Director of Defra Group Property

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Apply before 11:55 pm on Sunday 5th December 2021


Reference number



Circa £105,000 Standard pay rules will apply for existing civil servants


SCS Pay Band 2

Contract type


Business area

Group Property

Type of role

Senior leadership

Working pattern

Flexible working, Full-time, Job share

Number of posts



National - any Defra location in the UK. The post will require travel to other Defra sites

About the job


We are seeking an outstanding candidate to be Director of Group Property for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. This is a key senior leadership role managing a £200m property budget, supporting our levelling up and sustainability agendas across the UK and ensuring our transformed estate supports delivery of our wider strategic aims.

Reporting to the Chief Operating Officer, you will be Defra’s principal property leader and advisor. You will be responsible for delivering Defra’s estate which is substantial, including two large facilities management contracts, a portfolio of circa 110 office properties, 85 depots, 24 laboratories and 82 other facilities, as well as operational and FM running of our Weybridge site. The successful candidate will be an inspiring and inclusive leader, with a strategic and collaborative approach and a track record of leading transformational property change.

Defra is the UK government department responsible for safeguarding our natural environment, supporting our world-leading food and farming industry, and sustaining a thriving rural economy. Our broad remit means we play a major role in people's day-to-day life, from the food we eat, and the air we breathe, to the water we drink.

Job description

Delivering a safe and fit for purpose estate every day.

Leading the Locations Programme, making decisions on options for the transformation of Defra's estate and completing property deals and fit out to deliver better buildings and operational sites.

Lead and empower circa 400 property and FM professionals and support functions deliver against strategic goals.

Negotiating and procuring the right deals and contracts to achieve Defra’s strategic objective and the Department’s location strategy.

Working with Defra’s arm’s length bodies ensuring that the transformed estate supports the delivery of Defra’s wider strategic aims.

Delivering high quality facilities management, guarding, mail and cleaning services across Defra’s estate, ensuring good value for money.

Proactively engaging with the core Department, arm’s length bodies and Government Property Agency to improve service satisfaction.

Leading and driving professionalism across the function and more widely in government.

Transformation to ‘workplaces’ through a new (more purposeful) property footprint strategy linked to the broader levelling up agenda, Project Horizon and smarter ways of working.

As a senior leader in Defra input to the wider department transformation programme.


As Director of Defra Group Property, your main responsibilities include:

Management of a £200 million property budget

Finalisation of the new Strategic Workplace and Property Plan and associated programme of works and change;

Oversight of the Defra group corporate estate and transformation to a ‘welcoming workplace’ approach;

Support the drive for more flexible (blended) ways of working; own the relationship with GPA and implement OGP functional standards and functional capability development; overseeing current major outsourcing contracts (Mitie) and planning for replacement by 2023;

Specific responsibility for Weybridge operational needs, critical works and support for the SCAH (science capability in animal health) programme.

For further information and full job description. Please download the Candidate Information Pack at the bottom of this page.


Advanced level professional membership of a relevant professional body eg CIOB, IWFM, RICS
or demonstrate suitable equivalent experience.


• Learning and development tailored to your role
• An environment with flexible working options
• A culture encouraging inclusion and diversity
• A Civil Service pension

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.

See our vetting charter.
People working with government assets must complete basic personnel security standard checks.

Selection process details

To apply for this post, you will need to complete the online application process accessed via the Civil Service Jobs advertisement listed for these roles. This should be completed no later than 23:55 on Sunday 5th December 2021, and will involve uploading the two documents outlined below:

1. A CV setting out your career history, with key responsibilities and achievements. Please ensure you have provided reasons for any gaps within the last two years.
2. A Statement of Suitability (no longer than two pages) explaining how you consider your personal skills, qualities and experience provide evidence of your suitability for the role, with particular reference to the criteria in the person specification.

Failure to submit both documents will mean the panel only have limited information on which to assess your application against the criteria in the person specification.

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

Nationality requirements

This job is broadly open to the following groups:

  • UK nationals
  • nationals of Commonwealth countries who have the right to work in the UK
  • nationals of the Republic of Ireland
  • nationals from the EU, EEA or Switzerland with settled or pre-settled status or who apply for either status by the deadline of the European Union Settlement Scheme (EUSS)
  • relevant EU, EEA, Swiss or Turkish nationals working in the Civil Service
  • relevant EU, EEA, Swiss or Turkish nationals who have built up the right to work in the Civil Service
  • certain family members of the relevant EU, EEA, Swiss or Turkish nationals
Further information on nationality requirements

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 :  Patrick Rogers
Email :
Recruitment team :
Email :

Further information

If you feel your application has not been treated in accordance with the Recruitment Principles, and you wish to make a complaint, you should contact in the first instance.

Share this page