The Office of Rail and Road (ORR) is the independent safety and economic regulator for Britain's railways and the independent monitor of Highways England. We protect the interests of rail and road users, improving the safety, value and performance of railways and roads today and in the future.
We are looking for a self-starting, experienced and politically savvy Public Affairs Manager to join ORR’s external engagement team which sits within the Communications Directorate.
In this role you will drive and deliver ORR’s busy Parliamentary engagement programme, across UK Parliament, Scottish Parliament and the National Assembly for Wales as well as across Whitehall and in the devolved administrations.
You don’t need to have worked for the Civil Service or in transport previously, but you do need to show that you know your way around the Parliaments have a strong political brain and good organisational skills.
This is also an opportunity to progress your career. You will be expected from the start to take responsibility for ORR’s Parliamentary engagement programme, liaising directly with Directors, our Chair and the Chief Executive, and to progress our public affairs strategy, incorporating contact, briefings and events.
You will provide proactive advice and support to facilitate senior engagement with key stakeholders including government officials, Ministers, Parliamentary committees and Parliamentarians, as well as attending meetings directly.
You will also be expected to deal with parliamentary correspondence and questions. Your experience will enable you to identify opportunities to help Parliamentarians and others understand and advocate ORR’s work and the expertise and value we provide.
In 2021 the Public Affairs Manager’s role will especially include responding to the expected White Paper on rail reform, and ensuring Parliamentary stakeholders understand ORR’s role in the changing rail landscape.
- Devise and lead on Parliamentary engagement strategy across ORR’s policy objectives, including leading on detailing this within communications plans;
- proactively identify, negotiate and deliver opportunities to enhance ORR’s profile with wider public affairs stakeholders, including an ongoing contact strategy which incorporates briefing sessions, events and speaking opportunities;
- provide strategic advice and support to ORR’s Chair, Chief Executive and the wider organisation to ensure communication across Parliament and governments is timely and targeted and designed to achieve clear strategic aims;
- manage a network of contacts effectively across Parliament and governments and continually build positive relationships with stakeholders;
- provide comprehensive support for Select Committee engagement, including evidence sessions and private briefings;
- produce and manage key briefings for ORR’s senior leaders on relevant issues and for meetings;
- advise on Parliamentary correspondence and ORR’s responses to parliamentary questions;
- monitor and report on legislative developments;
- write and produce relevant communications material for all channels; and
- assist teams from across ORR to successfully articulate and deliver their own public affairs objectives; manage the work of communications team executives when on Parliamentary and other public affairs activity.
This description of the job may be subject to review, and is to provide you with guidelines within which you would work. Other duties appropriate to the grade may be assigned from time to time.
Assessing your application - The ideal candidate will be able to demonstrate the essential elements set out below.
Behaviours - the actions and activities that people do which result in effective performance in a job
Experience - the knowledge or mastery of an activity or subject gained through involvement in or exposure to it. It is essential that you are able to demonstrate the following skills and experience in your application and at interview:
- experience of using public affairs engagement to achieve objectives working with and/or to influence: Parliamentary bodies, Ministers, government departments etc.;
- a solid understanding of how the UK Parliament, Government and the devolved administrations and the political process works;
- experience providing comprehensive briefing, advice and preparation for senior staff, ideally including Parliamentary committee evidence sessions;
- development and management of relationships with external stakeholders;
- the ability to work across teams and with senior staff and to influence internal and external decision makers;
- excellent judgement and analytical skills and written and oral communications skills; with an ability to produce clear and accurate briefings concisely and quickly; and
- a self-starter, well able to work both independently and collaboratively to achieve results.
- experience working with the Scottish Parliament or National Assembly for Wales;
- experience of working for or with a regulator or in a regulated industry, or with a Crown body.
We'll assess you against these behaviours during the selection process:
- Communicating and Influencing
- Delivering at Pace
- Working Together
- Seeing the Big Picture
We only ask for evidence of these behaviours on your application form:
- Communicating and Influencing