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Policy

Senior Policy Advisor – Community Justice Policy – 38904
£30,989 - £47,591
Multiple Locations

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

About the Department

The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) is one of the largest government departments; employing approximately 70,000 people, with millions of people using our services across the UK each year. Our work spans criminal, civil, family and administrative justice, together with responsibility for making new law and safeguarding human rights. The Ministry works in partnership with other Government departments and agencies to serve the public, improve the justice system and support victims of crime.

Job description overview

This is an exciting opportunity to join the Community Justice Policy team – a high-performing, close-knit team within the Youth Justice & Offender Policy Directorate, which is part of the Policy and Strategy Group (PSG) in the MoJ.

The Community Justice Policy Team is looking to recruit one Senior Policy Adviser.

The team works on policy supporting various elements of the probation system; and, in particular, those supporting people with convictions serving their sentences in the community. We work in partnership with our colleagues in Her Majesty’s Prisons and Probation Service to make sure we are providing the best possible advice to ministers on a range of important policy and delivery issues.

The approach MoJ is taking to delivering probation and community justice reform is to bring together policy, operational and change specialists to work together to transform the service. As such, the post offers an excellent opportunity for a high performing policy professional to be at the centre of one of Whitehall’s most interesting and challenging reform programmes. The successful candidate will play a leading role in developing policy hand-in-hand with the MoJ’s agencies, especially Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS) and Her Majesty’s Court and Tribunal Service (HMCTS).

There is a need to think more strategically about the opportunities the probation system brings, especially in the community justice space – not just to improving outcomes for the criminal justice system, but for government as a whole across the wider social reform agenda. This means supporting people to take control over often very chaotic lifestyles, overcome addiction, manage their health, find employment and reconnect with their families.

In particular, the team will be looking at the management, integration and behaviour of service users in the community as well as thinking more strategically about community justice and its purpose. Allocation within these areas for this particular role will depend on the applicant and current resourcing priorities.

Why work for the Community Justice Policy Team?

  • You will be able to build influence at the heart of the department, as well as within the centre of government. The reform of the probation system will make a real difference to the department and those the services provide for both for those coming out of prisons and those in the community. There will be a high degree of independent work as well as close engagement with senior stakeholders across the MoJ and the agencies, and government as a whole. This is a high-profile and fast-paced policy area with a great deal of public, Parliamentary and Ministerial interest, making it a great place to learn about working in Government.
  • You will be able to contribute to developing an exciting refresh of community justice policy, looking to build an evidence base and use this to build a more informed understanding in this area and from which to develop policy.
  • You will be able to be part of a collaborative, friendly, high-performing team with people from a wide range of different backgrounds. We put a real focus on learning, training, flexibility and future career development. We are using technology and tools (such as Microsoft Teams, OneDrive and Skype) to provide a modern and forward-looking working environment. We encourage a culture of change and innovation and adopt smarter ways of working to provide flexibility.

Key responsibilities

In this role, as a Senior Policy Adviser you will:

  • Work as part of small, but expanding team, to drive forward probation and community justice policy. You will contribute to significant pieces of policy making, including early-stage policy development on community justice policy, and work at the interface between policy and operations.
  • Build collaborative and trusting relationships, and work closely with, stakeholders across the Directorate, Department, agencies, Arm’s Length Bodies and delivery agencies across the department.
  • Draft briefings, PQs, correspondence and policy documents in concert with the department’s over-arching strategy for probation, looking in particular at policies supporting people with convictions in the community.
  • Enjoy working at pace and with a strong degree of independence, including forward planning and delegating tasks appropriately to other colleagues.
  • Input to short-term problem-solving on urgent issues.
  • Facilitate scoping workshops with policy owners and operational leads to explore the context of various policy areas and build a consensus around the scope of future probation and community justice policy.
  • Be confident in contributing significantly to a policy area, including the gathering of other’s views and evidence from stakeholders, frontline providers and service users.
  • Communicate clearly and persuasively to stakeholders, using excellent oral and written communication skills.
  • Contribute to at least one of our corporate roles (e.g. smarter working, staff wellbeing, finance or recruitment etc.), by learning key processes and supporting colleagues within the team and Directorate to incorporate and engage with the corporate role area.

