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Administration / Corporate Support

Contract Support Officer Education – 59714
£31,924 – £40,863


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:

CCG wants to be a diverse and inclusive group and a great place to work for everyone that joins us.  We actively encourage flexible working and encourage applications from anyone that wants to work differently, for example part-time or job share.

Overview of the job

Accountable to a designated Senior Contract Manager the CSO will support efficient and effective Education contract management within their team. 

The post holder will ensure the efficient and contractually compliant delivery of the education contracts including; Prison Education Framework (PEF), Dynamic Purchasing System (DPS), Common Awarding Organisations (CAO) and Libraries within their respective geographical region. In doing so they are required to work collaboratively with other key stakeholders in the delivery process. The job sits within Education, Employment and Industries Group (EEIG) which is part of the Directorate of Safety and Rehabilitation. 

This is a HQ role, located in geographically dispersed teams across England. The post is regionally based as the post holder is required to visit prisons, education provider’s premises to frequently assess the delivery of the contracted service provided. 

The post does not have any direct line management responsibilities.


The Contract Support Officer will drive improvements to contractual outcomes by supporting the contract management team through management and adherence to effective contract management governance, by providing; secretariat and administrative support and data analysis to validate provider performance to assure the delivery of value for money services and drive positive outcomes for service users. The post holder will ensure a co-ordinated approach to the delivery of contract management by both the Contract Management Team, HMPPS stakeholders and partners within the Criminal Justice System (CJS) ensuring effective delivery of contracts by providers of Prisoner Education in prisons. 

Working alongside the Senior Contract Manager (SCM) and Education Contract Manager (CM), the CSO will support the delivery of the contract management governance processes in relation to designated providers and Lots. They will provide a secretariat support as directed by the SCM and CM. 

Being responsible for a portfolio of contract management across HMPPS business areas the post holder will form close working relationships with Managers and teams, (internal and external), to implement/maintain common principles and processes across projects which will include risk management and planning, timeliness and opportunity realisation. 

The geographical base for the CSO post can be flexible within their contract management Lot, and will require some work in London and other locations.

Responsibilities, Activities and Duties

The job holder will be required to carry out the following responsibilities, activities and duties: 

·         Providing secretariat support to the Senior Contract Managers and Service Managers at; Quarterly Lot level meetings, Quarterly national provider meetings, Change Protocol Group, Invoicing pre meets, Education Delivery Group, National Learning and Skills Board and any other meetings convened by them. 

·         Arranging and distributing the agenda and papers with direction from the relevant chair.

·         Producing first draft minutes and action logs.

·         Maintaining formal documentation, Terms of Reference, membership and distribution lists.

·         Following‐up with action owners for updates.

·         Filing, archiving and enacting version control on all relevant documentation.

·         Support Senior Contract Managers and Service Managers in the delivery of on‐ going contract management activities, e.g. following‐up requests for information, scheduling of ad hoc meetings.

·         Support the delivery of operational contract compliance activity such as data collection and analysis, research and observation of education practice and performance. This will include working within a prison environment and engaging with service users to support organisational understanding of the impact of the Education service on individuals.

·         Undertake research and analysis activities as required which will demand initiative and self-motivation. E.g. review of stakeholder surveys and opinions, development of ‘good practice’ case studies, reporting on risk and monitoring the provision of third-party commissioned services.

·         Ensure that changes to data requirements are approved by the Data Gateway Services protocol.

·         Enable the National Prison Education Team to deliver their annual programme of assurance activities to operationally audit and analyse provider delivery data including: regular sample testing of provider performance information and validation of reported data; involvement in periodic process review activities; and observation of provider activities.

·         Lead on the Provider Performance Report process for your contracts and preparation and recommendations for reconciliation meetings.

·         Leading the administrative management of the RIO system for Lot level Education Contracts including; Register assignee for the Risk, Issues and Opportunities (RIO) process, risk/opportunity owner and control owner, where appropriate.

