Vacancy -- Head of Financial Management

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 and Public Services
Finance and Governance
Grade 7 - £50,870 - £60,830
Full time (applications are welcome from people who work part time, as part of a job share or who work full time)
Various locations, Pan Wales
Successful candidates will be invited to attend an Assessment Gateway between the 10th and 24th July 2019. The assessment process is only available to undertake in Cardiff. Further details of the assessments can be found in the Candidate Guidance document (link available in the How to Apply section of advert).

Purpose of Post:

The Education and Public Services Group(EPS) is one of the 5 Groups within Welsh Government serving a number of Ministerial portfolios and comprises a number of Directorates including Local Government, Education (including Welsh Language), Communities and Tackling Poverty, Housing and Regeneration and two inspectorates, Care Inspectorate Wales (CIW) and Health Inspectorate Wales (HIW).

Close collaborative working is undertaken with other Welsh Government Groups and with a wide range of devolved and non-devolved public services.

Sitting within the Finance and Governance team and reporting to the Head of Finance and Governance, the post-holder will provide a high quality financial business partnering service including regular and accurate and financial data to ensure effective and efficient use of the £6 billion budget as well as and engendering proper financial management within the Group and by the bodies receiving funding.  Role includes oversight of the business planning processes for EPS.

This successful candidate for this role will need to be a CCAB qualified Accountant.

Key tasks:

Leading the team

  • Lead, manage, develop and motivate the Finance and Business Planning teams, encouraging a culture which focuses on excellent customer service and continuous improvement

Financial Management  

  • Responsible for producing and coordinating management reports (both financial and performance information) to senior management and to the Central Finance Team
  • Support and guide Directors, key budget holders and their respective teams to ensure effective budgetary control, including assisting with budget planning, dealing with in-year pressures on the budget and any other financial issues.
  • Responsible for managing month-end and year-end closure processes, including liaison with the Central Finance team and the Welsh Audit Office as appropriate.
  • Critically appraise financial and performance information and provide strategic financial advice to assist the delivery of quality services.
  • Critically review advice to Ministers which is written by colleagues in other departments by providing guidance on the financial implications of any new proposals, answers to Assembly Ministers questions etc. Give advice to the Minister on financial and budget matters.
  • Support the Head of Finance and Governance in ensuring that the highest professional standards are achieved within Group such that statutory and compliance requirements are met.
  • Deputising for the Head of Finance and Governance as appropriate.
  • Support Ministers, the Director General and Directors by providing options to finance and fund political priorities, an objective picture of current financial plans on which to consult, and ensure that funds are used for their intended purpose.
  • Provide leadership to all finance staff within Education and Public Services including being a member of a cross cutting teams of Heads if Finance from different Divisions. Develop the capability of the ‘finance network’ and support the development of financial skills for finance and non-finance members of staff within DG area and across WAG.
  • Co-ordinate the Director General’s area’s input to the Welsh Government's Budget process, liaising with the Strategic Budgeting Division when appropriate.

Business Planning

  • Manage the Education and Public Service business planning process including quality assurance of input and ensuring that regular management information is provided to support the delivery of Ministerial priorities. 

Development opportunities:

As a key member of the Welsh Government’s Finance community this post offers an opportunity to work with and influence the operation of the EPS Group and the wider Welsh Government.

The post holder will be expected to work closely with Ministers, the Director General, Directors and Deputy Directors within the Group to support the delivery of Ministerial priorities.

Closing Date:

26/06/2019, 16:00

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.

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 most work-related material
Can hold most work-related conversations
Can understand most work-related conversations
Can prepare most written work in Welsh

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

What the organisation will expect

  • You will have the ability to work under pressure, be flexible, proactive and self-motivated. You will have the ambition to lead and motivate a team to successfully deliver within a challenging, pressured and fast-paced environment
  • You will be able to take an innovative approach, looking for opportunities to do things differently and responsive enough to adapt and develop new options as things change
  • As an effective Civil Servant, you will very quickly need to gain an understanding of the political landscape and the role that Ministers play in setting the agenda for your business area; an understanding of how to get things done with regard to governance and financial management processes; an ability to manage risk, making informed decisions with little or no guidance; and be able to clearly communicate at all levels, including with senior stakeholders and Ministers.

What your team will expect

  • You will value diversity and inclusion, creating an environment where individuals feel safe to challenge, share ideas and express concerns
  • You will be a role model, who is able to motivate and inspire others, establish a vision and bring others on board, providing clear direction and priorities for the team, ensuring that every member understands their contribution to achieving objectives, and feel capable of fulfilling their role.
  • You will support the development of others, demonstrating an understanding of the importance of learning, planning for and providing opportunities and encouragement for individuals to develop, as well as investing time for your own development

What key stakeholders will expect

  • You will be able to use sound judgement, evidence and knowledge to provide credible advice and guidance to both internal and external stakeholders. 
  • You will understand the importance of building and maintaining constructive relationships, both within and outside Welsh Government. You will have strong influencing skills and the ability to build collaborative relationships that both challenge with support, and build trust and mutual respect across organisational boundaries
  • You will be able to use creative thoughts to develop recommendations, and take advantage of opportunities to work collaboratively across boundaries


For this particular scheme please ignore the instruction relating to competencies and the 300 word limit.

Assessment Process

Other Information

The assessment event

Candidates will be assessed for suitability for the role through an Assessment Gateway. The Gateway will last for 4 hours and will contain two assessment exercises, plus an interview.  Here is some information on the type of exercises that you will be required to complete during the day. 

  • The Analytical Exercise

This involves the candidates being presented with a large amount of information from various different sources, relating to a relevant business problem. These may take the form of graphs, tables, government papers, advisory documents and newspaper articles. The content is highly complex and the candidate must provide a reasoned recommendation for their conclusions.

  • The Leadership Exercise

This will be a simulation of a meeting which involves candidates taking part in a behavioural exercise that simulates a one-to-one stakeholder meeting between the candidate and a role player based on a specific brief. This brief contains background information, a description of the situation and notes about the person he/she is about to meet. The timings and broad objectives of the meeting are also outlined. Candidates will have approximately twenty minutes to prepare prior to meeting the role player and will need to resolve the situation in a way that is mutually beneficial for both parties.

  • Interview

The interview will involve a blend of behaviour and strength-based questions.  The behaviour-based questions will be used to explore in detail what you are capable of and strengths-based questions to also explore what you enjoy and your motivations relevant to the grade requirements.  

Candidate Guidance

You are strongly advised to read the candidate guidance before you make your application, see link below.

Claire Bushell - / 03000 628911

How to apply

To apply for this opportunity, you need to submit a CV and personal statement demonstrating experience in relation to the advertised grade description listed under the competnecy behaviour / job specific section of the advert. 

CV’s should be no longer than 2 sides of A4 and personal statements no longer than 4 sides of A4.

All applications for this vacancy should be made online via the Welsh Government's online application system.  If you have a disability 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 a disability 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 working for the Welsh Government, please see our Recruitment Pack.

For details on how to make your applicaiton, please see the Candiate Guidance.  

This vacancy is closed to applications.