanding remit, covering policy development and delivery, a significant amount of regulatory work and a broad range of stakeholder management. It is a priority area for Secretary of State and attracts significant media and Parliamentary interest. The division’s responsibilities include: the management of the Tenant Fees Bill and a private members bill, introducing banning orders and the rogue landlords database, reviewing the system of selective licensing of PRS properties, and developing a policy on Housing Courts.
Homelessness and Rough Sleeping (One post supporting two Deputy Directors)
Homelessness is a fast-moving, high profile policy area and a priority for the Secretary of State and Ministers, with significant interest from the Prime Minister.
There are over 79,190 households in temporary accommodation including nearly 120,000 children. Rough sleeping has increased by 174% since 2010 with 4,751 people sleeping rough on any given night and thousands more in hostels or fragile housing situations.

Social Housing (Two posts)

The Social Housing Directorate is a new directorate set up to be specifically responsible for delivery, management and new supply of social housing provided by both councils and housing associations. A key focus of our immediate work is developing the Social Housing Green Paper that our Secretary of State, Sajid Javid, has said will be a “top to bottom review of social housing”. We work across issues affecting social housing tenants and landlords: working with DWP on welfare changes; Department of Health and others on supported housing and a range of departments and stakeholders on the provision of domestic violence refuges; and local authorities and housing associations to make sure their homes are decent and tenants feel safe.

We are looking for (5) enthusiastic and high-performing EO Personal Assistants, This role is to provide support for Deputy Directors (DD) across Housing and Planning Directorates.

You will:
• manage their office, anticipating and solving problems before they arise and liaising frequently with senior colleagues and external stakeholders.
• lead on all aspects of diary management using your own initiative and make judgments on priorities, with oversight to ensure meetings and engagements are both efficiently handled and prioritised in line with Director/DDs objectives. Create and manage daily diary packs
• make travel and accommodation bookings that adhere to departmental policies, take account of value for money, and support the DD diary arrangements.
• provide effective lines of communication between the DD and their internal colleagues and external stakeholders.
• deal with all admin requests such as arranging IT, filing and new starter set up as required.
• where necessary be asked to contribute to the wider work of the directorate/division when priorities arise.

Key Responsibilities:

• be proactive, enthusiastic, have good judgment and first-rate organisational skills.
• be able to work at pace and remain calm under pressure, undertaking ad hoc duties at relatively short notice.
• quickly build a strong relationship with the DD and have confidence in discussing their diary, and checking their preferences with regard to events.
• take ownership of key tasks on behalf of the DD, ensuring they are delivered on time and to a high standard, including establishing agendas for a number of meetings.
• handle sensitive information in a confidential manner.
• work closely with PA’s across the Department and Whitehall.
• develop professional relationships with, and act as a first point of contact for, stakeholders within and outside the Department who engage with the for the DD

Key Skills / Criteria:

• Excellent organisational skills with the ability to work to tight deadlines;
• Strong communication skills,
• Have excellent judgment and be able to maintain strict confidentiality when dealing with sensitive information;
• An attention for detail and take pride in the work you undertake;
• Pro-active and self-motivated with the ability and confidence to work on your own initiative


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

  • Delivering at pace
  • Leading and communicating
  • Managing a quality service
  • Collaborating and partnering
  • Making effective decisions

Civil Service Competency Framework



Civil Service pension schemes may be available for successful candidates.

Things you need to know


Successful candidates must pass a disclosure and barring security check.
Successful candidates must meet the security requirements before they can be appointed. The level of security needed is counter-terrorist check.

Nationality statement

Candidates will be subject to UK immigration requirements as well as Civil Service nationality rules.

If you're applying for a role requiring security clearance please be aware that foreign or dual nationality is not an automatic bar. However certain posts may have restrictions which could affect those who do not have sole British nationality or who have personal connections with certain countries outside the UK.

Selection process details

At sift we will be assessing:

- Delivering at Pace (Lead Competency)
- Leading and Communicating

In the event that we receive a large number of applications, we may sift based on the lead competency (Delivering at Pace). All competencies listed will be assessed at interview.

The interview will be of blended nature, consisting of a mixture between strength based and competency based questions.
Feedback will only be provided if you attend an interview or assessment.

Nationality requirements

Open to UK, Commonwealth and European Economic Area (EEA) and certain non EEA nationals. Further information on whether you are able to apply is available here.


Candidates in their probationary period are eligible to apply for vacancies within this department.

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 equality of opportunity. There is a guaranteed interview scheme (GIS) for candidates with disabilities who meet the minimum selection criteria.

Terms & Conditions

• The salary for this role is £26,808 (London) or £23,895 (National), in exceptional circumstances a salary of up to £1,000 higher might be available.
• For existing civil servants, the usual policy on level transfer and promotion will apply and is non-negotiable.

Apply and further information

Contact point for applicants

Bernie Barry
0303 444 2850

Online test instructions

Please complete the Verbal Reasoning Test by 23:59 on 27th March 2018

Sift/interview dates and location

Sifting for this vacancy is envisaged to take place week commencing 2nd April 2018 with interviews provisionally being lined up for week commencing 16th April 2018. The interview dates however are subject to change.

Further information

How to apply:
Step 1 - Complete your personal details on CS Jobs
Step 2 - Complete the Verbal Reasoning Test by 23:59 on 27th March 2018
Step 3 - If successful, we will send you a link to complete your application by providing your competency examples on Be Applied by 23:59 on 28th March 2018 (please note, these links are not automated and so may take a couple of days to come through)
Step 4 - We will sift your application and if successful, we will invite to you attend interview at 2 Marsham Street in London
When you are invited to complete the online tests you will be given access to guidance. It is strongly recommended that you read this guidance before you proceed.

These tests are not timed however; it is advised that you allow for up to an hour for completion of each test.

In the event that we identify more appointable candidates than we currently have posts available, we will hold applicant details on a reserve list for a period of 12 months from which further appointments can be made. Candidates placed on a reserve list will be informed of this. Due to the length of time CTC checks can take, our HR Shared Services team will contact reserve list candidates for London based roles to commence CTC checks. Those candidates who do not wish to remain on the reserve list should contact to be removed from the reserve list.

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