84443 - Private Secretary to the Permanent Secretary

£39,868 - £43,535
1
12 Months
Northern Ireland
Belfast
MOJ NIO Erskine House, BT1 4GF
SEO
SEO
Permanent
Full Time
Operational Delivery

Department    Northern Ireland Office 

Post Vacant    Private Secretary to the Permanent Secretary (Grade SEO/Band B)

Location    Erskine House, Chichester Street, Belfast, BT1 4GF   

With semi-regular travel to London and other locations across UK and Ireland expected.

Duration   Permanent contract

Applications Invited From    External candidates, as well as existing Home Civil Service staff either at Band B or analogous grades on level transfer or at Band C on temporary promotion. (National salary scale: £39,868 - £43,535)

An additional Private Secretary allowance of £5,835 per annum is payable for this role.

Who we are

Inclusion and diversity

The Northern Ireland Office is committed to being an inclusive employer with a diverse workforce. We encourage applications from people from the widest possible diversity of backgrounds, cultures and experiences. 

We particularly welcome applications from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) candidates, as they are under-represented within the NIO at this level.

The Northern Ireland Office strives to be an inclusive employer and is recognised by its staff and externally as being an employer where Diversity and Inclusion are valued.

We hold a Diversity & Inclusion Charter Mark and are an accredited Disability Confident Leader organisation.

In March 2018 we won the award for Best Employer for Diversity & Equality in Northern Ireland (small employer category) in a Gala Award ceremony hosted by Legal-Island, a multi-award winning workplace compliance company based in Northern Ireland.

We have an active D&I network supporting colleagues through D&I Advocates, championed by our Directors.

We want all our people to feel valued for who they are and we are confident that you will find the NIO a warm, welcoming and inclusive place to work.

WHAT WE DO

The Northern Ireland Office represents Northern Ireland interests at a UK Government level and UK Government interests in Northern Ireland.  We have a wide range of responsibilities, including: underpinning political stability in Northern Ireland; overseeing the Northern Ireland devolution settlement; leading on national security policy in Northern Ireland; addressing the legacy of Northern Ireland’s past; delivering elections and constitutional reform in Northern Ireland; playing a key role in rebalancing the NI economy; representing NI interests, including on the border with Ireland, as the UK exits the EU.  Our small size and diverse portfolio create a stimulating, fast-paced and challenging working environment, with regular engagement with a range of Ministers and senior officials.  We support flexible working and have a modern, flexible IT system which helps enable this.

ABOUT THE ROLE

The position of Private Secretary to the Permanent Secretary offers a great opportunity to operate at the heart of the Northern Ireland Office in a fast-paced and demanding role  working closely with the Senior Leadership Team (SLT), the wider Private Office Group, senior officials across the department, and Ministers.

As Private Secretary, your role is to ensure the Permanent Secretary has the support and information they need, at the right time, to enable them to carry out their role as the head of the department and lead adviser to Ministers.

The Private Secretary acts as the primary link and channel of communication between the Permanent Secretary, the rest of the department, and the ministerial Private Office. In the Private Secretary role, you will ensure that the Permanent Secretary’s views are represented on areas of policy across the department as well as working very closely with policy colleagues to ensure the best possible advice to ministers. You will also have strategic oversight of the Permanent Secretary’s diary and stakeholder engagement, ensuring this reflects and adds value to departmental priorities. To help you achieve this objective, you have line management responsibility for the Diary Secretary to the Permanent Secretary.

You will build effective relationships across the department, including with senior officials,  and will use your judgement to identify issues that need to be brought to the attention of the Permanent Secretary and the wider SLT, ultimately helping to ensure the best possible advice is presented to ministers.

DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

Principal responsibilities will include:

  • Supporting the Senior Private Secretary in the smooth and efficient running of the Permanent Secretary’s office and the wider Senior Leadership Team;
  • Working with the Diary Secretary and policy teams to manage the Permanent Secretary’s diary, with responsibility for strategic forward planning;
  • Supporting the Permanent Secretary at meetings, across the UK and Ireland, ensuring they are properly briefed by policy teams;
  • Working closely with colleagues in the ministerial Private Office to understand Ministerial movements and priorities, effectively communicating this to the Permanent Secretary, SLT and decisions and recommendations between Ministers and officials.
  • Providing support and supervision to the Executive Support Team in their role as diary and administrative support to the SLT and wider department;
  • Providing strategic advice and join up on the preparation of policy advice from across the Department, representing the Permanent Secretary’s and Ministers priorities, views and expectations;
  • Management support of the Executive Support Team and deputising for the Senior Private Secretary as required.

