Vacancy -- Head of Strategy, Policy and Communications

Working for the Civil Service

The Welsh Government's recruitment processes are underpinned by the principle of selection for appointment on merit on the basis of fair and open competition as outlined in the Civil Service Commission’s Recruitment Principles.

The Civil Service Code sets out the standards of behaviour expected of civil servants.

Vacancy Details

Chief Operating Officer’s Group
Healthcare Inspectorate Wales
Grade 7 - £51,380 - £61,440
Full time (applications are welcome from people who work part time, as part of a job share or who work full time)
Pan Wales
'Pan Wales' means that the location in which the vacancy can be based is flexible, subject to the needs of the business. Please note it may not always be possible to accommodate a preference for a specific office location, but requests will be taken into consideration.
To be confirmed

Purpose of Post:

Reporting to the Director for Strategy & Engagement the postholder will be responsible for the following:

  • Strategic and operational planning and reporting
  • Communications and Engagement
  • Policy and legislation

Key tasks:


1.     To lead the development, monitoring and review of HIW’s strategy.

2.     To lead on the publication of HIW’s annual operational plan and other key corporate publications.

3.     To ensure that HIW is taking full account of legislative and policy developments in the managing its business and leading the HIW response to influence legislative and policy development.

4.     To support the Director, Strategy and Engagement in matters of strategic and operational planning ,policy and legislative developments, communication, organisational and professional development and internal/ external engagement with staff, partners and the public.



5.     To oversee the development and implementation of an overarching engagement strategy for HIW that secures positive involvement and outcomes from our work with patients and the public.

6.     Lead on the creation of an equality strategy which underpins the way in which HIW considers the needs of Black and Minority Ethnic Groups, and other minority groups through our work.

7.     To ensure that HIW reports and other communications are presented in a clear way which provides assurance to the public and ministers about the quality of healthcare in Wales.

8.     To work closely with the Head of Intelligence and Partnerships to secure knowledge and resource sharing to achieve the efficient delivery of HIW’s priorities including through partnership working.



9.     To ensure that HIW’s operational plan, annual report and other plans are properly aligned with the organisation’s strategic objectives.



10.  To research and advise the Chief Executive and senior team on the implications of policy developments for patients, the public and HIW’s responsibilities.

11.  To ensure that the evidence and intelligence available to HIW is used to inform the development of ideas and proposals for the improvement of healthcare in Wales.

12.  To engage and influence policy colleagues to maximise the potential benefits for patients and the public as proposals take shape and become firm policy intentions.



13.  To manage the communications function for the organisation at a strategic level determining the overall messages and audience for HIW and at an operational level ensuring that communication activities, including media liaison, are delivered effectively.

14.  To secure and manage such specialist communications advice as may be necessary when appropriate.



15.  To apply strong people management disciplines to ensure that staff have the training and support they require to deliver effectively and are able to develop.

16.  To work collaboratively with colleagues throughout HIW.

17.  To manage their own continuing professional development and the development of their team members.


Development opportunities:

The role offers the opportunity to gain experience of leadership in an operationally independent organisation.

The postholder will be in a high profile role, representing the organisation and promoting its views with internal and external partners.

Closing Date:

07/06/2022, 16:00


Posts recruited to as part of this recruitment campaign are broadly open to UK nationals, those with right to remain and work in the UK and those that meet the Civil Service Nationality Rules only. Check your eligibility here:

Prior to appointment, all successful applicants will be required to produce original, acceptable documents as part of the pre-employment checks. If it becomes apparent at a later stage in the process that you aren’t eligible to apply, your application will be withdrawn, or offer retracted.

Equality and Diversity

The Welsh Government is committed to providing services which embrace diversity and which promote equality of opportunity. This is underpinned by the Equality Act 2010 and will be adhered to at each stage of the recruitment process. Our goal is to ensure that these commitments are also embedded in our day-to-day working practices with all our customers, colleagues and partners.

We are committed to being an anti-racist organisation and increasing diversity in the Welsh Government by removing barriers and supporting all our staff to reach their potential. We are committed to recruiting Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic people and disabled people who are currently under-represented in Welsh Government.

We welcome applications from everyone regardless of age, marriage and civil partnership (both same sex and opposite sex), impairment or health condition, sex, sexual orientation, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, gender identity or gender expression.

We are a Stonewall Diversity Champion and a Disability Confident Level 3 (Leader) organisation. Key to supporting this work and providing peer support are five Board sponsored Staff Networks (Disability Awareness and Support (DAAS); Minority Ethnic Support Network (MESN); Mind Matters (Mental health and well-being); PRISM (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex +) and Women Together.

Disability Confident

The Welsh Government has adopted the social definition of disability, in which it is recognised that barriers in society act to disable people who have impairments or health conditions, who are neurodivergent or who use British Sign Language. We are committed to removing barriers so that all (or potential new) staff can perform at their best.

We guarantee to interview any disabled person who meets the minimum criteria for the post. By ‘minimum criteria’ we mean that you must provide us with evidence, at each stage of the assessment process before interview, which demonstrates you generally meet the job description requirements. We are committed to the employment and career development of disabled people.

If you have an impairment or health condition, if you are neurodivergent or use British Sign Language and need to discuss reasonable adjustments for any part of this recruitment process, or wish to discuss how we will put in place any adjustments if you were to be successful, please email as soon as possible and a member of the team will contact you to discuss requirements and any questions you may have.

A Great Place to Work for Veterans

This vacancy is part of the Great Place to Work for Veterans initiative.

Welsh Language Requirements

The Welsh Government is a bilingual organisation and Welsh language skills are considered an asset to the organisation. We encourage and support staff to learn, develop and use their Welsh language skills in the workplace. 

The following list of language requirements represents an objective assessment by the line manager on behalf of the Welsh Government of the Welsh language skills required to undertake the duties of this particular post.

Can read some basic words and phrases with understanding
Can hold a basic conversation in Welsh
Can understand parts of a basic conversation
Can write basic messages on everyday topics

Social Partnership

In Welsh Government, the relationship between the employer and trade unions is based on social partnership. We believe our goals can best be achieved by management and trade unions working together.

Our 3 recognised trade unions are:
•         PCS
•         Prospect
•         FDA

This relationship is underpinned by a partnership agreement. This sets out how our unions work with Welsh Government on issues such as:
•         pay
•         terms and conditions
•         policies and procedures
•         organisational change.

Our Welsh Government trade union colleagues work together to give their members a real say in the workplace. They make sure that the interests of their members are promoted and protected. They also help reduce inequalities and improve terms and conditions.

The Welsh Government has an excellent track record of working in partnership with its trade unions. We encourage staff to get involved. We support you to join a recognised trade union, to ensure your voice is heard in the workplace. and to learn more about trade unions and partnership working.

Competencies / Job Specific Criteria


Seeing the Big Picture

  • Bring together views and perspectives of stakeholders to gain a wider picture of the landscape surrounding activities and policies

Leading and Communicating

  • Clarify strategies and plans, communicate purpose and direction with clarity and enthusiasm

Managing a Quality Service

  • Ensure adherence to legal, regulatory and security requirements in service delivery and build diversity and equality considerations into plans

Delivering at Pace

  • Get the best out of people by giving enthusiastic and encouraging messages about priorities, objectives and expectations

Job Specific Criteria:

  • A good understanding of the policy, legal and performance issues affecting healthcare in Wales.
  • Experience of working with a wide range of partners to deliver business objectives and exert influence.
  • Experience of managing communications and engagement in a complex environment.

Assessment Process

Applications will be sifted and successful candidates will be invited to interview.  The interview will consist of a 5 minute presentation on what are the main challenges facing HIW as it seeks to deliver its three year strategy from 2022-25.

Other Information

  • Unless stated otherwise in ‘actual starting salary’, all candidates will start at the minimum of the pay scale being appointed to (this includes existing civil servants).This is not negotiable.
  • Unless stated otherwise in ‘type of opportunity’, this recruitment advert is not open on a Loan or Secondment basis.
  • For more information on the eligibility criteria and terms and conditions for Loan and Secondment positions in Welsh Government, please see external recruitment candidate guidance.
  • Unless stated otherwise in ‘Location of Post’ the role/s recruited to via this campaign can only be worked in the UK, not overseas. Tel: 03000 628163

How to apply

All applications for this vacancy should be made online via the Welsh Government's online application system.  If you have an impairment which would prevent you from applying on-line, please e-mail to request an application pack in an alternative format, or to request a reasonable adjustment related to an impairment in order to submit your application.

To apply, you'll need to have an account on our online application system.  Click the 'Apply' button below, and you'll be asked to 'Log in' if you already have an account, or 'Register' if you don't yet have an account.  Registration takes just a few minutes to complete.  You'll need an e-mail address to be able to register.  Once you've registered for an account and logged in, you'll be taken to the online application form, which you'll need to fully complete and submit before the deadline on the closing date.  

If you’d like to apply for this vacancy in Welsh, please use the ‘Newid Iaith / Change Language’ link at the top of this page, to take you to the Welsh version of this advert, from which you can apply in Welsh.

For further information regarding the Welsh Government recruitment process, please see the Recruitment Guidance for External Candidates (link).

When evidencing your suitability for the post, it is recommended that you refer to the Civil Service Competency Framework (link)

Grievance and Complaints

Anyone who believes they have been treated unfairly, or has a grievance or complaint, about how the process was conducted should either write to the Head of Resourcing, Welsh Government, Cathays Park 2, Cardiff CF10 3NQ or email  If you are unhappy with the outcome of the complaint raised with the Welsh Government and feel that the principles of appointment on merit through fair and open competition have not been met you have the right to pursue your grievance with the Civil Service Commission.

This vacancy is closed to applications.