25042 - Senior Policy Officers - Vulnerabilities, Victims and Family Justice Policy, Local Criminal Justice Partnerships, and Vulnerable Offenders
About the MoJ
The principal role of the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) is to uphold the rule of law, the cornerstone of the British way of life. It delivers services that are some of the most fundamental in a democratic society. In doing so it has responsibility for a number of key elements of the justice system, including prisons, courts, tribunals, legal services, youth justice and the probation service.
The Ministry of Justice supports the Secretary of State and the Justice Ministerial team to deliver the Government’s programme. 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.
Working with ministers and senior leaders, you will form a detailed understanding of how policy proposals are developed, delivered and managed in government. Further, you will do so on policy areas which have a significant impact on our society: protecting the public, upholding the rule of law, and providing a just, proportionate and accessible justice system.
About the Directorates
The Family & Criminal Justice Policy Directorate sits at the heart of MoJ’s policy agenda, working to reform complex systems that deal with some of the most vulnerable members of our society. The Vulnerabilities Policy Unit, Local Criminal Justice Partnerships and the Family Justice Policy Unit are fast paced exciting teams delivering on high-profile portfolios. We work closely with Ministers, No10, the Senior Judiciary, Police and Crime Commissioners and Combined Authorities, as well as a wide range of other Whitehall departments, to tackle a range of complex issues and everything the teams do to deliver wide ranging portfolios is uniquely focussed on supporting those that need it most.
The Offender Reform directorate oversees a wide variety of justice policy areas, including youth justice; bail, sentencing and release policy; and vulnerable offenders. The Vulnerable Offenders team works on cross-cutting policy to support the needs of the vulnerable across the criminal justice system (CJS), including policy on female offenders, tackling racial disparity in the CJS, and offender health. These are high-profile and fast-paced policy areas with a great deal of public, Parliamentary and Ministerial interest, making it a great place to learn about working in Government.
The work of the International and Rights Directorate is central to the Ministry and the Government, responsible for creating “a Global Britain that promotes the rule of law” (one of the Ministry’s four key objectives). As well as working to deliver the best Brexit deal for UK and EU citizens in terms of justice, we also centrally contribute to the Government’s Global Britain agenda by promoting the UK’s world-leading legal sector and our enviable reputation for human rights protection (policies for which we are responsible for developing) and the rule of law. While leading the MoJ’s international relations and strategy, we also focus closer to home by maintaining and developing effective and close relationships between the various parts of the British Isles: we are responsible for the Ministry’s relations with the devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland; and we have lead responsibility within Government for relations between the UK and the Crown Dependencies of Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man.
Joining our team(s) will give you opportunities to:
- Use and develop policy making, problem solving and strategic thinking skills across a number of complex and challenging issues
- Work closely, and often at speed, with senior officials and Ministers, as well as press and private offices on high profile issues;
- Work in partnership with other government departments, operational partners at a local level, and a wide range of high-profile stakeholders on a suite of interesting policies;
- Demonstrate and enhance your financial and analytical skills working closely with finance and analytical colleagues to understand the financial impact of policy ideas and make innovative policy within wider financial constraints;
- Manage key relationships with senior judiciary and other external stakeholders and ensure that the Government, prisons, probation and the Courts work together effectively to deliver for vulnerable people; and
- Develop your leadership skills.
Flexible working (including home working, condensed hours and job sharing) is encouraged but successful applicants will be expected to spend a proportion of their working week in London.
About the roles
There are currently up to 8 vacancies for Senior Policy Officers (Band Bs) and 1 Policy Officer (Band C) in the Family & Criminal Justice Policy, Offender Reform, and International and Rights Directorates in the following Units:
Senior Policy Adviser - Family Justice Unit
The Family Justice Unit develops and delivers policy that has a direct impact on the day to day lives of children and their families. The team is responsible for the policy and legal framework for family private law to resolve disputes within families (e.g. divorce and child arrangements) and family public law (where the state, usually a local authority, intervenes to protect a child at risk of significant harm).
The Unit is looking to recruit a Senior Policy Officer to take a leading role in delivering a programme of work to reduce family conflict when parents are separating. The changes you make will positively affect the lives of thousands of families. You will work closely with the Judiciary, other government departments and external stakeholders to develop and test options at pace and deliver complex reform in a challenging Parliamentary and financial context.
