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Policy

Senior Policy Advisor within Access to Justice (3 Posts Available) – 44846
£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

The Legal Support and Fees Policy Team in the Ministry of Justice’s Access to Justice Directorate is recruiting permanently for 3 Band B (SEO Equivalent) policy roles. 

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) 

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. 

At the moment the majority of our staff are currently working from home due to Covid-19 

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

Job Description overview

The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) is a major government department, at the heart of the justice system. We work to protect and advance the principles of justice. We are one of the largest government departments, employing approximately 70,000 people (including those in the Probation Service), with a budget of approximately £9 billion, with millions of people using our services across the UK each year, including at 500 courts and tribunals, and 133 prisons in England and Wales.

Our role is to uphold the rule of law and protect the public, and we deliver services which are some of the most fundamental in a democratic society, including legal aid, courts and tribunals, and prisons. The MoJ supports the Secretary of State for Justice, who is also the Lord Chancellor, and their ministerial team to deliver the Government’s priorities. Our vision is to deliver a world-class justice system that works for everyone in society. 

Further information can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/ministry-of-justice 

What we do 

Legal Support and Fees Policy

The Legal Support and Fees Policy division sits within the Access to Justice directorate, one of the largest policy directorates in the MoJ. The directorate has an overarching objective to protect the constitutional right of access to justice and is therefore responsible for a wide range of policy areas that directly affect people’s lives. 

Our team plays a key role in ensuring everyone can access justice when they need to and, when they do, that they can access support and guidance to help them. Our division covers exciting, fast paced, and challenging policy areas and has significant interest from our Ministerial Team, Permanent Secretary, No 10, HM Treasury, and the judiciary, as well as external stakeholders. We work daily with policy colleagues from across government, lawyers, analysts and finance, as well as with operational colleagues, to shape, develop and improve the operation of our justice system. 

These roles will be based in the Fees Policy Team and you will be supporting the development and delivery of our fees strategy which is critical to the effective funding of our courts and tribunals system. Our policy areas have the potential to impact and make a real difference to everyone in society, as well as receiving significant interest from legal professionals, justice stakeholders and the third sector. 

Senior Policy Advisor – the role 

As a Senior Policy Advisor in the Fees Policy Team you will:

  • Lead or support the delivery of numerous fast paced fee policy projects in priority areas for the department, including the production of consultations and the development and implementation of secondary legislation.
  • Keep abreast of departmental priorities and external developments to inform your strategic approach to different projects.
  • Work collaboratively with other policy areas, analysts, lawyers and operational colleagues to develop robust and evidence-based solutions to fee policy problems with a clear understanding of its impacts on users. 
  • Establish strong relationships with key stakeholders from across the MoJ and wider government to understand complex issues quickly, ensure links are made with the relevant policy and operational teams, and develop workable solutions/recommendations.   
  • Produce high quality written and oral briefings to senior officials and Ministers. 
  • The post will involve line management responsibility for one Band C/HEO with a strong focus on developing and coaching staff to reach their full potential; and
  • Actively help create and develop an engaging, diverse and inclusive workplace across the directorate. 

Alongside your core role, you will have the opportunity to get involved in more corporate type projects across the wider team such as helping to improve staff wellbeing and diversity and inclusion, mentoring, recruitment, among other areas, to underpin how we work as a team and contribute to the MoJ as a whole.   

In return, we are committed to providing you with a positive team culture where you can thrive.  People are our most valuable resource and through flexible working, our commitment to wellbeing, learning and development, network events and mentoring, we ensure our directorate and team is a positive, supportive and exciting environment to work in. You will have access to many training opportunities on a range of topics, for example: leadership and coaching, effective writing, stakeholder engagement and partnership working to support your personal development and career progression.  

We are a very friendly team with a diverse range of experience, some who are new to the Civil Service from the private sector or the third sector; and others who have worked in different parts of MoJ and other central government departments. We want to maintain a diversity of background and experience in order to develop innovative and effective policy that best meets peoples’ needs. 

You will also benefit from a range of other benefits including 25 days’ annual leave (rising to 30 after 5 years), plus public holidays and the Queen’s birthday and access to a generous Defined Benefit pension scheme.  

Skills and Experience

  • 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;
  • Strong organisational skills and the ability to plan and deliver outcomes according to agreed priorities;
  • Seeing patterns and trends in evidence, especially where this evidence may be incomplete, and identifying links across government to help achieve our strategic aims.
  • Confidence to act independently, being comfortable picking up new challenging subject areas and able to master detail quickly. 

Desirable skills/expertise

  • Familiarity with working in a policy environment as well as developing and implementing secondary legislation would be desirable, but not essential. 

Application process 

You will be assessed against the Civil service success profiles framework

Experience

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. 

Behaviours

Please provide examples of how you have met each one of the behaviours listed below (see Annex A for more information): 

  • Making Effective Decisionsable to interpret sometimes conflicting data and evidence, assess options, implications and risks and make recommendations which take accountof the broader context you are working in. 
  • Seeing the Bigger Picture – Understand how your role fits with and supports organisational objectives. Recognise the wider Civil Service priorities and ensure work is in the national interest.
  • Working Together – From effective partnerships and relationships with people both internally and externally, from a range of diverse backgrounds, sharing information, resources and support.
  • Delivering at Pace – Take responsibility for delivering timely and quality results with focus and drive. 

Each Behaviour should be no more than 250 words.  Applicants may find it helpful to structure their answer using the STAR method: Situation, Task, Action and Result. 

Please also refer to the CS Behaviours framework for more details at this grade (Level 3 – SEO or equivalent):

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 lead behaviour of Making Effective Decisions. 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. 

Interviews are expected to take place in July 2021 

At interview stage, if candidates do not score high enough to be appointed to a Band B role, but have passed the minimal requirements, they could be offered a Policy role at the more junior level of Band C/HEO. 

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. Please contact either Antonio Perra (antonio.perra@justice.gov.uk) or Emma Brickell (emma.brickell@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. 

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.