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Senior Category Officer

Posted: 30 Oct 2019 Closes: 15 Nov 2019
Peterborough, Leeds or Welwyn Garden City. £35,188 - £40,310
Permanent & Full-time defra/20191030162858

Defra Group Commercial (DgC) is part of Defra, the central Government Department responsible for growing the rural economy; improving the environment; and safeguarding animal and plant health. DgC is responsible for providing a procurement and commercial service to organisations within the Defra Network such Animal Plant & Health Agency,
Rural Payments Agency, Natural England and the Environment Agency.

This is an exciting time to join Defra group Commercial (DgC). The Commercial team is transforming, as they play an important role in enabling Defra group’s vision of ‘creating a great place for living’. Defra is also one of the lead Departments in delivering a successful exit from the EU.

Defra is currently recruiting Senior Category Officers in the Infrastructure (Construction) team. You will be joining some of the best individuals within Commercial as we strive to deliver commercial excellence.

You will be working on some of the largest and most complex spends within the DgC. The Infrastructure category has huge projects and programmes of work to deliver across the country.

Working as part of integrated project teams our Infrastructure category predominantly covers construction and civil engineering, including both capital spend and operational maintenance. It also includes infrastructure related professional services, mechanical & electrical engineering and specialist services such as land and soil management. Flood defences are a big priority area. This category works primarily with the Environment Agency.

In this role you will be:

• Leading end to end procurement processes using OJEU tenders;

• Responsible for explaining specialist commercial guidance;

• Responsible for the delivery of supplier relationships and Contract Management;

• Leading negotiations managing risk and identifying commercial opportunities. Mentoring and managing Category and Commercial officers.

We are looking to recruit the best possible people into Defra. You will be a driven and ambitious individual who wants to develop your procurement career.


We are looking for:

• Fantastic communicators that can build and maintain relationships with internal and external stakeholders at all levels;

• Individuals that can lead of end to end procurement processes;

• Individuals with previous experience of using Public Sector frameworks;

• Individual used to working in a project-based environment;

• IACCM or CIPS qualification or relevant experience;

• Forward thinkers who are solutions based.


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

  • Changing and Improving
  • Making Effective Decisions
  • Leadership
  • Communicating and Influencing
  • Working Together



• 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 pass a disclosure and barring security check.

Selection process details

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

Candidates will be asked to submit a CV and a personal statement addressing how they meet the experience and behaviours criteria.

The Technical and Experience requirements for this post are detailed below. Also detailed below are the required Civil Service SEO Behaviours.
In addition to these elements we are hoping to appoint someone who is highly analytical and strives for the best commercial outcomes. We want you to be able to challenge and influence across complex and varied customer groups as well as to enjoy coming up with innovative solutions to resourcing challenges. You will enjoy building networks and see good relationships as a key part of your expertise. It is important for you to feel rewarded by having provided a high quality professional service with measurable outcomes. Finally, you will enjoy building a positive team spirit and supporting your team to deliver expert outcomes that are valued by your customers.

Civil Service Behaviours

The following SEO Civil Service Behaviours are essential to this post and will be tested prior to interview.

• Changing and Improving
• Making Effective Decisions
• Leadership
• Communicating and Influencing
• Working Together

Full details on the Civil Service Behaviours Framework can be found here:


The following experience is essential to this post and will be tested at sift and interview.

• An accomplished Commercial professional with a track record of setting high standards and delivering results in a complex and demanding environment;

• Experience at influencing Commercial decisions at an operational level;

• A proven manager with experience of leading strategic contract award negotiations and resolving dispute resolutions through negotiation;

• Demonstrable experience within a challenging and/or complex commercial environment;

• Working with stakeholders in a commercial environment and being able to influence and constructively challenge when necessary;

• Building and maintaining strong and productive working relationships with stakeholders and suppliers;

• Making effective decisions from analysing financial and non-financial information and identifying key risk and options and then making recommendations to senior colleagues;

• Communicating confidently and concisely. Effectively communicating with a wide range of stakeholders (at all levels) both in a technical and non-technical environment;

• Delivering improvements to ways of working and embedding change.

Although not essential, we would prefer you to be fully qualified MCIPS or IACCM. If this is not applicable then we will be looking for robust evidence of equivalent experience. Other academic or professional qualifications, such as degree, Prince2, Lean or APM qualifications would be of significant interest as well.

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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