Policy Adviser, Priority Projects Team


Please refer to job description

Job description

About the Department 

The Ministry of Justice works to protect the public and reduce reoffending, while endeavouring to provide a more effective, transparent and responsive justice system for everyone who uses or comes into contact with it. We are responsible for prisons and probation services in England and Wales, and for the courts and tribunals in England and Wales and (in some cases) in Scotland. 

We are one of the largest government departments, employing around 70,000 people, with a significant operational responsibility for critical frontline services. These are delivered primarily through two large executive agencies: Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS) and Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunal Service (HMCTS). We are also a significant policy department, responsible for much of law and justice policy in England and Wales. 

What we do 

Justice and the rule of law are among the fundamental guarantees a state offers to its citizens. MoJ plays a central role in realising the government’s vision of preventing crime, enforcing law and order and restoring public confidence in the justice system. 

We work to protect the public and reduce reoffending, and to provide a more effective, transparent and responsive justice system for victims and the public. We are stewards of important parts of the constitution, such as the executive’s relationship with the judiciary, as well as agents for reform and improvement. 

We develop policy on all aspects of law and justice, both domestically and internationally, helping to build a legal and rights framework that is clear and proportionate and that commands confidence around the world. 

Further information can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/ministry-of-justice 


Job Title / Group / Directorate 

Policy adviser, Priority Projects Team, PCAG 

Location & Terms of appointment 

We are recruiting for up to 3 permanent posts based in either London or Leeds. These posts are open to part-time workers and other flexible working arrangements. 

Salary and Grade 

These posts are Band B. 

New entrants to the Civil Service will be expected to join on the minimum of the pay range. 

Existing Civil Servants will have their salary calculated in accordance with the Department’s pay on transfer / pay on promotion rules. 


Policy, Communications and Analysis Group 

The Policy, Communications and Analysis Group is at the heart of the Ministry of Justice, comprising around 1,200 officials. The Group is responsible for setting and advising on policy across the full range of the Department’s responsibilities, including criminal, civil, family and administrative justice; the criminal and civil law; the court system, legal aid and support and the legal services sector; the prison and probation systems, and offender policy; the youth justice system; the UK’s domestic human rights framework and international obligations; and MoJ’s interests in EU exit. It also supports the Lord Chancellor in his constitutional relationship with the judiciary. It houses the MoJ’s strategy function, the Private Office teams that directly support Ministers and the Department’s Parliamentary business team. 

The Priority Projects Team 

The Priority Projects Team (PPT) provides flexible policy resource which can be deployed onto timebound and high-priority pieces of work across the breadth of MoJ’s policy areas. PPT is a valued resource which other teams bid for in a regular allocations round, with the highest priority projects receiving resource. 

Role Purpose 

In your time in the PPT you can expect to work in diverse policy areas, undertake posts which play to your strengths and provide development, and receive support from both your activity and line managers, as well as your PPT colleagues. In return, we expect you to be posted to whatever the department decides is a priority (including potentially at short notice), to produce high-quality outputs in line with the team’s reputation for outstanding work, and to help ensure the team provides a welcoming, supportive and inclusive team environment. 

A typical project will last 3-6 months, and involve working either with existing teams on often complex policy issues, or working as part of bespoke, standalone teams to respond rapidly to new or emerging issues. Some of the recent projects members of the team have worked on include reform of the probation system, managing demand in the criminal justice system, sentencing reform, improving outcomes for prison leavers, developing counter-terrorism legislation and preparing the department for Britain’s exit from the European Union. 

Main Activities / Responsibilities 

Work on a policy project will generally involve: 

Agreeing the scope for the work with the permanent policy owner, and what your project will deliver by when;Reporting progress to colleagues proactively, and ensuring senior colleagues are engaged as necessary; 
Understanding complex policy issues and presenting your analysis of problems in a clear and compelling way, before developing policy options based on evidence as far as is possible 
Establishing strong relationships with a diverse range of colleagues, including policy teams, analytical, legal and operational colleagues, to develop solutions collaboratively; 
Maintaining an understanding of the broader political context for your work, enabling you to lead or support engagement with ministers successfully; 
Closing down projects effectively and ensuring a smooth handover with the permanent policy owner/team. 

Management of Resources 

You may be responsible for managing members of staff. 

Person Specification: 

Alongside the skills set out in the main activities/responsibilities for the role above, we are looking for individuals who are confident about working independently and enjoy change. You should be able both to build relationships with the teams you work with and win the confidence of your colleagues, and have a good understanding of the fundamentals of public policy issues which enables you to get up to speed with new policy areas quickly.


Please refer to job description


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

  • Changing and Improving
  • Making Effective Decisions
  • Working Together