CEO, National Infrastructure Commission

National Infrastructure Commission

Apply before 11:55 pm on Thursday 5th December 2019

Reference number



Circa £92,000


SCS Pay Band 2

Contract type


Business area

NIC - HM Treasury

Type of role

Senior leadership

Working pattern

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

Number of posts



London, EC4A 1AB

About the job


About the National Infrastructure Commission
The National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) is an executive agency of HM Treasury and was established in 2015 to provide the government with impartial, expert advice on major long-term infrastructure challenges. Its objectives are to support sustainable economic growth across all regions of the UK, improve competitiveness and improve quality of life. The Commission’s core responsibilities include:

• producing a National Infrastructure Assessment once every five years, setting out the Commission’s assessment of long-term infrastructure needs with recommendations to government on how to meet them
• carrying out in-depth studies into the UK’s most pressing infrastructure challenges and making recommendations to government, for example on rail connectivity in the North and the future of economic regulation.
• monitoring the government’s progress in delivering infrastructure projects and programmes recommended by the NIC

In July 2018 the NIC published the first ever National Infrastructure Assessment (NIA), setting out a plan of action for the country’s infrastructure over the next 10 to 30 years, making recommendations on transport, energy, water and waste water, flood resilience, digital connectivity and solid waste in addition to other crosscutting issues (e.g. funding and financing). The Government is expected to respond with a National Infrastructure Strategy, and the NIC is starting work on the second National Infrastructure Assessment.

Job description

About the Team
The Commission’s secretariat stands at approximately 40 staff, composed of a mixture of policy, analytical and specialist staff, and industry secondees. It is led by a Chief Executive, supported by a senior management team, comprising the Chief Economist, Director of Policy and Chief Operating Officer. The Commission is an independent body chaired by Sir John Armitt, supported by seven expert commissioners. It is a small, friendly and dynamic organisation, which works to its values of being supportive, rigorous and creative.

Key accountabilities
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) is responsible for leading the National Infrastructure Commission’s (NIC) secretariat, providing strategic leadership and direction to a large team comprised of civil servants and private sector secondees.
The CEO advises the Chair and Board of the NIC on a range of strategic infrastructure issues, ensuring their recommendations are robust and based on first class analysis. They are responsible for leading engagement across Whitehall (both the key infrastructure departments (see below) and other departments), the private sector and parliament.
The CEO is an employee of the NIC but is appointed by HM Treasury and reports to HM Treasury’s Principal Accounting Officer.
We are looking for an outstanding CEO who can apply their experience to lead the Commission through a complex political landscape.
This is a high profile and challenging role with the potential to shape the UK’s infrastructure strategy. It offers the opportunity to work closely with senior officials, politicians and stakeholders from inside and outside government.
Key responsibilities include:
1. Leading and managing the secretariat to the National Infrastructure Commission to deliver a broad portfolio of diverse projects, ensuring that the government receives independent advice on the UK’s infrastructure needs on time and to a high quality.
2. Acting as the primary advisor to the Chair of the National Infrastructure Commission and other NIC Commissioners on policy, strategy and governance issues.
3. Developing the strategic vision for the National Infrastructure Commission, its interaction with Ministers, parliament and the wider public and private sectors.
4. Leading the NIC’s engagement with the key infrastructure departments, including HM Treasury, as well as other government departments with an interest in the Commission’s work, regulators and regional government.
5. Leading the NIC’s external engagement, including speaking at conferences and roundtables, maintaining links with industry, NGOs and academia to build and communicate the NIC’s overall narrative and working with the Head of Comms on media plans.
6. Overseeing the NIC’s budget, delivering external advice and research as required to time, cost and quality and acting as the NIC’s Accounting Officer, ensuring effective governance to assure Parliament and the public of high standards of probity in the NIC’s use of public funds.
Key infrastructure departments across government:
• HM Treasury (HMT)
• Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS)
• Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra)
• Department for Transport (DfT)
• Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG)
• Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS)


Sift criteria
Candidates – Please note, you will be asked to give evidence in your application of how you meet these criteria.
Required Behaviours, Experience and Technical Skills:
1. Demonstrable ability to lead the NIC’s cross government engagement and command the trust and confidence of senior stakeholders, officials and ministers (working together).
2. A successful track record of leading and managing diverse teams, including those with a mixture of public and private sector staff (leadership).
3. Excellent strategic thinking skills, with a proven track record of articulating and delivering a long term, inspirational, vision for an organisation (seeing the big picture).
4. Ability to run an organisation, managing budgets and identifying opportunities for efficiency and change, with the ability to shift resources to meet changing priorities (changing and improving).
5. Ability to represent the NIC at major infrastructure and stakeholder events, including handling media appearances (communicating and influencing).
6. Experience of working at a senior level on infrastructure-related issues.


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

  • Seeing the Big Picture
  • Changing and Improving
  • Making Effective Decisions
  • Leadership
  • Communicating and Influencing
  • Working Together



Flexible working arrangements
HM Treasury and the National Infrastructure Commission view flexible working as essential in enabling us to recruit and retain talented people, ensuring that they are able to enjoy a long-lasting career with us. All employees have the right to apply for flexible working and there are a range of options available including; working from home, compressed hours and job sharing.

We also offer a generous maternity/ paternity and adoption leave package.

We are committed to ensuring that all staff are able to realise their potential and achieve a healthy work-life balance.

•Flexible working patterns (part-time, job-share, condensed hours)
•Access to a generous Defined Benefit pension scheme with employer contributions. Find out more about Civil Service pensions
•Access to a cycle-to-work salary sacrifice scheme, season ticket advances and payroll giving
•Access to a retail discounts and cashback site
•A Rental Deposit Advance Scheme to help meet the total costs of deposits for privately rented homes
•A range of active staff networks, based around interests (e.g. analysts, music society, sports and social club) and diversity (e.g. women in the Treasury, ethnic minority network, LGBT* network, faith and belief network)

Things you need to know


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

Selection process details

This vacancy is using Success Profiles, and will assess your Behaviours, Strengths and Experience.
Leadership Assessment:
Staff engagement panel exercise
If you are shortlisted, you will be asked to take part in a staff engagement panel exercise. This assessment will not result in a pass or fail decision. Rather it is designed to support the panel’s decision making and highlight areas for the panel to explore further at interview.

Recruitment Timeline

Closing Date: 5th December

Sifting: Mid-December/Early January
Interviews: Mid-late January. There will be representatives of HMT and NIC on the panel, and it will be chaired by June Milligan, a Civil Service Commissioner.

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.

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

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 :  The recruitment team
Email :
Recruitment team :
Email :

Further information

Our recruitment process is underpinned by the principle of recruitment based on fair and open competition with decisions made on the basis of merit, as outlined in the Civil Service Commissioners’ Recruitment Principles. If you feel your application has not been treated in accordance with these principles and you wish to make a complaint, you should in the first instance contact HMT by email: If you are not satisfied with the response you receive, you can contact the Civil Service Commission, which regulates all Civil Service recruitment.

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