Vacancy -- SCS1 - Director of Strategic Planning HSSG/ NHS Wales

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

Health and Social Services Group
Senior Civil Service 1
Circa £126650
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

26/02/2024, 16:00

Purpose of Post

The Director of Strategic Planning (DSP) will be directly accountable to the Deputy CEO, NHS Wales and Director General, HSSG/ CEO of NHS Wales. The DSP will be a member of the HSSG senior leadership/ Directors’ Team. The post forms part of the new structure being established in the group to oversee the NHS Executive and along with another Director and the Deputy CE will lead and be accountable for the day to day running and performance of the NHS Executive. 

The DSP is specifically accountable for leadership of the annual integrated and statutory planning cycle, including development of the national planning framework and coordinating the priorities for health and care, e.g., driving continuous improvements in quality of care, health outcomes, reducing inequalities and ensuring that NHS organisations live within their combined financial budgets through the planning mechanisms which shape the NHS in Wales.   It will also be responsible for leading the development of the mandate for the NHS Executive. 

The post holder will play a pivotal role in shaping the NHS, driving forward   transformation focussed on working collaboratively within systems and ever closer partnership working with other stakeholders regionally and nationally. 

The Director will also support the Director of Finance HSSG in the planning and delivery of a financially sustainable service in utilising the circa £10.5 Billion of Welsh Government resources. 

As the Head of the NHS Planning Profession, the DSP will nurture planning capacity and capability in Wales through their credible leadership of the Planning Programme for Learning. 

This post is one of three key posts within the NHS and HSSG, they are the key conduit between government policy and NHS organisations, providing system leadership in setting out the planning and delivery requirements for the NHS in Wales. 

Converting policy and ministerial priorities into national plans and building a planning and delivery mechanism to support organisations in the delivery of health and social care services in Wales. 

The Director will lead the development of the national integrated planning framework and the Mandate for the NHS system in Wales.  This will involve distilling advice from Welsh Ministers, the newly formed NHS Executive, Policy Directors within H&SS Group and across Government, were appropriate, alongside the views of wider NHS leadership groups. 

The postholder will also develop the related NHS planning guidance and to oversee the annual development, assessment, and monitoring of Integrated Medium-Term Plans (IMTPs), which is a statutory requirement. 

The Director will provide advice and recommendations to the Minister for Health & Social Services regarding the approval, or non-approval, of IMTPs, accountability conditions and organisational escalation. 

The Director will be an influential spokesperson who, as head of profession, will represent the function across a wide range of stakeholders, across Welsh Government, NHS Wales, and partner organisations, maintaining and enhancing the reputation of integrated healthcare planning in Wales, fostering key relationships, and ensuring there is a clear strategic direction. 

The Director will also engage at a strategic and operational level with all NHS Wales organisations, including hosted organisations, to ensure optimum compliance with the NHS Wales Planning Framework and the delivery of strategic plans to support the wider public services in Wales. 

In addition to strategic planning, the Director will also lead the NHS Executive’s Emergency Planning arrangements, including leadership of the Planning & Response mechanisms that ensure national and co-ordinated actions across HSSG, NHS Wales and social care. 

This post working closely with DCEO and Director of Performance & Operations NHS Wales and will ensure the NHS in Wales effectively manages the £10.5 Billion revenue budget ensuring that local health systems meet system and organisational financial controls and have effective plans and systems for achieving clinical and financial sustainability of services, supported by effective cost improvement programmes. 

Deputise as necessary for the DCEO NHS Wales, on broad activities as well as specific functions, recognising the external-facing nature of the role with responsibility for NHS Wales. 

Participate in NHS Wales Leadership Board and as a senior member of HSSG Executive Director Team and similar arrangements. 

Contribute to governance and accountability arrangements for the NHS in Wales, such as NHS IQPD, JET meetings and tripartite/ escalation meetings, HSSG policy development and government business, as well as wider WG meetings.

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

On Line Psychometric Tests - these will include an Independent Leadership Assessment discussion with a psychologist. You will receive a link to these on-line tests within 10 working days from the shortlisting meeting.

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 Engagement Exercise – these will take place 13th March 2024. Further details will follow. 
  • Panel Interviews & Presentation – these are scheduled 21st March 2024. These will also take place virtually via Microsoft Teams. Interviews will last around 45 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.

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 vacancy is closed to applications.