SEO Pesticides Project and Case Manager

Bristol, London, York
£35,894 - £43,847
14 Oct 2020
19 Oct 2020
Contract Type
Full Time

SEO Pesticides Project and Case Manager

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

About the job

Becoming a project delivery professional in government means that you will have a unique opportunity and potential to change a nation and shape the lives of people, for the better. You will become part of a talented professional community, delivering a huge breadth of ambitious projects and programmes. Thousands of projects are undertaken every year across government in a wide range of contexts ranging from improving infrastructure, transforming public services and protecting national security. The need for project management excellence within government has never been more vital to securing our future than it is now.

The Chemicals, Pesticides and Hazardous Waste Division (CPHW) of Defra is responsible for delivering policies which ensure the effective management of chemicals throughout their lifecycle, for everyone, the environment and the economy.

Within CPHW, pesticides policy and delivery is a fantastic area to lead and support some exciting and challenging teams. Plant protection products are currently an important component for many farmers, amenity users, local councils and householders to ensure that pests and weeds are managed. This needs to be balanced against our commitment to reduce the environmental impact of pesticides. The 25 Year Environment Plan set out a Government commitment to protect crops while reducing the environmental impact of pesticides.

We work closely with others across Defra to balance the challenges of protecting human health and the environment whilst providing farmers with the tools they need to provide a sustainable food supply. The pesticides teams lead partners and stakeholders, across government and externally, to design policy, review our current regulations and secure robust operational delivery to fulfil this commitment (including ensuring that timely and sound decisions are taken on the authorisation of pesticides). In leading the high-level planning of this programme and overseeing the regulatory casework, you will play a key role.

Job description

Working within CPHW, this role supports the delivery of the pesticides project through its lifecycle. This is a complex project, that needs ongoing and clear PPM support to ensure delivery is kept on track and has various complex workstreams within it. The post holder will be responsible for delivering a range of services that include (but are not limited to):

• Professional advice and guidance on project delivery in line with government standards and practice, in order to meet the strategic aims of CPHW and contribute to the wider strategic goals of Defra EQ.
• Maintenance of programme and project plan for all pesticides regimes. This will include oversight of 5 project teams within Defra and project delivery by our government partners such as HSE and the Environment Agency.
• Advising, supporting and critiquing business case production.
• Populating and maintaining delivery management information (MI) or dashboard reports.
• Provide clear project controls across the division for this programme.
• Establish a standard set PPM of tools and templates in line with programme governance needs.
• Drive the adoption and awareness of professional PPM standards across the teams and partners and particularly in workstream leads.
• Providing oversight for the management of casework (involving complex and sometimes controversial assessment and decision-making) from the operation of the regulatory system. This will include case allocation, resource management and steering the development of systems necessary to support effective compliance monitoring and enforcement.
• Ad hoc opportunities to get involved in elements of the pesticide team’s policy work, particularly focusing on regulatory decisions.

Some of your day-to-day activities will include, but are not limited to:
• Taking ownership of programme and project plans, consisting of multiple technical and business work-streams and ensure they are accurate, updated on a regular basis and meaningful to meet user and assurance needs.
• Provide leadership and subject matter expertise in relation to planning to include providing support and guidance to senior responsible officers and work stream leads.
• Drive the development of programme and project planning standards including ensuring full alignment to central CPHW PMO and IPA standards.
• Undertake proactive scenario planning and provide advice and options into senior management decision making.
• Working closely with a range of stakeholders, including the Health and Safety Executive and the Environment Agency, and other Defra group agencies to ensure we can track delivery through clear MI reporting.
• Provide analytical reports based on programme and project plans to feed governance boards at both programme and portfolio levels.
• Identify and monitor project risks, issues, assumptions and dependencies. Develop mitigating actions and escalate as appropriate.
• Identify and work with related projects to manage interdependencies.
• Ensure that the project delivers to the agreed outcomes within time, cost and quality constraints.
• Lead on day-to-day coordination of the project teams - Support effective leadership and management controls. Support the design of the project structure and organisation appropriate for each stage of delivery. Manage effective transition between project phases, including gateways.
• Deliver the agreed Business Case benefits and outcomes as these develop. Ensure appropriate Benefits Realization Strategy is in place and monitor longer term delivery of benefits against the Business Case.
• Managing the regulatory caseload of decisions requiring departmental input. Working closely with HSE on the upcoming pipeline of regulatory decisions so that we have clear sight of the cases coming up, and managing an effective system allocating cases to the four pesticides teams, recording and tracking completion of the necessary work.

The posts offer some flexibility to be based outside of London, but the post holder is likely to be required to travel to London or our other offices and may need to be able to attend meetings at short notice.

All of these posts require the successful candidate to hold basic security clearance. Candidates posted to London will be subject to a higher level of clearance because of the security requirements for that location. Job offers to these posts are made on the basis of merit. Security vetting will only take place after the receipt of a job offer.


Essential Criteria

• Experience of working on digital, large, complex projects and/or programmes in a range of structured programme and project management methodologies.
• Proficient in a range of project tools and techniques, including initiation, business case formulation, risk and issue control, planning and governance.
• Experience of working effectively with senior responsible officers, project leads and workstream leads and delivering help and advice in a supportive way.
• Experience in designing and building reports and analyses, for multiple audiences, including project reviews, programme delivery review, leadership team and committees in tight timeframes.
• Experience in organisation of regulatory case work management.


The Project Delivery Capability Framework outlines that candidates should have one or more Professional Project Management Accreditations or equivalent recent experience (within the last five years). Please make this clear in your application. For this size of project, we would suggest the following would be appropriate:

• PRINCE2 Practitioner
• Agile Project Management Practitioner
• Managing Successful Programmes Practitioner

Demonstrable experience of both MSP and Microsoft Excel is also required.


