The work you will be doing
As a Senior Policy Advisor, you will be part of a team of experts that is delivering on Defra’s priorities to support the UK’s Exit from the European Union. No two posts are the same but in broad terms your work will include:
• The provision of effective planning and prioritisation activities to deliver high quality results to time;
• Working with a range of connected stakeholders in and outside Government to help ensure that you are able to deliver the best results;
• Supporting senior managers to brief Ministers and senior officials;
• In some cases there will be responsibility for a small team of HEOs and EOs.
It remains an exciting time to work in Defra as the department changes to deliver an effective exit from the EU. Defra’s profile has never been higher; our remit provides the opportunity for real influence. Our policy areas are each split into Directorates, workstreams and projects that combine flexibly to deliver on Ministerial priorities.
As a Senior Executive Offer Policy Advisor, you will be part of a team who work with a range of both internal and external stakeholders.
You will contribute towards the drafting of policy and strategy that support the exit of the UK from the EU. Your ability to contribute isn’t limited by lack of specialist knowledge, we value the importance of an individual’s range of skills. This means that you may develop specialist expertise and work across a small portfolio area. Alternatively, you may develop a more over-arching knowledge of a wider range of topics.
Your wider team will likely be made up of both counterparts and senior colleagues, working collaboratively, supporting each other to deliver one project. There is also the potential that you will line manage a small team of HEOs and EOs.
You will be building relationships with a variety of stakeholders. Internally, these could include Directors and Ministers, as well as your counterparts in other teams, whereas externally, this could include industry bodies, non-governmental organisations and UK citizens.
Your involvement today will contribute to policy, projects, initiatives that will continue for years to come!
There are a number of work areas under which a Senior Executive Officer may operate within. Please see the attached candidate pack for a little more information about them and the Policy Profession in Defra.
Work areas that available are:
• Agri- Food Chain
• Animal and Plant Health and Welfare
• Biosecurity and Food Projects
• Environmental Regulations
• EU and International Trade
• EU Exit Domestic and Constitutional Affairs
• EU Exit Overview
• Future Farming and Countryside
• Marine and Fisheries
The Policy Profession in Defra and the Civil Service
The career anchor for these roles is the Policy Profession, Defra’s central Policy Profession team works alongside HR and other teams to equip policy professionals in the Defra group, with the skills, knowledge, and confidence necessary to deliver high-quality policies in an increasingly complex environment.
New joiners can expect full support from the Policy Profession, including in your career development, through peer learning, mentoring and coaching as well as access to a wide range of material and professional advice to support you in your role.
The central Policy Profession operates across the Civil Service, and sits within Civil Service Learning, supporting government-wide Policy Profession initiatives. It’s for anyone who works in, or is involved with, the formation of policy for government – including those that may belong to another Government Profession.
To find more information on the policy profession in the Civil Service, click here
• You will have a proven track record of communicating confidently and concisely;
• You will have experience of working with complex policy areas, identifying the key issues and the significant risks from within them;
• You will have evidence that you have managed relationships with a range of stakeholders, ideally both internally and externally;
• You will have experience of taking an innovative approach, seeking opportunities to do things differently, or starting from a blank page;
• You will have a proven track record of being responsive to change and adapt quickly, or develop new options and ideas as circumstances change;
• You will have evidence of planning and prioritising effectively to meet deadlines, remaining calm to deliver results at pace.
To be successful in this campaign you will need to demonstrate the advertised Ability, Behaviours and Experience. In addition, we are looking to appoint individuals who are able to show how an innovative approach to a range of complex and rapidly changing situations can deliver results. You need to be able to adapt to variations in work or environment and not allow your effectiveness to be impacted by change. You’ll be flexible and versatile, and act as an advocate for change.
Naturally, you will be someone who like to seek and analyse information in order to inform decisions based on the best available evidence. You will always think ahead to anticipate, identify, and address any risks or problems before they occur.
It is in your nature to work well as part of a team, striving to ensure the team pulls together and is at its most effective. You are able to quickly establish mutual respect and trust, building long lasting relationships with others, both internally and externally.
On top of this, you will show you have inner composure, recovering quickly from setbacks and learning from them, remaining self-aware and true to yourself in all situations, even when under pressure. You take ownership for your decisions and hold yourself accountable for what you have promised to deliver.
PLEASE NOTE: This is a rolling recruitment campaign over an initial 6 month period. Sifting and interviewing will be conducted weekly over the length of the advert.
Candidates are encouraged to submit their applications early to account for the rolling sift and interview dates. Candidates can only apply for this vacancy once under the same reference number. Any subsequent applications under the same vacancy reference will be flagged as duplicates and not considered.