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Policy Advisor, Suicide and Self-Harm Prevention Team (up to 2 posts available) – 58360
£30,451 – £38,373
Multiple Locations


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:

ThePrison Policy Directorate Unit is recruiting permanently for a HEO Policy Advisor. This campaign is being run externally and so is open to all who consider themselves suitable for the roles and meet the eligibility criteria in the wider advert within Civil Service Jobs.


Successful candidates will have the option to be based at one of the following locations:

  • 102 Petty France, London
  • 5 Wellington Place, Leeds (occasional travel between Leeds and London may be required post Covid-19)

The current Location Strategy for Policy Group is that all staff with a base location of 102 Petty France or 5 Wellington Place Leeds must be present at their base location for a minimum of 2 days every week.

Ways of Working

At the MoJ we believe and promote alternative ways of working, these roles are available as:

  • Full-time, part-time or the option to job share
  • Flexible working patterns
  • Flexible working arrangements between base locations, MoJ Hubs and home.

If we receive applications from more suitable candidates than we have vacancies for at this time, we may hold suitable applicants on a reserve list for 12 months, and future vacancies requiring the same skills and experience could be offered to candidates on the reserve list without a new competition.

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:

The Ministry of Justice (MoJ)

MOJ is one of the largest government departments, employing over 80,000 people (including those in the Probation Service), with a budget of approximately £9 billion. Each year, millions of people use our services across the UK – including at 500 courts and tribunals, and 133 prisons in England and Wales.

Further information can be found at

The Work of the Prison Policy Directorate

The Prison Policy Directorate sits within the Ministry of Justice and is responsible for advising Ministers on all aspects of prison policy. The Prison Safety, Security and Operational Policy (SSOP) division is a key part of the Directorate and has responsibility for one of the most important social policy issues in Government – setting the policy framework for how the prison system works and ensuring that the safety and security of both staff and prisoners is upheld. We work hand in hand in everything we do with HM Prison Service – one of the biggest delivery organisations in government.  

We are a friendly, enthusiastic and collaborative division with a strong emphasis on ensuring team members feel happy, supported and engaged in their work. We are keen to make a difference, working closely with partners and supporting everyone to play their part to improve prisons and the outcomes for prisoners. We have a strong commitment to personal and career development, helping everyone to grow and fulfil their potential. We welcome and encourage applications from everyone, including groups underrepresented in our workforce and pride ourselves as being an employer of choice.

The SSOP division is split into four teams:

Prison Security: ensuring that we are tackling threats to prison security including drugs, organised crime, conveyance and working with intelligence across government to anticipate and counteract emerging threats;

Prison Safety: focusing on improving safety outcomes for staff and prisoners including reducing self-inflicted deaths, self-harm and violence in prisons;

Prison Regime: providing policy advice to define what a good prison system should look like and unpicking the blockers and enablers to achieving this; and

Operational Policy: owning a range of high-profile policy areas that underpin a safe, decent and lawful prison system such as prisoner incentives and adjudications.

We have one vacancy in the division and are looking for a driven, talented and forward-thinking HEO/Band C to join us:


Policy Advisor- the role

As a member of the Prison Safety Team the post-holder will have responsibility for developing and supporting prisons to embed a range of policy approaches to help improve prison safety outcomes.

The role will provide excellent opportunities to work in a fast-paced and high-profile policy environment and collaborate with colleagues in the Prison Policy Directorate, HMPPS, across other government departments including the Department for Health and Social Care and the Home Office, as well as with external stakeholders.

The successful candidates will be expected to:

  • Have the ability to understand complex policy areas quickly.
  • Work flexibly and independently, effectively leading their own areas of work with support where appropriate. 
  • Develop and build strong partnership working with colleagues in HMPPS and MoJ, as well as external stakeholders. 
  • Collect a wide range of sources of data and evidence to inform policy development. 
  • Analyse, interpret and present evidence to form sound policy options for wider discussion.
  • Effectively organise and prioritise their own policy development work e.g. agree aims, scope, plan and deliver key strands of work and activities. 
  • Provide high-quality briefing to senior officials and Ministers, showing excellent oral and written communication skills. 
  • Have the ability to work under pressure to tight deadlines. 

Responsibilities will include:

  • Collect, analyse, interpret and present evidence to form sound policy proposals and approaches and to identify which activities are likely to have an impact.
  • Develop and build strong partnership working with colleagues in both MoJ and HMPPS, both in the centre and operationally to better understand how our policies and approaches will work at an operational and practical level.
  • Establish and develop strong working relationships with agencies across the criminal justice system to influence and deliver policies and improvements.
  • Drive forward and take ownership of the development and delivery of key strands of work and activities.
  • Actively contribute to higher level decision making for business planning, policy and project implementation to progress strategic objectives.
  • Identify relevant linkages across the department to ensure a joined-up approach.
  • Respond flexibly to competing and complex demands.

Skills and Experience

Essential skills

  •  Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Demonstrate confidence and skill to act independently and quickly get to grips with a complex area in order to drive forward work, whilst ensuring colleagues and stakeholders are engaged as appropriate
  • Strong organisational skills and the ability to plan and deliver outcomes according to agreed priorities
  • Ability to make sound judgments and provide well-articulated advice, with experience in using and interpreting data and evidence
  • Strong collaborator with excellent relationship management skills and the ability to interact confidently, communicate complex areas clearly, and build trust with stakeholders both across, and external to, government

Further to this it would be desirable for the post holder to:

  • Experience of working in a policy environment with strong policy development skills
  • An interest in, or knowledge of, prisons or probation
  • Operational experience in the justice system
  • Have an understanding of the governmental and parliamentary processes
  • Experience with using project management approaches
  • Experience of line management of staff and/or matrix management to achieve timely delivery

Application process

You will be assessed against the Civil service success profiles framework.


You will be asked to provide a CV during the application process in order to assess any demonstrable experience, career history and achievements that are relevant to the role.


During the application process you will be asked to provide an example of how you have met the following behaviour (see Annex A for more information):

  • Seeing the bigger picture
  • Making effective decisions
  • Working together
  • Delivering at pace

Please also refer to the CS Behaviours framework for more details at this grade:

Should we receive a large number of applications, we will sift primarily on the lead behaviour of Seeing the bigger picture. Successful applicants will then be invited to an interview, testing both behaviours and strengths.

Candidates invited to Interview

Please note that interviews will be carried out remotely.

During the interview, we will be assessing you on Behaviours and Strengths from the success Profiles framework.

You can refer to the CS Strengths dictionary for more details:  Success Profiles – Civil Service Strengths Dictionary (

Interviews are expected to take place June 22.

The MoJ is proud to be Level 3 Disability Confident. Disability Confident is the approach through which we offer guaranteed interviews for all people with disabilities meeting the minimum criteria for the advertised role as set out in the job description.

Contact information  

Please do get in touch if you would like to know more about the role or what it is like working in our team.


The national salary range is £30,451 - £34,105, London salary range is £34,262 - £38,373. 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.

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: