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Policy and Strategic Support, Northern Ireland Veterans Commissioner’s Office

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Location : Belfast
Salary : £ 30,989 - £ 41,095
Type : Fixed Term
Closing Date : 2020-09-11
Date Posted : 2020-09-06
Reference : 36717  

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

Department: Northern Ireland Veterans Commissioner’s Office

Post Vacant: Policy and Strategic Support

Location: Belfast (with travel throughout Northern Ireland and occasionally across the UK)

Duration: Three years

Applications Invited From: Existing HCS staff either at Band B or analogous grades on level transfer or at Band C on temporary promotion.


The New Decade, New Approach agreement to restore the Northern Ireland Executive included a UK Government commitment to:

“Appoint a Northern Ireland Veterans Commissioner to act as an independent point of contact to support and enhance outcomes for veterans in Northern Ireland.”

The Northern Ireland Veterans Commissioner (NIVC) will be a visible leader and exemplar, establishing a strong network and creating a vision of future service provision for veterans in Northern Ireland which supports the realisation of the ambition shared across the United Kingdom to be the best place in the world to be a veteran.

The Commissioner’s Office Policy and Strategic Support officer will report to the Head and Strategic Lead and focus on providing research, advice and administrative support.


This is an exciting opportunity to work directly with an operationally independent public appointee, helping to identify the needs of ex-Service personnel, promote veterans as assets and counter damaging myths that often portray them all as adversely affected by military service.

As Policy and Strategic Support officer in the Northern Ireland Veterans Commissioner’s Office, you will work closely with the Head and Strategic Lead as well as the Commissioner in undertaking a broad programme of strategic engagement with a range of organisations, including government departments and a large and diverse third sector. You will provide detailed policy advice and establish effective working relationships with stakeholders across the UK and NI civil service, as well as those who work at the forefront of the veterans sector in NI.

The post holder will be a well-organised, flexible and focussed team player with a good understanding of how government departments operate. You will be adept at carrying out thorough research and providing detailed briefings, liaising with external parties where appropriate. At all times you will be a positive representative for the NI Veterans Commissioner, with strong interpersonal skills and a “can do” attitude.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Provide support across a range of NIVC functions, in particular the work involved in researching and drafting of reports and recommendations.
  • Provide advice to the Commissioner on specific policy and delivery issues, as well as background briefing and support for visits, meetings and speaking engagements.
  • Contribute to planning work and preparing briefings for high level meetings attended by the Commissioner, including meetings with Ministers and key stakeholders in the third sector.
  • Take a lead role on specific areas of research, evidence gathering and drafting to support the delivery of NIVC papers and recommendations.
  • Support the delivery of the NIVC work programme by developing positive working relationships and networks with both internal and external stakeholders involved in policy development and delivery of support to veterans and their families in Northern Ireland.
  • Prepare engagement plans and make the necessary arrangements for the new Commissioner and Strategic Lead to meet and visit key stakeholders and veterans’ facilities and projects across the country.
  • Support work to maximise the impact of NIVC communications and engagement activity. Specifically, lead on the development of an NIVC website and monthly blog to go live by end December 2020; support work to increase Commissioner’s social media presence.


Essential Criteria

  • Excellent written and oral communication.
  • Experience of delivering written and oral briefings to senior officials.
  • Experience in developing and maintaining effective relationships with colleagues and stakeholders, and to use your interpersonal skills to achieve results.
  • Experience of planning and delivering events and/or visits at a senior official/ministerial level.

Desirable Criteria

  • An understanding of Northern Ireland’s political and historical context.
  • Knowledge of the ex-Service sector in Northern Ireland and Armed Forces transition arrangements for the housing, health, employability or welfare sectors in Northern Ireland.
  • An understanding of using social media in a strategic campaigns context.
  • A full and valid driving licence.



We will assess you against the following Success Profiles behaviours at HEO/SEO level during the selection process:

  • Working Together
  • Making Effective Decisions
  • Communicating and Influencing

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


Please provide evidence of the civil service behaviours listed above (up to 250 words per behaviour).

Please also provide a suitability statement of no more than 250 words setting out how you meet the essential/desirable criteria.


The interview will be of a blended nature consisting of behaviours, ability and strength-based questions. The strength-based questions will require natural responses from candidates.

Please note that, in the event of a large number of applications being received, we may run the initial sift on the lead Behaviour “Working Together”.


Security Clearance         

Security clearance to (SC) level will be required for this post.

Eligibility Sift     

An eligibility sift will be carried out on the basis of the information contained in the application form. It is therefore important that all applicants demonstrate in their application how and to what extent their behaviours are relevant to the above criteria. Those candidates who do not clearly demonstrate that they meet the experience and behaviours will not be invited to interview.

Pay and Allowances       

The successful candidate will adopt the terms and conditions of the Northern Ireland Office for the length of their appointment.

Neither Detached Duty terms nor relocation costs will apply to this post.

Further Information       

Further information about the post may be obtained from (insert name) on telephone number (insert) or e-mail to (insert).


You can apply for this post through the Civil Service website at: www.civilservice.gov.uk

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 shortlisted 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 loans and secondments, feedback cannot be given if you are unsuccessful at sift stage. Feedback is available on request if unsuccessful following interview.

Additional Information

Guaranteed Interview Scheme

Details of the Guaranteed Interview Scheme are attached to the application form for this post.

Disability Information

The UK civil service is committed to being an inclusive employer with a diverse workforce. We encourage applications from people from the widest possible diversity of backgrounds, cultures and experiences.

The UK civil service strives to be an inclusive employer and is recognised by its staff and externally as being an employer where Diversity and Inclusion are valued.

Further information on civil service careers can be found at www.civil-service-careers.gov.uk

The Civil Service Code sets out the standards of behaviour expected of civil servants. Version 1/20 (HCS)

Appointment to the Civil Service is governed by the Civil Service Commission’s Recruitment Principles. You have the right to complain if you feel a department has breached the requirement of the Recruitment Principles.

Please contact SSCL (MoJ-recruitment-vetting-enquiries@gov.sscl.com) in the first instance.

If you are not satisfied with the response, you may bring your complaint to the Commission.

For further information on bringing a complaint to the Civil Service Commission please visit their web pages:


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