·         Lead the coordination of Benefits realisation, CREAM organisation and input, Contract Management Plan ownership and RIO updates/review for the team.

·         Facilitate and develop excellent working relationships with colleagues across Education, Employment and Industries group, promoting and instigating improved ways of working to achieve improved outcomes for prisoners.

·         Develop effective working relationships with Commercial colleagues to support the administrative management and tracking of Commercial obligations.

·         Draft responses to correspondence and briefings, including FOI, PQs, ministerial/DG visits.

·         Lead the co-ordination of Lot level scorecard completion by working collaboratively with finance and commercial colleagues to ensure a robust and complete approach to national performance reporting.

·         Manage an effective HMPPS – stakeholder communications framework ensuring integration across Directorates by acting as a first point of contact for the dissemination of nationally led communications to Education Contract Providers, following up requests for information and tracking the delivery of agreed actions.

·         Project manage specific projects as directed. Prepare, recommend and monitor project plans, with input from other participating stakeholders.

·         Lead, co-ordinate or support project implementation, including using the team’s resources, prepare reports, manage, promote, co-ordinate and facilitate meetings and reports on performance, outputs and outcomes. Reviewing and monitoring performance data in relation to designated providers within designated Lots.

·         Support and contribute toward Competition and competitive exercises and inform Specification.

·         Work collaboratively with all HMPPS funded service Providers to ensure Integration of services within a geographical footprint. 

The duties/responsibilities listed above describe the post as it is at present and is not intended to be exhaustive. The job holder is expected to accept reasonable alterations and additional tasks of a similar level that may be necessary. Significant adjustments may require re-examination under the Job Evaluation Scheme and shall be discussed in the first instance with the job holder. 


·         Working Together

·         Communicating and Influencing

·         Changing and Improving

·         Managing a Quality Service

·         Delivering at Pace


·         Relationship management.

·         Strong Business support and/or secretariat experience.

·         Experience of co-ordinating, organising, reviewing and taking minutes of high level meetings in a politically sensitive environment involving a wide range of senior representatives.

·         Experienced at initiating challenge(s) to provider(s) where appropriate.

Technical Requirements

·         No specific qualifications are essential but experience and skills relevant to business support, contract management, operational audit and commissioning are desirable.


·         Ability to negotiate data in a variety of forms and have well developed research and evaluation skills to make informed judgements about areas of concern and highlight gaps in provision.

·         Good understanding of HMPPS strategic direction with an ability to influence others with professionalism and diplomacy.

·         Confidence to represent the organisation in a professional manner to external and internal stakeholders including, strategic, senior management and operational teams.

·         Sound skills to enable management of effective relationships in a contractual and political environment.

·         Sound knowledge of Project and Programme management techniques.

·         Sound problem solving, planning and communication skills.

·         Strong numerical and IT skills with strong presentation skills (written and verbal).

·         Strong networking capabilities enabling the development of productive working relationships across organisational boundaries and across all levels of an organisation.

·         Strong analytical skills and research and evaluation skills to make informed judgements on concern and gaps in provision.

·         Sound ability to work in a dispersed team and be a self-motivator with the capacity to organise and prioritise based on organisational reputation/ financial risk.

·         Strong commitment to valuing and promoting diversity as the vehicle for achieving successful business outcomes.

·         Strong commitment to excellence within a changing landscape with the ability to innovate and adapt working style.

·         Ability to maintain professional integrity and adherence to organisational priorities in the face of competing pressures.

·         Ability to prioritise the management of a portfolio of projects at risk through support, advice, guidance and ability to take a task through to completion.

·         Strong Business support and/or secretariat experience.

·         Experience of co‐ordinating, organising, reviewing and taking minutes of high level meetings in a politically sensitive environment involving a wide range of senior representatives.

