Deputy Director, Policy, x 3 -Water Quality - Environment Regulations and EU Exit -Commercial Policy

The majority of posts will be based in one of Defra’s Policy hubs – York, Bristol or London.
Senior Civil Service (SCS) Payband 1 which you should expect to start in the range of £63,000 - £73,
11 Jan 2018
04 Feb 2018
Contract Type
Full Time

This is an exciting time to join Defra. We are one of the lead departments in delivering a successful exit from the EU, dealing with a vast range of issues, which profoundly impact on people’s lives.

We are looking for three talented professionals to join our leadership team as Deputy Directors (SCS Pay Band 1). Reporting to the relevant Director, each Deputy Director will lead a team of policy professionals. The policy roles are:

  • Water Quality (1 role)
  • Environment Regulations and EU Exit Work (1 role)
  • Commercial Policy (1 role)

Head of Water Quality x1 role –

The Head of Water Quality leads a team of around 25 whose role is to develop and promote policies to improve the environment of our inland, coastal and underground waters. As well as ensuring that drinking water is suitable for humans, the team aims to protect and improve water as the vital underpinning of England’s eco-systems. The major threats come from human activities, notably farming, but also discharge of water following sewage treatment, pollution from both old and new industries, and potentially, evolution of anti-microbial resistant organisms. In practice, much of the legislation is set in the EU and the team leads for the whole directorate on the implications of EU exit, as well as managing implementation and infraction risks. The Water Quality team works closely with the water regulators (Ofwat, Environment Agency, Drinking Water Inspectorate) as well as water and sewerage companies who are the major funders in preserving and improving water quality. They also work with other partners including environmental NGOs, retailers and farming organisations. 

Head of Environment Regulations and EU Exit Work x1 role –

This role is responsible for leading the work to deliver our EU Exit programme for environmental regulations – one of four work streams (alongside food & farming, fisheries, animal & plant health) in the overall Defra EU Exit programme. The postholder is the overall Programme Manager for the work stream, leading a programme team, supporting the Director in chairing the Programme Board, and bringing together the work of many policy teams and delivery bodies to ensure delivery of our plans which include legislation, support for UK/EU negotiations, implementation planning for operational delivery post-Exit, managing devolution, and contributing to trade objectives. This role also holds policy responsibility for developing new governance arrangements for environmental protection post-Exit, including primary legislation. And the role also oversees the portfolio office for the whole of Environmental Quality Directorate, managing a team dealing with corporate policies, business planning and governance across the Directorate.

Head of Commercial Policy x1 role –

The key purpose of the role is to lead teams overseeing projects that are delivered by the private sector, but which contribute to Government policy objectives or interests. The role does not require specific commercial skills or experience, but would suit a policy professional who has experience of commercial/ major projects work, or a commercial specialist with experience and understanding of leading policy work within Government. This is a great opportunity to take on an SCS role that sits at the policy and commercial interface and will extend your experience and skills for the future.

Whilst you are welcome to indicate a preference for a specific policy area in your application, we will consider your suitability for all roles and you may be offered a different Deputy Director role if your application is successful.

Whichever of the three roles you are appointed to your responsibilities will include:

  • Overall accountability for both the quality and delivery of policy advice within your area.
  • Leading the development of your team within the wider transformation programme, improving ways of working and making maximum use of skills and expertise within the team to deliver high quality policy development and implementation.
  • Providing strong and effective change leadership; actively and visibly role modelling the values of being inspiring, confident and empowering, in line with the Civil Service Leadership Statement.
  • Providing financial accountability for programme, capital and admin budgets for your area.
  • Contributing significantly to Defra’s wider agenda, both through participation in other cross-cutting policy and delivery programmes, and through taking a strong leadership role on corporate issues.
  • Championing continuous professional development and the policy profession across Defra and the wider Civil Service.
  • Leading a diverse team to bring a combination of policy, project management and commercial skills to bear to ensure there is strong oversight and governance of the projects under your responsibility, supporting their successful delivery, identifying and managing risks, and safeguarding the Government’s interests.