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Senior Team Manager

Posted: 9 Oct 2019 Closes: 8 Dec 2019
London £35,188 - £43,520
Permanent & Full-time defra/20191009154407

The Ministerial Contact Unit (MCU) is a fast-paced operational unit within Defra’s Strategy Directorate with responsibility for correspondence, Parliamentary Questions and EU scrutiny. This challenging post provides an excellent opportunity to get an overview of Defra's business and experience of working in a fast-moving delivery environment. If you want to develop your understanding of Defra’s customers and the issues they care about, then working in the MCU is the perfect place for you. Moreover, if you want to develop your management and leadership skills to prepare you for promotion, get used to delivering results under pressure, and have a broader picture of Defra’s portfolio, this is also the place to be. The MCU is a flexible and supportive place to work, with a team that wants to keep improving.

Key tasks
• Managing team performance to ensure that all parts of the end-to-end process work smoothly for both the Parliamentary Questions team and the Business Support Team within MCU.
• Providing a challenge function to drive up performance with the ability to analyse data tailored for each specific function.
• Ensure the smooth running of Oral Parliamentary Questions sessions every 5 weeks for Defra ministers including liaising with parliamentary, private office and policy colleagues.
• Developing and maintaining good relationships with Ministerial Offices in order to anticipate and manage reputational risks surrounding Parliamentary Questions and business support functions, and overcome obstacles to the delivery of our business.
• Line management of 2 HEOs who lead teams with very different business functions.
• Acting as part of the Senior Management Team to provide strong and cohesive support for the Grade 7 and to help set the direction for a unit of 55 people and a budget of £1.7m.
• Promoting a culture of continuous improvement, including cross-cutting project work to ensure the unit is in good shape to meet future challenges.


Key requirements:
The ideal candidate will demonstrate adaptability, initiative, leadership, intellectual agility and drive. Candidates will need strong interpersonal skills and high personal resilience to manage teams with differing priorities and get the best of people under pressure.
Strong written communication and critical thinking skills are essential.

You should also:
• Demonstrate resilience and adaptability to deal with challenges;
• Display excellent judgement, enabling you to prioritise work and recognise when to escalate difficult issues;
• Be a flexible team player; and have the ability to organise yourself and a busy and diverse workload effectively.


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

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



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

Civil Service pension schemes may be available for successful candidates.
Successful candidates must pass Counter Terrorist Check security checks.
Nationality statement
Candidates will be subject to UK immigration requirements as well as Civil Service nationality rules.

If you're applying for a role requiring security clearance please be aware that foreign or dual nationality is not an automatic bar. However certain posts may have restrictions which could affect those who do not have sole British nationality or who have personal connections with certain countries outside the UK.
Selection process details
Applications for this vacancy are assessed using Success Profiles, and will assess your Behaviours, Strengths and Experience.

Candidates will be sifted on behavioural statements and a CV and the interview will consist of behaviour and strength based questions.

If a large number of applications are received an initial sift on the lead behaviours, “Seeing the Big Picture” and “Leadership” will be completed, with candidates reaching the minimum criteria progressing to a full application sift.

Feedback will only be provided if you attend an interview or assessment.

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 counter-terrorist check.

Selection process details

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

Candidates who successfully reach the interview stage will be required to complete an in house selection test.

Sift and interview dates to be confirmed. Interviews will be held in Noble House, London.

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

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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