83570 - Head of Governance

The national salary range is £66,314 - £75,810, London salary range is £70,303 - £80,370.Your salary will be dependent on your base location
12 Months
Please note: Some of our MoJ Office locations, such as our Liverpool Justice Collaboration Centre, require higher levels of National Security Vetting. The MoJ is working to open more Justice Collaboration Centres and Justice Satellite Offices over time. Click here to learn more about where our currently open Justice Collaboration Centres and Justice Satellite Offices are, to identify where you may be based and understand National Security Vetting requirements of each location.
Grade 6
Grade 6
Full Time

Ministry of Justice an Inclusive Employer

We recognise the challenges that people with (multiple) protected characteristics may experience on the job market and in their career progression. We are fully committed to being an inclusive employer of choice and ensuring equity of opportunity for all. We welcome the unique contribution diverse applicants bring in terms of their culture, ethnicity, race, nationality or national origin, age, sex, gender identity or expression, religion or belief, disability status, sexual orientation, educational or social background or any other factor. To find out more about how we champion diversity and inclusion in the workplace please visit https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/ministry-of-justice/about/equality-and-diversity


The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) is one of the largest government departments. It is responsible for prisons, probation, courts and tribunals, which it administers in partnership with the independent judiciary, and a range of services to help victims of crime, children, vulnerable people and those seeking access to justice. 
The MoJ is responsible for all aspects of justice, supported by 34 agencies and other arm’s length bodies. We provide services across England and Wales, and certain non devolved tribunals in Scotland and Northern Ireland. We are proud to work together to make a difference for the public by focusing on protecting the public; reducing reoffending; and strengthening the justice system and delivering swift access to justice. We employ around 90,000 people, with an annual budget of circa £9 billion. 
The Governance Centre of Expertise sits alongside the Risk Management Centre of Expertise within the Financial Management, Control, Risk and Governance Directorate, part of the MoJ’s Finance function. As well as ensuring appropriate financial controls are in place and operating effectively, the Directorate aims to drive continued improvements in risk management and governance. 
The culture of the Financial Management, Control, Risk and Governance Directorate supports flexible working options, and promotes personal development, inclusion, and diversity.

Role Purpose

Reporting to the Chief Risk Officer, the Head of Governance is a key leadership role, with responsibility for engaging and influencing senior stakeholders at the most senior levels within the MoJ, its agencies and other arm’s length bodies. Sitting at the heart of organisational governance and decision-making, the role requires engagement across government to drive continuous improvement and establish MoJ as leaders of good governance practice. 
You will drive excellence in governance and continuous improvement, working closely with stakeholders to ensure the department is operating effectively and is managed in accordance with ‘Corporate governance in central government departments: code of good practice’, and other relevant HM Treasury and Cabinet Office guidance and standards. An excellent communicator, you will work collaboratively, taking responsibility for developing and delivering a programme of work that enhances the structures and information flows to inform good decision-making. 

As a part of this role, you will promote increased understanding and confidence in our internal control framework, including reporting on the review of the effectiveness of governance, risk, and internal frameworks through the annual Governance Statement. 
This role is a great opportunity to gain valuable insight into the work of the MoJ as a whole. If you are passionate about good governance and looking for your next challenge, we would love to hear from you.


With line management responsibility for one Grade 7, you will lead the team to shape the MoJ’s governance arrangements.  This will include:
•    Improving Board and ExCo committee structures and information flows.
•    Improving the alignment and the operation of departmental governance structures and those operated in each Executive Agency and other Arm’s Length Bodies, including the routine flow and escalation of appropriate assurance and management information.
•    Reporting on compliance with the corporate governance in central government departments: code of good practice to the MoJ Permanent Secretary, the Chief Executives of its Executive Agencies and other Accounting Officers. 
•    Delivering the annual assurance process and the MoJ’s governance statement. 
•    Working with the Functional Reform Team and Functional Leads to develop an effective control framework based on functional standards (and other statutory, professional and government requirements) supported by proportionate compliance monitoring and reporting.
•    Leading mapping work to define and agree the necessary control frameworks linked to the principal risks to our objectives that set out the primary control activities, monitoring arrangements and information flows across committee structures; and
•    Supported by the Director of Financial Management, Control, Risk and Governance and the Chief Risk Officer, drive continuous improvement in governance arrangements across all parts of the organisation.

Key skills and knowledge

This role requires an understanding of the big picture and the role of corporate governance in central government departments, in addition to excellent relationship building skills, including the ability to negotiate and influence at the most senior levels. You will have a strong record of building and maintaining effective collaborative relationships with internal and external stakeholders at a senior level, and in leading networks to deliver change. 

Effective delivery of this role requires the ability to take forward significant strands of work with a large degree of autonomy, identifying strategic opportunities and prioritising competing demands. You will also have experience of resolving conflict and ambiguity under pressure and being able to build consensus in complex environments. 

The role demands excellent communication skills, both oral and written, with the ability to convey difficult messages and / or complex technical issues with simplicity, gravitas and impact. 

Experience in governance, control or enterprise risk management is desirable.

Success Profiles   

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.
Civil Service Behaviours

The following G6 Civil Service Behaviours are essential to this post and will be assessed upon application:

•    Seeing the Big Picture
•    Making Effective Decisions
•    Leadership
•    Communicating and Influencing
•    Working Together
Lead Behaviour if applicable – Seeing the big picture.


The successful candidate will be appointed to either one of the locations specified in the advert or, if nearer to their home, an alternative MoJ office location in the region which may include their nearest Justice Collaboration Centre or Justice Satellite Office. This will be discussed and agreed upon completion of pre-employment checks.

You are advised to access the JCC/JSO office map, which is updated whenever a new JCC/JSO site opens,  to determine potential travelling times and distances to MoJ locations before applying for a job.

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 end of February.

05/02/2024, 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 - 83570.

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

Seeing the Big Picture - 250 word limit
Making Effective Decisions - 250 word limit
Leadership - 250 word limit
Communicating and Influencing - 250 word limit
Working Together - 250 word limit
A sift based on the lead behaviour, Seeing the Big Picture, 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.
Seeing the Big Picture
Making Effective Decisions
Communicating and Influencing
Working Together
Strengths may also be assessed at interview but these are not shared in advance.
Additional Assessment(s)

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.