6218 - Head of Policy/Strategy and Analysis/Engagement and Strategic Communications

12 Months
London, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales
Belfast , Cardiff , Edinburgh , London
1 Horse Guards Road, London; 1 Caspian Point, Cardiff; Princes Street, Edinburgh, Stormont House
Grade 6
Grade 6
Cabinet Office is in the process of demerging its combined grades.

We have already demerged what was Band A into G6 and G7. We are now in the process of demerging Band B2 into SEO and HEO. Please note, posts advertised at SEO are equivalent to Band B2+ and posts advertised as HEO will be called Band B2. 
Full Time, Part Time, Part Time/Job Share, Part Time Term Time
Policy, Programme and Project Management, Analytical
£64,500 - £70,877 London £60,500 - £65,308 National

Cabinet Office supports the Prime Minister and ensures the smooth running of government - from developing policy, to modernising public services. We welcome talented people from all backgrounds with the skills and the commitment to build a career in the Civil Service.
The Cabinet Office Purpose is:

  • to maintain the integrity of the Union, coordinate the security of the realm and sustain a flourishing democracy;
  • to support the design and implementation of HM Government’s policies and the Prime Minister’s priorities; and
  • to ensure the delivery of the finest public services by attracting and developing the best public servants and improving the efficiency of government.

The work Cabinet Office delivers is vast and therefore presents opportunities to develop your skills and experience in a variety of critical government agendas.
An organisation of approximately 7,000 employees, the Cabinet Office is a vibrant, modern and exciting place to work, attracting a diverse workforce which represents the people we serve. Our main offices are in London, but we have staff based around the UK.
At the heart of this are our Cabinet Office values. To deliver our Purpose and help make Cabinet Office a great place to work, we all commit to:-

  • treating everyone with Respect
  • actively Collaborate, and
  • build Trust

We have an aspiration to become the most inclusive employer across the Civil Service. We have a number of staff benefits, including flexible working, and access to a number of staff support networks to ensure we meet this.

We are seeking to fill at least four Heads of role posts as Grade 6 positions in the Union Directorate. The exact responsibilities of the roles will depend on the skills and interests of successful candidates, but may include policy development, stakeholder engagement strategy, priority projects delivery, strategic communications, and economic and social research analysis. We are interested in candidates with a diverse range of experience and backgrounds in policy, communications, engagement and analysis.

These roles will allow the post holder to bring expert analysis and policy making together, and provide a unique insight into the workings of government at the very highest level. You will be expected to both think and do, and use your good judgement, good sense and good humour to understand and solve problems, start to finish. The best candidates will have strong analytical ability, and be comfortable developing relationships and credibility at all levels, across Whitehall and beyond. You will know how to listen, understand, question, explain, persuade, and get things done. 

This is an excellent opportunity to work at the heart of government. You will need to be resilient under pressure and flexible in response to changing circumstances and tight timetables. You will need to display political sensitivity and confidence in dealing with Ministers and senior officials.

 You will:

  • have excellent analytical and written skills;

  • be able to present complex issues clearly and concisely, and deal with competing

    • priorities at pace;

    • demonstrate good political judgment, curiosity and independence of thought, and the ability to deploy those skills under pressure, sometimes in new subject areas in the face of a range of competing views and priorities;

    • enjoy bringing new ideas and perspectives into public policy development;

    • have the personal presence, effectiveness and credibility to build a strong network of relationships across Whitehall;

    • have demonstrable communication, networking, influencing and negotiation skills

    Desirable: have understanding of policy issues relevant to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Please note that this role requires CTC clearance, which would normally require 3 years’ UK residency in the past 3 years. This is not an absolute requirement but supplementary checks may be required where individuals have not lived in the UK for the required period. This may mean that your security clearance (and therefore your appointment) will take longer or, in some cases, not be possible.

We are seeking candidates for exciting and stretching opportunities within the newly formed Union Directorate in the Cabinet Office. This is a high profile team at the very heart of Government and central to maintaining the integrity of the United Kingdom.

