We encourage applications from people from all backgrounds and aim to have a workforce that represents the wider society that we serve. We pride ourselves on being an employer of choice. We champion diversity, inclusion and wellbeing and aim to create a workplace where everyone feels valued and a sense of belonging. To find out more about how we do this visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/ministry-of-justice/about/equality-and-diversity.
Senior Policy Advisor – Priority Projects (up to 2 posts available)
Strategy and Innovation Directorate
The Priority Projects Team is recruiting permanently for SEO Senior Policy Advisors. This campaign is being run externally and so is open to all who consider themselves suitable for the roles and meet the eligibility criteria in the wider advert within Civil Service Jobs.
Successful candidates will have the option to be based at one of the following locations:102 Petty France, London 5 Wellington Place, Leeds (occasional travel between Leeds and London may be required post Covid-19)
Our staff will have a headquarter building as their base location and are expected to work in an office at least 2 days per week. Some travel may be required.
Ways of Working
At the MoJ we believe in and promote alternative ways of working, these roles are available as:Full-time, part-time or the option to job shareFlexible working patternsFlexible working arrangements between base locations, MoJ Hubs and home.
If we receive applications from more suitable candidates than we have vacancies for at this time, we may hold suitable applicants on a reserve list for 12 months, and future vacancies requiring the same skills and experience could be offered to candidates on the reserve list without a new competition.
We welcome and encourage applications from everyone, including groups currently underrepresented in our workforce and pride ourselves as being an employer of choice. To find out more about how we champion diversity and inclusion in the workplace, visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/ministry-of-justice/about/equality-and-diversity
The Ministry of Justice (MoJ)
MoJ is one of the largest government departments, employing over 77,000 people (including those in the Probation Service), with a budget of approximately £9 billion. Each year, millions of people use our services across the UK - including at 500 courts and tribunals, and 133 prisons in England and Wales.
Further information can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/ministry-of-justice
The Work of the Priority Projects Team
The Priority Projects Team (PPT) is a high-profile, friendly and supportive team working at the heart of the Ministry of Justice’s (MoJ’s) strategy and innovation directorate. We act as an in-house consultancy, working across the whole of MoJ’s policy agenda, helping the department to design and deliver its highest priority policies. We do this by delivering short policy projects to the highest standards.
Each project is unique, fast-paced and exciting. Members of PPT typically work in small project teams lasting from a few weeks up to six months, working closely with policy and functional leads across the organisation. Recently our projects have included the independent review of criminal legal aid, a consultation with victims of crime to inform policy redesign, and Human Rights Act reform.
The team has a diverse range of experience. Some colleagues are new to the Civil Service from the private or third sector. Others have worked in different parts of MoJ, including front line services like prisons and probation, other central government departments or parts of the wider public sector. We want to maintain a diversity of background and experience. We are a friendly team and you will have a comprehensive induction, with many training opportunities to enable your personal development.
We are committed to providing you with a positive team culture where you can thrive. People are our most valuable resource and through flexible working, our commitment to learning and development, network events and mentoring, we ensure our team and wider directorate is a positive environment to work in. The MoJ also has a comprehensive policy for supporting wellbeing, including through workplace adjustments, and is a disability confident leader.
Senior Policy Advisor - the role
We are looking for motivated, resilient and adaptable individuals who are able to get to grips with new subject areas quickly, have strong analytical and problem-solving skills and are able to communicate complex ideas clearly. You will need to be confident working independently and comfortable working with ambiguity, supporting the delivery of complex and challenging policy projects across the Ministry of Justice’s policy responsibilities.
The role will give you the opportunity to work with senior stakeholders across MoJ as well as other government departments and will usually involve engagement with the ministerial team and private offices.
As a Senior Policy Advisor in the Priority Projects Team you will:Lead or support the delivery of a range of policy projects in priority areas of the department. Work collaboratively with other policy professionals, analysts, lawyers and operational colleagues to understand complex issues quickly and develop robust and evidence-based solutions. This will include working with quantitative and qualitative data to develop a strong evidence base.Establish collaborative relationships with key stakeholders from across the MoJ and wider government to understand complex issues quickly and ensure that links are made with the relevant policy and operational teamsProduce high-quality written and oral briefings for senior officials and Ministers, distilling complex ideas into clear and concise advice.Some posts will involve line management responsibility for one Band C/HEO.
