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Clean Ship Operations Policy Lead

Maritime and Coastguard Agency
Closing date
4 Dec 2023

Job Details

Job summary

Are you passionate about the environment, shipping and improving the world we live in?

Do you want a rewarding role in which you can influence stakeholders across government to make a positive change to maritime safety and environmental protection?

Would you like to lead on the development of high-profile policies that really make a difference?

If so, we are looking for a Clean Ship Operations Policy Lead'to join us at the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) and we'd love to hear from you!

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) implements the government's maritime safety policy in the United Kingdom and works to prevent the loss of life and occurrence of pollution on the coast and at sea.

Safer lives. Safer Ships. Cleaner Seas.

Our vision is to be a world-leading organisation, accelerating the transition to sustainable shipping with non-negotiable safety standards. We put our people, our customers and our planet at the heart of everything we do.

We welcome applications from all communities, and we don't discriminate against any identity. We're interested to hear from you, regardless of your background.

Job description

The Clean Ship Operations Team is seeking to recruit a proactive and passionate individual to join the team to develop and implement policies which improve the environmental performance of ships and protect the marine environment from ship-based pollution.

We tackle issues ranging from marine plastic, noise, sewage and garbage to marine biosecurity in order to make a better planet for tomorrow.

This role is part of a dynamic team operating in a professional working environment.

Drawing on you own knowledge, technical expertise and that of colleagues, you will play a pivotal role by representing the UK government and driving forward maritime environmental policy for ships to address existing and emerging issues.

Responsibilities include but are not limited to:

Contributing to, and where appropriate leading, the negotiation, development, implementation and management of policy and regulation.

Providing a focal point role for industry and colleagues on matters regarding UK policies covered by clean ship operations.

Drafting instructions for Government lawyers for preparation and timely implementation of regulations and codes and guidance related to UK policy.

In conjunction with senior colleagues, representing the MCA, and/or the UK, at internal, external and international meetings and working groups ( International Maritime Organization, Department for Transport etc.

Person specification

About You

This role requires an individual with a background working in a regulatory role, or within the maritime or environmental sector.

You will be able to apply scientific and technical knowledge to demonstrate a high standard of drafting ability in order to produce high quality submissions and other policy documents.

Your input will be vital in shaping regulations, and you will take an active role in developing policy, so you will need to be resilient, self-motivated, and able keep pace with developments in industry.

To be successful in this varied role, you will be a dedicated and adaptable team player, able to cover different policy areas.

You will possess strong interpersonal skills with the ability to communicate clearly and confidently, whilst acting with integrity, when representing the agency in various settings such as at the Houses of Parliament or with the International Maritime Organization.

You will be an organised individual with first class attention to detail who excels at interpreting often complex and technical information.

Additional information

Unless operational requirements for specific location and availability:

This role will be based in the Southampton HQ (or relevant office). MCA supports flexible working and operates a hybrid working model between home and office for this role, giving you greater flexibility over where and when you work.

The expectation is that you will spend a minimum 60% of your working time based at your principal workplace or out on official business. Details of the arrangement will be discussed further with your line manager.

DfT workplace attendance expectations were updated in recruitment campaigns on 17 November 2023.

This role requires occasional UK and overseas travel which may involve overnight stays and working outside of normal hours, potentially at weekends.


A passport valid for international travel is required.


We'll assess you against these behaviours during the selection process:
  • Seeing the Big Picture
  • Changing and Improving
  • Making Effective Decisions
  • Delivering at Pace

Technical skills

We'll assess you against these technical skills during the selection process:
  • Level 1 Strategy - Policy Context and Purpose
    - Interrogate and explore underlying issues addressed by the policy, using systems thinking to model policy problems.
    - Define the sought impacts and outcomes of a policy.
  • Level 1 Democracy - - Working with Ministers
    - Deliver effective internal communication. Write for different audiences and purposes, including scrutiny.


Being part of our brilliant Civil Service means you will have access to a wide range of fantastic benefits. We offer generous annual leave, attractive pension options, flexible working, inclusive working environments and much more to support a healthy work/life balance.

Click here to get a copy of the MCA Staff Benefits Brochure

Things you need to know

Selection process details

This vacancy is using Success Profiles (opens in a new window) , and will assess your Behaviours, Strengths, Experience and Technical skills.

How to Apply

This vacancy is using Success Profiles . This gives us the best possible chance of finding the right person for the job, drives up performance and improves diversity and inclusivity.

CV and Personal Statement:

Within your CV and personal statement please demonstrate your knowledge and experience of:
  • Applying scientific and technical knowledge to draft high standard submissions and other policy documents
  • Environmental considerations in relation to the shipping industry
  • Working in a regulatory role, or a role within the maritime or environmental sector
  • Collaborating and communicating with a wide range of stakeholders

Your personal statement will be limited to a maximum of 1000 words.