Senior Policy Advisers – Vulnerabilities Policy Unit
The Vulnerabilities Policy Unit leads on the Ministry of Justice’s cross-cutting vulnerabilities agenda, and aims to improve the experience of vulnerable people across the justice system. The division includes teams working on domestic abuse, mental capacity, child sexual abuse, criminal injuries compensation, and Registered Intermediaries, allowing us to bring a greater focus to supporting vulnerable users and protecting their rights whilst also playing a key part in the Government’s wider vulnerabilities agenda. We are a relatively new team which offers the opportunity to help shape a new team ethos and culture as well as contribute to forming the strategic narrative around these issues. Our team is comprised of people from different backgrounds and professions with a range of flexible working arrangements.
We are looking to recruit two senior policy officers to support the delivery of a high profile review of the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme, which provides financial compensation to victims that have sustained serious injury as a result of violent crime. The review has been directed by the Secretary of State for Justice to examine whether the existing compensation scheme remains fit for purpose in light of changing trends in violent crime, and where it can better serve victims of violent crime. This is a fast-paced, interesting and complex area of policy that involves navigating complex social policy issues; gathering and assessing a wide range of evidence to develop new policy proposals for public consultation; engaging with key stakeholders and victims of violent crime; working with analytical, financial, legal and operational colleagues on a daily basis; and engaging with relevant initiatives across government. The post-holder will be expected to lead on aspects of the review, and to contribute to setting the future strategic direction of criminal injuries compensation policy.
Senior Policy Advisor – Local Criminal Justice Partnerships
The Local Criminal Justice Partnerships and Service Design division oversees the delivery and maintenance of local criminal justice ‘devolution deals’ with Police and Crime Commissioners and elected mayors, and is developing strategy to help improve the effectiveness and impact of local criminal justice partnerships. In addition, the division collaborates with MoJ Digital on work to improve service and policy design, including through the administration of the MoJ Service Design Panel.
We are looking for a senior policy officer to develop departmental policy related to effective local criminal justice partnerships, and ensuring and tracking the delivery of commitments in devolution deals with combined authorities. This is an emerging and increasingly high-profile area of work, with considerable interest from No 10 and the Home Office.
We will be developing practical measures to support the good functioning of existing partnerships, in parallel with developing a wider overview and assessment of the operation of the current local criminal justice system. In addition, the post holder will require significant oversight and awareness of wider policy, in particular, related to Victims and Witnesses, Female Offenders and Probation Reform. Stakeholder management and an understanding of the wider ‘whole system’ dependencies will be an essential part of the role, given the wide range of national and local interests involved.
Senior policy advisor – Vulnerable Offenders
The Vulnerable Offenders team works on cross-cutting policy to support the needs of the vulnerable across the criminal justice system. We are responsible for delivering the Government’s female offender strategy, which aims to reduce the number of women in prison, particularly on short sentences, and shift the focus to a whole systems approach in the community. We co-ordinate work on tackling racial disparity in the criminal justice system, following the independent review by David Lammy MP. We are also responsible for policy on offender health and for the criminal justice elements of the Mental Health Act. Alongside, we lead work on other vulnerable cohorts of offenders, including those with learning disabilities and autism, transgender offenders and ex-armed service personnel in the criminal justice system.
We are looking to recruit two senior policy advisors to lead projects in a range of policy areas. One post will sit within the female offender team and provide an opportunity to lead delivery of specific workstreams from the female offender strategy. This could include work on improving family ties for female offenders, developing pilots of residential women’s centres, taking forward a National Concordat, work with local areas on developing whole systems approaches, and administration of grants building community provision for women. The other post will provide an opportunity to get lead a range of projects across the wider team, with a particular focus on offender health and projects on specific vulnerable cohorts. Both roles will involve interaction with a wide range of stakeholders, in prisons, probations, other Government departments and the voluntary sector. They will require a willingness to be flexible, to develop strong relationships, and to build core Civil Service skills in project management, Parliamentary business, briefing, drafting and policy development.
