About the job
The rail network plays a vital economic and social role. This is a unique opportunity for you to improve how the railways work and to make a positive difference to the experience of over 1.7 billion passenger journeys and to the movement of around 80 million tonnes of goods and raw materials each year.
Working at the ORR, you will help develop policy alongside a diverse range of experts and stakeholders, get involved in novel analytical work and support the design of prices, incentive mechanisms and the wider regulatory framework that ensure the railways deliver for users and tax-payers. It is also an exciting and challenging time to join the rail industry, as we seek to adapt our regulation to support continued growth of the network and help meet the many potential changes on the horizon.
About the role:
You will join the ORR’s Economics team in the Railway Markets and Economics (RME) directorate. Our team works on a diverse range of economic and policy issues, concerned both with leading development of rail policy and providing specialist advice. Much of this team’s work is directed at the economic regulation of Britain’s national rail network.
Your work will focus on the frameworks in which we regulate Network Rail and other infrastructure managers. This will include:
• the development of the regulatory framework within which we regulate Network Rail to reflect a new and novel approach that we have recently developed through our 2018 periodic review programme (‘PR18’, which refers to the price control process that determines what Network Rail should deliver over five year and the funding that should be available to it);
• developing our regulation of Network Rail’s national, central function that oversees and coordinates activities across the network, such as creating timetables (‘the System Operator’); and
• development of the regulatory frameworks for new parts of the rail network owned by other parties, such as High Speed 2 (HS2, the proposed high-speed rail line from London to Manchester and Leeds), the Channel Tunnel, HS1, and Crossrail. The development of HS2 may, in particular, pose wider issues for the regulation of the rail network that we will need to consider.
You will also have the opportunity to work closely with colleagues in the rest of the Economics teams, whose work focuses on the design of price mechanisms, the analysis of user behaviour and the application of econometric analysis to understand the drivers of infrastructure costs, efficiency and quality.
Reflecting the flexible manner in which our team works, there is an opportunity for your areas of responsibility to change over time, including to support your on-going professional development. However, we anticipate that your key responsibilities would be to:
• assist in the development of our framework for regulating Network Rail at the route level by contributing to expert economic and policy advice. In the coming months, this is likely to include consideration of how the regulatory framework for monitoring and reporting on Network Rail’s performance can make most effective use of reputational incentives and behavioural economics;
• participate in the development of our regulation of the System Operator, including in monitoring its performance (or aspects thereof) and escalating issues, as necessary;
• assist in the management of aspects of the regulatory regime to support and incentivise collaborative working between Network Rail and its stakeholders; and
• work on developing key aspects of our policy for third party investment in the railway including the regulatory regime for non-Network Rail owned infrastructure, and applying this policy to HS2.
Staff at this level are also generally expected to:
• assist in the review of economic evidence and practice from different regulated infrastructure sectors in the UK and internationally;
• work with staff, often in a multidisciplinary team drawn from across the organisation, on a variety of projects and initiatives;
• produce draft reports, briefing notes and committee papers, or sections thereof;
• attend internal and external events, including meetings with stakeholders, other regulators and government; and
• be an active member of the Economics team, including being involved in knowledge sharing and team cohesiveness.
You will be expected to work flexibly across the teams and to take advantage of opportunities to meet challenges in new areas as business needs develop.
Therefore, the above description of the job may be subject to review, and is to provide you with guidelines within which you would work. Other duties appropriate to the grade may be assigned from time to time.
This role would suit someone with an interest in regulatory economics and/or policy development. The ability to work constructively with people of different disciplines is important, as is the ability to communicate clearly and persuasively. The post holder will be expected to be able to work with minimal supervision, manage their work to agreed timescales and interact effectively with colleagues and stakeholders.
• Knowledge and interest in public policy and/or regulatory and/or competition economics.
It would also be desirable (but not essential) of having worked on policy, for example within another government department, an economic regulator or a regulated business.
Please click apply to read the Candidate Information Pack for further details on the role and selection process.