Director of Policy

National Infrastructure Commission

Apply before 11:55 pm on Sunday 27th September 2020


Reference number



£71,000 - £100,000
Appointment to this role is expected to attract a salary of £71, 000 - £100,000, dependent on skills and experience. Existing Civil Service Servants will be appointed in line with Civil Service pay rules.


SCS Pay Band 1

Contract type


Business area

Other, Policy

Type of role


Working pattern

Flexible working, Full-time, Part-time

Number of posts




About the job


We are recruiting for two Director of Policy roles, with responsibilities for our sectors and cross-cutting themes (e.g. regulation, finance and design) split between the two roles. One role will lead our work on regional growth/levelling-up, transport, cities, and digital. The second role will focus on economic recovery, water, floods, waste, and the environment.

We are looking for outstanding policy professionals who will be responsible for directing and coordinating the Commission’s policy development work, overseeing our engagement with the Government and external stakeholders, and for holding government to account for delivery against its recommendations.

You will need first-rate policy skills – including the ability to scope, define and manage projects, quickly get to grips with new issues, develop creative and effective policy options, and reach clear and deliverable conclusions.

The work will be fast-paced and evidence-based, requiring the skill to prioritise and drive progress
across a broad range of issues, to draw conclusions from complex evidence, and to
motivate teams and manage projects to deliver high-quality outputs to ambitious timescales.

The postholders will be key advisers to the Chair and Commission, and have a crucial role in establishing the
NIC’s overall policy narrative and credibility. They will also be members of the Secretariat’s Senior
Management Team, play a key role in managing the Commission’s relationships with government departments
and external stakeholders, and lead elements of the NIC’s organisational strategy.

Job description

Key areas of focus for the postholders will include:

• Leading the Commission’s policy-making function, ensuring the Commission has the right mix of skills and
expertise to deliver its policy projects, that they are scoped and planned properly, that they are driven
forward with rigour and creativity, and that they result in well-evidenced, convincing and deliverable

• Providing coordination, challenge and quality assurance for the Commission’s policy work, including
through chairing the Secretariat’s Policy Board.

• Identifying and agreeing future policy projects, including through engagement with Commissioners
and government, ensuring appropriate remits and terms of reference are agreed and identifying resources
to take them forward.

• Leading the Commission’s work in holding government to account, including establishing and
embedding effective processes to monitor delivery of NIC recommendations, creating strong networks
across Whitehall to support delivery and preparing an annual report.

• Positioning the Commission as a credible, forward-thinking and influential body across infrastructure
sectors – establishing strong networks for the NIC at senior levels, including in regulators and private sector
infrastructure companies, developing effective influencing strategies and, working closely with the Head of
Communications, ensuring the Commission is regarded as an influential voice.

• Representing the Commission’s policy programme and recommendations to Commissioners and externally,
including through direct engagement with stakeholders and participation in speaking engagements and

• Joint leadership of a policy-making team of c. 20 staff, including line management of Grade 6 Assistant
Directors; together with a broader internal leadership role – for example, through coaching and mentoring
Commission staff at all levels.

• Membership of the NIC’s Senior Management Team, contributing to the development of the Commission’s
organisational strategy and culture, and to its oversight of recruitment and retention, risk management and
resourcing, as well as leading on specific aspects of organisational development.


The successful candidates will be outstanding policy professionals with strong leadership skills and a track record of delivering complex policy projects in one or more economic infrastructure sector. You will need to demonstrate your capability against the following criteria:

Required Qualifications:

A first / bachelor’s degree in any subject

Required Behaviours, Experience and Technical Skills:

1. Leadership. Proven ability to develop and manage high performing teams with diverse professional skills
and backgrounds.

2. Seeing the big picture. Ability to develop strategies and policies to support the Commission’s aim to be the
UK’s most credible, forward-thinking and influential voice on infrastructure policy and strategy.

