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Business Continuity Advisor ****Readvertisement of 32387****

Posted: 8 Jan 2020 Closes: 26 Jan 2020
Bristol, London, Reading, Warrington, York £47,078
Permanent & Full-time defra/20200108170924

Defra is the UK government department responsible for safeguarding our natural environment, supporting our world-leading food and farming industry, and sustaining a thriving rural economy. Our broad remit means we play a major role in people's day-to-day life, from the food we eat, and the air we breathe, to the water we drink.

Our Digital Data and Technology Services (DDTS) Function is currently undertaking a once in a generation Transformation, as the UK moves towards exiting the EU. We are currently recruiting for a Business Continuity professional at Grade 7 to provide leadership, direction and set a consistent approach to Business Continuity across Defra group organisations.

Working in a supportive, diverse, and customer-focused culture our flexible working arrangements mean that you can maintain a healthy work-life balance. You will play an important part in building a digital future for Defra and our customers. This means big changes to how our services and technologies are designed and delivered.

Reporting to the Head of the Business Continuity function, you will be responsible for management, development and well-being of staff, and ensuring the provision of a high quality Business Continuity policies and strategies service to Defra group (i.e. the core Department and a number of large delivery organisations). In particular, you will lead, support and assure the readiness of our Corporate Services functions (notably IT and Estates) to respond effectively to business continuity events. Corporate services is responsible for supporting EA (Category 1 responder) and animal disease incidents.

You will be part of a network of senior BC experts across government and wider organisations to share knowledge and develop our approach to Business Continuity. You will also work across Defra Group to benchmark BC preparedness across the group and maintain a community of BC stakeholders.

Key Responsibilities:

• Manage and provide an expert and high-quality specialist business continuity advice function and incident management support. As a subject matter expert, the advice of the role holder will be relied upon by senior managers.

• Provide expert direction in the development, coordination and delivery of Corporate Services’ business continuity, incident management and planning arrangements.

• Manage and resolve complex problems involving how we ensure our critical business activities can continue in times of incident or emergency. During incidents, the post holder would provide expert authoritative advice on BCM to the Head of Business Continuity and senior managers across multiple disciplines and organisations. This will notably include acting as a focal point for communications and coordination.

• Work closely with Defra group organisations that rely on Corporate Services (CS), supporting their planning and ensuring alignment with CS readiness. This includes acting as a reliable point of contact for BC in Corporate Services, regularly liaising with senior operational managers. Reporting as required to Director level board such as Corporate Service Leadership Board and Corporate Services Board routinely (monthly).

• Establish, build and maintain relationships for a Business Continuity network of senior employees across Defra Group, sharing BC best practice, advice, guidance and offering specialist BC support to the wider BC/incident management community.

• Contribute significantly to the development of Defra group BC policies and strategies, contingency guidance and plans. The post holder will understand HMG BCM policies and approaches and how they should be interpreted by Defra group. Using advanced influencing skills to gain commitment for the required operational changes.

• Ensure that BC plans and response systems are tested and exercised. This will include designing and coordinating exercises and documenting and acting on lessons learned.

• Manage staff performance of a small expert team of business continuity and incident management specialists; to matrix manage BC leads in Corporate Services functions and to work with suppliers.

Please be aware that as part of this role, you will be expected to be part of an on call rota. You will be some need to travel to other Defra offices as part of this role.


Person specification:

We are looking for a highly skilled person to provide expert leadership and consistent approach to Business Continuity across Defra group organisations.

The successful candidate will:

Be able to demonstrate proven, extensive experience in developing and delivering BCM and incident management response arrangements.

• Work experience in government and/or a large corporate environment of a comparable scale with comparable risks.

• Knowledge and experience of command and control and multi-agency working

• Hold a recognised professional certification from, for example, BCI, BCS

• Influence Senior leaders and Stakeholders to drive change, using excellent people management skills.

• Have the ability to work across organisational boundaries and across disciplines to deliver results, collaborating effectively with others.

• Be versatile in adapting to new challenges and ways of working to deliver results and build a successful team in a changing environment.

• Have a readiness to lead and promote the role of Business Continuity across all Defra Group directorates and disciplines.

• Take a strategic approach to Business Analysis using a variety of tools to prepare business strategies by evaluating the opportunities and challenges faced by Defra group as it moves forward.

Important information

There is the possibility of a number of roles in the security team that may become part of the Home Office government Cluster 2 Security Unit (C2SU) which has a remit to provide services pan government. This role may or may not be subject to a future move under TUPE.


