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Deputy Head of Foreign Affairs, Defence and Security Policy, Scotland Office – 58026
£54,274 – £63,500


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:


The Scotland Office supports the Secretary of State for Scotland in promoting the best interests of Scotland within a strong United Kingdom, and fully representing Scottish interests at the heart of the UK government. It does this by providing direct access to the UK government for businesses and organisations, including the devolved public sector, across Scotland. This allows citizens and businesses based in Scotland to receive information and to understand, access and benefit from UK government policies and services. The Office also plays an important constitutional role, as custodians of the devolution settlement in Scotland.

The Deputy Head of Foreign Affairs, Defence and Security will have an integral and fascinating role in the work of the Office, providing advice and assurance to Ministers and other UK Government departments on a range of Foreign Affairs, Defence, Civil Contingency and National Security matters. The successful application will support the Head of Foreign Affairs, Defence and Security and lead the team’s work in security and civil contingencies work.

The role requires excellent communication and engagement skills as the successful postholder will work closely with a wide range of partners, including UK departments working on national security, foreign and defence policy, the Armed Forces, Police Scotland, the Scottish Government and foreign diplomatic missions in the UK.

This is a challenging and exciting role in a high profile area.

Main Duties

  • Supporting the head of the team (who is based in Edinburgh) in overseeing the foreign affairs and defence policy work of the Office including liaison with relevant officials and stakeholders in London.
  • Leading Civil contingencies and national security policy and legislation work for the Office. Current live issues include the UK Government’s Resilience Strategy and review of the Civil Contingencies Act 2004, pandemic diseases preparations, maritime security, supply chains and workforce absences, and cyber security.
  • Leading the department’s response to incidents, such as Covid-19, severe weather disruptions, and the domestic impacts of international crises. This will involve liaising with other UK departments, the Scottish Government and other devolved bodies to ensure Scotland’s interests are understood and respected within the devolution system, advising and briefing Ministers for formal meetings, liaising with external stakeholders where appropriate, supporting the UK Government’s responsive public communications and participating in exercises as appropriate.
  • Representing the Office on the central continuity of crisis management arrangements and interface with Office’s business continuity and internal security arrangements.

Essential Criteria

  • Knowledge of and background in Civil Contingencies/crisis management, national security, Foreign Affairs and/or Defence policy.
  • The ability to quickly analyse and explain complex issues to Ministers and senior officials.
  • The ability to represent the Office in meetings with other UK Ministers and senior officials and diplomats and to influence policy developments.
  • Excellent networking and engagement skills and the ability to build positive and constructive relationships with internal and external stakeholders.
  • The role will require frequent official travel to Scotland and may include occasional overseas travel in support of the team’s foreign policy objectives.

Desirable Criteria

  • Knowledge of the Scottish political landscape and the Devolution Settlement.
  • The successful applicant will ideally have Developed Vetting. All applicants without this clearance must be prepared to apply for it.


£54,274 - £63,500

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.

Flexible working hours

The Ministry of Justice offers a flexible working system in many offices.


The MoJ offers a range of benefits:

Annual Leave

Annual leave is 25 days on appointment and will increase to 30 days after five years’ service.

There is also a scheme to allow qualifying staff to buy or sell up to three days leave each year. Additional paid time off for public holidays and 1 privilege day. Leave for part-time and job share posts will be calculated on a pro-rata basis.


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


The Ministry of Justice is committed to staff development and offers an extensive range of training and development opportunities.


The opportunity to join employee-run networks that have been established to provide advice and support and to enable the views of employees from minority groups to be expressed direct to senior management. There are currently networks for employees of minority ethnic origin, employees with disabilities, employees with caring responsibilities, women employees, and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees.


  • A range of ‘Family Friendly’ policies such as opportunities to work reduced hours or job share.
  • Access to flexible benefits such as voluntary benefits, retail vouchers and discounts on a range of goods and services.
  • For moves to or from another employer or moves across the Civil Service this can have implications on your eligibility to carry on claiming childcare vouchers. You may however be eligible for alternative government childcare support schemes, including Tax Free Childcare. More information can be found on UKor Childcare Choices. You can determine your eligibility at
  • Paid paternity, adoption and maternity leave.
  • Free annual sight tests for employees who use computer screens.

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: