83204 - Assistant Private Secretary and Business Support Officer

£31,169 - £32,760
12 Months
Fixed Term , Loan
Up to 1-year Fixed Term Contract
Full Time
Administration / Corporate Support, Secretarial

Office of the Secretary of State for Wales
Job Description for
Assistant Private Secretary and Business Support Officer

Job Title     Assistant Private Secretary and Business Support Officer
Pay Grade     EO
Salary    £31,169 - £32,760 (London)
Location     Gwydyr House, Whitehall, London
Reports to     Private Secretary
Contract    Up to 1-year Fixed Term Contract
Clearance    CTC (See Additional Information)

About the Office of the Secretary of State for Wales

This is an exciting opportunity at The Office of the Secretary of State for Wales which is the face of the UK Government in Wales and the voice of Wales in Westminster. We support the Secretary of State for Wales and the Ministerial team in representing Wales at the heart of Government. We work in partnership with other Government Departments and stakeholders to deliver a stronger Wales within a strong and prosperous United Kingdom.

About the Role

We are looking for a capable individual to join the Office of the Secretary of State to provide Executive Support to the Senior Leadership Team and manage the Correspondence Team. You will also be the dedicated Personal Assistant to the Director of the Department and support him to carry out his duties in England and Wales.

Based in the Private Office, working closely with teams across the Department, Whitehall, and Welsh Government, you will maintain effective working relationships with a variety of stakeholders, both internally and externally. You will have direct exposure to the Senior Leadership Team and have unparalleled access to the Secretary of State and Ministers, working on an agenda that cuts across the whole of Government policy.

You will need to develop credibility with senior staff, demonstrating good judgement and discretion when deciding whether to escalate issues or determine what information should be shared and with whom. Ensuring that the ‘important’ does not get lost in the rush to attend to the ‘very urgent’, your focus will be on continuously raising the standard of service provided to Ministers.

Our departmental values are Commitment, Collaboration and Quality. These shape how we operate in a challenging, demanding, and fast paced environment which requires flexibility, transparency, and professionalism.

Key Responsibilities:  

  • Provide Personal Assistant (PA) support to the Director of the Department and SLT including diary management, preparation of briefings, commissioning work on the Director’s behalf and arranging meetings and visits;
  • Lead coordination of the Senior Leadership Team, including scheduling meetings, minute taking and following up on actions;
  • Manage the Correspondence Team who are responsible for all departmental correspondence, Ministerial Write Rounds and provide administrative support to members of SLT and the Departmental Boards;
  • Oversee departmental Freedom of Information Requests to ensure they meet relevant deadlines, in liaison with Cabinet Office and the Territorial Office FOI team;
  • Liaise across the department to develop high quality briefings and submissions for the Director, setting deadlines to ensure they are received in good time;
  • Build good relationships with internal and external stakeholders, including other government departments, No10 and Welsh Government;
  • Act as the liaison point on facilities and IT for the Private Office.

The key responsibilities are not intended to be exhaustive, and it is likely that duties may be altered from time to time in the light of changing circumstances and after consultation with the postholder.

Person Specification

Please evidence how closely you match the essential criteria in your Statement of Suitability.

Essential Criteria:

  • Demonstrable experience of working in a service focussed environment, where judgement has been required when interfacing with important customers.
  • Display effective team leadership & management capability; strong planning and logistical skills, and an ability to prioritise effectively and allocate work.
  • Strong written and oral communication skills, comfortable communicating with colleagues at all levels across the organisation and building rapport with important stakeholders.
  • Evidence of attention to detail in drafting skills and perceptive judgement when producing briefings and submissions, showing versatility of thought in dealing with the breadth of portfolios interests.
  • Credible and trusted, you will readily develop strong relationships, both within the office and across government, by demonstrating a natural collaborative approach and well-honed interpersonal skills.

Desirable Criteria:

  • Spoken and written competency in the Welsh language.

Recruitment Process

This campaign will be undertaken using the Civil Service Success Profile framework. You will need to provide evidence in your application to cover the following behaviours:

  • Delivering at Pace (Lead Behaviour) (Application & Interview)
  • Managing a Quality Service (Interview Only)
  • Working Together (Interview Only)
  • Communicating and Influencing (Interview Only)

Additional Information

The Office of the Secretary of State for Wales is not an employer in its own right. Staff recruited to work at the OSSW will be employees of the Ministry of Justice who provide employment services on our behalf.

This role requires CTC level clearance. Applicants for National Security Clearance (CTC) must be resident in the UK for 3 years immediately prior to their application for Security Clearance. 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.

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

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


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.


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.


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.


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.


  • 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.

Interviews expected early February.

16/01/2024, 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 - 83204.
Counter-Terrorism Check (CTC)

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

Delivering at Pace - 250 word limit
Statement of Suitability - 750 word limit
A sift based on the lead behaviour, Delivering at Pace, 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.
Delivering at Pace
Managing a Quality Service
Working Together
Communicating and Influencing
Any candidate who has been assessed as being appointable to the role they applied for may be offered a similar, lower grade role, if one is available. Furthermore, any candidate who has just missed meeting the criteria for a particular role, may be appointed to a similar role at a lower grade if such a role is available, and if they have been assessed as meeting the criteria for the lower grade role. These appointments will also be made in merit order.

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.

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.