Vacancy -- Chief Inspector Planning

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

Economy, Skills and Natural Resources
Senior Civil Service 1
circa £71,000
Full time (not suitable for candidates who wish to work on a part time or job share basis)
Pan Wales

Closing Date

27/09/2021, 12:00

Purpose of Post

The Chief Planning Inspector will be responsible for the overall leadership and management of Planning and Environment Decisions Wales, ensuring that it is effective and fit for purpose.  This includes leadership on both operational and professional matters.  The successful candidate will also be expected, to contribute to the management of the Welsh Government as a whole where this is compatible with the role.  In addition the post holder needs to play a figurehead role within the planning service in Wales, where the Chief Planning Inspector provides a well-respected, objective and impartial view on the effective operation of the planning system and profession - and improvements to it - to all stakeholders including Welsh Ministers.  The Chief Planning Inspector will also represent Wales at UK level meetings and with the Chief Planning Inspectors and senior policy officials from other administrations.

 Inspectors are built environment and environmental judges, arbitrating in disputes on land use and environmental matters.  Given the range of work that is undertaken, Inspectors and the Chief Planning Inspector are required to have an extensive and detailed knowledge of the wide range of policy and legislation which is relevant to the work of Planning and Environment Decisions Wales.  The Chief Planning Inspector will be responsible for ensuring complete impartiality of decision making.  They will also be required to report any concerns about maintaining impartiality or any perceptions by others regarding impartiality, direct to the Permanent Secretary.

 The role engages directly with local authority officers and elected members to assist them in achieving the adoption of Strategic and Local Development Plans and in training and upskilling local government members and officers to enable the examination of plans to run smoothly, as well as giving impartial advice on key components of the evidence base. The Chief Planning Inspector sets the bar for evidence standards supporting the plan and will also be expected to offer informal advice on the strategy and evidence base supporting draft plans. 

 The post holder is responsible for the £3m programme budget for the operation of the service, as well as for the management of fee income earned from the processing of various casework on behalf of others.  This fee income offsets the running costs of the service and is typically worth some £1million annually. 

 The post holder needs to play an important professional leadership role and will be expected to participate regularly in academic and professional activities to develop and enhance the operation of the planning system in Wales.  The Chief Planning Inspector will also need to engage with local planning authority members where concerns have been raised about local decisions being overturned on appeal.

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 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.

Assessment Process

The closing date for applications is 27th September 2021

Psychometric testing: within 10 days of the shortlisted meeting

Shortlisted Meeting: 6th October 2021

Stakeholder Panel: week commencing 18th October 2021

Report Writing Exercise: week commencing 18th October 2021

Interview panel:  29th October 2021

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

This is a full time role, although job sharers are encouraged to apply. It is expected that if you apply as a job share partnership, this arrangement is in place when submitting your application and please make it clear on your application form that you are applying as a job share partnership.

The closing date for applications is 27th September 2021

Psychometric testing: within 10 days of the shortlisted meeting

Shortlisted Meeting: 6th October 2021

Stakeholder Panel: week commencing 18th October 2021

Report Writing Exercise: week commencing 18th October 2021

Interview panel:  29th October 2021

This vacancy is closed to applications.