We are a friendly team with a strong emphasis on providing support and opportunities for development, and we include people from a wide range of backgrounds and experience. We will be keen to work with you to understand your interests, skills and areas for development. Alongside your core role, you will have the opportunity to get involved in corporate projects across the wider team and Directorate, to support how we work as a team and contribute to the MoJ as a whole.
Senior Policy Advisor – EU exit, domestic and international policy
Working as part of the current EU exit planning team within the International and Rights Directorate, you will be responsible for helping to oversee ongoing preparations for exit and the implementation of new measures across MoJ and its agencies. The current focus is on ensuring that the justice system is ready by working in partnership with teams across MoJ and key external stakeholders. This role is an exciting opportunity to work in a high profile and fast-paced policy role where you will work on courts, tribunals, the judiciary and contingencies. You will ensure Ministers and senior officials are up to date on latest developments and will lead areas of work that supports overall readiness. In due course, this role is likely to shift on to other key priorities within the International and Rights Directorate which is responsible for UK constitutional relations, Europe, human rights and international policy.
Specifically, the role holder will be responsible for:
- Working closely with Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Services (HMCTS), MoJ analysts, the judiciary; and policy leads within MoJ and other government departments.
- Developing justice policy, supporting internal governance structures; and briefing Ministers and senior MoJ governance boards on preparations and progress which currently includes weekly Ministerial and senior official meetings.
- Focusing on justice readiness and the implementation of policy and operational measures.
- Influencing and connecting with other relevant government departments on justice policy.
- Line management of a Band D.
Skills & Qualifications
You are required to have:
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
- The ability to make sound judgements and to articulate these persuasively.
- Knowledge and familiarity with basic project management approaches is desirable.
- Strong interpersonal and relationship-building skills, tact and diplomacy and experience in dealing with senior figures;
- Good political awareness and the proven ability to communicate effectively to a wide range of audiences and to negotiate solutions to problems.
You will be required to provide evidence of the following competencies:
Seeing the big picture
- Be alert to emerging issue and trends which might impact or benefit own and team’s work.
- Understanding how your role fits into the delivery of MoJ’s organisational objectives and wider public needs.
- Actively seek out and share experience to develop understanding and knowledge of own work and of team’s business area.
Making effective decisions
- Explore different options outlining costs, benefits, risks and potential responses to each.
- Invite challenge and where appropriate involve others in decision making to help build engagement and present robust recommendations.
- Identify a range of relevant and credible information sources and recognise the need to collect new data when necessary from internal and external sources.
Leading and communicating
- Continually communicate with staff, helping to clarify goals and activities and the links between these and Departmental strategy.
- Communicate in a straightforward, honest and engaging manner with all stakeholders and stand ground when needed.
- Communicate using appropriate styles, methods and timing, including digital channels, to maximise understanding and impact.
Collaborating and partnering
- Actively seek input from a diverse range of people.
- Invest time to generate a common focus and genuine team spirit.
- Deal with conflict in a prompt, calm and constructive manner.
Delivering at pace
- Plan ahead but reassess workloads and priorities if situations change or people are facing conflicting demands.
- Show a positive approach in keeping their own and the team’s efforts focused on the goals that really matter.
- Coach and support others to set and achieve challenging goals for themselves.
Further information about each competency can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/civil-service-competency-framework
How to apply
Applicants should send a one page CV and covering letter setting out how you meet the competencies above by x. In the event of receiving a high number of applications we will sift initially on the leadership competency. Applicants who are successful at the sift stage will be invited to interview where they will also be required to complete a written exercise.
If you would like to find out more about the roles, please contact Mel Panteli at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 07989 657 846. Roles are available to applicants already at the substantive grade and on promotion.
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.
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:
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.
27/03/2019, 23:55 hours
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 may be required to provide statements describing your skills and experience relevant to each of the selection criteria. We recommend that you structure any examples as Situation, Task, Action and Result. For more information about the recruitment process and answers to general queries, please click the below link which will direct you to our Candidate Information Page.
In the event of a large number of applications, we reserve the right to undertake the following processes:
- An automated online test where a benchmark must be passed to progress;
- A sift on the lead selection criteria. If this happens, the lead criteria will be the first one listed in the advert.
During the selection process, you may be asked to undertake an additional assessment (such as written test). If this is applicable you will be notified of this when you are invited to interview.