Head of Environment and Policy Analysis

Office for Environmental Protection

Apply before 11:55 pm on Sunday 21st August 2022



Reference number



£57,114 - £65,740


Grade 6

Contract type


Business area

OEP - Insights

Type of role

Environment and Sustainability

Working pattern

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

Number of posts



Northern Ireland, West Midlands (England)


Are you passionate about the state of the environment?

Do you enjoy working at strategic level with experts, universities and research centres to understand the latest environmental trends? Can you assemble and lead teams who will digest and summarise that information into accessible reports for Ministers, Parliament and the public?

If so, then we would like to hear from you. We are the Office for Environmental Protection, and we have three vacancies at Grade 6 level in our Insights Team.

The OEP’s mission is to protect and recover the environment. Created by the Environment Act 2021, our role is to hold Government and public bodies to account. We do this in several ways, including by making annual reports to Parliament on Government’s progress under its Environmental Improvement Plans and its associated suite of targets.

Within the OEP, Insights Directorate leads on the preparation of these reports for the Westminster Government and for the Northern Ireland Executive. Our remit is broad: we cover biodiversity, habitat quality, status of rivers and seas, air quality as well as waste and resources. In addition to reporting on Government’s progress, the directorate supports other OEP Directorates to deliver their specialist functions, including investigation of environmental complaints and, where necessary, legal action to hold public bodies to account.

With a total staff of just over 50, we are a small, dynamic, friendly and flexible organisation covering England, Northern Ireland, and environmental matters reserved to the UK. We offer flexible working arrangements, high profile work and the chance to improve the state of the environment.

To find out more about The OEP and what we do, please visit our website www.theoep.org.uk.

The OEP is based in Worcester, a thriving county town with three mainline stations providing good links to London, Bristol, and Birmingham. Great Britain based staff will initially be contractually based at Worcestershire County Hall, and then at a new Worcester OEP office location, details of which will be shared with successful candidates.

Northern Ireland based staff will be contracted as home workers but there will be the expectation of regular travel to Worcester, the details of which will be discussed at interview.

The natural environment is important for everyone and we aim for our teams to reflect the diversity of our society. Your personal qualities will be as important as your professional experience and applications are welcomed from all backgrounds.

Job description

The Insights Directorate leads on the OEP's strategic objective of holding government to account for delivery of environmental goals and targets, and its plans for environmental improvement.

Through our monitoring and reporting, we analyse and comment on government’s progress. We make recommendations on how progress could be improved across the goals, targets and plans. We also provide commentary and advice on the adequacy of environmental monitoring.

We are currently recruiting for three dynamic and inspirational Grade 6 Leaders:

Head of Environmental Reporting
This role covers scrutiny of Environmental Improvement Plans, the Outcome Indicator Framework and targets in England under the Environment Act 2021. You will build a team developing the OEP’s long term approach to reporting, the generation of the reports themselves and the analysis they contain, as well as the communications, impact and legacy of the reports. Your work will provide the evidence base for the exercise of OEP functions in England.

Head of Northern Ireland Analysis
This role covers scrutiny of Environmental Improvement Plans and targets for the Northern Ireland Executive. You will build a team which understands and tracks the NI Executive’s approach to environmental stewardship and the role of public bodies in NI. Using this analysis, you will understand the state of the environment and to develop a strategy for scrutinising and reporting on the effectiveness of environmental improvement plans and targets frameworks in NI. Your work will provide the evidence base for the exercise of all OEP functions in NI.

Head of Insights
This role covers expert analysis and insight in support of all OEP functions across both England and Northern Ireland, focussing especially on OEP’s role in complaints, investigations, litigation, government consultations and monitoring environmental law. You will build a team which provides high quality analysis and Insight to support these functions, and in particular you will develop a programme for ensuing the OEP has ready access to senior environmental specialists, including by establishing an Expert Sub-committee to the OEP Board. By facilitating the OEP’s access to specialists, your team will be ideally positioned to support work on investigations, litigation, government consultations and the OEP’s own strategic priorities.

As a relatively small organisation, the OEP operates through a series of inter-disciplinary teams. Consequently it is normal for teams from Insights to work closely with teams from other Directorates, including especially with those tasked with Monitoring Environmental Law and responding to Complaints and Investigations, as well as teams from the General Counsel’s Directorate.

To see recent examples of the work that the OEP Insights directorate has been involved in, please check out our website; here

Information Webinar
As the OEP is a new organisation, we will be hosting a webinar during the application period to provide potential candidates with further information about the OEP and the roles – for more information please visit the event page: http://oeprecruitment.eventbrite.com


Essential Skills and Experience

Grade 6 roles are suitable for experienced team leaders with highly developed policy and environmental analysis backgrounds. The successful candidate will report directly to the Chief Insights Officer and will have significant exposure to the OEP’s Chief Executive and Board Members. They will be responsible for ensuring delivery of high-profile work programmes, building and leading teams and maintaining relationships with external stakeholders.

Each post will manage a team of between four and six Grade 7s and Senior Executive Officers. Given the relatively small team size, it will be vital for post holders to use external expertise, via contacts and networking with universities, research centres and think tanks, to build the level of insight and analysis to support and deliver the OEP’s functions.

The post holders will generate reports which are high profile and must, therefore, be of the highest quality. The OEP’s environment monitoring reports are laid before Parliament and the Northern Ireland Assembly and receive close attention within the sector. The OEP’s enforcement actions are similarly high profile and must be based on sound environmental evidence throughout. Working closely with the Chief Insights Officer, it is the responsibility of the Grade 6 roles to ensure the proper level of quality and accountability in our work.

We are looking for dynamic, inspirational and exceptional leaders with the following essential skills and experience:

-The ability to work to an organisational mission and to provide leadership which takes into account strategic and corporate plans both working with the grain of governmental policy and simultaneously holding government to account. Experience of managing and leading programmes is essential.

-Experience of leading and building teams that work with the organisation's mission and the ability to provide engaging leadership both within your team, at board level and externally to deliver a shared vision. You will have experience of valuing difference, diversity and inclusion, ensuring fairness and opportunity for all.

-A proven ability to communicate purpose and direction with clarity, integrity and enthusiasm ensuring that messages are received by recipients in the most appropriate manner and in context. Experience of report writing, and especially the ability to produce concise, high impact drafting is crucial.

-Experience of evidence and policy analysis and evaluation. In particular, experience directing programmes which interpret data and evidence to evaluate attainment of standards, either in a policy, regulatory or environmental setting.

-Experience of building insight and analytical capability by forming partnerships and relationships with people both internally and externally, from a range of diverse backgrounds, sharing information, resources and support.

-Experience of managing budgets (approx £300,000), supporting procurement exercises and successful management of contractor relationships.

Desirable Experience
-A background in environment is beneficial but not essential.

-Experience working with the press and media, including giving interviews and commentary would be advantageous.

The above list of activities is not exclusive or exhaustive and the post holder will be required to undertake such tasks as may reasonably be expected within the scope and grading of the post.

OEP is an equal opportunities employer and welcomes opportunities for all suitably qualified persons. OEP will not discriminate on grounds of race, age, disability, gender, (including gender reassignment), sexual orientation, religious belief or political opinion.

All appointments will be made based solely on merit.


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

  • Seeing the Big Picture
  • Leadership
  • Communicating and Influencing
  • Working Together

Technical skills

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

  • Evidence and policy analysis and evaluation.
• Flexible working to allow for variations in your hours from day to day, suiting your needs, and where this is compatible with business needs.
• Generous Annual Leave allowance
• An Employee Assistance Programme providing free and confidential 24/7 telephone advice service to staff
• An Occupational Health Service (OHS) to provide a range of support services to help with the way you feel at work.
• Outstanding Learning and Development support including paid study leave
• Salary Sacrifice Schemes such as Cycle to Work and Charitable Giving
• Season Ticket and Rental Deposit Loans
• Access to a huge range of retail discounts and offers through an employee discount portal


Successful candidates must pass a disclosure and barring security 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.
Application Process
As part of the application process you will be asked to complete a CV detailing qualifications and work history; a 1000 word statement of suitability on how you meet the essential experience and skills criteria.

Further details around what this will entail are listed on the application form.

Should a large number of applications be received, an initial sift may be conducted using the Personal Statement and CV. Candidates who pass the initial sift may be progressed to a full sift, or progressed straight to assessment/interview.

Sift and interview dates are to be confirmed.

If successful at application stage, you will be invited to interview where you will be assessed on experience, behaviours and technical skills.

At interview, you may be required to deliver a presentation or complete and additional exercise.

All interviews will take place online using MS Teams.

Reserve List
A reserve list may be held for a period of 12 months from which further appointments can be made.

New entrants are expected to start on the minimum of the pay band.

Reasonable Adjustment
If a person with disabilities is put at a substantial disadvantage compared to a non-disabled person, we have a duty to make reasonable changes to our processes.

If you need a change to be made so that you can make your application, you should:

- Contact Government Recruitment Service via oeprecruitment.grs@cabinetoffice.gov.uk as soon as possible before the closing date to discuss your needs.
- Complete the “Assistance required” section in the “Additional requirements” page of your application form to tell us what changes or help you might need further on in the recruitment process. For instance, you may need wheelchair access at interview, or if you’re deaf, a Language Service Professional.

If you are experiencing accessibility problems with any attachments on this advert, please contact the email address in the 'Contact point for applicants' section.

Criminal Record Check
If successful and transferring from another Government Department, a criminal record check maybe carried out.

In order to process applications without delay, we will be sending a Criminal Record Check to Disclosure and Barring Service or Access NI on your behalf. However, we recognise in exceptional circumstances some candidates will want to send their completed forms direct. If you will be doing this, please advise Government Recruitment Service of your intention by emailing Pre-EmploymentChecks.grs@cabinetoffice.gov.uk stating the job reference number in the subject heading.

For further information on the Access NI confidential checking service telephone: the Access NI Helpline on 0300 200 7888 and ask to speak to the operations manager in confidence, or email accessni@ani.x.gsi.gov.uk

Childcare Vouchers
Any move to Defra from another employer will mean you can no longer access childcare vouchers. You may however be eligible for other government schemes, including Tax Free Childcare. Determine your eligibility at here

We are closely monitoring the situation with regard to Coronavirus, and will be following central Government advice as it is issued. There is therefore a risk that recruitment to this post may be subject to change at short notice. Please continue to follow the application process as normal and ensure that you check your emails regularly for any updates from us as this is how we will communicate with you.

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.
This vacancy is part of the Great Place to Work for Veterans initiative.
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 OEP Recruitment Team
  • Email : recruitment@theoep.org.uk

Recruitment team :

  • Email : recruitment@theoep.org.uk

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