Governance Manager

Environmental Standards Scotland

Apply before 11:55 pm on Sunday 2nd October 2022



Reference number



This is a permanent and pensionable appointment and new entrants will normally start on the minimum of the pay range.



Contract type


Type of role


Working pattern

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

Number of posts





ESS was established by the UK Withdrawal from the European Union (Continuity) (Scotland) Act 2021, which received royal assent in January 2021. ESS was established and gained its statutory functions and powers on 1 October 2021.

ESS has been set up to ensure environmental laws and standards are adhered to in Scotland, replacing the European Union’s scrutiny and enforcement role

The remit of ESS covers a broad range of environmental law, including all aspects of environmental protection and harm, particularly in relation to human beings and their enjoyment of the environment.

ESS’ role is to scrutinise, investigate and secure improvements in public authorities’ compliance with environmental law, the effectiveness of environmental law, and the way it is being implemented and applied in Scotland.

ESS is accountable to the Scottish Parliament for the effective performance of its functions. It has recently consulted on a Draft Strategic Plan, setting out how it will operate and function, including how it will act objectively, impartially, proportionately and transparently.

ESS will: 

  • Monitor information about the quality of the environment in Scotland and the effectiveness of environmental law, including representations brought forward by citizens and interested groups;
  • Seek information from public authorities, including the Scottish Government, and working with the public authorities to understand the background to regulatory policies and practices;
  • Select a small number of cases for detailed investigation, prioritising cases where there is the greatest risk to the environment;
  • Work with public authorities, where necessary, to seek to agree changes in practice to reflect environmental law, or develop advice on recommended changes to the law to improve its effectiveness.

 The Governance Manager will be part of the Corporate Services and Communications team, helping ensure that ESS has effective processes and systems to allow it to carry out its role. The post holder will report directly to the Head of Corporate Services and Communications. There will be close working with the Corporate Services and Communications Team Business Manager (responsible for the operational delivery of ESS services) and two Business Support posts (facilitating a range of services) will provide support where required. 

Training, and substantial learning and development opportunities are also available as set out below. The post does not currently have any line management responsibilities, though this may be a possibility in the future as the wider team develops.

Job description

This is a key role within the Corporate Services and Communications team. You will work with the ESS Board, executive team, colleagues and external stakeholders to assist with the work of ESS. You will need an eye for detail and the ability to be creative in your approach to challenges, alongside being proactive in seeking to continuously improve existing processes and procedures.

The Governance Manager will have responsibility for a range of key areas of organisational governance including:

 ·       Ensuring we comply with statutory and regulatory requirements and meet all our corporate reporting responsibilities;

·       Providing advice to the ESS Board, Audit and Risk Committee and wider ESS team on governance matters;

·       Drafting ESS’ Annual Report and Business Plan;

·       Drafting, reviewing and/or updating key governance and policy documents as required;

·       Co-ordinating liaison with the Scottish Parliament;

·       Co-ordinating ESS’ risk management arrangements;

·       Managing the Corporate Services and Communications related KPIs;

·       Managing information requests, such as Freedom of Information responsibilities.

To facilitate this work the post holder will be one of ESS’ key links to other governance related organisations and contacts, for example: the Scottish Government’s public bodies and appointments teams (to keep updated on statutory and regulatory requirements); the Scottish Parliament (to support our ongoing accountability requirements); and other relevant organisations (to enable joint working and shared services opportunities to be explored). This is an important part of this role, proactively and actively participating in appropriate working groups and initiatives.

In general, the post holder will be required to provide high quality advice and seek to continuously improve ESS’ governance procedures. In addition, to support the development of ESS as a new organisation, the Governance Manager will be involved in helping to promote and explain the role of ESS and to establish the organisation as a trusted and effective oversight body.


Essential Criteria

1.     Excellent interpersonal, networking and team-working skills, with proven experience of managing internal and external relationships, creating positive networks and maintaining trust and credibility.

2.     Excellent oral and written communication skills, with experience of: drafting a range of documentation at both a strategic and operational level; ensuring a clear flow of information to senior leaders; and recording an accurate record of decisions.

3.     Excellent understanding and enhanced knowledge of good governance and best practice in the public sector, with the relevant background and experience to demonstrate this.

