EO Personal Assistant to the CEO and Chair and office administrator

Office for Environmental Protection

Apply before 11:55 pm on Monday 24th January 2022


Reference number





Executive Officer

Contract type


Business area

OEP - Chief of Staff

Type of role

Administration / Corporate Support

Working pattern

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

Number of posts




About the job


The Office for Environmental Protection (OEP)

The OEP is a new public body, established with the principal objective of contributing to environmental protection and improving the natural environment. It will support Parliament in holding government to account on its environmental commitments and environmental law.

We do this by:

• Monitoring and reporting on the government’s environmental improvement plans and targets

• Monitoring and reporting on the implementation of environmental law

• Advising government on proposed changes to environmental law, and other matters related to the natural environment

• Investigating suspected serious failures to comply with environmental law by public authorities and enforcing compliance where needed

We also receive complaints from the public about suspect failures to comply with environmental law.

The OEP was legally created in November 2021, under the Environment Act 2021. We expect to be fully established early in 2022 after Parliament takes the steps needed for our functions and powers to be made available to us.

Our work covers England. In the coming months, the Northern Ireland Assembly may also decide that our work will cover Northern Ireland.

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.

The OEP will be based at a Worcester location. Worcester is a thriving county town with three mainline stations providing good links to London, Bristol, and Birmingham. 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 the successful candidates.

The OEP is a non-departmental public body sponsored by Defra. This means it will operate independently from Defra and will not be part of the UK Civil Service.

Job description

The Personal Assistant to the CEO and Chair will be in a central role in a team at the heart of the OEP.

The role holder will support the CEO and the Chair succeed, ensuring they have the time, information and resources they need to succeed. They will work independently developing trusting relationships with these senior leaders, and being responsive to their needs.

The PA to the CEO and Chair will work within the Business Strategy and Planning team, which is central to all that the OEP does. We are a small team whose core role is to ensure that the OEP works well, and that our work is well defined, understood and strategically aligned. In doing this, the team supports planning, strategy, governance and risk management services and provides the executive office of the organisation.

The PA to the CEO and Chair will have a relationship of influence with the most senior people in our organisation. They will be trusted to deliver, be responsive to the priorities of these senior leaders, and have the relationships with others to ensure these priorities are delivered.

The OEP is the cornerstone of our environmental governance system now we have left the EU, and was legally created in November 2021. This is a unique opportunity to join the OEP as it is established and help us to grow the organisation from the ground up, influencing how the OEP will operate in its first years of existence.


The OEP will be based at a Worcester location.

Staff will initially be contractually based at the Defra office at Worcestershire County Hall, and then at a new Worcester OEP office location, details of which will be shared with the successful candidates. In line with prevailing Government advice staff may be home-based until Covid-19 restrictions are eased, at which point the role-holder will be expected to be based at the Worcester office, with some flexibility.


• Proactively manage the CEO and Chair diary based on current urgent issues and priorities, as well as strategically managing the diary “forward look” for the upcoming weeks and months to ensure it aligns with the organisation’s needs.

• Organise meetings on behalf of the CEO, the Chair (and wider Exco on occasion) including logistics, agenda planning, note-taking, action log and follow up.

• Proactively ensure the CEO and Chair are prepared for engagements including commissioning/co-ordinating papers/briefings, working with others to ensure the right information is available in good time.

• Manage and prioritise the CEO and Chair email inbox, identifying items for action or information, escalating items that are urgent, commissioning and co-ordinating briefings and delegating actions to relevant individuals/teams where necessary.

• Support with the creation of briefing materials for meetings when asked, such as creating summaries of documents or short presentations.

• Provide administrative support for the CEO, Chair (and wider Exco on occasion), including booking hotels, making travel arrangements.

• Receive and manage access of visitors to the OEP office, ensuring appropriate records are maintained and security procedures are followed, and working with others to maintain a full service through office opening hours.

• Lead on office administration matters, ensuring office supplies such as stationery and consumables are available as needed, managing meeting room bookings and similar matters.

• Support the health and safety officer maintain health and safety in the office, contributing to risk assessments and other processes as are needed, managing day to day matters with cleaners and other contractors.

• Provide administrative and secretariat support to the wider OEP as required such as supporting the organisation of corporate events or initiatives.

Essential Criteria


• Experience of managing a busy senior leaders’ inbox, diary and travel arrangements;
• Experience of organising meetings including note-taking and ensuring the follow-up of actions


• Excellent organisation skills, able to manage their time effectively and prioritise workloads to deliver high quality work in a pressurised environment.
• Excellent attention to detail ensuring that tasks are completed accurately
• Ability to work well with others and develop relationships of trust with a range of people within and outside the organisation.
• Good written and verbal communication skills; ability to communicate effectively and influence confidently with a range of people including senior stakeholders
• Confident and competent in using core Microsoft IT systems (Outlook, Word, Excel and PowerPoint).
• Ability to keep abreast of the key emerging issues across the OEP and proactively considering how they may affect their work

The above list of job duties 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.


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

  • Delivering at Pace
  • Working Together
  • Communicating and Influencing
  • Seeing the Big Picture


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

Things you need to know


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 and Experience.
As part of the application process you will be asked to complete a CV setting out your work history and a statement of suitability (750 words) on essential experience and skills. Candidates will also be asked to complete four 250-word behaviour statements.

In the event of a high number of applications there may be a pre-sift on the lead behaviour.

The following behaviours will then be tested at interview:

• delivering at pace (lead behaviour)
• working together
• communicating and influencing
• seeing the big picture

Candidates may also be asked to complete a written exercise at interview.

Application Process
As part of the application process you will be asked to complete a CV setting out your work history and a statement of suitability (750 words) on essential experience and skills. Candidates will also be asked to complete four 250-word behaviour statements.

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 lead behaviour, Delivering at Pace. Candidates who pass the initial sift may be progressed to a full sift, or progressed straight to assessment/interview.

The following behaviours will then be tested at interview:

• delivering at pace (lead behaviour)
• working together
• communicating and influencing
• seeing the big picture

There may also be a written exercise or presentation at interview. Further details of this will be shared with candidates who successfully pass the sift stage.

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 defrarecruitment.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 on your behalf. However, we recognize in exceptional circumstance 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-Employment.Checks@cabinetoffice.gov.uk stating the job reference number in the subject heading.

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.

As government restrictions continue to lift, Defra group is exploring future ways of working with flexibility in mind. This means, that subject to business need, successful candidates will be offered the option to combine working at home with working at their contractual Defra group workplace, with occasional travel to other work locations. Further information relevant to this post will be available for candidates invited to interview.

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 :  recruitment@theoep.org.uk
Email :  recruitment@theoep.org.uk
Recruitment team :
Email :  oeprecruitment.grs@cabinetoffice.gov.uk

Further information

Complaints If you feel your application has not been treated in accordance with the Recruitment Principles and you wish to make a complaint, in the first instance, you should contact Government Recruitment Services via email: oeprecruitment.grs@cabinetoffice.gov.uk If you are not satisfied with the response you receive from the Department, you can contact the Civil Service Commission: Click here to visit Civil Service Commission

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