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Operational Delivery

Senior Area Contract Manager – Probation Reform Programme – 60120
£60,102 – £76,275


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:

Overview of the job

Accountable to the Deputy Director of Custodial Services Contract Management (DD CSCM), the Senior Area Contract Manager (SACM) is accountable for overseeing delivery and development of Custodial Services within their designated areas of responsibility and is a senior management position within the Custodial Services Contract Management team.

The job includes accountability for contract management, assurance and governance of a minimum of three contracted prisons and oversight of related interfaces with other providers in their designated area (e.g. the contracted provider of the custodial services, Public Sector Prisons, commercial, commissioning and finance colleagues, community stakeholders and Community Resettlement Companies.

Estimated custodial services annual contract values range from around £ 16 million up to £ 150 million.

The post holder is accountable for managing these complex, innovative contracts and for delivery of services that carry high levels of operational and reputational risk. The post holder will be on the operational on-call duties rota for the group and therefore the post attracts Required Hours Allowance.


The SACM is a key member of the DDs senior management team, accountable for oversight of the private prisons within designated areas of responsibility, including contract management and related interfaces with other providers, stakeholders and related service planning, development and commissioning activity.

The SACM will be allocated strategic / subject matter expert lead responsibility for an aspect of Custodial Services Contract Management business. This may include:

  • Leading on liaison with commercial colleagues to manage Notices of Change and Additional Prisoner Places (APPS).
  • Leading on a particular suite of Contract Delivery Indicator (CDIs) to drive continuous improvement.
  • Operational management and lessons learned.
  • Provision of safer custody and implementation of best practice.
  • Decency.
  • Violence Reduction.
  • Provision of secure custody.
  • Liaison with Prisoner Escort Custody Services.
  • Service integration with Community Resettlement Companies and Through The Gate (TTG) services.
  • Leading on a particular segment of the offender population (e.g. women, BAME etc.)
  • Leading on liaison with other functions e.g. Public Sector Prisons, PAG, Finance, Commercial, Prison Reform, Commissioning Strategies Group etc.

The SACM will be responsible for evaluating sentence demand and service delivery against local and national priorities and for service planning, development and commissioning activities within their designated area.

The SACM will work collaboratively with colleagues within the Directorate (Deputy Directors, Senior Area Contract Managers, Controllers, Deputy Controllers, Assistant Controllers, Contract Support Officers, National Audit Teams, Contract Support Unit) and other functions across HMPPS/MOJ.

The SACM will lead and promote effective relationship management and build effective working relationships with and between providers (e.g. PSPs, Contractors, Police, HMCTS, PECS, CRCs, NPS, BASS) and with key stakeholders and partners at a regional and national level.

The post holder will have sufficient seniority and authority to represent and deputise for the DD and deal effectively with strategic commissioning partners (e.g. Police and Crime Commissioners) and with providers at Director (contracted services), Deputy Directors (contracted services and HMPPS) and senior managers (contracted services and HMPPS).

At the discretion of the DD and decisions about the most effective deployment and management of the team, the SACM will be accountable for the line management, performance and development of a team of Controllers and Deputy Controllers across the prisons in their designated area of responsibility.

The geographical base for the SACM 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:

Specifically, the post holder will be accountable for (the post-holder may be required to carry out other tasks commensurate with the nature of the role and grade of the post):

  • Managing designated Custodial Service contracts to deliver service outcomes and value for money.
  • Proactive relationship management with private prison providers.
  • Ensuring appropriate levels of assurance in relation to designated Custodial Services contracts, including as required, on-site presence within specific private prisons in order to observe and monitor operations, processes and practice.
  • Ensuring financial payments are made in line with private prison’s contract performance.
  • Identifying service quality, contract compliance and supplier performance issues and priorities and liaison with the Deputy Directors core team in order to inform the programme of assurance activity required to deliver the CDIs.
  • Liaising with Commercial Contract Management, Contract Management Support Unit, System Development, and other HMPPS / MoJ functions to ensure that the necessary advice and support is obtained to inform effective management of the designated private prison contracts.
  • Leading on management of the contract management governance processes in relation to designated private prisons, including dispute resolution and chairing / attending meetings as required.
  • Quality assuring data provided on the Custodial Services disaggregated scorecard and liaising with colleagues to ensure an accurate scorecard is produced within the defined timescales.
  • Accountable for overseeing the interfaces between designated private prisons, PSPs, the NPS, CRC(s) and other providers of service to those in custody.
  • Maintaining effective stakeholder relationships with providers, particularly between CRC, NPS and PSPs and with wider stakeholders in relation to community and TTG offender services.
  • Leading work to critically evaluate local sentence demand, offender needs and priorities in order to inform service planning, development and commissioning activities.
  • Strategic or subject matter expert lead for an allocated area of Directorate business which may be at regional or national level.
  • Line managing a number of Controllers and Deputy Controllers at the discretion of the DD.
  • Considering Adjudication Appeals within designated prisons on behalf of the Deputy Director and communicating common themes to adjudicators.
  • Acting as a gatekeeper for all statutory offender reviews, considering the quality, consistency, necessity and defensibility of continued confinement prior to submission to the Deputy Director.
  • Providing operational and managerial advice and support to Controllers and their teams.
  • Providing a gatekeeper and quality assurance role for all compliance work undertaken by the Controllers teams, considering the qualitative and quantitative elements of this work.
  • Acting as a gatekeeper for out of hour’s calls from controllers in private prisons.
  • Working collaboratively with SACM colleagues and controllers to prepare supporting documents which inform the Custodial Services Contract Management Board.
  • Taking overall responsibility for the preparation of supporting documents which inform the Quarterly Contract Review Meetings (QCRM) for the designated prisons in the area of responsibility and attendance at QCRMs as required by DD.
  • Attendance at national HMPPS strategic meetings as required by DD.
  • On call duties for 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.

An ability to fulfil all spoken aspects of the role with confidence through the medium of English or (where specified in Wales) Welsh.


  • Seeing the Big Picture
  • Changing and Improving
  • Managing a Quality Service
  • Delivering at Pace
  • Communicating and influencing
  • Leadership
  • Working Together


No specific qualifications are essential but experience and skills relevant to senior management, commissioning and contract management are required.


  • Senior management experience in a comparable environment (e.g. within the criminal justice system or involving delivery of offender/public services)
  • Experience and skills in relation to contract or performance management, and/or service development and commissioning of Criminal Justice services.
  • Highly developed understanding and detailed knowledge of policy and strategic developments in relation to prison management and through the gate offender services and how these apply to operational practice and the contract management process
  • Knowledge and appreciation of contract management requirements and highly developed understanding of the challenges involved in managing and assuring delivery of large complicated commercial contracts.
  • Experience and skills in leading and managing in a complex change management context.
  • Effective programme and project management experience and skills.
  • Effective high quality skills to lead and manage staff to achieve demanding objectives.
  • Demonstrates sound judgement, and has the ability to build effective working relationships, and to influence and negotiate with internal and external stakeholders at a senior level in a complex and multi-layered delivery landscape.


  • Ability to make decisions about issues of risk arising from security incidents and intelligence, audit and assurance activity and managing these effectively and sensitively across organisational and contractual boundaries and in line with political and economic considerations
  • Ability to function effectively and autonomously in a challenging environment with a high level of personal resilience.

Hours of Work (Unsocial Hours) Allowances

37 hour week


The national salary range is £60,102 - £72,127, London salary range is £62,374 - £76,275. 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.

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 provides 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 the 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. 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: