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Prison Education Commercial Manager

Category : Government
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Location : Birmingham , Cardiff , Leeds , Liverpool , London, Manchester , National , Newcastle , Nottingham
Salary : £ - £ 36,049
Type : Permanent
Closing Date : 2022-04-04
Date Posted : 2022-04-03
Reference : 55480  

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:


The Ministry of Justice

The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) is a major government department, at the heart of the justice system. Responsible for courts, prisons and probation services, we work to ensure sentences are served and offenders are given rehabilitation opportunities to become law-abiding citizens.

The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has one of the largest and most complex spend profiles in central government. The Commercial and Contract Management Directorate (CCMD) is responsible for coordinating procurement and contract management across the MoJ, its agencies and non-departmental public bodies.

The MoJ spends £3.5bn a year and manages over 1000 active contracts, all of which are sourced and managed by CCMD. We are running some of the most ground breaking programmes such as Prison Reform and Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunal Service Reform. The scope of our contracts ranges from building, maintenance and the operation of Prisons, Courts and Young Offender establishments through to food for prison dogs. The directorate also buys and manages contracts for feeding up to 80,000 prisoners, the secure escorting of prisoners from numerous establishments based around the country and translation services.

As a team CCMD are focused on supporting the department to deliver better outcomes, reduce reoffending and increase Value For Money.  The range of this work gives a unique, supportive and challenging environment to develop your career and skills.

Prison Education Portfolio

Prison Education can transform lives and is shown to dramatically reduce reoffending, working in the commercial prison education team will give you an opportunity to contribute to this rewarding work and develop your commercial skills as part of a supportive high performing team.

The Prison Education category team is responsible for £150m of spend per year and works with the senior contract managers to manage the outsourced education contracts ensuring delivery of the contracts and high-quality education.  The team is also helping shape the next generation of education contracts and will lead their procurement.

This role responsible for Prison Education in Wales will have a breadth of interest and give a real opportunity to join a well-established team working closely with local Educational Teams, Operational and Policy colleagues to support the rehabilitation of prisoners, reducing rates of re-offending and contributing measurable social value to society.

We are seeking a Commercial Professional with the right personal qualities – enthusiasm, energy, proactivity, collaborative, prepared to work as part of a team and under their own initiative and to be flexible and adaptable in a demanding environment.

This post provides a great opportunity to learn new skills and knowledge whilst contributing to the delivery of a high-profile programme

The team structure is:

  • Senior Commercial Manager – Grade 7 (Band A)
  • Commercial Manager – SEO (Band B) (this vacancy)
  • Commercial Administration Officer – EO (Band D)

Location of role

The post is based in London, Leeds, Manchester or hubs as specified in the advert. The post holder is required to be office based a minimum of 2 days a week, with the remaining times suitable for homeworking with necessary IT supplied. For candidates applying for one of the other specified locations, this will a nominal base location without access to the building. In line with the department’s policies, travel and subsistence and, where appropriate, overnight accommodation will be available in line with organisational policies. 

Commercial Manager - Key Responsibilities

Reporting to a Senior Commercial Manager, the post holder will be responsible for leading on procurement and contract management activities including but not limited to:

  • Leading end to end sourcing activity including pre-procurement activity, requirements definition, strategy development, market engagement and developing tender packs (including specification, technical and financial evaluation and contract drafting)
  • Leading contract implementation and management activity, working closely with stakeholders to deliver mobilisation, performance management, contract variation, negotiation and exit activity.
  • Strategy development at contract level, using business acumen and market insight to drive commercial opportunities to deliver continuous improvement, value for money and/or savings.
  • Preparation and development of the Commercial contract strategy, engaging with stakeholders to develop and capture requirements.
  • To support activities and governance to enable contract award and mobilisation.
  • Analysing market spend and performance data and presenting this to support commercial activity.
  • Commercial management of Contracts, including developing and managing contract variations and change governance process.
  • Liaison and developing relationships with key stakeholders such as HMPPS Operational staff, Contract Management Team (CMT), Finance, Legal and Policy Teams
  • Provide professional commercial advice and contribute to develop supplier relationships in partnership with HMPPS.
  • Ensure contract compliance with Cabinet Office guidance and new legislative requirements.
  • Contribute to manage performance ensuring a consistent approach across all Prison Education arrangements, including application of improvement notices/financial penalties (i.e. service credits) for under-performance.
  • Contribute to identify and manage risk for the Authority, including developing and implementing mitigation strategies.
  • Support the operational contract managers to deliver and maintain their contract plans.
  • Provide a professional commercial service to stakeholders, operating at all times as an ambassador within CCMD and the wider commercial profession
  • Supporting the Senior Commercial Manager and leading on activities which support the development of category management procedures, tools and ways of working
  • Comply with all Departmental controls relating to commercial practice and otherwise, including strict adherence to delegated authorities, and ensure that staff do the same.
  • To develop and lead Commercial tender activity on the Jaggaer (formerly Bravo) eProcurement platform.

