Are you OK with cookies?

We use small files called ‘cookies’ on on Some are essential to make the site work, some help us to understand how we can improve your experience, and some are set by third parties. You can choose to turn off the non-essential cookies. Which cookies are you happy for us to use?


Head of Policy and Impact – 46125
£52,845 - £71,411


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:

An exciting opportunity has arisen to join the Independent Monitoring Board (IMB) and Lay Observer (LO) Secretariat as Head of Policy and Impact.

Members of IMBs and Lay Observers are unpaid public appointees who provide statutory independent oversight of conditions and treatment of prisoners and detainees and those held in courts and escorts. IMBs operate in prisons and young offender institutions, and places of immigration detention. Lay Observers monitor the welfare of those in court custody suites 0n escorts. All of this work is supported by a secretariat, and sponsored by the Ministry of Justice.  The 24 secretariat staff are based at Canary Wharf.

Job Specification

The Head of Policy and Impact will have lead responsibility for ensuring that IMB members and LOs have access to the knowledge and guidance that they need, and that their work has maximum impact on outcomes for prisoners and detainees.

You will lead a team that:

  • can identify and interpret relevant policy and information from a wide variety of external sources;
  • carries out internal engagement and regular communication with IMBs, LOs and their national governance structure, to provide accessible information and guidance, support their role and provide them with up to date information
  • captures and analyses trends and themes from IMB and LO findings, with regular reports to ministers, the relevant services and departments, and parliamentarians to reflect the impact of current policies and practice and seek to improve outcomes for prisoners and detainees
  • implements an external engagement and impact strategy, including the IMB website and social media, oversight of IMB publications and media engagement.

Key Duties

You will be part of the senior leadership team, reporting to the head of secretariat.  You will

  • manage a team of three staff: responsible for publications, policy and impact, communications and engagement.
  • lead the policy and impact function, to maximise IMB and LO impact and influence, with the aim of improving outcomes for prisoners and detainees
  • ensure that boards, members and lay observers receive the internal and external information and guidance needed to monitor effectively and to develop effective support networks
  • develop strategic links with relevant HMPPS or Home Office policy and operational leads to ensure that IMB and LO findings are understood and followed up
  • provide strategic advice and support both at local and national level in developing and managing key external stakeholder relationships.
  • lead the external communications function, in the media, public and stakeholder organisations, through a range of channels and tools.

Essential skills and experience: 

  • Sound judgment and analytical skills at both and a strategic and tactical level, in a complex and politically sensitive environment.
  • Knowledge and understanding of criminal justice, prisons and/or detention settings
  • Excellent interpersonal skills to deal with challenging situations and build appropriate independent relationships with key stakeholders at senior level
  • Strategic approach to communications with skills across a range of communications disciplines including publications, media and digital.
  • Strong writing and oral skills to present key findings from a wide range of data sources.
  • Excellent planning, management and organisational skills
  • Experience of leading and building teams and of change management
  • Understanding of the approach needed in working with and through volunteers
  • Experience of engaging successfully at strategic level with external stakeholders and the media

CS Behaviours

  • Seeing the big picture
  • Leadership
  • Communicating and influencing
  • Working together

The secretariat, IMBs and LOs, value diversity and inclusion and actively encourage applications from everyone, including those who are underrepresented in our workforce. We promote equality of opportunity in all aspects of employment and a working environment free from discrimination, harassment, bullying and victimisation.

Additional Information

Working Arrangements & Further Information

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.

Grading Structure Review

The Ministry of Justice is currently undergoing a review of posts which are currently graded at Band A to realign our grading structure with the majority of the wider Civil Service.

Posts advertised at Band A may be graded at either Grade 6 or Grade 7 once the review has taken place.  


  • 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 GOV.UK or 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

1- To Shared Service Connected Ltd (0845 241 5358 (Monday to Friday 8am – 6pm) or e mail;

2- To Ministry of Justice Resourcing (;

3- To the Civil Service Commission (details available here)

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.