Executive Assistant to Deputy Director

Birmingham, Leeds, London
30 Oct 2020
10 Nov 2020
Contract Type


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.

Can you confidently lead others on high profile projects in a fast-paced environment?

Are you someone that ensures that activities align to strategic priorities?

Do you want to collaborate with key project partners to achieve strategic objectives?

If so, then we are looking for Senior Project, Programme and Portfolio (“3P”) Sponsors to join our teams within the Rail Group and Roads, Places and Environment Group (RPE) at the Department for Transport (DfT), and we’d love to hear from you!

Job description

We have a number of exciting opportunities for Senior Project, Programme and Portfolio (“3P”) Sponsors at the Department for Transport (DfT). You will be leading on some of the largest infrastructure and most complex projects this country has ever seen.

Some of the areas you could work on are listed below with other opportunities across the Department still evolving:

• Operation of the Rail Network Enhancements Pipeline
• Great Western/Wales & Wessex Network Enhancements
• Intercity Express Programme
• The Transpennine Route Upgrade
• North of England Programme
• The Brighton Mainline Upgrade Programme
• The A428 Black Cat to Caxton Gibbet improvement
• Development of high value road projects for future delivery.

Travel may be required to attend meetings in London or elsewhere in the UK.


As a Project Delivery professional your duties and responsibilities, depending on the role, could include:

Maintaining positive working relationships with key partners in the Department, other Government Departments, Network Rail, Highways England, Local Councils and Local Enterprise Partnerships and other delivery organisations. This includes attending key industry meetings to represent the Department.

Setting the Department’s requirements for the project and updating them as appropriate through the project lifecycle. Helping and supporting the delivery organisation (e.g. Network Rail, Highways England) to succeed in delivering the project, challenging constructively where necessary.

Ensuring appropriate governance and assurance is in place, in line with departmental guidance, and that the project maintains its business focus. Preparing briefing and submissions for ministers on project related matters.

Identifying, monitoring and managing strategic risks and issues. Developing mitigating actions and escalating as appropriate.

Providing leadership to the project and also developing and supporting a team. Showing commitment to the personal development and wellbeing of others.

About you

You will have confidence in your ability to come in and make a real impact within our teams where you will lead from the front to achieve key high-profile projects against key milestones. We will look for you to bring strong leadership capabilities, the ability to coach and support your team to enable development and growth.

You will have awareness of how wider influences can affect the dynamics of key high-profile priorities and manage risks effectively. You will be able to effectively promote the benefits of projects and provide guidance and support to others within the wider project community.

You are someone who builds rapport quickly with others as you develop effective working relationships with both colleagues and partners. We will look for you to promote collaborative ways of working amongst your team and partners driving a continuous improvement culture.

You will have significant experience of working in a project, programme or portfolio (“3P”) environment, hold a recognised APM or similar qualification or have a willingness to work towards a PPM qualification once in role.


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

  • Seeing the Big Picture
  • Leadership
  • Making Effective Decisions
  • Communicating and Influencing


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.

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

Things you need to know Security

Successful candidates must pass a disclosure and barring 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, Ability 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

When considering your experience, please tailor your CV and personal statement to provide evidence of when you have;

• 3PM and leadership experience - led on a project, programme or portfolio (or elements of one), in a fast paced and complex environment, motivating colleagues to be fully engaged.
• Seen the big picture - ensured your plans and activities reflect wider strategic priorities, bringing together views of a diverse range of partners.
• Communicated and influenced - confidently engaged with internal/external partners and colleagues at all levels to generate commitment to goals, achieve progress on shared objectives and to build trust.
• Worked collaboratively and taken decisions - welcomed innovative suggestions and challenge, identified main issues and risks, developed options and presented reasonable conclusions from a range of complex and incomplete evidence.

After submission of the first stage of your application you will be invited to complete a Verbal Reasoning test. If you successfully pass the test, you will be invited to complete the final stage of the application.

Please complete the online tests as soon as possible (within 24-48 hours is recommended), the closing date for the tests is 23:55 on 9th November. If you fail to complete the online test before the deadline your application will be withdrawn. Guidance for the test will be available when you are invited to take the test. The tests are administered online and accessed via the CS Jobs website.

For information and guidance on preparing for your Civil Service Verbal test, please click here

The sift is due to take place w/c 10th November.

Interviews/assessments are likely to be held w/c 30th November,

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

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.

Further Information

To learn more about applying for a role within the Department for Transport, visit the Application Process page of our Careers website.

Before submitting your application, we encourage you to visit our Things You Need to Know page for further information about applying for a role within the Department for Transport and the Civil Service.

Throughout this job advert there are links to the DfT Careers website, which provides you further information to support your application. Should you be unable to access the information on our website, please email [email protected] for assistance.

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.