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Policy

Senior Policy Adviser, Resettlement Policy within Resettlement and Reoffending Division – 69980
£37,683 – £48,067
Multiple Locations

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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: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/ministry-of-justice/about/equality-and-diversity.

Prison policy is one of the most challenging and interesting areas of public policy, requiring an understanding of what causes criminal behaviour, how individuals can be supported to desist from crime, and how to work with operational colleagues and across government to achieve change in an area of significant public interest. We are recruiting for an SEO policy adviser to work in the Ministry of

Justice’s Prison Policy Directorate, which advises ministers on all aspects of prison policy. 

The role will be in the Resettlement Policy team, focusing on developing and implementing policy to improve resettlement outcomes for prison leavers.

We are looking for people who:

•    are interested in criminal justice issues, and ambitious about improving outcomes for prisoners
•    are proactive and confident in scoping & developing work, driving it forward and taking initiative, and take pride in producing high-quality work
•    enjoy thinking strategically and taking a solution-focused approach to analysing problems
•    understand the broader political context for their work, and work within this context to achieve positive change
•    collaborate with and influence others to implement solutions
•    communicate compellingly, both in writing and orally

Social policy experience is essential, although we do not require prior civil service experience. Colleagues in MoJ policy teams have a wide range of experiences; some who are new to the MoJ have come from other parts of the public sector, the third sector and private sector.

We believe in and promote alternative ways of working, so these roles are available as:

•    Full-time with flexible working patterns
•    Flexible working arrangements between base locations, MoJ Hubs and home.

Location:

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

1.    102 Petty France, London 
2.    5 Wellington Place, Leeds (occasional travel between Leeds and London may be required post Covid-19)

In order for Policy Group to meet its evolving business needs all Policy Group staff are expected to attend their base location (102 Petty France or 5 Wellington Place Leeds) at least 2 days a week.  This hybrid working arrangement is not contractual and as a result staff could be asked to attend their base location more frequently.

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.

The Ministry of Justice (MoJ)

MOJ is one of the largest government departments, employing over 90,000 people (including those in the Probation Service), with a budget of approximately £9.5 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 https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/ministry-of-justice

The role

Ensuring all individuals have the chance to resettle effectively is key to enabling individuals to turn their backs on crime. This policy team works with various teams across MoJ and HMPPS to identify, understand and address existing challenges to effective resettlement, ensuring prison leavers have access to the key information, services and support that reflects and addresses their needs, both within prison and on probation, and that the system (e.g. underpinning systems, processes and resources) is geared up to support this.

Current projects include delivering commitments outlined in the Prisons Strategy White Paper, including introducing Resettlement Passports, which will bring together the essentials that prison leavers need to lead crime-free lives on release into one place; tackling the issues faced by those who are released on a Friday; and ensuring the right support is in place pre-release and on day of release to enable effective resettlement.

This role will work closely with policy leads, operational colleagues, other departments and wider stakeholders to drive forward priority resettlement work. The post holder will be leading on high-profile policy projects, similar to those outlined above, and building relationships internally and externally across the wider criminal justice community to deliver these effectively.

Essential Criteria:

•    A self-starter who is adaptable, confident, and experienced in scoping and developing policy, driving activity forward and taking initiative simultaneously across a range of priorities.
•    Ability to work collaboratively with internal and external stakeholders (such as analysts and operations) – including experience of building relationships in support of delivery of specific objectives.
•    Ability to see the big picture, the organisational context and be on top of the detail, taking a central role in driving progress.
•    Delivery focused, able to clearly plan and deliver to key milestones.
•    Excellent organisational skills
•    Strong written and oral communication skills including tailoring content and style to specific audiences. 
•    Flexible approach and love of varied and fast-paced work
•    Excellent team working skills 
•    Experience working in policy.

Desirable Criteria:

•    Experience working in reducing reoffending and/or prison policy.
•    Experience managing projects.

Candidates applying from HMPPS should note that the Ministry of Justice does not have the same conditions of employment as HMPPS. It is the candidate’s responsibility to ensure they are aware of the terms and conditions they will adopt should they be successful.

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.

Application process

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

Statement of suitability

You will be asked to set out in 250 words how you consider your personal skills, qualities and experience provide evidence of your suitability for the role, with particular reference to the bullet points set out in the overview above.

Behaviours

We will be assessing the following behaviours throughout the application process:

•    Seeing the Big Picture
•    Making Effective Decisions
•    Working Together
•    Delivering at Pace

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

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/717275/CS_Behaviours_2018.pdf

Should we receive a large number of applications, we will sift primarily on the Statement of Suitability, followed by the Seeing the Big Picture behaviour if necessary. 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 panel interview, you will be asked behaviour-based questions to explore in detail what you are capable of, and strengths-based questions to also explore what you enjoy, and your motivations relevant to the job role. 

There is no expectation or requirement for you to prepare for the strengths-based questions in advance of the interview, though you may find it helpful to spend some time reflecting on what you enjoy doing and what you do well.

You can refer to the CS Strengths dictionary for more details:  Success Profiles – Civil Service Strengths Dictionary (publishing.service.gov.uk)

The successful candidates are expected to be able to take up posts in early Spring. If joining from another Civil Service post, we expect this to be with agreement from your current line management. The posts are available on promotion as well as level transfer. 

For those candidates who successfully meet the job criteria but are not assigned to the initial posts, a merit/reserve list will be kept open for 12 months.

Interviews are expected to take place in March.

If you would like further information about the role, please contact: Kate Haseler-Young – Kate.Haseler-Young@justice.gov.uk  

Annex A – The STAR method

Using the STAR method can help you give examples of relevant experience that you have. It allows you to set the scene, show what you did, and how you did it, and explain the overall outcome.

Situation – Describe the situation you found yourself in. You must describe a specific event or situation. Be sure to give enough detail for the job holder to understand.

•    Where are you?
•    Who was there with you?
•    What had happened?

Task – The job holder will want to understand what you tried to achieve from the situation you found yourself in.

•    What was the task that you had to complete and why?
•    What did you have to achieve?

Actions – What did you do? The job holder will be looking for information on what you did, how you did it and why. Keep the focus on you. What specific steps did you take and what was your contribution? Remember to include how you did it, and the behaviours you used. Try to use “I” rather than “we” to explain your actions that lead to the result. Be careful not to take credit for something that you did not do.

Results – Don’t be shy about taking credit for your behaviour. Quote specific facts and figures. Explain how the outcome benefitted the organisation or your area. Make the outcomes easily understandable.

•    What results did the actions produce?
•    What did you achieve through your actions and did you meet your goals?
•    Was it a successful outcome? If not, what did you learn from the experience?

Keep the situation and task parts brief. Concentrate on the action and the result. If the result was not entirely successful describe what you learned from this and what you would do differently next time. Make sure you focus on your strengths.

Salary

The national salary range is £37,683 - £41,506, London salary range is £43,647 - £48,067. 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.

Benefits

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.

Pension

The Civil Service offers a choice of pension schemes, giving you the flexibility to choose the pension that suits you best.

Training

The Ministry of Justice is committed to staff development and offers an extensive range of training and development opportunities.

Networks

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.

Support

  • 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 https://www.childcarechoices.gov.uk/.
  • 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: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/ministry-of-justice/about/equality-and-diversity.