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Contract & Assurance Policy Lead

Category : Government
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Location : Bridgend , Wrexham
Salary : £ 38,148 - £ 43,870
Type : Permanent
Closing Date : 2022-07-25
Date Posted : 2022-07-17
Reference : 61476  

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.

Rydym yn croesawu ac yn annog ceisiadau gan bawb, yn cynnwys grwpiau sydd wedi’u tangynrychioli yn ein gweithlu ar hyn o bryd, ac rydym yn ymfalchïo mewn bod yn gyflogwr o safon uchel sy’n denu llawer o ymgeiswyr. Ewch i https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/ministry-of-justice/about/equality-and-diversity

 gael rhagor o wybodaeth am sut rydym yn hyrwyddo amrywiaeth a chynhwysiant yn y gweithle.

Overview of the job

Accountable to the Contract and Assurance Manager (and the Deputy Director Strategic Support, Administration and Assurance as required) within HMPPS in Wales, the Contract and Assurance Policy Lead at HMP Berwyn is accountable for supporting the delivery and development of the learning and skills contract, Prison Industries contract and undertaking assurance activity across HMP Berwyn of both private and public sector prison. This includes performance management, oversight of related interfaces with other providers (e.g. HMP Berwyn Governor and Senior Management Team, Probation Service, Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board) and for related stakeholder engagement including Welsh Government, service planning, development, commissioning activity and encouraging the highest level of performance. 

The Contract and Assurance Policy Lead at HMP Berwyn must ensure any contractual failings are remedied and/or penalised when necessary escalating unsatisfactory performance to the Contract and Assurance Manager. 

The Contract and Assurance Policy Lead must undertake assurance of public sector commissioned delivery within HMP Berwyn and ensure that any feedback from assurance activity across HMP Berwyn is fed back to the Contract and Assurance Manager in a professional and timely manner. 

The estimated contract value per annum across the two contracts is £7m.


The Contract and Assurance Policy Lead is a key member of the contract and assurance management team and will work collaboratively with colleagues from finance, commercial and other support functions to assist in the delivery and development of the contracts for Learning and Skills and Prison Industries at HMP Berwyn as well as undertaking independent assurance activity of all provision within HMP Berwyn. 

The Contract and Assurance Policy Lead will work in collaboration with the Contract and Assurance Manager in relation to contract management, service planning, development and commissioning activities. The Contract and Assurance Policy Lead will co-ordinate performance management and monitor/ observe operational delivery for the Learning and Skills and Prison Industries Contract and public sector prison delivery and has responsibility to provide assurance on the quality and standards of service quality. 

Working under the direction of the Contract and Assurance Manager, the Contract and Assurance Policy Lead will make arrangements for service planning with stakeholders and partners. They will directly manage aspects of both on a day to day basis and will have dialogue with providers and business partners. 

The Contract and Assurance Policy Lead will take responsibility for reviewing, analysing and monitoring performance data, quality assurance and data analysis of contracted delivery. 

The Contract and Assurance Policy Lead will directly seek assurance from stakeholders and monitor the interface points between the learning and skills provider, prison industries provider, public sector prisons and other parties e.g. Wrexham Council, Betsi Cadwaldr University Health Board, Probation Service, etc. 

The geographical base for the Contract and Assurance Policy Lead can be flexible with the main base being within HMP Berwyn whilst travel will be expected across HMPPS in Wales, and will require some work in London and other locations.

Responsibilities, Activities and Duties

The job holder will be required to carry out the following responsibilities, activities and duties: 

Perform a range of statutory and operational duties including :

·         Responsible for contract management, service planning, development and commissioning activities, including accountability for performance management, monitoring improvement plans, delivery assurance and contract compliance activity.

·         Accountable for monitoring the learning and skills contract and the prison industry contract, with responsibility to critically evaluate and report any issues regarding service delivery and value for money to the Contract and Assurance Manager.

·         Responsible for identifying service quality, contract compliance and supplier performance issues and priorities in order to inform contract management and the HMPPS in Wales Assurance Annual Plan.

·         Accountable for providing local insight into the operational interfaces between providers making independent judgements about their findings and reporting any issues to the Contract and Assurance Manager.

·         Leading and managing the resolution of operational issues arising between providers and escalating unresolved issues and formal disputes to the Contract and Assurance Manager.

