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Senior Leadership

Director Women’s Estate HMPPS – 44406


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:

This is an exciting new role which brings together the work of the Women’s Policy Team and the line management of prisons in the Women’s Estate to more closely integrate policy and operational delivery. This will facilitate a more joined up and whole system approach to the management of women across the Criminal Justice System.

The post holder will be expected to work closely with senior colleagues across HMPPS, the Ministry of Justice and across Government to improve outcomes for women both in custody and in the community. The role is a national one which will require some travel across the country and attendance at our headquarters in London.  The post holder will also be expected to engage with and build positive relationships with a range key partners and external stakeholders

In HMPPS we work together to protect the public and help people to live law-abiding and positive lives. We believe people can change and that our efforts to reduce reoffending make the public safer. The post holder will play a key role in delivering these outcomes at a very senior level in the organisation.

Overview of the job    

This is a key role in providing leadership and direction to the safe and effective management of women in the community and across the custodial estate. The postholder will also have responsibility for operational delivery of the 10 Women’s Prisons and work closely with the providers of custodial services for women in the private estate. The postholder is also the strategic lead for the commissioning of Women’s services in the community.


The postholder will represent HMPPS on all matters relating to women who are touched on by HMPPS services – particularly providing advice to sentencers, holding those remanded into custody, and delivering community and custodial sentences. They will be required to develop strong working relationships with Policy colleagues, and Ministers both within the MOJ and across government departments.

This post is responsible for leading a programme of work to define and deliver HMPPS responsibilities under the Ministry of Justice Women Offenders Strategy.

The post holder will provide strategic direction for the women’s custodial estate, and line management of Public Sector Women’s Prisons (including Mother and Baby Units and management of the central system for managing Complex and Restricted Women).

In the community the postholder will contribute directly to the design of the new unified Probation system to ensure services are gender specific in the supervision of women. It will also be essential they collaborate with Regional Probation Directors to secure continuity of service provision in the delivery of Women’s Centres through the introduction of the Dynamic Framework.

Responsibilities, Activities and Duties  

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

  • Provide timely, accurate, politically sensitive and strategic advice to Ministers and Parliament on matters relating to Women in the Criminal Justice System.
  • Provide expert input into strategic planning for HMPPS in matters relating to Women offenders.
  • Deploy the MoJ Women Offenders Strategy to deliver effective outcomes for women at all stages of the criminal justice system.
  • Define HMPPS responsibilities under the MoJ Women Offenders Strategy and manage projects, programmes and related work streams to deliver agreed outputs.
  • Direct line management accountability for operational performance and use of resources across the public sector prisons in the Women’s estate. Ensuring that prisons are effectively delivering and driving improvement to meet the expected outcomes and holding Governors to account.
  • Ensuring that prisons in the Women’s estate are responsible for meeting delivery requirements, complying with national policy and progressing strategic priorities.
  • Supporting and coaching Governors to ensure that they have the skills and knowledge to run safe, decent, secure and rehabilitative prisons and to manage their staff effectively; and improve staff engagement and demonstrate commitment to equality and inclusion through their leadership.
  • Developing strategic relationships with key partners and stakeholders across MOJ, Government and other agencies and services, particularly relevant community partners, to ensure our business and strategic objectives are achieved.
  • Manage the operation for admissions, refusals and appeals to Mother and Baby Units.
  • Manage the operation of the Restricted and Complex Case Board including a wider review of ‘restricted’ status women across the prison estate.
  • Working in partnership with partners and stakeholders across and beyond the Criminal Justice System, influence wider programmes of interventions which address women offenders’ complex needs.
  • Oversee/contribute to relevant policies for the Women’s estate across HMPPS.
  • Ensure women’s needs are taken into account by NPS programmes of work for offenders e.g. Effective Proposal Framework (EPF) tool, offender management model and interventions.
  • Working with directors and probation/prison leaders to maximise opportunities to deliver effective outcomes for women across HMPPS.
  • Build and disseminate an NPS knowledge base about what works with women by influencing research and commissioning agendas and actively seeking knowledge from diverse sources to inform NPS practice.
  • Horizon scan to ensure the programme of work takes into account changing political priorities and associated developments for example opportunities from developing IT and changes to court and prison systems.
  • Ensure that diversity and inclusion are embedded in all projects and programmes of work.
  • Providing strong and effective change leadership, ensuring in particular the effective implementation of programmes which support a rehabilitative culture and lead to improved safety in prisons.
  • Working effectively in collaboration as part of the wider Prison Group structures across the Directorate, to effectively deploy resources; share best practice to ensure stability across the system and improve prisoner progression; create a learning culture; and deliver the Directorate’s objectives.
  • Maintaining a broad and thorough understanding of the Agency’s business, including Ministerial priorities, with particular focus on ensuring that policy and reform are effectively delivered at local levels.
  • Ensuring effective financial management to operate within the allocated budget and with financial propriety. Seeking appropriate sources of funding to support joint interest work with our strategic partners.

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.


  • Leadership
  • Seeing the Big Picture
  • Changing and Improving
  • Communicating and Influencing
  • Working Together


  • Analytical Skills
  • Verbal and Written Communication Skills 


  • A proven track record of senior operational and/or policy experience working effectively in this complex and high pressured operating environment.
  • A proven record of leadership, inspiring staff, successfully engaging senior leaders, leading change and performance improvement and building capability to deliver business objectives.
  • Evidence of strategic thinking and effective problem solving, developing innovative delivery options that meet strategic objectives whilst being rooted in an understanding of financial and implementation practicalities.
  • Evidence of building strong and effective partnerships, across Government and with other parts of the public sector, operational partners and external stakeholders to advance business objectives.

Additional Information

Working Arrangements & Further Information

Some of MoJ’s, including HMPPS, 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 provide 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 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.

The Civil Service embraces diversity and promotes equality of opportunity.

There is a guaranteed interview scheme (GIS) for candidates with disabilities who meet the minimum selection criteria.