Assistant Chief of Staff for Finance - Permanent Joint Headquarters

Ministry of Defence

Closing date: 24 Mar 2019

Reference number





SCS Pay Band 1

Contract type


Business area


Type of role

Operational Delivery
Senior leadership

Working pattern

Flexible working, Full-time


37 hours

Number of posts



Northwood, London

About the job

Job description

The Permanent Joint Headquarters (PJHQ) is an adaptable and agile headquarters created to command joint and combined military operations. Headed by the Chief of Joint Operations (CJO) and comprising over 370 military personnel and civil servants, we are responsible for:

planning and executing UK led joint and multinational operations
exercising operational command of UK Forces assigned to multinational operations led by others
providing politically aware military advice to the Ministry of Defence (MOD).

The successful candidate will play a vital role in enabling an effective UK military response to developing crises and ongoing operations. They will work closely with the Chief of Joint Operations (CJO), PJHQs Command team and deployed Commanders to understand and forecast accurately the resources required for military success, and with the MOD's central resource division and HM Treasury to negotiate and secure timely access to the funding required. They will work collaboratively with UK military and civilian staff, as well as with international partners, and will be responsible for accounting for the budgets spent and ensuring that the Department meets public accounting standards for value for money, propriety and regularity. They will play an active and leading role in the MODs Finance function, and manage the Government's ex gratia schemes designed to fulfil the UKs obligations to former Afghan Locally Employed Civilians, and the Support to Operations programme, which provides risk management advice and training for UK MOD civil servants supporting UK military operations overseas.

Key Responsibilities

CJO's adviser and lead official responsible for operational expenditure, ensuring that financial issues are taken into account across all PJHQs activities.

Working with operational planners and Commanders to accurately identify and forecast resource requirements, negotiate appropriate budgets with MOD's central finance division and with HM Treasury, and manage the processes to capture and report expenditure against them.

Ensuring that public accounting standards for value for money, regularity and propriety are met, and maintaining proper oversight and assurance of the management and use of operational budgets. Work with MOD's central finance division to further develop and strengthen Holding-to-Account arrangements with MOD Top Level Budgetholders.

Play an active and leading role within the MODs Finance function, helping to deliver the Departments Finance Strategy

Manage Civil Secretary teams supporting deployed operations in Afghanistan and the Gulf, and individuals in Nairobi and Estonia supporting operational financial management and LEC schemes.

Manage delivery of Government's ex gratia redundancy and intimidation schemes for former Locally Employed Civilians in Afghanistan, including investigating and mitigating any claims of intimidation arising from their employment.

Advise the Chief of Staff for Policy and Finance, the Senior Risk Owner, on managing the risk to MOD Civil Servants deploying to high risk locations, including assessing the balance between the risk and value of the activity, and ensuring appropriate standards of training, protection and assurance. Monitor and help resolve any health issues arising from deployments.

Support the leadership and corporate management of the headquarters as part of PJHQs Command Board.

Management Span

A key leadership role across the MODs TLB finance team, with sole financial authority for some 800M per year of operational expenditure.

Management of about 30 staff based at Northwood and 13 deployed in support of CJOs Operations overseas. This is a diverse team that seeks to encourage flexible working patterns while taking account of the sometimes-demanding battle rhythm of an operational headquarters.

Person Specification:

Applicants will need to demonstrate capability and potential against the following essential criteria:

Proven leadership skills, with the ability to communicate effectively to different audiences and motivate people to achieve complex tasks collaboratively under considerable pressure.
Ability to work collaboratively with, win the trust and respect of, and influence senior military officers on issues of operational and political importance.
Very strong analytical ability, able to get to the core of an issue quickly, see the bigger picture, and identify solutions.
Strong knowledge and experience of operational and policy issues and track record of working effectively alongside colleagues from different professional backgrounds to deliver outcomes at pace and under pressure.
Extensive financial and budget management experience, with a good understanding of financial processes and in year accountabilities, either within MOD or wider government.
The successful candidate will be financially literate, with professional accountancy qualification highly desirable. Those without it will be given the opportunity to pursue it as part of their personal development while at PJHQ.



Civil Service pension schemes may be available for successful candidates.


Relocation costs will not be reimbursed.

Things you need to know


Successful candidates must meet the security requirements before they can be appointed. The level of security needed is developed vetting.

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

Feedback will only be provided if you attend an interview or assessment.

Nationality requirements

Open to UK nationals only.


Candidates in their probationary period are not 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.

Apply and further information

Contact point for applicants

If you require any further information please contact Nick Brandon at

Sift/interview dates and location

Sift is due to take place during week commencing 8th April 2019.

Assessment will take place mid April 2019.

Interviews are due to take place during week commencing 29th April 2019.

Please refer to candidate information pack for more information.

Share this page