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

  • Making Effective Decisions
  • Leadership
  • Delivering at Pace
  • Working Together

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

  • Making Effective Decisions




Your pension is a valuable part of your total reward package.

Defra invests in providing a contribution to the cost of your pension (contribution rates vary between 20.0% and 24.5%, dependent upon salary)

The contributions you make are deducted from your salary before tax is taken.

Generous Annual Leave and Bank Holiday Allowance:

Defra offers 25 days annual leave (rising, over 5 years, to 30 days) for full time new entrants to the Civil Service. Employees receive 8 public holidays a year, plus an additional day in May to mark the Queen’s Birthday.

Staff Recognition:

We have a Staff Recognition Scheme, to reward exemplary work.

Learning and Development:

All new employees joining (and returning) to Defra will have an induction to the department, our work and policies. You will have access to a broad range of learning and development opportunities with world class providers.

Mentoring and Coaching:

Mentoring is an effective means of developing your career, boosting your confidence and empowering both the mentor and mentee. All our employees have the opportunity to voluntarily engage and work with a Mentor or a Coach.


Defra employees are entitled to 3 days special leave with pay, per year, for volunteering. We encourage our employees to take this up, as it can be a great way to share skills with worthy charitable causes, while developing new insights and stronger links with the civil society sector.


We fully support reservists and offer 15 days special leave with pay for training

Childcare vouchers:

The government has introduced the Tax-Free Childcare (TFC) scheme. Working parents can open an online childcare account and for every £8 they pay in, the government adds £2, up to a maximum of £2000 a year for each child or £4000 for a disabled child. Parents can then use the funds to pay for registered childcare.

Bicycle Loan Schemes:

Defra offers interest-free loans towards the cost of a bike and Cycle to Work Scheme. Defra loans you a bike for your commute as a tax-free benefit. At the end of the loan period, you have the option to buy the bike, saving 30% of the original cost.

Season Ticket Loan:

We offer interest-free season ticket loans to all Defra employees with more than three months’ service, for purchasing train and bus season tickets, as well as station car parking

Sick Pay:

We offer a generous and supportive Sick Pay Policy, with Sick pay progressively increasing, by the length of service, beginning at one month’s sick pay in the first year of service.

Employee Discounts:

Defra employees have access to a range of discounts at hundreds of top retailers via our employee discount scheme.

Give as You Earn:

Defra is registered with the Give as You Earn scheme, which enables you to make regular deductions directly from your salary, in support of a chosen charity. This is simple and tax efficient.

Flexible working:

Defra is committed to providing a great place to work and is open to smarter ways of working that enable you to choose how, when and where you want to work in line with business needs. This includes the ability to work from home, work compressed hours and choose from a range of locations best suited to when and where you need to be. Our offices are equipped with a range of onsite facilities including fitness centres, staff canteens and much more. You can discuss where you will be based and the amount of travel you will need to undertake at the interview with the Vacancy Holder.

Employee Assistance Programme:

Is a free and confidential 24/7 telephone advice service available to all our staff.

Occupational Health Service:

Provides a range of support services, to optimise attendance, engagement and performance at work.

Sports and Social Association:

Promotes sports and social activities and organises our annual sports day and staff lottery.

Things you need to know


Successful candidates must pass a disclosure and barring security check.

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

Selection process details

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

As part of the application process you will be asked to complete 1 250-word statements based on the Behaviour 'Making Effective Decisions', a CV and a Personal Statement. Further details around what this will entail are listed on the application form.

When completing your CV, you will be asked to provide your Job History, Full Qualification Details and Past Skills and Experience.

Your Statement of Suitability will have a limit of 250 words, and should be written according to the following guidance: Please tell us why you would be a suitable candidate for this role?

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

The sift is will take place week commencing on the 27th January.

Interviews are due to be held in London week commencing 17th February

A reserve list may be held for a period of 12 months from which further appointments can be made.

New entrants are expected to start on the minimum pay band.

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 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.

If successful and transferring from another Government Department, a criminal record check maybe carried out.

In order to process applications without delay, we will be sending a Criminal Record Check to Disclosure and Barring Service on your behalf. However, we recognise in exceptional circumstance some candidates will want to send their completed forms direct. If you will be doing this, please advise Government Recruitment Service of your intention by emailing stating the job reference number in the subject heading.

Any move to Defra will mean you will no longer be able to carry on claiming childcare vouchers.

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.

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:

If you are not satisfied with the response you receive from the Department, you can contact the Civil Service Commission: Click here to visit Civil Service Commission

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 equality of opportunity. There is a guaranteed interview scheme (GIS) for candidates with disabilities who meet the minimum selection criteria.

Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs

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