17043 - Diary Secretary to Parliamentary Under Secretary of State

£25,510 - £29,290
12 Months
Full Time
Administration / Corporate Support, Other

The Office of the Secretary of State for Scotland supports the Secretary of State in promoting the best interests of Scotland within a stronger United Kingdom. The Office, which is part of the UK Governance Group, has a unique role – working with a wide range of stakeholders to ensure that Scottish interests are fully and effectively represented at the heart of the UK Government, and the UK Government’s responsibilities are fully and effectively represented in Scotland.

An exciting opportunity has arisen to work as diary secretary to the Parliamentary Under Secretary for Scotland and Northern Ireland. This is a challenging, fast paced role which provides opportunity see how ministers and the civil service operate in a way that is rarely matched in other roles at this level.

We are looking for a candidate who can deliver at pace for the Minister and who is comfortable engaging with very senior stakeholders confidently and professionally. The ideal candidate will have exceptional customer service skills and be able to manage and appropriately prioritise a busy workload without supervision.

The Parliamentary Under Secretary of State’s Private Office is a small, high-performing team, which works very closely with the minister. You will be the lynchpin within this team, ensuring the Minister is well briefed for all engagements and has a well organised diary that responds with agility to Departmental and Parliamentary commitments across both departmental portfolios.

In your role as diary secretary, you would be expected to:

  • work independently to lead on management of the Minister’s diary, managing competing priorities appropriately and responding at pace to changing circumstances;
  • lead on the clear commissioning of briefing for meetings, events and visits;
  • lead on diary requests and invitations, making informed recommendations directly to the minister based on advice from officials and own understanding of the Minister’s wider strategic aims;
  • liaise effectively with colleagues and the Minister’s parliamentary assistant balancing the varied demands on the Minister’s time of a portfolio that spans two departments;
  • lead on ensuring the team adheres to propriety guidelines through robust management of the transparency returns and ministerial expenses;
  • develop an understanding of how the Minister’s priorities fit with the work of the wider Department and the Government’s agenda.

The post also offers opportunity to lead on discrete areas of policy, including accompanying the minister on visits and at meetings as appropriate.

Person specification

The successful candidate will:

  • demonstrate ability to engage with very senior stakeholders confidently and professionally, adapting style and content of communications to suit different audiences as appropriate to the circumstances;
  • be a self-starter, comfortably able to work without close supervision;
  • show exceptional organisational skills and resilience in the face of rapidly changing circumstances, and be able to manage a challenging and complex workload, remaining flexible and solution focused in the face of ongoing pressures;
  • use excellent communication skills to negotiate effectively on behalf of the Minister and build and maintain strong relationships with stakeholders;
  • devise innovative ways to solve problems and drive process improvements across the office.


We will assess you on the following competencies:

  • Delivering at Pace
  • Making Effective Decisions
  • Collaborating and Partnering
  • Managing a quality service


This post may be eligible for allowances which are to be discussed at interview.

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.


The MoJ offers a range of benefits:

Annual Leave

Generous allowances for paid holiday starting at 25 days per year, and rising as your service increases. 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.


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


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


  • A range of ‘Family Friendly’ policies such as opportunities to work reduced hours or job share.

  • Access to flexible benefits such as salary sacrifice arrangements for childcare vouchers, and voluntary benefits such as retail vouchers and discounts on a range of goods and services.

  • Paid paternity, adoption and maternity leave.

  • Free annual sight tests for employees who use computer screens.


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.

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.


Staff on fixed term appointments must have been recruited through fair and open competition.

To be confirmed

Closing date: 26th March 2018 at 23;55 hours

If you require any assistance please call 0845 241 5359 (Monday to Friday 8am - 6pm) or e mail Moj-recruitment-vetting-enquiries@sscl.gse.gov.uk Please quote the job reference 17043

Baseline Personnel Security Standard (BPSS), 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.


You will be required to provide statements describing your skills and experience relevant to each of the stated competencies below. We recommend that you structure your example as Situation, Task, Action and Result.

For further details on civil service competency framework see https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/civil-service-competency-framework

In the event of a large number of applications, a sift on the lead competency may take place. If this happens, the lead competency will be the first one listed in the advert.
During the application or interview process, you may be asked to undertake an additional assessment. If this is applicable this will be listed in the advert or when you are invited to interview.

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@sscl.gse.gov.uk) in the first instance
Delivering at Pace
Making Effective Decisions
Collaborating and Partnering
Managing a Quality Service

This Vacancy is closed to applications.