Login Status




Senior Policy Adviser (Identity, Citizenship and Culture)

Category : Government
Law Jobs Save Add To Shortlist
Law Jobs Favorites Add Recruiter To Favorites
Law Jobs Email Email To A Friend
Law Jobs Recruiter Recruiter Profile
Law Jobs Search More Jobs From This Recruiter
Law Jobs Text Size Increase Text | Decrease Text
Law Jobs Print Print
Location : Belfast , London
Salary : £ 43,958 - £ 71,411
Type : Fixed Term , Loan
Closing Date : 2020-10-21
Date Posted : 2020-10-11
Reference : 37912  

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 interests at a UK Government level and UK Government 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 Northern Ireland economy; representing Northern Ireland interests, including around the Irish border, as the UK exits the EU. Our small size and diverse portfolio create a stimulating, fast-paced and challenging working environment, with regular engagement with a range of ministers, senior officials and other stakeholders. We support flexible working and have a modern, flexible IT system which helps enable this. The department values our people, recognising and promoting talent and providing a wide range of opportunities. A strong emphasis is placed on personal and professional development and there is a wide range of groups that staff actively participate in to shape and drive our culture and values.

About the Role:

This role is located in the Constitution, Rights and Healthcare Policy Group (CRHG) in the Constitution and Identity Rights team. CRHG is made up of five policy-focused teams that lead on a range of issues related to constitutional matters, rights and equalities, elections and health in Northern Ireland. This work extends to supporting rights and identity matters arising from the negotiation between the UK Government and the EU Commission on the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.

The successful candidate will be responsible for leading work on a variety of issues relating to the implementation of the Belfast (‘Good Friday’) Agreement and its successors, including supporting the delivery of relevant language, culture, rights and identity commitments set out in the January 2020 “New Decade, New Approach” Agreement that restored devolved government in Northern Ireland, as well as spearheading work to implement the rights elements of the Ireland/Northern Ireland Protocol to the Withdrawal Agreement, including oversight of the new “dedicated mechanism” arrangements involving the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission and the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland. There may also be opportunities to work on other aspects of the Group’s portfolio where additional support and resilience is needed on an ad hoc basis.

Duties and Responsibilities

If your application is successful, you will:

  • Develop strong expertise on the Good Friday Agreement and rights issues in Northern Ireland; leadon key policy questions, support departmental priorities, for example ensuring that Article 2 of the Ireland/Northern Ireland Protocol is properly implemented;
  • Identify and manage risks to political stability in Northern Ireland in your policy area, including through the relationships you build with key stakeholders and across the UK Government;
  • Ensure that the Northern Ireland Office and the whole of the UK Government maintains a strong understanding of the rights landscape and agenda in Northern Ireland and their impact on UK Government policy and approach, including in the context of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU;
  • Oversee and support cross-Whitehall delivery of the key language, culture and identity commitments set out in the New Decade, New Approach Agreement;
  • Provide clear, compelling and straightforward advice in writing and in person to ministers and senior officials;
  • Work collaboratively with a range of stakeholders across Whitehall, the Northern Ireland Civil Service and with rights and equalities and other external stakeholders in Northern Ireland, championing your policy area and Government priorities;
  • Link up relevant work across the department, ensuring a consistent and clear voice is presented across Whitehall and externally across a range of interconnected issues;
  • Support your own professional development, promoting a culture in which talent and developmental opportunities are recognised and encouraged.
  • You will have line management responsibilities for at least one Band B.

Essential Criteria:

A detailed knowledge of Northern Irish affairs is not essential, but successful candidates will be expected to be able to quickly grasp complex political issues and the underpinning political agreements and work to deliver policy effectively in the context of Northern Ireland. Some knowledge or understanding of Northern Ireland politics will be beneficial.

To be successful you must be able to demonstrate that you have:

  • Excellent political awareness, with the capacity to understand the wider implications of both your work and that of others
  • The ability to develop and maintain effective, responsive relationships with colleagues and stakeholders in a range of contexts, and to use your interpersonal skills to achieve results;
  • Good fundamental policy making skills, with excellent written and oral communication;
  • Previous experience of working closely with Ministers and senior officials;
  • A proven ability to work at pace and under pressure and dealing with high levels of uncertainty.

Desirable Criteria

It would be desirable, but not essential, for applicants to have the following:

  • An understanding of the political environment in Northern Ireland, including the devolution settlement. 

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 4 during the selection process.

  • Working together;
  • Delivering at pace;
  • Seeing the big picture;
  • Communicating and influencing;
  • Making effective decisions.

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

The interview will be of a blended nature consisting of behaviours, experience and strength-based questions. The strength-based questions will require natural responses from the 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 “communicating and influencing”.


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.

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 NIO 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 Holly.Clark@nio.gov.uk


You can apply for this post through the Civil Service website at: civilservice.gov.uk. Once logged onto the site go to the civil service jobs page and then search for jobs in the Northern Ireland Office where the application form can be found.

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

Additional Information

Further information about us

We are a small and friendly department of approximately 202 staff. Due to our size we are able to offer staff more exposure to ministers and the opportunity to work on a far wider portfolio of responsibilities than might be the case in a larger department. This creates an interesting, though often challenging, work environment.

Other Benefits

The NIO offers a pleasant, modern work environment which allows consideration of a range of flexible working arrangements which support a good work/ life balance. These include flexible/alternative working patterns, part-time and job-share options.

Benefits include:

  • Interest-free season ticket and bicycle loans
  • Reward & Recognition scheme

Guaranteed Interview Scheme

The Northern Ireland Office operates the Guaranteed Interview Scheme, details of which are attached to the application form for this post.

In the event that we identify more appointable candidates than we currently have posts available, we will hold applicant details on a reserve list for a period of 12 months from which further appointments can be made. This may include roles at a lower grade. Candidates placed on a reserve list will be informed of this. Those candidates who do not wish to remain on the reserve list should contact MoJ-recruitment-vetting-enquiries@gov.sscl.com to be removed from the reserve list.

Diversity Information

The Northern Ireland Office 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.

We particularly welcome applications from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) candidates, as they are under-represented within the NIO at this level.

The Northern Ireland Office strives to be an inclusive employer and is recognised by its staff and externally as being an employer where Diversity and Inclusion are valued.

We hold a Diversity & Inclusion Charter Mark and are an accredited Disability Confident Leader organisation

In March 2018 we won the award for Best Employer for Diversity & Equality in Northern Ireland (small employer category) in a Gala Award ceremony hosted by Legal-Island, a multi-award winning workplace compliance company based in Northern Ireland.

We have an active D&I network supporting colleagues through D&I Advocates, championed by our Directors.

We want all our people to feel valued for who they are and we are confident that you will find the NIO a warm, welcoming and inclusive place to work.

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.  

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@sscl.gse.gov.uk) 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:


  This job is closed - View Recruiter Profile    




To stay safe in your job search we recommend that you visit SAFERjobs, a non-profit, joint industry and law enforcement organisation working to combat job scams. Visit the SAFERjobs website for information on common scams and to get free, expert advice for a safer job search.