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Deputy Head of Operational Policy and Content

Category : Government
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Location : Birmingham , Nottingham
Salary : £ 43,958 - £ 59,000
Type : Permanent
Closing Date : 2020-07-16
Date Posted : 2020-07-05
Reference : 35440  

We welcome and encourage applications from everyone, including groups currently underrepresented in our workforce and pride ourselves as being an employer of choice. To find out more about how we champion diversity and inclusion in the workplace, visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/ministry-of-justice/about/equality-and-diversity


The role of Deputy Head of Operational Policy and Content is based at the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG). The Public Guardian’s responsibilities include registering lasting powers of attorney, supervising the work of deputies and guardians of missing persons, and protecting people who lack the capacity to make decisions for themselves. The Public Guardian’s responsibilities extend across England and Wales. 

The role will be vital in the delivery of policy changes and supporting guidance that support the Public Guardian’s statutory duties and in taking forward the OPG's transformational activity, ensuring that policy changes are properly evidenced, have ministerial support and meet strategic goals, and are then communicated correctly to all users.

The successful candidate will lead and manage a team of staff in the areas of policy and content.

The role in policy means that you will be responsible for initiating, evidencing and delivering policy changes that enhance or expand the Public Guardian’s role. You will also be responsible for ensuring that OPG takes forward its commitments to delivery of services in the Welsh language and that service delivery changes address the needs of Welsh customers. Your role will lead key areas of transformation, working in multi-disciplinary teams on project delivery to ensure business changes are coordinated.

The content team works with developers, creative designers, policy and legal experts and operational colleagues in OPG and with the Government Digital Service (GDS). We produce high quality information and content for services that support individual and professional users. We base our work on user needs and translate these into appropriate digital and print content.

You will work collaboratively with operational staff within OPG and with wider policy and content colleagues across MoJ and the wider civil service on shared agendas.

Job Description, Duties and Responsibilities –

Responsibilities may include any of the following and may be amended, as commensurate with the grade, at any time:

Design and delivery of policy changes:

  • Identifying the root of the issue to be tackled
  • Consulting experts (e.g. analysts, economists, social researchers, lawyers), stakeholders and the public
  • Developing and testing options for consideration
  • Working with operational leads, project managers, communications and digital specialists to plan delivery and manage risks
  • Preparing consultation documents, ministerial submissions and briefings, drafting answers to Parliamentary questions and MP and ministerial correspondence
  • Representing OPG at a senior level in external meetings and networks
  • Where necessary, managing changes to the law through the parliamentary process
  • Ensuring engagement with the Welsh language Commissioner and Welsh government officials and that the impact of policy changes on devolved government and Wales is understood and addressed
  • Drafting and publishing policies
  • Working with operational leads on implementation of changes
  • Evaluating the impact of changes once implemented

Leading and managing a policy team:

  • Developing and maintaining workforce and learning and development plans, ensuring teams are adequately resourced to deliver priorities and business plan commitments to a high standard
  • Develop OPG’s policy workplan in liaison with MOJ policy colleagues, allocating team resources to both OPG and joint projects
  • Performance manage the team, set objectives and monitor own and team’s performance against agreed goals
  • Act as the central source of expert advice on policy issues in OPG, ensuring the team’s compliance with policy principles
  • Forge excellent relationships with other OPG teams including legal, operational, content, research, digital and stakeholder management, in order to work collaboratively to deliver results
  • Work closely with other senior managers in the Strategy and Corporate Services Directorate to support the Deputy Director, Strategy and Corporate Services, ensuring adherence to budgets, financial and accounting rules, and co-ordinating delivery of business plan objectives and transformation change

Design and delivery of content changes:

  • Take ownership of, and set standards for, OPG content design that serves task oriented, internal or external user needs
  • Lead and manage the content design team, clarifying and communicating the team’s goals to them and recruit other content designers where required.
  • Coordinate and monitor team performance, utilising team diversity and skill to maximise effectiveness
  • Commission, write, edit and publish all content needs across all channels (GOV.UK, digital tools/products, mobile, print, business specific) working collaboratively with OPG’s communications team, and its change, customer relationship management and digital teams.
  • Monitor the performance of content and tools and work with product managers and multidisciplinary teams to understand user behaviour and feedback
  • Develop content assets that are accurate, timely, high-quality (based on insight and outputs of user testing, relevant to audience, easily understood) and to OPG’s brand and tone of voice
  • Provide leadership by example, contributing to discussions about content within services and websites, implementing solutions, working closely with product and delivery managers, designers, user researchers and operational colleagues
  • Take an active part in the cross-government content community. Ensure OPG content designers are up to date with GDS thinking and implement accordingly. Work with GDS to interpret guidelines and to collaborate effectively in order to remove blockers and challenges
  • Ensure content relevant to OPG on GOV.UK is developed and maintained to meet user needs and the agency’s strategy, working with GDS content specialists

The Deputy Head of Operational Policy & Content is expected to display a commitment to change management and championing best practice. All those appointed to new roles in OPG must be wholeheartedly committed to these principles and evidence this in their application.

Strong leadership is a critical element of this role, as is the ability to prioritise and manage a workload, present recommendations and make effective decisions. As a Senior Leader within OPG the jobholder will be expected to take on delegated duties commensurate with the grade, including approving investigation reports on behalf of the Public Guardian.

As a Senior Policy Manager & Content Manager within OPG the jobholder must provide clear direction and focus, visibly championing the people elements of the policy and content changes.

The Senior Leadership Team expects all leaders within OPG to operate in a culture of openness and honesty, demonstrating a commitment to change through involvement and empowerment, and by delivering results.

Skills, Qualifications and experience


  • Experience of working in a policy role
  • Strong written and oral communication skills
  • Strong drafting skills to develop policy proposals that identify and explore a range of complex issues
  • Developed leadership and managerial skills
  • Developed awareness of the political and external environment
  • Excellent stakeholder relationship skills
  • Excellent organisational skills
  • Results focused and able to work under pressure.
  • Experience of producing guidance for internal and external users, meeting government standards
  • Solid experience in ensuring that appropriate user research is part of the process for making decisions

Highly Desirable

  • Knowledge of legislation relating to mental capacity and guardianship
  • Experience of working in a transformational environment
  • Understanding of project management
  • Understanding of content design

Application process

Candidates will be expected to provide a CV (2 pages of A4 maximum) plus a supporting statement of no more than 1000 words capturing evidence against the essential criteria as set out above.

Interview process

If you are successful at sift, you will be invited to an interview which will follow the Success Profiles process. At interview candidates should expect strength based questions and questions relating to the Civil Service behaviours below:

Seeing the Big Picture

Making effective decisions

Communicating and influencing


You will also be asked to prepare a short presentation for the interview (further information will be shared with shortlisted candidates)

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