Rail Reform and Strategy Policy Adviser

Birmingham, West Midlands
02 Mar 2021
15 Mar 2021
Contract Type
Full Time


Birmingham, Leeds, London

About the job Rail Reform and Strategy Policy Advisor 

Salary: £30,734 (National); £34,708 (London)

Location: London, Leeds, Birmingham

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 looking for a wide-reaching role where you’ll have the opportunity to get involved in all aspects of policy delivery, from formulation through to implementation?

Would you love influencing and collaborating with Ministers, Director generals and industry partners?

Are you excited about the chance to contribute to delivering rail reform and quality services for passengers by being actively involved with policy and legalisation changes?

If so, then we are looking for Rail Reform and Strategy Policy Advisers to join our teams, and we’d love to hear from you! Job description

This is an exciting time to join the Rail Reform Directorate as we embark on the most fundamental reform of the railways in a generation. We are looking for HEO policy advisors who can make a real contribution to delivering rail reform.

Our Directorate works across Rail Group delivering policy that meets Ministers ambitions for a modern joined up railway, that delivers the high-quality service that passengers should expect.

You will have direct and regular contact with senior officials across the Group and can expect to present your policy areas to Directors Generals, Ministers and senior industry stakeholders.

In this role you will develop the full range of policy skills with opportunities to input into legislation and to engage with industry stakeholders and other government departments.


As a HEO policy professional your duties and responsibilities will include:

• Leading and delivering rail reform policy that meets Ministers ambitions for rail reform;

• Support on aspects of rail reform policy delivery, formulating policy ideas and testing them with a wide range of stakeholders;

• Manage stakeholder relationships and maintain these throughout the policy development process, communicating our position with confidence, impact and influence; and creating an open, honest environment for industry to engage with government;

• Proactively work with teams across the Directorate and Group and with legal, analysis and Ministerial Private Offices, and build strong and effective working relationships with colleagues in a variety of government departments where rail reform has an interest.

About you

You someone who is engaging in their communications and is able to adapt this to suit a range of audiences. You are someone who remains alert to issues and trends and considers how this would impact your area of work.

You have exceptional drafting skills will be able to use this to write reports for senior officials. You enjoy building relationships and have the ability to create networks quickly both internally and externally. You are someone who actively promotes respect for others and supports platforms for idea sharing. You enjoy using your strategic and creative to improve policies and create innovative solutions.

You will have excellent organisational skills with the ability to manage multiple and often conflicting priorities to time and to a high standard to deliver results. Your are able to collect and analyse a range of information in order to support recommendations and can do so in time sensitive situations.

We are different people, one team.


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

  • Communicating and Influencing
  • Working Together
  • Making Effective Decisions
  • Seeing the Big Picture

We only ask for evidence of these behaviours on your application form:

  • Communicating and Influencing
  • Working Together
  • Making Effective Decisions

Technical skills

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

  • Evidence - Analysis and use of evidence - Policy Framing
  • Politics - Politics and democracy - Advising, Briefing & Drafting


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 

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, Strengths, Ability, Experience and Technical skills.

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.

The Civil Service Nationality Rules has been updated following the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union. The new rules will come into effect on 1st January 2021. We urge people from the EU, European Economic Area and Switzerland to be familiar with the updated Nationality rules prior to applying for this role.

If successful you will join the Department for Transport and be assigned to your first policy role. You should expect that this assignment could change depending on new priorities and policy areas. We will expect you to be flexible and move within the department as needed.

In line with current government guidance the majority of our staff are currently working from home. On joining the department you should expect to be based from home until we are able to safely bring staff back to our offices.

You will be given the equipment you need to work from home including a laptop and mobile phone. You can also request accessories such as a headset or monitor if these would help you to work from home. We continue to carry out formal workplace assessments where you need specific equipment to allow you to work from home.

As part of the process we will test you against the Policy Profession Standard Level 1 which can be found here.

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 15th March. 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.

Should a large number of applications be received, an initial sift may be conducted using the lead behaviour, Communicating and Influencing. Candidates who pass the initial sift may be progressed to a full sift, or progressed straight to assessment/interview.

As part of your application you will be asked to evidence the following 3 Behaviours:

- Communicating and Influencing
- Working Together
- Making Effective Decisions

Candidates successful at sift will be expected to complete a policy written exercise w/c 22nd March. For candidates that pass this stage of the process they will proceed onto complete the video based interview w/c 12th April.

We have 10 roles available, if you are successful you will be asked to provide your CV to determine which of these roles is best suited to your experience and skill

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 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

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

This job is broadly open to the following groups:

  • UK nationals
  • nationals of Commonwealth countries who have the right to work in the UK
  • nationals of the Republic of Ireland
  • nationals from the EU, EEA or Switzerland with (or eligible for) status under the European Union Settlement Scheme (EUSS)
  • relevant EU, EEA, Swiss or Turkish nationals working in the Civil Service
  • relevant EU, EEA, Swiss or Turkish nationals who have built up the right to work in the Civil Service
  • certain family members of the relevant EU, EEA, Swiss or Turkish nationals

Further information on nationality requirements

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.

Apply and further information

Once this job has closed, the job advert will no longer be available. You may want to save a copy for your records.

Contact point for applicants Job contact : Name :   dftrailrecruitment Email :   [email protected]   Recruitment team : Email :   [email protected] Further information

If you feel your application has not been treated in accordance with the Recruitment Principles and you wish to make a complaint, in the first instance, you should contact Government Recruitment Services via email: [email protected] If you are not satisfied with the response you receive from the Department, you can contact the Civil Service Commission: Click here (https://civilservicecommission.independent.gov.uk/) to visit Civil Service Commission