It is essential when submitting your personal statement that you provide as much detail as possible, and utilise the full word count given, against the essential criteria outlined above as this will be used in conjunction with your CV to assess candidate suitability to move to the next round in the recruitment process.

Sift and Interview Dates

The sift is due to take place on 5th & 6th December 2023.

Interviews/assessments are due to take place between 18th - 20th December 2023.

This interview will be conducted face to face at our Southampton HQ office. Further details will be provided to you should you be selected for interview.

We will try to meet the dates set out in the advert. There may be occasions when these dates will change. You will be provided with sufficient notice of the confirmed dates.

The selection process will be designed specifically for the role. As a result, your assessment will include:

An interview

A written policy exercise

As part of your interview you will be assessed against the Policy Profession Standards .

You're encouraged to become familiar with the role profile, as you may be assessed against any of the criteria recorded within.

The Department for Transport alongside other Government Departments recruit using Success Profiles. This means for each role we consider what you will need to demonstrate in order to be successful. This gives us the best possible chance of finding the right person for the job, drives up performance and improves diversity and inclusivity.

For further information on Success Profiles visit our Careers website .

Reasonable Adjustments

As a Disability Confident Leader employer, we are committed to ensuring that the recruitment process is fair, accessible and allows all candidates to perform at their best. If a person with a visible or non-visible disability is substantially disadvantaged, we have a duty to make reasonable changes to our processes.

Complete the Assistance required section in the Additional requirements page of your application form to tell us what changes or help you might need during the recruitment process. For instance, you may need wheelchair access at an interview, or if you're deaf, a Language Service Professional.

If you need a reasonable adjustment so that you can complete your application, you should contact Government Recruitment Service via . as soon as possible before the closing date to discuss your needs.

Document Accessibility

If you are experiencing accessibility problems with any attachments on this advert, please contact the email address in the 'Contact point for applicants' section.

This job advert contains links to the DfT Careers website . Our website provides useful guidance and information that can support you during the application process. If you cannot access the information on our website for any reason, please email . for assistance.

Further Information

For more information about how we hire, and for useful tips on submitting your application for this role, visit the How We Hire page of our DfT Careers website. You can find detailed information about the recruitment process and what to expect when applying for a role.

Pre-employment Checking

Applicants who are successful at interview will be, as part of pre-employment screening, subject to a check on the Internal Fraud Database (IFD). This check will provide information about employees who have been dismissed for fraud or dishonesty offences. This check also applies to employees who resign or otherwise leave before being dismissed for fraud or dishonesty had their employment continued. Any applicant's details held on the IFD will be refused employment.

A candidate is not eligible to apply for a role within the Civil Service if the application is made within a 5-year period following a dismissal for carrying out internal fraud against government.

Feedback will only be provided if you attend an interview or assessment.


Successful candidates must undergo a criminal record check.

People working with government assets must complete baseline personnel security standard (opens in new window) checks.

Nationality requirements

This job is broadly open to the following groups:
  • UK nationals
  • nationals of the Republic of Ireland
  • nationals of Commonwealth countries who have the right to work in the UK
  • nationals of the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein and family members of those nationalities with settled or pre-settled status under the European Union Settlement Scheme (EUSS) (opens in a new window)
  • nationals of the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein and family members of those nationalities who have made a valid application for settled or pre-settled status under the European Union Settlement Scheme (EUSS)
  • individuals with limited leave to remain or indefinite leave to remain who were eligible to apply for EUSS on or before 31 December 2020
  • Turkish nationals, and certain family members of Turkish nationals, who have accrued the right to work in the Civil Service
Further information on nationality requirements (opens in a new window)

Working for the Civil Service

The Civil Service Code (opens in a new window) sets out the standards of behaviour expected of civil servants.

We recruit by merit on the basis of fair and open competition, as outlined in the Civil Service Commission's recruitment principles (opens in a new window) .

The Civil Service embraces diversity and promotes equal opportunities. As such, we run a Disability Confident Scheme (DCS) for candidates with disabilities who meet the minimum selection criteria.

The Civil Service also offers a Redeployment Interview Scheme to civil servants who are at risk of redundancy, and who meet the minimum requirements for the advertised vacancy.


The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) is an executive agency of the United Kingdom working to prevent the loss of lives at sea and is responsible for implementing British and international maritime law and safety policy. It is also responsible for land based search and rescue helicopter operations from 2015.

Its responsibilities include coordinating search and rescue (SAR) on the coastline and at sea through His Majesty's Coastguard (HMCG), ensuring that ships meet international and UK safety standards, monitoring and preventing coastal water pollution and testing and issuing Merchant Navy Certificates of Competency (licences) for ships' officers and crew to STCW requirements The organisation is led by Virginia McVea its Chief Executive, who took up post in February 2023.The MCA are chiefly responsible for the syllabus and national training standards issued by the Merchant Navy Training Board (based at the UK Chamber of Shipping).

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