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Policy Advisers, Security Protection Group

Category : Government
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Location : Belfast , London
Salary : £ 26,553 - £ 38,373
Type : Fixed Term
Closing Date : 2020-07-17
Date Posted : 2020-07-05
Reference : 35491  

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 Northern Ireland Office represents Northern Ireland’s interests at a UK Government level and UK Government (UKG) interests in Northern Ireland. We have a wide range of responsibilities, including: underpinning political stability in Northern Ireland; overseeing the Northern Ireland devolution settlement; leading on national security policy in Northern Ireland; addressing the legacy of Northern Ireland’s past; delivering elections and constitutional reform in Northern Ireland; playing a key role in rebalancing the NI economy; representing NI interests further to the UK’s exit from the EU. Our small size and diverse portfolio creates a stimulating, fast-paced and challenging working environment, with regular engagement with a range of Ministers and senior officials. We support flexible working and have a modern, flexible IT system which helps enable this.


Keeping people safe is one of the UKG's strategic aims and the Security & Protection Group (SPG) in the NIO delivers this through core teams working on: Policy, Strategy, Operational Delivery, Casework and Protection.

We pride ourselves on delivering high-quality work on issues that matter, at pace and often in challenging circumstances. All SPG colleagues have an anchor within one of the core teams, allowing them to build specialist knowledge, expertise and relationships. Everyone, regardless of grade or experience, also has the opportunity to get involved in project-based work across the group and the wider department beyond their core teams. This approach ensures we add more value, are agile enough to deliver on key departmental priorities and give everyone in SPG a wide range of developmental opportunities. We are committed to using every opportunity to continuously improve ourselves and our business outcomes. You can expect diverse, interesting and rewarding work that goes to the heart of public service and you can expect to do this in a safe space where individuals and teams are supported to deliver and encouraged to innovate, stretch, challenge and learn.

We are currently looking to recruit Policy Advisers and Operational Delivery Caseworkers within the Security and Protection Group.

In these roles you will work on one of the UK Government’s highest priorities -   national security - and gain a broad range of policy, strategy, programme and project management, operational delivery, casework experience and briefing skills within a supportive and focused team.

You will work closely with other group members in London and Belfast to ensure that Ministers are fully briefed on national security matters, and owing to the Department’s relatively small size this will mean more exposure to Ministers than might otherwise be the case in a larger Department.

You will work closely with partners in Number 10, the Cabinet Office, Home Office and other government departments, a range of security and law enforcement partners, and colleagues in the NI devolved government.

As a policy adviser you will help to develop strategic policy direction and use your policy and programme and project management skills on a range of high-profile, complex and challenging national security issues. You will be ready to take on challenges with enthusiasm and commitment and move flexibly between policy and operational roles.

You will be responsible for working on long term policy priorities and may also work on a short to medium term basis on key policy and national security related casework priorities across the Security and Protection Group where there is a priority business need for additional or new skills.

As an operational delivery caseworker you will lead on a range of operational delivery casework, including the Department’s incident response and crisis management arrangements, as well as the fulfilment of its statutory obligations under the Investigatory Powers regime.

In each of the roles, building and maintaining a strong and extensive network of business critical relationships with policy and operational partners in Northern Ireland and in Whitehall will be key. Good communication and relationship management skills will be essential. In operational delivery and casework roles, applicants must be prepared to work on a call rota basis, out of hours working will be required (for which an allowance will be paid) and sometimes at short notice.

You will be articulate, discreet and thoughtful in your approach, quick to pick up new subjects and proactive in all your dealings. You will have a strong political antenna and inspire confidence when briefing verbally and in writing. You will be accustomed to building productive relationships in difficult contexts and being agile and able to anticipate and respond quickly to new challenges and unexpected developments. You will be focused on delivering clear outcomes. You will want to work in a group with a strong focus on learning and development. 


Specific responsibilities of Policy Advisers and Operational Delivery Caseworkers may include:

  • National security related policing, counter-terrorism and prisons policy
  • Investigatory powers policy and legislation
  • Working with partners and the devolved government to deliver better criminal justice outcomes
  • Representing the Department at Whitehall and Northern Ireland based security meetings
  • Helping Ministers to prepare for National Security Council meetings
  • Programme and project management, resource evaluation, and performance measurement of activity to tackle Northern Ireland Related Terrorism
  • Coordination and secretariat support for senior cross-departmental board meetings
  • Engagement with the Devolved Administration on matters that impact national security
  • Development of policy and processes on incident response, crisis management, and investigatory powers casework
  • Providing support and briefing to senior officials and Ministers on their statutory duties
  • Building strong relationships with partners in Northern Ireland and in Whitehall to safeguard and enhance delivery of strategic objectives
  • Budget management
  • Line management of staff at Bands D/E


  • Experience working on national security or law enforcement policy within Whitehall or Northern Ireland.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Experience of briefing senior leaders on complex issues
  • The ability to develop and maintain effective responsive relationships with colleagues and stakeholders, and to use your interpersonal skills to achieve results
  • Existing DV (Developed Vetting) clearance or the willingness to acquire it.
  • A full driving licence (for operational delivery caseworker roles only)


  • Experience of briefing senior leaders both orally and in writing.
  • A good understanding of the political and security environment in Northern Ireland
  • Experience working on complex policy development or
  • Experience working on operational delivery/complex casework

[For the essential and desirable criteria please upload a suitability statement of no more than 250 words setting out how you meet the essential/desirable criteria]


We will assess you against the following Success Profiles behaviours at Level 3 during the selection process:

  • Making Effective Decisions
  • Working Together
  • Delivering at Pace
  • Seeing the Big Picture
  • Communicating and Influencing (to be assessed at interview only)

More information on behaviours and success profiles can be found here.

The interview will be of a blended nature consisting of behaviours and experience based questions.

Please note that in the event of a large number of applications being received we may run the initial sift on your suitability statement, followed by the lead behaviour of ‘making effective decisions’.


We are closely monitoring the situation with regard to Coronavirus, and will be following central Government advice as it is issued. There is therefore a risk that recruitment to this post may be subject to change at short notice. Please continue to follow the application process as normal and ensure that you check your emails regularly for any updates from us as this is how we will communicate with you. You should note that interviews may need to take place via video or telephone conferencing and you will be advised of the format if invited to interview.

Additional information received after the closing date will not be considered. Failure to provide sufficient information in support of an application prior to the closing date will not be considered as grounds for an appeal if an applicant is not short listed for interview.

HCS applicants who, because of disability, need assistance in completing the application form should contact MoJ Shared Services on 0845 010 3512.

All applications for employment are considered strictly on the basis of merit.

This job description should not be taken as constituting conditions of employment.

Please note that due to the high interest in NIO secondments, feedback cannot be given if you are unsuccessful at sift stage. Feedback is available on request if unsuccessful following interview.

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