The Selection Process

We are recruiting in line with the Civil Service’s Success Profiles. This means we will be using a blend of success profiles (Experience, Behaviours and Strengths) to assess suitability for the post. For more information on Success Profiles, click here. We will be looking at how you meet the expectation for the grade of role you are applying for: Level 3 – SEO equivalent.

The closing date for applications is 30th November 2020 at 23:55. Interviews are expected to take place in the week of 14th December.

Once this job has closed, the job advert will no longer be available. You may want to save a copy for your records.

Application

To apply, you will need to submit a CV (no more than 2 pages) and 250 words against each of the below behaviours:

  • Seeing the Big Picture
  • Making Effective Decisions

In the event of receiving a high number of applications we will sift initially on the lead behaviour – ‘Seeing the Bigger Picture’ behaviour. Applicants who are successful at the sift stage will be invited to an interview.

Interview

The interview will be a blend of questions about the Strengths and Behaviours needed for the role. Strengths are assessed blind (i.e. we will not tell you the specific strengths before or during the interview process.) In addition to the two behaviours set out above that you will be asked to provide in your application, in the interview we will also be asking you about the below two behaviours:

  • Communicating and Influencing
  • Working Together

Feedback will only be provided if you attend an interview.

Location of Post

These posts are open to candidates who could be based in London or Leeds, dependent on where the successful candidate would like to be based. The main offices in those locations are 102 Petty France in London, and 5 Wellington Place in Leeds. There are also opportunities for flexible working (such as working from home and flexible or condensed working hours, etc.)

Currently most of the team are working from home due to the COVID pandemic however you will have the ability to go into the office occasionally if you would prefer.

Point of contact

Please do get in touch if you would like to know more about the role. Contact Jessie Stanbrook, Policy Lead, jessie.stanbrook@justice.gov.uk or Isabel Latham, Policy Lead, Isabel.latham1@justice.gov.uk

Salary

Please be aware, if successful and you are not currently a Civil Servant, the Ministry of Justice does not negotiate pay, you are expected to start at the minimum pay scale.

Existing Civil Servants will have their salary calculated in accordance with the Department’s pay on transfer / pay on promotion rules.

Waiting list

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.

Future vacancies in the same working area which require the same skills and experience could be offered to candidates on the reserve list without a new competition.

Security

Successful candidates must pass a disclosure and barring security check.

Nationality requirements

Open to UK, Commonwealth and European Economic Area (EEA) and certain non EEA nationals. Further information on whether you are able to apply is available here.

General information about 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.

Working Arrangements

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.

Complaints about the Recruitment Process

Should you feel that the recruitment process has breached the recruitment principles you are able to raise a formal complaint in the following order.

  • To Shared Service Connected Ltd (0845 241 5358 (Monday to Friday 8am – 6pm) or e mail Moj-recruitment-vetting-enquiries@gov.sscl.com);
  • To Ministry of Justice Resourcing (resourcing-services@justice.gov.uk);
  • To the Civil Service Commission (details available here)

For further information on bringing a complaint to the Civil Service Commission please visit their web pages: http://civilservicecommission.independent.gov.uk/civil-service-recruitment/complaints/

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.

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.

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 any moves across the Civil Service may have implications on your ability to carry on claiming childcare vouchers
  • Paid paternity, adoption and maternity leave.
  • Free annual sight tests for employees who use computer screens.

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.

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 Moj-recruitment-vetting-enquiries@gov.sscl.com);

2-      To Ministry of Justice Resourcing (resourcing-services@justice.gov.uk);

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

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.

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.