4.     Excellent planning and organisational skills, with the ability to manage a complex and diverse workload.

Qualifications Required

A relevant degree level qualification, or at proven experience gained through working at an equivalent level within a governance management role.

Other qualifications equivalent to these may also be acceptable, if you are in any doubt please contact the Recruiting Manager named at the bottom of the advert to discuss.

Please note: If you fail to demonstrate how you meet the minimum qualifications as stated above, your application will be automatically sifted out.


A relevant degree level qualification, OR proven experience gained through working at an equivalent level within a governance management role.

Select "Yes" if either applies to you.

Ensure your qualifications are listed on your CV.

Technical skills

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

  • Communications & Engagement
  • Analysis and Use of Evidence
  • Improving Performance
  • Self-Awareness
  • A strong commitment to investing in your personal and professional development
  • An environment with flexible working options
  • A culture encouraging inclusion and diversity
  • A Civil Service pension with an average employer contribution of 27%

ESS is a small organisation focused on ensuring Scotland achieves the highest environmental standards. We seek skilled individuals who have a passion for improving environmental standards through public service, that can work as part of a multidisciplinary team.

In return, we offer a competitive employment package, including the civil service pension and a strong commitment to investing in each member of our teams personal and professional development. We also offer opportunities to work on some of the most significant and meaningful environmental challenges facing us today and the chance to play a part in helping to improve the quality of the environment for the people of Scotland.

We are building a culture that encourages inclusion and diversity and we particularly encourage applications from people from a diverse range of backgrounds.

The post allows flexible working and is open to full time or, by agreement, other working patterns including part-time, job-shares or compressed hours.


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 Ability, Experience and Technical skills.

After submission of the first stage of your application you will be invited to complete a Civil Service Verbal test and a Civil Service Judgement test. If you successfully pass the tests, you will be invited to complete the final stage of the application. 

Please complete the online tests as soon as possible (within 24-48 hours is recommended), the closing date for the tests and full application form is 23:55 on 2nd October 2022. If you fail to complete the online tests before the deadline your application will be withdrawn. Guidance for the tests will be available when you are invited to take the tests. The tests are administered online and accessed via the CS Jobs website.

Please bear in mind that the Online Test deadline is the same as the deadline for applications. Ensure you leave enough time to complete your full application after having received your test result.

The selection panel will use your application to assess your suitability for the role against the essential criteria during sifting using your statement of suitability and your CV . 

The personal statement (no longer than 1,000 words) should explain why you consider your personal skills, qualities and experience are suitable for this role, with particular reference to the essential criteria in the person specification.

If you are shortlisted, you will be provided with full details of the next stages of the selection process.

Please note: If you fail to demonstrate how you meet the minimum qualifications as stated above, your application will be automatically sifted out.

You will be tested against these competencies at interview.

  • Communications & Engagement
  • Analysis and Use of Evidence
  • Improving Performance
  • Self-Awareness 

Sift provisional dates will likely be week beginning 3 Oct 2022.

Interviews are likely to be held week beginning 24th Oct.

Interviews will be held at our Thistle House Offices, Edinburgh

If an alternative virtual interview is required, we will ask all applicants to ensure that they have a suitable space to complete the online interview. In addition, a personal device of choice that can access MS Teams will be required, alongside access to personal Wi-Fi/Broadband that has capacity to carry both audio and video feeds.

Further Information

A reserve list may be held for a period of 9 months from which further appointments can be made.

Any move to ESS from another employer will mean you can no longer access childcare vouchers. This includes moves between government departments. You may however be eligible for other government schemes, including Tax Free Childcare. Determine your eligibility at

If successful and transferring from another Government Department a criminal record check may be carried out.

In order to process applications without delay, we will be sending a Disclosure Scotland 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 stating the job reference number in the subject heading.

For further information on the Disclosure Scotland confidential checking service telephone: the Disclosure Scotland Helpline on 0870 609 6006 and ask to speak to the operations manager in confidence, or email

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

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

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 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.

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.
The Civil Service welcomes applications from people who have recently left prison or have an unspent conviction. Read more about prison leaver recruitment.
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 : Alasdair Dewar
  • Email :

Recruitment team :

  • Email :

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