Chief of Staff - Flexible Working Available

London (Greater)
24 Sep 2020
06 Oct 2020


We recognise the challenges that people with (multiple) protected characteristics may experience on the job market and in their career progression. We are fully committed to being an inclusive employer and ensuring equal opportunities. We are keen to make our workforce as diverse as possible, and we hope to attract applications from underrepresented groups, including Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) people, people with a disability, and people with gender diverse identities.

Are you confident in leading discussions at a senior level?

Are you looking for a high profile role where you’ll gain a wealth of experience?

If so, this exciting opportunity as our Chief of Staff is for you, and we’d love to hear from you.

Job description

Transport Security, Resilience and Response (TSRR) Directorate leads on national security matters for the Department for Transport (DfT), ranging from counter terrorism and cyber security to planning for and responding to natural hazards or civil contingencies. We deliver cross-modal and specialist expertise to support security and resilience policy teams whilst also providing the Department's 24/7 response for all security or civil contingency incidents. The team works with security and intelligence partners from across government to mitigate risk to the UK’s transport sector.

The DfT’s aim is for a transport system that works for everyone and balances the needs of society, the environment and the economy, and our TSRR vision is to collaborate to deliver a safe, secure and resilient transport network, for people and goods, for today and tomorrow. We want a travelling environment, in which passengers and other users are protected from acts of violence and can make their journeys without undue inconvenience or delay from security measures. We are a major player in delivering real-world security outcomes and support Government strategies such as CONTEST (counter-terrorism strategy) and the National Cyber Security Strategy.

Similarly, our resilience work aims to ensure that the UK’s transport system keeps moving and that we are able to understand, mitigate and respond to the range of natural hazards and civil contingency issues which can arise – for example COVID-19, Thomas Cook repatriation, severe weather, volcanic ash or industrial action.


Your role responsibilities will include:

• Managing a corporate support office function for the Director covering delivery, resourcing, risk and finance management across the whole Directorate;
• Lead on Directorate Business Planning, providing scrutiny to financial and resource planning through the quarterly cycle;
• Providing leadership and senior oversight of finances across the Directorate, monitoring for accuracy and ensuring financial returns are of a high quality and timely;
• Lead as the Senior Risk Manager for the Directorate, monitoring Directorate performance against Milestones, movement of risks, and monitoring of KPIs;
• Responsible for oversight of all Directorate staffing related matters including recruitment, vacancies, bonuses, induction programme and new starter experience;
• Oversee the delivery of high quality secretariat support to the DfT National Security Co-Ordination Group and National Security Board that includes developing the agenda, commissioning the papers, preparing the brief for the Director and Director General Chairs of the Boards, and writing accurate minutes;
• Attending Director and Deputy Director meetings, and Senior Management Team meetings, ensuring senior leaders are focusing on staffing, finance, corporate issues and the health of the Directorate.

Additionally, TSRR plays a crucial role in the Department’s emergency response mechanisms. You therefore may be required to participate in the Department’s response to a security or civil contingencies incident. This may include out of hours working on occasion but we make every effort to allow for your personal circumstances.

TSRR invests significantly in training and developing staff to prepare them not just for an interesting and challenging job, but also for a rewarding career in the Government national security. Our expectation is that our staff will remain in post for at least two years.

Special features of the role:

Although the successful candidate will require SC clearance to begin the role, there is an expectation they will work towards DV clearance once in post.

About you

You will have excellent communication skills both verbally and in writing, with the ability to adapt your delivery to suit a wide variety of audiences, maximising both impact and understanding. You are someone who gains rapport quickly with others as you build effective working relationships with both colleagues and stakeholders.

You will have confidence in your ability to come in and make a real impact within our team where you will lead from the front and drive those around you to achieve the same shared objectives. You will have excellent organisational skills with the ability to manage multiple and often conflicting priorities to time and of a high standard. You are someone who is not afraid to challenge, and who can push back to our stakeholders where necessary in managing their expectations.

