Vacancy -- Director of Operations

Recruitment Principles

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.

Vacancy Details

Education, Social Justice and Welsh Language Group
Senior Civil Service 2
circa £97,000
Full time (applications are welcome from people who work part time, as part of a job share or who work full time)
Pan Wales

Closing Date

08/12/2023, 16:00

Purpose of Post

The Operations Director will be responsible to the Group Director General leading the provision of a full range of corporate services to the Group in order to enable the delivery of policies and programmes in accordance with Ministerial priorities.

This is a key position on the Group’s Senior Management Team (SMT), contributing to the leadership and strategic direction of the Group and the wider organisation and supporting the Director General in the context of their Additional Accounting Officer role. 

As part of the Group’s SMT, the post holder will have collective responsibility for executive decision making, overseeing performance delivery, driving continuous improvement and developing and delivering change across the business.

The Operations Director is also the Finance Director for the Group.  In this context the post holder is responsible for:

  • Advising on the optimum use of resources including seeking opportunities for Welsh Ministers to make use of the additional financial flexibilities which will arise from further devolution of powers;
  • Budget management, control, reporting, and accounting;
  • Leading on all aspects of Governance and Risk Management for the Group;
  • Driving the right performance across the Group;
  • Improving Business Planning;
  • Developing the Groups people skills and capabilities;
  • Improving and streamlining the Groups systems and processes.

 Key Responsibilities and Accountability:

  • Management of the Group’s annual budget, which currently stands at around £10 billion, in line with government financial standards.
  • Delivery of a full range of Corporate Services to the Group supporting the delivery of Ministerial Priorities and developing strategies to optimise the deployment of resource.
  • To lead and manage circa 100 staff.

Corporate services include:


  • Business planning, resource allocation, performance management and reporting; providing timely, relevant advice and information to the Director General and Senior Management Team and to Ministers to support the delivery of business priorities and inform decision making.
  • Providing support for the delivery of Ministerial business including Cabinet business, Ministerial Advisory Groups and Policy Boards, ensuring that appropriate cross portfolio connections are identified and factored into the service and advice provided.
  • Governance and Assurance – supporting the Director General as Additional Accounting Officer and the Group’s Audit and Risk Committee through effective risk management, lean business processes, Project Delivery disciplines and an effective control framework.
  • Realising the potential within the Group through HR – delivering effective workforce planning allied to training and development programmes; ensuring that equity, diversity and the Welsh language are central to the Group’s policies and programmes.
  • Co-ordinating, supporting and oversight of the delivery of the Group’s programme of legislation.

Cross Government Responsibilities:

The post holder will play a key role in representing the Group across the wider organisation. As the Group lead on a number of key professions, the role will also contribute to the wider development and continuous improvement of the    organisational operating model. This will include taking an active role in the following groups and networks or their successors:


  • The Finance and Corporate Services Committee - to support the Board on matters delegated for consideration.
  • Finance Profession - to work collaboratively with the Director of Finance and other senior finance leaders within Welsh Government to ensure a corporate and joined up approach to financial management.
  • The post holder is the senior responsible owner for the Welsh Government’s in-house Business Information and Reporting Tool (BIRT) and chairs the Governance Group which leads on further development of this performance management and risk management tool.
  • Senior Leadership Group – contributing to WG wide leadership issues.

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

Welsh Government accepts the social definition of disability, in which it is recognised that barriers in society act to disable people who have impairments or health conditions or who use British Sign Language. We are committed to removing barriers so that all (or potential new staff) can perform at their best. The Equality Act 2010 uses the medical definition of disability (“a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term impact on a person’s ability to carry out normal day to day activities”).

We guarantee to interview anyone who is disabled whose application meets the minimum criteria for the post. By ‘minimum criteria’ we mean that you must provide us with evidence in your application which demonstrates that you generally meet the level of competence for the role and any qualifications, skills or experience defined as essential. We are committed to the employment and career development of disabled people.

If you have an impairment or health condition, 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 support you if you were to be successful, please email as soon as possible and a member of the team will contact you to discuss your 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.

Assessment Process

The Recruitment Team via the Welsh Government system will acknowledge your application and when appropriate you will be advised about the outcome of the shortlist meeting which will be held on 20 December 2023.

Assessments for Shortlisted Candidates Only

The below activities will form part of the overall assessment required for this recruitment exercise:

  • Online Psychometric Tests - these will include a discussion with a psychologist. You will receive a link to these on-line tests within 10 days of the shortlisted outcome. 

If you have completed the online psychometric test in the last 2 years, for a post at the same grade, it will not be necessary for you to take these tests again for this particular recruitment exercise.

  • Stakeholder/Staff Engagement Exercise – these will take place on w/c 15th January 2024 Further details will follow.


  • Panel Interviews & Presentation – these are scheduled 2nd February 2024 and will take place in person. Interviews will last around 45-60 minutes. The Panel will receive feedback on your psychometric tests and staff/stakeholder engagement exercise before you are interviewed. Your interview will consider how your skills and experience as outlined in your CV and personal statement meet the requirements of the role. Candidates will be given at least one week’s notice of the presentation topic. Please note that presentations are to be delivered without the use of hand-outs or electronic devices unless as part of a reasonable adjustment, however, you are welcome to use prompt cards.

Recruitment Adjustments

Please note, recruitment adjustments can be made at any part of the recruitment process for candidates with an impairment or health condition, who are neuro-divergent or who use British Sign Language.  Please get in touch with to discuss adjustments for any part of the process. 

The selection panel will include:

  • Stephen Cohen, Civil Service Commissioner
  • Sioned Evans, Director General, Public Services and Welsh Language Group
  • Carla Lyne, Director of Operations, Public Services and Welsh Language Group
  • Jamie Jenkins, Information Manager - Chief Operating Officer’s Group, Office of the First Minister’s Group (and support to the Permanent Secretary’s Office).


How to apply

Completed application form, an up to date CV, together with a personal statement of suitability for the post should be submitted by the closing date.  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 if you need 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 Senior Civil Service recruitment process within the Welsh Government, please see the SCS Recruitment Guidance for External Candidates (link). Further guidance on Preparing Your Personal Statement (link) is also available.

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

Other information about the vacancy

If you would like to discuss this role further, please email

We will also be holding a virtual information session on 28 Nov 23 at 9am until 10am. If you would like to attend, please e-mail and we can send the joining instructions to you.

This vacancy is closed to applications.