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Future Farming & Countryside Programme: Delivery Director

Posted: 9 Oct 2019 Closes: 12 Dec 2019
London £100,000
Permanent & Full-time defra/20191009154107

We are seeking an outstanding leader for the role of Programme Delivery Director: Future Farming and Countryside. This is a key position in the Food, Farming and Biosecurity system, working to deliver a once in a lifetime reform to Government’s approach to farming and the environment.

The Future Farming and Countryside Programme exists to transform farming after we leave the EU. This role will lead delivery of a new environmental land management system of payments for environmental outcomes, helping to deliver the government’s 25 Year Environment Plan and contributing to the net-zero carbon target.

In Defra we deal with a vast range of issues that profoundly impact on people’s lives. We are responsible for England’s environment, our countryside and rural economy, the food and farming sectors and have lead responsibility for protection from a wide range of natural threats and hazards. We are also one of the lead departments in delivering a successful exit from the EU and this will fundamentally change the work we do and how we deliver it.

The successful candidate will be an excellent leader, with extensive experience of delivering complex, multi-million pound large-scale projects and programmes in a demanding and fast-paced environment. Working on a high-profile initiative, you will be able to inspire and develop a large team and to personally engage and influence a wide-range of board-level stakeholders.

The Future Farming & Countryside (FFC) Programme exists to transform farming after we leave the EU.

This role is to lead the delivery of the Public Money for Public Goods part of the Programme.

A major part of the role will be leading delivery of a new Environmental Land Management system of payments for environmental outcomes which will ensure delivery of the government’s 25 Year Environment Plan and contribute towards the net-zero carbon target. In the future, farmers and land managers will be paid to provide cleaner water, improved soil quality, pollinators and biodiversity, heritage, access and enhanced landscape.

The new approach will be co-designed with stakeholders, with testing and trials already underway, a national pilot planned for 2021 and staged rollout from 2024.

In this role, you will lead and support the Programme as it clarifies its objectives, structures, governance and establishes robust delivery plans.

Success will depend on close collaboration with other leads of the FFC Programme (e.g. lead for the farming transition), colleagues in Defra’s IT team on digital aspects of the programme, in delivery bodies on operational delivery, and policy colleagues who are the key customers for the programme.

This is a flagship initiative and as such is a high profile, senior leadership role within the department.


The successful candidate will be able to demonstrate:

• Operational delivery experience and extensive experience as a senior Project and Programme Management professional successfully leading and delivering large-scale, Commercial and IT-enabled multi-million-pound projects and programmes in a complex and ambiguous environment.
Demonstrating sound business acumen and a strong focus on performance, value for money and financial management;

• Substantial experience of successfully working collaboratively with, and influencing, a broad range of Board-level stakeholders and external partners across organisational boundaries. You will have worked in a complex, multidisciplinary environment and be able to work closely with policy colleagues to work through challenging issues whilst maintaining trust and delivering positive outcomes. Demonstrating an ability to influence and engage to effectively challenge assumptions, designing effective solutions and delivery plans in a complex, fast-paced and changing environment and to influence direction;

• Accomplished people leadership skills, with the ability to lead and motivate large teams driving a diverse and inclusive working culture and to build professional PPM capability across a complex and multi-layered organisation. Demonstrating flexibility and personal resilience to adapt to rapidly changing circumstances in an environment of regular scrutiny by the media, public and others and to cope well under pressure sustaining effectiveness through a demanding programme of work, maintaining integrity, honesty, objectivity and impartiality.

• Ability to assimilate a wide range of information and become effective quickly with the ability to exercise judgement in a complex political environment by analysing complex problems and identifying how best to reconcile the conflicting priorities of different parties;

• Excellent communication skills at all levels with demonstrable experience of communicating clearly and succinctly in all forms (written and oral) to a broad range of stakeholders, adapting the style for the appropriate audience, ensuring that complex issues are set out in a simple and accessible way that is influential and authoritative



• Learning and development tailored to your role
•An environment with flexible working options
• A culture encouraging inclusion and diversity
• A Civil Service pension

Things you need to know


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

Selection process details

To apply for this post, you will need to complete the online application process accessed via the advertisement listed for this role.

This should be completed no later than 23:55 Sunday, 10th November 2019 and will involve uploading the two documents outlined below:

1. A CV setting out your career history, with key responsibilities and achievements. Please ensure you have provided reasons for any gaps within the last two years

2. A Statement of Suitability (no longer than two pages) explaining how you consider your personal skills, qualities and experience provide evidence of your suitability for the role, with particular reference to the criteria in the person specification

Failure to submit both documents will mean the panel only have limited information on which to assess your application against the criteria in the person specification.

Please ensure that both documents contain your full name.

As part of the online application process, you will be asked a number of diversity-related questions. If you do not wish to provide a declaration on any of the particular characteristics, you will have the option to select 'prefer not to say'.

The information you provide when submitting your application will help us monitor our progress towards the Civil Service becoming the most inclusive employer by 2020.

See the Civil Service Diversity and Inclusion Strategy for more information.

Should you encounter any issues with your online application please get in touch with us via:

Expected Timeline

We will try and offer as much flexibility as we can, but it may not be possible to offer alternative dates for assessments or interviews. You are therefore asked to note the below timetable, exercising flexibility through the recruitment and selection process, in order to meet the dates given.

Please note that these dates may be subject to change.

The anticipated timetable is as follows:

Advert Closing Date
23:55 Sunday 10th November 2019

Shortlist Meeting
Week commencing 18th November 2019

25th November – 6th December 2019

Week commencing 9th December 2019

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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