The Union Directorate is a small, focused team of policy professionals, analysts, comms experts and external secondees with a focus on making the benefits of the Union clear, visible and understood. The Union Directorate is responsible for the overall Union strategy, as well as , driving delivery across Whitehall and beyond, and working collaboratively and creatively to promote the ‘levelling up’ agenda and post-C19 recovery and renewal across the United Kingdom.

These roles are available in London, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast.

For more information please contact Isolde Grove (isolde.grove@cabinetoffice.gov.uk), who will be happy to put you in touch with one of the hiring managers for the role.

Due to the high volume of applications received for Cabinet Office vacancies, we regret that feedback is only available - at the discretion of the vacancy manager - following the interview stage. Vacancy managers may sift on one lead behaviour at the application stage.

Terms, Conditions and Benefits

This is a Permanent appointment.

This role is based within the Cabinet Office at Grade 6 and £64,500 - £70,877 London and £60,500 - £65,308 National . Annual salary increases will depend upon individual performance and contribution to the organisation’s success. In addition there will be the opportunity to earn performance related bonuses. There is an expectation that successful applicants new to the Civil Service will join on the pay band minimum.

Existing civil servants can take up the post on loan from their parent department for the duration advertised. Those joining on level transfer will retain their current salary. Staff joining on promotion terms will receive up to a 10% increase of their current basic salary or the pay band minimum whichever is the greater. Staff joining on promotion will adopt the modernised terms and conditions of employment which came into force in 2013.

There is a choice of excellent pension schemes. More information about pension provisions can be found at www.civilservice.gov.uk/pensions

Flexible Working

Flexible working including job-share arrangements may be considered for this role.

Leave allowances

25 days' paid leave per annum rising to 30 days after five years’ service. In addition, full-time staff receive eight public holidays and the Queen’s Birthday privilege day as well as competitive maternity, paternity, parental and adoption leave.


Staff new to the Civil Service will be required to serve a six month probationary period.


The post will be based in 1 Horse Guards Road, London; 1 Caspian Point, Cardiff; Princes Street, Edinburgh and Stormont House Belfast.

Relocation Costs No relocation costs will be available.

Equality and Diversity

The Cabinet Office is committed to a policy of equal opportunity for all staff. We will not discriminate on grounds of gender, gender identity, race, disability, sexual orientation, religion or belief, age, those with caring responsibilities, part time workers or any other factor irrelevant to a person’s work.

We encourage a diverse workforce and aim to provide a working environment where all staff at all levels are valued and respected, and where discrimination, bullying, promotion of negative stereotyping and harassment are not tolerated.

Assessment for recruitment, selection, appraisal, training and career progression purposes is based both on the individual’s ability and suitability for the work. We are committed to providing all staff with opportunities to maximise their skills and achieve their potential, offering flexible working arrangements wherever possible.

As public authorities departments have statutory duties placed on them that require them to promote equality of opportunity and eliminate unlawful discrimination. We expect all staff to assist the department in meeting these obligations. All staff should have due regard for the need to promote good relations between individuals from different groups and work towards achieving equality of opportunity for all.

Civil Service Code

All civil servants are subject to the provisions of the Civil Service Code (see Annex A) which details Civil Service values, standards of behaviour, rights and responsibilities. Go to http://civilservicecommission.independent.gov.uk for more information.


We offer support with childcare and holiday play schemes costs by providing childcare vouchers for staff who meet the eligibility criteria. Current civil servants applying for Cabinet Office vacancies on or after 06 April 2018, may experience implications in continuing to claim childcare vouchers.

HMRC now offer a tax free childcare scheme for new entrants into the Cabinet Office. We also offer a holiday play scheme and the Cabinet Office contribute to the costs for staff who meet the eligibility criteria. Current civil servants applying for Cabinet Office vacancies on or September 2018 who are currently in receipt of childcare vouchers and not transferring on a TUPE or COSOP move will be unable to continue to claim childcare vouchers but may be eligible for the HMRC tax free childcare scheme.

Recruitment and Selection Process


You must be a British Citizen, citizen of the British Commonwealth* an EC national or a national of specified Member States of the European Free Trade Area, together with certain members of their families. Certain Turkish nationals are also eligible to apply. In the first instance it is advisable to refer to the Civil Service Nationality Rules which can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/nationality-rules If you have any further questions about nationality requirements, please contact the Recruitment Team at: corecruitment@cabinetoffice.gov.uk. (*Commonwealth citizens not yet in the UK, who have no right of abode in the UK and who do not have leave to enter the UK are ineligible to apply.)

Guaranteed Interview Scheme

The Cabinet Office is committed to the employment and career development of disabled people and will guarantee to interview anyone with a disability whose application meets the minimum criteria for the post.

Pre-appointment Checks

The successful candidate’s appointment will be subject to a series of checks including security, nationality, health and references before a formal offer of appointment is made. Subject to satisfactory completion of the pre-appointment checks, you will be invited to take up the post as soon as possible. The National Insurance numbers of successful applicants will be shared with the Ministry of Defence to aid the tracking of Armed Forces Reservist levels across government.

The Selection Process

Assessment at sift and interviews will be based on meeting any defined skill/qualification requirements along with a Success Profile element assessment, as detailed in the job advert. The Success Profile elements to be assessed will be outlined within the job advert. The Civil Service Success Profile Framework is publically available here:


We would generally expect answers to follow the STAR or CAR structure and encourage candidates to use this throughout their application.

Application/Interview Scoring System

The Cabinet Office adopts a scoring system of 1-7 for Behaviours, Ability, Technical and Experience.

7- The evidence provided wholly exceeds expectation at this level

6 - Substantial positive evidence; includes some evidence of exceeding expectations at this level

5 - Substantial positive evidence of the competency or behaviour

4 - Adequate positive evidence and any negative evidence would not cause concern

3 - Moderate positive evidence but some negative evidence demonstrated

2 - Limited positive evidence and/or mainly negative evidence demonstrated

1 - No positive evidence and/or substantial negative evidence demonstrated

Strengths will be assessed at interview on a 1-4 scale.

Civil Service Commission

Recruitment into the Civil Service is governed by the Civil Service Commission which has two key functions.

● To maintain the principle of selection for appointment to the Civil Service on merit on the basis of fair and open competition.

● To promote an understanding of the Civil Service Code which sets out the constitutional framework in which all civil servants work and the values they are expected to uphold, and to hear and determine appeals made under it. More detailed information can be found at on the Civil Service Commission website: http://civilservicecommission.independent.gov.uk


The Department’s recruitment processes are underpinned by the requirement of selection for appointment based on merit, open and fair competition as outlined in the Civil Service Commissioners’ Recruitment Principles, details of which can be found at http://civilservicecommission.independent.gov.uk

If you feel your application has not been treated in accordance with the Recruitment Principles and you wish to make a complaint, you should contact the Cabinet Office Recruitment Team, Human Resources, 4th Floor, 1 Horse Guards Road, London SW1A 2HQ or email corecruitment@cabinetoffice.gov.uk, in the first instance. If you are not satisfied with the response you receive you can further contact the Civil Service Commission at:

Email: civilservicecommission.independent.gov.uk or in writing to:

Civil Service Commission

Room G/8

1 Horse Guards Road

London SW1A 2HQ

08/02/2021, 23:55 hours

Interviews are likely to commence on WC 22/02.
Non Reserved
Counter Terrorism

Success Profiles

Success Profiles will enable a fairer and more inclusive method of recruitment by enabling us to assess the range of experiences, abilities, strengths, behaviours and technical / professional skills required for different roles. This flexible approach to recruitment focuses more on finding the right candidate for the specific role. Your can find our more abut Success Profiles here.

Behaviours, Experience, Strengths

This Vacancy is closed to applications.