·         Managing elements of the contract management Governance processes for both contracts – Learning and Skills and Prison Industries, including representation and leading Governance group meetings.

·         Ensure there is positive relationship management with the contractors both corporately and locally, key stakeholders, Ministry of Justice procurement, and HQ team.

·         Accountable for engaging with the prison senior management team and other parties in relation to the setting of service requirements.

·         Accountable for promoting and maintaining effective relationships with providers and local stakeholders.

·         Responsible for holding both the learning and skills provider and prison industries provider to account for their stakeholder engagement commitments.

·         Undertake appropriate risk management of all operational processes and both providers‘ delivery thus ensuring the policies and reputation and practices of HMPPS and the Ministry of Justice are adhered to and enhanced rather than exposed to unnecessary risk.

·         Support the Contract and Assurance Manager by providing data and information that supports the setting of annual service and contractual delivery indicators.

·         Monitor the implementation of action plans for Her Majesty’s Inspector of Prisons (HMIP), Audit and any other audit or assurance activity in relation to contracted delivery.

·         Support the Contract and Assurance Manager by providing information to support briefings/responses/reports to Ministers and Senior Civil Servants as required ensuring the organisation can quickly and accurately meet information requests.

·         Undertake investigations as required, including investigating and reporting to the Contract and Assurance Manager on any allegations made against the Contractor’s staff.

·         Maintain positive relationships with prisoners and their families to ensure needs are met, when necessary responding via the complaints system.

·         In the absence of the Contract and Assurance Manager chair a monthly Contract and Assurance Manager/Contractor meeting on Learning and Skills and also Prison Industries, ensuring that discussions are documented and that resulting actions are time bound and implemented.

·         In the absence of the Contract and Assurance Manager chair a Service Integration Group meeting which will bring together a number of internal and external stakeholders to ensure that all interfaces issues are managed and innovation/efficiency is embedded.

·         Attend meetings as delegated. In the absence of the Contract and Assurance Manager chair to identify any changes and or Projects that may impact on or may increase a risk to the services being provided by the contractors. 

Assurance of public sector delivery at HMP Berwyn

·         Accountable for ensuring that appropriate recommendations are made based on audit/assurance activity to inform commissioning, service integration, service planning and system development activity.

·         Review action plans produced by the Governor following the Contract and Assurance Manager presenting findings from assurance activity.

·         Accountable for the development of an annual assurance plan for public sector delivery and sharing key findings across HMPPS in Wales. 

The duties/responsibilities listed above describe the post as it is at present and is not intended to be exhaustive. The job holder is expected to accept reasonable alterations and additional tasks of a similar level that may be necessary. Significant adjustments may require re-examination under the Job Evaluation Scheme and shall be discussed in the first instance with the job holder. 


·         Seeing the Big Picture

·         Changing and Improving

·         Managing a Quality Service

·         Delivering at Pace

·         Communicating and Influencing

·         Working Together

·         Leadership


·         Senior management experience in prison or a comparable environment (e.g. within the criminal justice system or involving delivery of offender/public services).

·         Experience and skills in relation to contract or performance management, and/or service development and commissioning of custody based offender services at a senior level.

·         Highly developed understanding and detailed knowledge of policy and strategic developments in relation to custody based and through the gate offender services and how these apply to operational practice and the contract management process.

·         Knowledge and appreciation of contract management requirements, and highly developed understanding of the challenges involved in managing and assuring delivery of large complicated commercial contracts.

·         Experience and skills in leading and managing in a complex change management context.

·         Effective programme and project management experience and skills.

·         Effective high quality skills to lead and manage staff to achieve demanding objectives.

Technical Requirements

No specific qualifications are essential but experience and skills relevant to senior management, commissioning and contract management are required.


·         Ability to make decisions about issues of risk arising from audit and assurance activity and managing these effectively and sensitively across organisational boundaries and in line with political and economic considerations.

·         Demonstrates sound judgement, and has the ability to build effective working relationships, and to influence and negotiate with internal and external stakeholders at a senior level in a complex and multi-layered delivery landscape.

·         Ability to function effectively in a challenging environment with a high level of personal resilience.

·         Excellent written communication skills to ensure that reports and contractual correspondence is effective.

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