Senior Technical Advisor (Water)
The National Infrastructure Commission is looking for a Senior Technical Adviser specialising in water, wastewater and floods, to provide expert advice to ensure policy development in this challenging and innovative environment is underpinned by a clear understanding of the technical opportunities and challenges. This is an opportunity to work creatively and rigorously on some of the most pressing issues for UK infrastructure, and outside the constraints of current government policy, over the long-term, shaping how water will support our society and economy into the future. This role will provide a critical input into how we consider and advance these issues in the second National Infrastructure Assessment.
About the National Infrastructure Commission
By joining the National Infrastructure Commission (NIC), you’ll be playing a key role in delivering independent advice to government on the UK’s long-term infrastructure needs. We do this to help support sustainable economic growth across the whole of the UK, improve competitiveness and ultimately improve the quality of life of UK citizens.
We are a collaborative team of civil servants and industry secondees working to support the Commissioners in offering forward-thinking recommendations based on a rigorous approach to evidence and consultation – and to monitor government’s progress in implementing those plans.
The Commission’s core responsibilities include:
• producing a National Infrastructure Assessment once every five years, setting out the Commission’s assessment of long-term infrastructure needs with recommendations to government on how to meet them;
• carrying out in-depth studies into the UK’s most pressing infrastructure challenges, making recommendations to government; and
• monitoring the government’s progress in delivering infrastructure projects and programmes recommended by the NIC.
NIC staff enjoy the full range of civil service benefits, including access to exceptional learning and development opportunities and a variety of career paths. We offer career development support, annual leave starting from 25 days, access to the Civil Service pension scheme, and shared parental leave.
We are looking for a technical advisor with a strong background in the water, wastewater and floods sector, to provide expert input into the Commission’s work this infrastructure. The successful candidate will have direct experience of the industry, including strategic understanding of the technical infrastructure, regulatory frameworks and industry structure. This experience could have been gained in the private sector, regulators, government or academia. Knowledge of resilience, waste and natural capital would be useful.
The role will involve providing expertise and support to multi-disciplinary teams incorporating policy specialists, economists, engineers and consultants. These teams run robust and broad-ranging policy development programmes and deliver high quality and evidence based advice to the Commission. Projects may include working on specific issues for the sector, or providing expertise in cross-cutting areas . You will also be closely involved in assessing the performance of Ofwat, Defra and others in implementing the Commission’s recommendations.
You will have the opportunity to take ownership and think through some complex and high-profile issues facing the sectors today, developing and testing ideas outside of current policy frameworks. Working closely with the Commission, you will identify recommendations and be involved in preparing reports which are robust and compelling enough to have a direct impact on the sector and on Government policy.
Responsibilities are likely to include:
• Acting as a source of specialist expertise on infrastructure, policy and analysis across a range of projects within the Commission.
• Supporting and providing technical input to teams commissioning external consultancy to support the Commission’s own work, including contract management and quantitative analysis.
• Driving implementation of the first National Infrastructure Assessment’s and study recommendations through engagement with Defra, Ofwat and industry, working to resolve any areas where approaches differ. Securing influence and insight from departments. Staying up to date with technological, policy and regulatory developments, understanding how they relate to the Commission’s recommendations.
• Identifying emerging priorities for the next National Infrastructure Assessment and other projects, across water, wastewater, floods, waste, resilience and other areas of the sector.
• Clearly explain technical issues to non-specialists verbally and in writing, providing high quality input to reports and publications.
Required Behaviours, Experience and Technical Skills:
1. Behaviour – Seeing the big picture. Having an in-depth understanding and knowledge of how the role fits with and supports the organisation’s objectives and the wider public needs, and understanding how wider changes in the political and regulatory landscape impact the NIC.
2. Behaviour – Communicating and Influencing. Communicate with others in a clear, honest and enthusiastic way. Explain complex issues in a way that is easy to understand and communicate effectively in writing.
3. Behaviour – Working together. Form effective partnerships and relationships with people both internally and externally, from a range of diverse backgrounds, sharing information, resources and support.
4. Experience – Evidence of substantial knowledge in at least two parts of water, wastewater, floods and resilience gained through working at government departments, expert bodies, regulators or industry. (Assessed from CVs)
5. Technical – Highly effective in reviewing technical work across a range of activities, even though this may not fall within their personal area of expertise, utilising the specialist skills of others as appropriate. Effective in deciding if and when a piece of work/research needs to change direction or be terminated, and able to recognise the value of what has been achieved.
6. Technical –Applies knowledge experience and skills effectively, providing innovative solutions to problems. Works effectively on cross-cutting projects and establishes positive links with other professional streams.
Candidates at interview will be assessed using the following criteria:
Behaviours (Seeing the big picture, Communicating and influencing, Working together)
If you have any questions, please contact Joanna Campbell on Joanna.Campbell@nic.gov.uk
Our recruitment process is underpinned by the principle of recruitment based on fair and open competition with decisions made on the basis of merit, as outlined in the Civil Service Commissioners’ Recruitment Principles. If you feel your application has not been treated in accordance with these principles and you wish to make a complaint, you should in the first instance contact HMT by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are not satisfied with the response you receive, you can contact the Civil Service Commission, which regulates all Civil Service recruitment.