ESSENTIAL CRITERIA

  • Exceptional interpersonal skills with the ability to understand different perspectives;
  • Excellent organisational and prioritisation skills, with the ability to work effectively across a range of tasks and under pressure;
  • The ability to think strategically and creatively, recognising where improvements can be made and implementing them;
  • Proven experience of working effectively with senior officials;
  • A strong ability to influence at all levels, and to work collaboratively to resolve difficult issues;
  • Sound judgement and an ability to maximise opportunities and mitigate risks.

DESIRABLE CRITERIA

  • An understanding of the Northern Ireland political system and the work of the Northern Ireland Executive would be advantageous, but is not essential;
  • Previous experience of working in a Private Office.

[For the essential and desirable criteria please upload a suitability statement of no more than 250 words setting out how you meet the essential/desirable criteria]

BEHAVIOURS

We will assess you against the following Success Profiles behaviours at Level 3 during the selection process.

  • Communicating and Influencing
  • Making Effective Decisions
  • Working Together
  • Delivering at Pace

More information on behaviours and success profiles can be found here.

Please note that in the event of a large number of applications being received we may run the initial sift on the lead Behaviour “Communicating and Influencing”.

Security Clearance   Security clearance to (SC) level will be required for this post.

Eligibility Sift     An eligibility sift will be carried out on the basis of the information contained in the application form.  It is therefore important that all applicants demonstrate in their application how and to what extent their behaviours are relevant to the above criteria.  Those candidates who do not clearly demonstrate that they meet the experience and behaviours will not be invited to interview.

Pay and Allowances  The successful candidate will adopt the terms and conditions of the NIO for the length of their appointment. 

Neither Detached Duty terms nor relocation costs will apply to this post.

Further Information   Further information about the post may be obtained from the Senior Private Secretary, Claire Shanks (claire.shanks@nio.gov.uk).

Applications  You can apply for this post through the Civil Service website at: civilservice.gov.uk.  Once logged onto the site go to the civil service jobs page and then search for jobs in the Northern Ireland Office where the application form can be found.

Additional information received after the closing date will not be considered.  Failure to provide sufficient information in support of an application prior to the closing date will not be considered as grounds for an appeal if an applicant is not shortlisted for interview.

Home Civil Service applicants who, because of disability, need assistance in completing the application form should contact MoJ Shared Services on 0845 010 3512.

All applications for employment are considered strictly on the basis of merit.

This job description should not be taken as constituting conditions of employment.

Please note that due to the high interest in NIO opportunities, feedback cannot be given if you are unsuccessful at sift stage. Feedback is available on request if unsuccessful following interview.

Additional Information 

Further information about us

We are a small and friendly department of approximately 175 staff.  Due to our size we are able to offer staff more exposure to ministers and the opportunity to work on a far wider portfolio of responsibilities than might be the case in a larger department.  This creates an interesting, though often challenging, work environment.

Other Benefits

The NIO offers a pleasant, modern work environment which allows consideration of a range of flexible working arrangements which support a good work/ life balance. These include flexible/ alternative working patterns, part-time and job-share options.

Benefits include:

  • 25 days annual leave on appointment increasing to 30 days after 5 years service;
  • A competitive contributory pension scheme;
  • Flexible working patterns allowing you to vary your working day as long as you work your total hours and still meet the needs of your role. and still meet the needs of your role;
  • Generous paid maternity, adoption and shared parental leave above the statutory minimum;
  • Tax-Free Childcare voucher scheme;
  • Interest-free season ticket and bicycle loans;
  • Quarterly Reward & Recognition scheme.

Guaranteed Interview Scheme

The Northern Ireland Office operates the Guaranteed Interview Scheme, details of which are attached to the application form for this post.

In the event that we identify more appointable candidates than we currently have posts available, we will hold applicant details on a reserve list for a period of 12 months from which further appointments can be made. This may include roles at a lower grade. Candidates placed on a reserve list will be informed of this. Those candidates who do not wish to remain on the reserve list should contact MoJ-recruitment-vetting-enquiries@gov.sscl.com to be removed from the reserve list. 

Further information on civil service careers can be found at  www.civil-service-careers.gov.uk

The Civil Service Code sets out the standards of behaviour expected of civil servants.  

Appointment to the Civil Service is governed by the Civil Service Commission’s Recruitment Principles. You have the right to complain if you feel a department has breached the requirement of the Recruitment Principles. 

Please contact SSCL (Moj-recruitment-vetting-enquiries@sscl.gse.gov.uk) in the first instance.

If you are not satisfied with the response, you may bring your complaint to the Commission. 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/

An additional private secretary allowance of £5,835 per annum 

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.