Person Specification

Essential Criteria

  • Experience creating and delivering complex and high value end to end sourcing exercises (from identification of business need through to award and mobilisation)
  • Delivery and management of procurement materials (e.g. procurement strategies, specifications, evaluation criteria)
  • Experience of contract management in a commercial environment
  • The ability to successfully influence senior internal and external stakeholders
  • The ability to use your judgement to take a considered approach to situations and tasks
  • Experience of seeking out and analysing information, and making evidence-based decisions
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills, you will be a team player who leads by example

Desirable Criteria

  • Awareness of public sector procurement legislation including EU Rules and UK interpretations, post EU exit;
  • Working knowledge of Procurement Systems, e.g. Oracle (ERP) and/or Jaggaer (Bravo)
  • Experience of procuring services
  • Contract Management experience
  • The ability to drive improved outcomes by influencing and developing the market.
  • Ownership of tasks and projects from initial stages through to completion
  • Relevant category knowledge and/or industry experience

Learning and Development

Professional development is encouraged within the MOJ. This opportunity provides excellent development opportunities operating in a complex commercial environment. Also, the post attracts a high level of fully funded learning, including funding to undertake CIPS qualification.


Candidates must have one of the following or a willingness to work towards gaining the appropriate qualification.

  • Member of a relevant professional body, e.g. CIPS, IACCM or similar.
  • Relevant degree, such as in law, finance or MBA;

Success Profiles

The Civil Service Success Profile Framework is a flexible framework which assesses candidates against a range of elements using a variety of selection methods. We will assess against these Civil Service Behaviours at level 3 (SEO equivalent) during the selection process:

  • Leadership

Ensure colleagues and stakeholders have a clear understanding of objectives, activities and time-frames. Take into account different individual needs, views, and ideas, championing inclusion and equality of opportunity for all. Consider the impacts of own and team’s activities on stakeholders and end users. Role-model commitment and satisfaction with role. Recognise and praise the achievements of others to drive positivity within the team. Effectively manage conflict, misconduct and non-inclusive behaviour, raising with senior managers where appropriate.

  • Managing a Quality Service;

Develop, implement, maintain and review systems and services to ensure delivery of professional excellence. Work with stakeholders to set priorities, objectives and timescales. Successfully deliver high quality outcomes that meet the customers’ needs and gives value for money. Identify risks and resolve issues efficiently. Involve a diverse range of colleagues, stakeholders and delivery partners in developing suggestions for improvements. Establish ways to find and respond to feedback from customers about the services provided.

  • Changing and Improving;

Work with others to identify areas for improvement and simplify processes to use fewer resources. Use technology where possible to increase efficiency. Encourage ideas for change from a wide range of sources. Clearly explain the reasons for change to colleagues and how to implement them, supporting individuals with different needs to adapt to change. Encourage an environment where colleagues know that they can challenge decisions and issues safely. Take managed risks by fully considering the varied impacts changes could have on the diverse range of end users.

  • Making Effective Decisions;

Understand own level of responsibility and empower others to make decisions where appropriate. Analyse and use a range of relevant, credible information from internal and external sources to support decisions. Invite challenge and where appropriate involve others in decision making. Display confidence when making difficult decisions, even if they prove to be unpopular. Consult with others to ensure the potential impacts on end users have been considered. Present strong recommendations in a timely manner outlining the consideration of other options, costs, benefits and risks.

  • Communicating and Influencing;

Communicate in a straightforward, honest and engaging manner, choosing appropriate styles to maximise understanding and impact. Encourage the use of different communication methods, including digital resources and highlight the benefits, including ensuring cost effectiveness. Ensure communication has a clear purpose and takes into account people’s individual needs. Share information as appropriate and check understanding. Show positivity and enthusiasm towards work, encouraging others to do the same. Ensure that important messages are communicated with colleagues and stakeholders respectfully, taking into consideration the diversity of interests

  • Delivering at Pace.

Show a positive approach to keeping the whole team’s efforts focused on the top priorities. Promote a culture of following the appropriate procedures to ensure results are achieved on time whilst still enabling innovation. Ensure the most appropriate resources are available for colleagues to use to do their job effectively. Regularly monitor your own and team’s work against milestones ensuring individual needs are considered when setting tasks. Act promptly to reassess workloads and priorities when there are conflicting demands to maintain performance. Allow individuals the space and authority to meet objectives, providing additional support where necessary, whilst keeping overall responsibility.

Experience & Technical

Your experience and technical skills for this role shall be assessed at both at sift stage (CV, Statement of suitability) and interview stage (Presentation and Interview).

Candidates who are invited to interview will be required to give a 10-minute presentation as part of the interview process, the presentation topic shall be given at the interview stage.

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