About us

Our mission at the Department for Transport is ‘connecting people and places’. Everything we do to achieve this is reinforced by our values:

Confidence: to challenge, to take action, to innovate
Excellence: in our professionalism, in our delivery, in our learning
Teamwork: we are inclusive, we collaborate, we support each other

These values define the kind of organisation we want to be – delivering for today whilst being ambitious for tomorrow.

We embrace diversity and celebrate our differences. Everyone is involved in making DfT an inclusive and great place to work. We actively promote a flexible approach to working whilst giving our staff opportunities to maximise their skills and achieve their full potential.

We are different people, one team.

Find out more about what it's like working at the Department for Transport.


We'll assess you against these behaviours during the selection process:

  • Managing a Quality Service
  • Communicating and Influencing
  • Seeing the Big Picture
  • Delivering at Pace
  • Making Effective Decisions


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.

Things you need to know Security

Successful candidates must meet the security requirements before they can be appointed. The level of security needed is security check.

People working with government assets must complete basic personnel security standard checks.

Selection process details

This vacancy is using Success Profiles, and will assess your Behaviours and Experience.

We are closely monitoring the situation regarding the 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. In addition, where appropriate, you may be invited to attend a video interview.

Please continue to follow the application process as normal and ensure that you check your emails regularly as all updates from us will be sent to you this way.

How to apply:

As part of the application process you will be asked to complete a CV and personal statement. Further details around what this will entail are listed on the application form.

When considering your experience, please tailor your CV/Personal Statement to provide evidence of when you have:

• Managed a project area from the development stages through to implementation;?
• Developed or improved processes to deliver high quality outcomes;?
• Inspired and motivated a team to be fully engaged in their work;.

The sift is due to take place 08/10/20.

1st Interviews will be held between 20/10/20 and 23/10/20.

2nd Interview will be held between 04/11/20 and 11/11/20.

This interview could be conducted via a video interview, details of which 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 could include:

• an interview

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 please click here

Your interview may consist of a range of question types. These may include questions about:

• what energises and motivates you
• how you would manage situations relevant to the role
• your previous experience
• your professional skills and knowledge

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

Reasonable adjustment
If a person with disabilities is put at a substantial disadvantage compared to a non-disabled person, we have a duty to make reasonable changes to our processes.

If you need a change to be made so that you can make your application, you should:

Contact Government Recruitment Service via [email protected] as soon as possible before the closing date to discuss your needs.

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

Further Information

We have adopted anonymised recruitment. This means that your name, date of birth and other personal details will not be seen by the sift panel.

Due to Covid-19, there is less capacity to complete National Security Vetting checks. Vetting is being prioritised for staff either directly involved in the HMG Covid-19 Response or roles in a limited number of agreed high priority areas.
Therefore, in some instances, following successful BPSS pre-employment checks, the successful candidate may commence employment on the premise that NSV higher security checks will be conducted once normal service levels resume. Should NSV checks prove to be unsuccessful, an alternative role, not requiring NSV clearance, will be identified within the department.
If this is not possible the start date for some campaigns will need to be delayed until vetting has been completed.

If successful and transferring from another Government Department a criminal record check may be carried out.

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.

We may hold a reserve list for up to twelve months. During this time, if a similar role is identified and you have been placed on the reserve list you may be considered for the post. Within the reserve list period, your application form and selection information may be shared across the department and its agencies.

New entrants are expected to join on the minimum of the pay band.

We welcome applications from every part of the community and we don’t discriminate against any gender identity. We’re especially interested to hear from underrepresented groups in the DfT such as gender diverse, BAME, LGBT+ and disabled candidates.

Any move to the department for transport will mean you will no longer be able to carry on claiming childcare vouchers.

You will however have access to the governments Tax Free Childcare scheme.

Please see attached candidate notes for further information about our recruitment process.

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

Nationality requirements

Open to UK, Commonwealth and European Economic Area (EEA) and certain non EEA nationals. Further information on whether you are able to apply is available here.

Working for the Civil Service

The Civil Service Code 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.

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.

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