3. Making Effective Decisions Ability to make bold and objective strategic decisions, and to make sense of a
wide range of political and national pressures to develop policy recommendations which meet the
Commission’s goals.

4. Communicating and Influencing. Excellent written and oral communication skills, able to brief at Board-
level, and to build highly effective and influential relationships with government departments and a range
of external stakeholders.

5. Experience. Evidence of a successful track record of leading teams to deliver complex policy projects in one
or more of the economic infrastructure sectors covered by the NIC’s remit.

6. Policy Skills. Ability to define and structure complex policy problems – and to confidently use different
types of data and methodological approaches to identify solutions, performing sound evaluation, and
challenging assumptions and current approaches.


A first / bachelor’s degree in any subject


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

  • Seeing the Big Picture
  • Making Effective Decisions
  • Leadership
  • Communicating and Influencing

Technical skills

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

  • Ability to define and structure complex policy problems – and to confidently use different types of data and methodological approaches to identify solutions, performing sound evaluation, and challenging assumptions and current approaches.
  • Analysis and Use of Evidence
  • Policy Delivery/Project Management
  • Policy Framing

We only ask for evidence of these technical skills on your application form:

  • Ability to define and structure complex policy problems – and to confidently use different types of data and methodological approaches to identify solutions, performing sound evaluation, and challenging assumptions and current approaches.



• 25 days’ annual leave (rising to 30 after 5 years), plus 8 public holidays and the Queen’s birthday (unless you
have a legacy arrangement as an existing Civil Servant).
• Flexible working patterns (part-time, job-share, condensed hours).
• Access to a generous Defined Benefit pension scheme with employer contributions.
• 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 counter-terrorist 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, Experience and Technical skills.
To apply for this post please use the Civil Service Jobs portal.

As well as filling out an online application, candidates will be expected to upload a copy of their CV to accompany their application. Candidates will also be required to complete a 250-word statement against each of the selected behaviours as part of the application process. The selected behaviours are set out below.

Recruitment Process:
Interview At the interview stage, applicants for this post will be assessed against the following elements of the Success Profiles recruitment framework. You can find guidance on success profiles, and how you will be assessed at

- Behaviours (Seeing the Big Picture, Making Effective Decisions, Leadership, Communicating and Influencing)

- Technical Skills (Policy Making Skills: Policy Framing, Analysis and use of evidence, Policy Delivery/Project Management)

- Experience (The interview panel will ask you questions about what you have previously achieved or your knowledge in a particular field. The questions will relate to the areas of work outlined in the ‘key accountabilities' section above.)

As well as an interview, you will be expected to prepare a short presentation on a chosen area to test your leadership behaviours and policy skills. Further details on this will be provided if you are shortlisted for interview.

As part of our pre-employment security checks, if you are invited to interview and are not a current NIC member of staff, you will need to bring:

• Proof of identity, e.g. your passport or driver’s license. Documents must be in date and valid.
• Proof of address, e.g. a utility bill or bank statement issued within the past 3 months.
• Proof of your National Insurance (NI) number, e.g. letter from DWP confirming your NI number, or P60.
• If you do not bring a UK or EU passport, you will need to bring other documentation of your right to work
in the UK, e.g. your visa, biometric residence permit or birth certificate.

Further details regarding acceptable documents will be provided in the invitation to interview.

Please let us know if your contact details change at any time during the selection process.

Eligibility Statement:
Individuals appointed to the Treasury Group will be subject to National Security Vetting.
To allow for meaningful checks to be carried out applicants will normally need to have lived in the UK for at least 3 out of the past 5 years. A lack of UK residency in itself is not always a bar to security clearance but the Department will need to consider eligibility on a case by case basis using all information that can be obtained following a successful application.

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 equal opportunities. As such, we run a Disability Confident Scheme (DCS) 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 :  Nicole Kelly
Email :
Recruitment team :
Email :

Further information

Complaints Process: Our recruitment process is underpinned by the principle of appointment based on fair and open competition and appointment on 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 NIC by email at: 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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