  • Demonstrable influence, negotiation and analytical skills to derive best value from the provider
  • Ability to manage uncertainty and respond flexibly with the ability to provide intervention at short


The national salary range is £31,924 - £36,715, London salary range is £34,296 - £40,863. Your salary will be dependent on your base location

Additional Information

Working Arrangements & Further Information

The MoJ offers Hybrid Working arrangements where business need allows. This is an informal, non-contractual form of flexible working that blends working from your base location, different MoJ sites and / or from home (please be aware that this role can only be worked in the UK and not overseas). Some roles will not be suitable for Hybrid Working. Similarly, Hybrid Working will not suit everyone’s circumstances. Arrangements will be discussed and agreed with the successful candidate(s) and subject to regular review.

For nationally advertised roles, the successful candidate(s) will be appointed to a MoJ office location, which may include their nearest Justice Collaboration Centre or Justice Satellite Office. This will be discussed and agreed on the completion of pre-employment checks.

Some of MoJ’s terms and conditions of service are changing as part of Civil Service reform. The changes will apply to staff joining MoJ who are new to the Civil Service. Staff joining MoJ from other civil service employers will transfer onto the new MoJ terms if they are already on ‘modernised’ terms in their current post or onto ‘unmodernised’ MoJ terms if they are on ‘unmodernised’ terms at their current post. Details will be available if an offer is made.

Standard working hours for this post are 37 hours per week excluding breaks which are unpaid.

If you are a current NPS employee, this vacancy may be available on a Loan basis for up to 2 years. Applications are invited from suitable qualified staff.

The Loan/Secondment is subject to the approval of the selected candidate’s Business Unit, which should be obtained before confirmation of appointment.


Annual Leave

-The holiday year runs from 1 March. If you work a non standard work pattern your leave entitlement may be expressed in either hours or days as appropriate. Leave entitlement is calculated on a pro-rata basis and you will be advised of your actual entitlement on appointment. If you were appointed internally and your leave was previously calculated in days, this will continue to be the case.

Bank, Public and Privilege Holidays

-You are entitled to 9 days (66 hours 36 minutes) in recognition of bank, public and privilege holidays. These hours are added to your annual leave allowance. There is a requirement to work some public and bank holidays subject to your shift pattern and the operational needs of the establishment


-The Civil Service offers a choice of two pension schemes, giving you the flexibility to choose the pension that suits you best.

Work Life Balance

HM Prison & Probation Service  (HMPPS) is keen to encourage alternative working arrangements. Work life balance provides greater opportunities for staff to work more flexibly wherever managers and establishments can accommodate requests to do so. HMPPS offers flexible working subject to completion of a satisfactory probationary period and NVQ

Season Ticket Advance

-After two months’ service, you’ll be eligible to apply for a season ticket advance to purchase a quarterly or longer-period season ticket for travel between home and your place of work

Childcare Vouchers

For any moves across the Civil Service may have implications on your ability to carry on claiming childcare vouchers


HMPPS is committed to staff development and offers a range of training and development opportunities, including areas such as Equality and Diversity, Dealing with Challenging Behaviour, Suicide Prevention and Anti Bullying Programmes

-There are opportunities to access promotion programmes and HMPPS provides a variety of training appropriate to individual posts

-All staff receive security and diversity training and an individual induction programme into their new roles


-All candidates are subject to security and identity checks prior to taking up post

-All external candidates are subject to 6 months probation. Internal candidates are subject to probation if they have not already served a probationary period within HMPPS

-All staff are required to declare whether they are a member of a group or organisation which the HMPPS considers to be racist

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. Should you feel that the recruitment process has breached the recruitment principles you are able to raise a formal complaint in the following order

The Civil Service embraces diversity and promotes equal opportunities. As a Disability Confident employer, MoJ are committed to providing everyone with the opportunity to demonstrate their skills, talent and abilities, by making adjustments throughout all elements of the recruitment process and in the workplace. MoJ are able to offer an interview to disabled candidates who meet the minimum selection criteria, except in a limited number of campaigns.

You will be able to request reasonable adjustments to the recruitment process within the application form. If you need additional help completing the application form, please contact the SSCL Recruitment Enquiries Team.

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: