Vacancy -- Planning Officer

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
Planning and Environment Decisions Wales
HEO - £31,210 - £38,160
£31,210
Full time (applications are welcome from people who work part time, as part of a job share or who work full time)
Permanent
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.
TBC

Purpose of Post:

Provide professional planning and environmental input and support on a wide range of activities including dealing with applications for major infrastructure applications, Local Development Plan (LDP) examinations, Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and produces decisions or Reports on appropriate casework. The post holder will be required to effectively review evidence and produce soundly reasoned, impartial decisions, or recommendation reports to Welsh Ministers, that are expressed clearly and concisely in plain English. The post holder will also help to deliver PEDW’s response to changes in policy, legislation and caselaw. The post holder will also develop their own subject matter expertise to increase capability, planning knowledge and resilience within the team.

Key tasks:

Operational Delivery

  • To lead and provide planning and environmental support on projects throughout the relevant major infrastructure consenting regimes determined by Welsh Ministers, including pre-application environmental advice to developers and other stakeholders.
  • To act, with support, in assessing and responding to Applicants, other stakeholders, Inspectors and PEDW case teams on technical aspects of Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) and Habitats Regulations Assessments (HRA).
  • To manage assigned projects and deliver core products such as; screening directions; scoping directions; Environmental Statement (ES) reviews; HRA reviews.
  • To support and advise Inspectors, Appellants/Applicants and case officers on EIA matters relating to casework in making screening decisions writing Screening Directions, determining adequacy of Environmental Statements and with support making requests for further environmental information.
  • Provide advice and support to Applicants/Appellants to ensure that technical information required for determining requests for EIA screening and scoping opinions for EIAs is robust and appropriate.
  • To mentor others, supporting with their personal development objectives, providing coaching and other support including training in activities related to their role as required.
  • Effectively evaluate and review evidence from all parties in relation to relevant casework, assimilate complex, opposing and contradictory written evidence in reaching planning judgments.
  • Reach soundly reasoned impartial judgments, and report on your recommendations or make decisions on behalf of the Welsh Ministers which are evidence-based and expressed convincingly, and concisely in plain written English.
  • Provide professional support for Local Development Plans including discrete tasks and/or support for Inspectors during the examination process such as initial scoping of plans, review and analysis of representations.
  • Deliver allocated casework within time and quality standards.
  • Support PEDW’s response to changes in policy, legislation and caselaw, on request providing both structured and informal advice on new and emerging issues, across a full range of policy areas and casework types.
  • Draft complex technical advice for a range of professional decision-makers, ensuring it is accurate and legally compliant.
  • Review updates to content of advice, ensuring accuracy, identifying any gaps in provision, and developing new content in response to business needs.
  • Undertake specific research projects in areas of complex or novel casework.
  • Develop own subject matter expertise of the application of policy and legislation to deliver increased capability and resilience within team and beyond.
  • Provide content for training programmes and deliver this where required to case officers, Inspectors or stakeholders.
  • Undertake post decision complaint investigations and considering claims for reimbursement under the organisation’s policies, providing detailed reasoning and conclusions.

Team

  • Build effective and supportive relationships within teams, across PEDW and with stakeholders. Work together with others to assist the delivery of organisational strategic objectives.
  • Act as mentor and coach for others within the team to ensure team members receive appropriate professional development, and that talent is developed.
  • Share process improvements and efficiency ideas and solutions to enhance team and organisational performance.
  • Listen and act upon feedback and take responsibility for self-development.
  • Be a role model for PEDW’s Core Values.
  • Ensure personal and organisational data is stored and managed in line with organisational policies and procedures.

 Customer/Stakeholder Relationships

  • Promote the delivery of excellent customer service within teams.
  • Establish and maintain strong relationships with internal and external stakeholders.
  • Maintain and improve the organisation’s planning and environmental service and manage important customer relationships including applicants and government agencies and departments, including attendance and participation at external events where necessary.

Development opportunities:

The post holder will have the opportunity to expand and deepen their knowledge and understanding of the casework processed by Planning and Environment Decisions Wales, including Developments of National Significance applications, planning appeals and other related casework. 

Work with internal and external stakeholders to deliver an effective and timely service. 

The post holder will be supported in undertaking CPD and training that strengthens their contribution to the team. 

The post holder will benefit from experience of working in a focussed operational delivery environment, that processes casework that is directly related to the Programme for Government, i.e.

  • Build a stronger, greener economy as we make maximum progress towards decarbonisation
  • Embed our response to the climate and nature emergency in everything we do
  • Make our cities, towns and villages even better places in which to live and work

Closing Date:

04/10/2022, 16:00

Eligibility

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 sharedservicehelpdesk@gov.wales 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.

Desirable
Can read some routine work-related material with support e.g. dictionary
Can hold some work-related conversations
Can understand routine work-related conversations
Can prepare routine work-related material with checking

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

Competencies

This recruitment is being undertaken in line with the Civil Service Success profiles approach:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/success-profiles

Making Effective Decisions

  • Analyse and use a range or relevant credible information from internal and external sources to support decisions.

Working Together

  • Establish professional relationships with a range of stakeholders. Collaborate with these to share information, resources and support.

Delivering at Pace

  • Promote a culture of following the appropriate procedures to ensure results are achieved on time whilst still enabling innovation.

Managing a Quality Service

  • Successfully deliver high quality outcomes that meet the customers’ needs and gives value for money.

Job Specific Criteria 

  1. Essential: Graduate in town and country planning or an appropriate environmental / land use discipline (e.g. environmental science, environmental impact assessment, landscape, ecology, air pollution management).
  2. Essential: A high level of awareness of the wide ranging and complex environmental, social, and economic issues associated with infrastructure projects.
  3. Essential: Proven understanding of the principles and stages of Environmental Impact Assessment relating to infrastructure projects, including screening and scoping processes.

Assessment Process

The following stages will be used to sift and select suitable candidates:

Stage 1) Sift: Recruitment Panel will sift submitted CVs. The CV will be used to assess their experience relevant to the role in line with the Experience element of Civil Service Success Profiles. Those candidates that demonstrate sufficient relevant experience will be invited to interview

Stage 2) Interview: Following stage 1, successful candidates will be invited to attend an interview via MS Teams. The interview questions will be used to assess the Behaviours and Technical elements of Civil Service Success Profiles relevant to this role. The Technical elements being assessed are those relevant to the above job specific criteria.

Assessment and selection - Candidates that pass both the sift and the interview will then be ranked in merit order based on their interview scores.

The highest scoring candidate will be offered a permanent post.

If another permanent post does become available, the next highest scoring candidate will be offered that post.

After all permanent posts have been filled, the next highest scoring candidate will be offered the fixed term post.

Where more than one candidate has the same total score, their technical knowledge in relation to the following essential criteria will be used to determine merit order:

A high level of awareness of the wide ranging and complex environmental, social, and economic issues associated with infrastructure projects

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.

Are you a graduate in town and country planning or an appropriate environmental / land use discipline (e.g. environmental science, environmental impact assessment, landscape, ecology, air pollution management)?

The candidate must upload evidence of the relevant qualification.

Those candidates that answer ‘yes’ to the above question and provide evidence of their qualification will be able to apply. Candidates are required to complete an application form and submit an up-to-date CV (no more than 2 pages) through our recruitment portal.

Robert Sparey - PEDW.planningandenvironment@gov.wales

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 SharedServiceHelpdesk@gov.wales 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 SharedServiceHelpdesk@gov.wales.  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.