Every member of PPT plays a key role in shaping the team and driving forward our priorities. You will contribute in our regular team meetings, including occasionally chairing, and bring ideas for how we can continuously improve and make the team a great place to work. You will be expected to be involved in one of the team’s corporate workstreams which are Team Cohesion and Wellbeing, Learning and Development, Methodology, and Comms and Engagement.
Skills and Experience
Essential:Deliver at pace – you will be highly organised with the ability to manage yourself and others to deliver agreed goals and objectives. You will be able to work within a team to put structure around a complex problem, set realistic expectations with senior colleagues, and regularly monitor progress to keep work on track, but reassess priorities if the situation changes. Make effective decisions – experience of identifying and working with a broad range of relevant, credible and sometimes conflicting or incomplete information to make clear recommendations which take account of the broader context. Work collaboratively –build strong relationships to support delivery of business outcomes, actively seeking input from a diverse range of people to meet user needs, and encourage collaboration with others to support shared goals. Communicate complex ideas verbally and in writing – understanding and articulating complex issues, ensuring your communications are clear, effective and relevant, and use appropriate styles, methods and timing.
Desirable:Experience of working in a policy project environment and/or strategy consulting experience would be an advantage.Previous experience in government is not essential, but you will need to have good political awareness and the ability to communicate effectively to a wide range of audiences and the ability to solve problems using structured problem-solving techniques.
You will be assessed against the Civil service success profiles framework.
You will be asked to provide a CV during the application process in order to assess any demonstrable experience, career history and achievements that are relevant to the role.
You will also be asked to upload a Statement of Suitability of no more than 750 words stating what you would bring to the role, with reference to the Skills and Experience listed above.
During the application process you will be asked to provide an example of how you have met the following behaviours (see Annex A for more information):Making effective decisions Leadership Communicating and influencing Working together
Please also refer to the CS Behaviours framework for more details at this grade:
You can refer to the CS Strengths dictionary for more details: Success Profiles - Civil Service Strengths Dictionary (publishing.service.gov.uk)
We are planning to hold information sessions for candidates, where you will have the opportunity to hear from team members and learn about the application process. Dates for these sessions have not been finalised but if you would like more information or to attend, please email Veronica.Trotman@Justice.gov.uk.
If you are unable to attend the event but would like additional information about the role, previous projects, what it is like working in our team or the applications process please get in touch.
Candidates applying from HMPPS should note that the Ministry of Justice does not have the same conditions of employment as HMPPS. It is the candidate’s responsibility to ensure they are aware of the terms and conditions they will adopt should they be successful.
The MoJ is proud to be Level 3 Disability Confident. Disability Confident is the approach through which we offer guaranteed interviews for all people with disabilities meeting the minimum criteria for the advertised role as set out in the job description.
Please do get in touch if you would like to know more about the role or what it is like working in our team – contact Veronica Trotman, Veronica.Trotman@Justice.gov.uk with any questions.
Annex A - The STAR method
Using the STAR method can help you give examples of relevant experience that you have. It allows you to set the scene, show what you did, and how you did it, and explain the overall outcome.
Situation - Describe the situation you found yourself in. You must describe a specific event or situation. Be sure to give enough detail for the job holder to understand.Where are you?Who was there with you?What had happened?
Task - The job holder will want to understand what you tried to achieve from the situation you found yourself in.What was the task that you had to complete and why?What did you have to achieve?
Actions - What did you do? The job holder will be looking for information on what you did, how you did it and why. Keep the focus on you. What specific steps did you take and what was your contribution? Remember to include how you did it, and the behaviours you used. Try to use “I” rather than “we” to explain your actions that lead to the result. Be careful not to take credit for something that you did not do.
Results - Don’t be shy about taking credit for your behaviour. Quote specific facts and figures. Explain how the outcome benefitted the organisation or your area. Make the outcomes easily understandable.What results did the actions produce?What did you achieve through your actions and did you meet your goals?Was it a successful outcome? If not, what did you learn from the experience?
Keep the situation and task parts brief. Concentrate on the action and the result. If the result was not entirely successful describe what you learned from this and what you would do differently next time. Make sure you focus on your strengths.