We'll assess you against these behaviours during the selection process:

  • Delivering at Pace
  • Communicating and Influencing
  • Seeing the Big Picture
  • Working Together

Technical skills

We'll assess you against these technical skills during the selection process:

  • Job-related simulation


A career in the Civil Service is like no other. If you’re looking to join a great team and develop your career with us, then the Civil Service is the place for you! You might be wondering, “what’s in it for me”? Take a look below at some of the benefits available to you as a civil servant in Defra.

Everyone in Defra is supported to develop their skills and capabilities. When you join CPHW you will be welcomed into your new team through an induction programme that will provide you with helpful information on the civil service, Defra, our work and our policies. Your line manager will also work with you to establish your priorities for the year, developing a performance, learning and development plan tailored to you and your role. CPHW ensures that each employee has clear learning and development opportunities funded through the financial year. As a civil servant, you will also have access to Civil Service Learning where you can participate in professional development programmes across a wide spectrum of subjects and professions.

Things you need to know Security

Successful candidates must pass a disclosure and barring security check.

Successful candidates must meet the security requirements before they can be appointed. The level of security needed is counter-terrorist check.

People working with government assets must complete basic personnel security standard checks.

Selection process details

This vacancy is using Success Profiles, and will assess your Behaviours, Strengths, Experience and Technical skills.

Application process
After submission of the first stage of your application, you will be invited to complete a Verbal Reasoning test. If you successfully pass the test, you will be invited to complete the second stage of the application.

Please complete the online tests as soon as possible (within 24-48 hours is recommended), the closing date for the tests is 23:55 on 19th October 2020.. If you fail to complete the online test before the deadline your application will be withdrawn. Guidance for the test will be available when you are invited to take the test. The tests are administered online and accessed via the CS Jobs website.

As part of the application process, you will be asked to complete 250-word statements on each of the following four Behaviours – (1) Delivering at Pace; (2) Communicating and Influencing; (3) Seeing the Big Picture, and (4) Working Together.

As part of the application process, you will also be asked to complete a CV. The CV will ask for your Job History, Qualifications and Past Skills and Experience.

Should a large number of applications be received, an initial sift may be conducted using the lead behaviour, Delivering at Pace. Candidates who pass the initial sift may be progressed to a full sift, or progressed straight to assessment/interview.

Sift is likely to take place in mid to late October with interviews early to mid-November.

All candidates invited to interview will be required to give a short 5-minute verbal presentation. The topic will be provided prior to interview.

The interviews will be Behaviour, Experience and Strength-based. A presentation or additional exercise may also be assessed.

**Please note that due to COVID-19 restrictions, we will not be interviewing face-to-face at this time. All interviews will be conducted remotely via video call. Further information will be provided to candidates in advance of interviews.**

Reserve list
We have a number of opportunities coming up across EQ and Defra. Candidates who pass the interview criteria but are not offered a post will be kept on a reserve list for 12 months and may be offered similar roles elsewhere.

Near miss
Candidates who are judged to be a near miss may be considered for other posts in Defra which may be at a lower grade but have a potential skills match.

Reasonable Adjustment
If a person with disabilities is put at a substantial disadvantage compared to a non-disabled person, we have a duty to make reasonable changes to our processes.

If you need a change to be made so that you can make your application, you should:

- Contact Government Recruitment Service via as soon as possible before the closing date to discuss your needs.
- Complete the “Assistance required” section in the “Additional requirements” page of your application form to tell us what changes or help you might need further on in the recruitment process. For instance, you may need wheelchair access at interview, or if you’re deaf, a Language Service Professional.

If you are experiencing accessibility problems with any attachments on this advert, please contact the email address in the ‘Contact point for applicants’ section.

Criminal Record Check
If successful and transferring from another Government Department, a criminal record check maybe carried out.

In order to process applications without delay, we will be sending a Criminal Record Check to Disclosure and Barring Service on your behalf. However, we recognise in exceptional circumstance some candidates will want to send their completed forms direct. If you will be doing this, please advise Government Recruitment Service of your intention by emailing stating the job reference number in the subject heading.

Childcare Vouchers
Any move to Defra will mean you will no longer be able to carry on claiming childcare vouchers. You will however have access to the governments Tax Free Childcare scheme.

Internal Fraud Database Check
Applicants who are successful at interview will be, as part of pre-employment screening subject to a check on the Internal Fraud Database (IFD). This check will provide information about employees who have been dismissed for fraud or dishonesty offences. This check also applies to employees who resign or otherwise leave before being dismissed for fraud or dishonesty had their employment continued. Any applicant’s details held on the IFD will be refused employment.

If you feel your application has not been treated in accordance with the Recruitment Principles and you wish to make a complaint, in the first instance, you should contact Government Recruitment Services via email:

If you are not satisfied with the response you receive from the Department, you can contact the Civil Service Commission: Click here to visit Civil Service Commission

We are closely monitoring the situation with regard to Coronavirus, and will be following central Government advice as it is issued. There is therefore a risk that recruitment to this post may be subject to change at short notice. Please continue to follow the application process as normal and ensure that you check your emails regularly for any updates from us as this is how we will communicate with you.

Feedback will only be provided if you attend an interview or assessment.

Nationality requirements

Open to UK, Commonwealth and European Economic Area (EEA) and certain non EEA nationals. Further information on whether you are able to apply is available here.

Working for the Civil Service

The Civil Service Code sets out the standards of behaviour expected of civil servants.

We recruit by merit on the basis of fair and open competition, as outlined in the Civil Service Commission's recruitment principles.

The Civil Service embraces diversity and promotes equal opportunities. As such, we run a Disability Confident Scheme (DCS) for candidates with disabilities who meet the minimum selection criteria