MoJ candidates who are on a specialist grade, will be able to retain their grade on lateral transfer.

All candidates who are currently in receipt of Mark Time / Pay Protection should ensure they are familiar with the new policy on permanent and temporary promotion which can be found on the employee intranet.

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.

No dates decided yet
NA

27/02/2024, 23:55 hours.

If you require any assistance please call 0345 241 5359 (Monday to Friday 8am - 6pm) or e mail Moj-recruitment-vetting-enquiries@gov.sscl.com 

Please quote the job reference - 84443.

Security Clearance (SC)

To apply for roles in MOJ you will need to confirm your employment history for at least 3 years prior to the date of application so that pre-employment checks (BPSS) can be undertaken. If you have spent significant time abroad (a total of 6 months in the past 3 years) you would be required to give a reasonable account of the reasons why. 

For some roles you will be required to successfully complete National Security Vetting at Counter Terrorism (CTC), Security Clearance (SC) or Developed Vetting (DV) level as a condition of appointment. To meet CTC/SC/DV requirements you will normally need to have been resident in the UK for at least 3/5/10 years prior to the date of application (The level of checks that are required are stated in the advert).

If you do not meet the above requirements, you may still be considered if, for example:

  • You've been serving overseas with HM Forces or in some other official capacity as a representative of HM Government
  • You were studying abroad
  • You were living overseas with parents

In such cases you will need to be able to provide referee cover for the period(s) of residence overseas. The duration of overseas residence and the country of abode will also be taken into account.

Success Profiles will enable a fairer and more inclusive method of recruitment by enabling us to assess the range of experiences, abilities, strengths, behaviours and technical/professional skills required for different roles. This flexible approach to recruitment focuses more on finding the right candidate for the specific role. To find out more about Success Profiles to support your application please click here for further guidance.

if you feel that your application has not been treated in line with the Civil Service Recruitment Principles, please contact SSCL (Moj-recruitment-vetting-enquiries@gov.sscl.com) in the first instance

We have provided detail of the assessment stages and areas being assessed to help you prepare for completing your application form, and to advise of what will be assessed following this, if you successfully pass the application stage.


Application form stage assessments

Behaviours
Communicating and Influencing - 250 word limit
Making Effective Decisions - 250 word limit
Working Together - 250 word limit
Delivering at Pace - 250 word limit
Experience
Statement of Suitability - 250 word limit
A sift based on the lead behaviour, Communicating and Influencing, may be held if a large number of applications are received. If a large number of applications remain after the initial sift, your application will be progressed to a full sift, where all behaviours will then be considered.

Interview stage assessments

There is 1 interview stage for this vacancy.
Behaviours
Communicating and Influencing
Making Effective Decisions
Working Together
Delivering at Pace

A Great Place to Work for Veterans

The "Making the Civil Service a Great Place to work for veterans" initiative includes a guaranteed interview scheme to those who meet the minimum criteria to provide eligible former members of the Armed Forces with opportunities to secure rewarding jobs. Allowing veterans to continue to serve their country, and to bring highly skilled individuals with a broad range of experience into the Civil Service in an environment, which recognises and values your previous service in the Armed Forces.
For further details about the initiative and eligibility requirements visit : https://www.gov.uk/government/news/making-the-civil-service-a-great-place-to-work-for-veterans

Redeployment Interview Scheme

Civil Service departments are expected to explore redeployment opportunities before making an individual redundant. The MoJ are committed, as part of the Redeployment Interview Scheme, to providing opportunities to those who are 'at risk of redundancy'.

MoJ are able to offer an interview to eligible candidates who meet the minimum selection criteria, except in a limited number of campaigns. Candidate's will not be eligible for the Redeployment Interview Scheme if they are applying on promotion.

The Civil Service welcomes applications from people who have recently left prison or have an unspent conviction. Read more about prison leaver recruitment.

This job is broadly open to the following groups:

· UK nationals

· nationals of the Republic of Ireland

· nationals of Commonwealth countries who have the right to work in the UK

· nationals of the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein and family members of those nationalities with settled or pre-settled status under the European Union Settlement Scheme (EUSS) (opens in a new window) https://www.gov.uk/settled-status-eu-citizens-families

· nationals of the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein and family members of those nationalities who have made a valid application for settled or pre-settled status under the European Union Settlement Scheme (EUSS)

· individuals with limited leave to remain or indefinite leave to remain who were eligible to apply for EUSS on or before 31 December 2020

· Turkish nationals, and certain family members of Turkish nationals, who have accrued the right to work in the Civil Service

Further information on nationality requirements (opens in a new window) https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/nationality-rules

This Vacancy is closed to applications.