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Operational Assurance Officer (Community) – 44525
£31,924 - £40,863


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:

Overview of the job    

The Operational and System Assurance Group (OSAG) provides the operational audit and quality assurance service to HMPPS and MOJ.    The Group provides assurance on the quality of service outcomes delivered whether they provide value for money, across the offender system. The OA Support Officers are managers within the Group who work in collaboration with OSAG managers and other colleagues. The OASO will be responsible for supporting the operational and system assurance of contracted and public sector offender services in custody and the community.

Accountable to a designated senior manager, the OASO will provide efficient and effective support to quality assure and audit operational offender services in their designated area(s) of responsibility.

The OASO is responsible for leading on providing administrative, secretariat and business support functions as well as information management, data handling and analysis and planning. The post holder also supports the group by producing briefings and completing responses to correspondence, Freedom of Information requests and Parliamentary Questions on the work of the Group.


Working with other OSAG managers, the OASO will support the delivery of OSAG activities. They will provide a secretariat service by co‐ordinating the management of all meetings, boards and other secretariat services.

The post‐holder will support operational assurance activity by completing data collection and analysis, research and observation of the practice and performance of contracted and public sector offender services in custody and the community.

The post holder will need to use their initiative and be self-motivated to carry out research and analysis activities. This includes reviewing stakeholder surveys and opinions, developing information on ‘good practice’, reporting on risk and monitoring the provision of third‐party services.

The post holder will also produce briefings and draft responses to correspondence, Freedom of Information requests and Parliamentary Questions on the work of the Group.

The geographical base for the OASO post can be flexible 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 managers, and any meetings convened by them:
o    Managing and co-ordinating meetings.
o    Arranging and distributing the agenda and papers with direction from the relevant chair.
o    Producing first draft minutes and action logs.
o    Maintaining formal documentation, Terms of Reference, membership and distribution lists.
o    Following‐up with action owners for updates.
o    Filing, archiving and maintaining version control on all relevant documentation.

•    Supporting the Operational and System Assurance Group to deliver their annual programme of assurance activities set out in the annual Delivery Plan. This includes: collating, reviewing, analysing and monitoring performance data; regular sample testing of service providers’ performance information and validation of reported data; assisting in reviews of the processes of public sector and contracted offender services in custody and community.
•    Supporting managers with their organisation and management activities – e.g. following‐up requests for information, scheduling of meetings.
•    Conducting research and analysis activities– e.g. review of stakeholder surveys and opinions, analysis of Management Information trends and issues, development of information on ‘good practice’, reporting on risk and monitoring the provision of third‐party services
•    Providing information to HMPPS, MoJ and other key stakeholders, including producing briefing and draft replies to correspondence, FOI requests and Parliamentary Questions on the work of the Group.

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.


•    Communicating and Influencing
•    Making Effective Decisions
•    Managing a Quality Service
•    Changing and Improving
•    Working Together
•    Delivering at Pace


•    Excellent oral and written communication skills, including secretariat experience.
•    Knowledge and experience of using the full range of Office Suite applications.
•    Self-motivated with the ability to work with the minimum of supervision as part of a geographically dispersed team.
•    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.
•    Effective decision making and ability to make informed judgements.
•    Ability to maintain professional integrity and adherence to organisational priorities in the face of competing pressure.


•    Ability to confidently and effectively represent the organisation at meetings and build and maintain professional relationships across a range of stakeholders.
•    Ability to prioritise the management of tasks and risks and deliver tasks to time.
•    Sound problem solving, planning and communication skills.
•    Ability to handle numerical data effectively and accurately.
•    Strong attention to detail.
•    Good analytical, research and evaluation skills.

Additional Information

An exciting opportunity has arisen to join the Community Assurance Team in the Operational and System Assurance Group (OSAG). OSAG is responsible for assuring the quality of delivery of community offender services, including the National Probation Service, Commissioned Rehabilitative Services and Electronic Monitoring.  

Accountable to the Head of Community Assurance, the Operational Assurance Support Officer (OASO) will be responsible for oversight of the administrative systems to support auditors in carrying out the full range of audits undertaken by the Community Assurance Team. This will include the design of MIS (Management Information Systems) reports and analysis of data to support audit sampling, audit response data analysis and provision of high quality management information to evidence key findings. 

The OASO will check the accuracy of data, analyse findings and produce reports of the themes from findings as well as slide packs for various meetings and committees. They will also be responsible for providing reports on the community team’s performance against its targets and improving systems to provide this information effectively and efficiently. 

Key requirements for this role are;

  • Liaise effectively with colleagues to receive, collate and analyse information, compiling reports as necessary.
  • Demonstrate the ability to maintain information & administrative systems including spreadsheets and databases.
  • Writing Business Objects based MIS reports to support data provision and performance monitoring.
  • Responding to ad hoc analytical requests ensuring these are translated into efficient reports.
  • Supporting the Senior Leadership Team in identifying and addressing performance issues.
  • Identify opportunities for regional performance improvement through the generation and analysis of MIS reports.
  • Proficient use of Microsoft, particularly Excel.

We are therefore looking for an enthusiastic and proactive OASO with an interest in providing a quality service, working collaboratively and able to work effectively at pace. The ideal candidate will be able to design, interpret and report on the key findings of complex data sets, identifying trends and anomalies in the data which may be used to provide context, understanding and identification of areas for further work. Communication of this information, and tailoring of the key messages to audiences is a key feature of this role.

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.