Senior Operations Advisor - Flexible Working Available

Birmingham, Leeds, London
23 Nov 2020
26 Nov 2020
Contract Type

About the job Summary

We recognise the challenges that people with (multiple) protected characteristics may experience on the job market and in their career progression. We are fully committed to being an inclusive employer and ensuring equal opportunities. We are keen to make our workforce as diverse as possible, and we hope to attract applications from underrepresented groups, including Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) people, people with a disability, and people with gender diverse identities.

Do you enjoy analysing large data sets and providing key recommendations?

Are you someone who enjoys working collaboratively with different business partners and builds rapport?

Are you a natural influencer who loves to have challenging conversations?

Do you have a passion for the rail industry and have a detailed understanding of the technical terminology?

If so, then we are looking for 2 Senior Operations Advisors to join our teams within the Passenger Services directorate at the Department for Transport (DfT), and we’d love to hear from you!

Job description

The post holder will be responsible for monitoring franchised train operators to ensure that they are delivering the train service and capacity that passengers need and the Department has contracted through the Franchise Agreements.

Working collaboratively with Network Rail, other external stakeholders and our commercial and franchise change teams, you will use your operational performance and planning expertise to provide expert advice and support to DfT’s commercial and contract management teams to ensure that operators are properly held to account.

Your primary responsibility will be to monitor and advise on particular franchises however, you will also have a good understanding of train service design and be able to work across teams to support wider train service strategy and operations work as required.

You will provide leadership in several areas, including advising senior internal and external stakeholders on matters relating to performance and operational outcomes, sometimes within challenging timescales.


Your Role Responsibilities include (but not limited to):

Providing expert advice on rail planning and operations, considering the wider operational environment, performance and the operators’ individual franchise requirements, to senior managers, colleagues in Commercial Teams, and other DfT Rail Directorates.

Review proposals for Service Recovery and Force Majeure claims from the Train Operating Companies as per the terms of the Franchise Agreement.

Maintaining a thorough working understanding of Schedules 1.1, 1.2 (train services) and 10.4 (Force Majeure) of the Franchise Agreement and the implications for train operators of not meeting requirements.

About you

You have an analytical mind and are passionate about identifying and resolving issues. You can develop recommendations based on complex evidence.

You will be a natural communicator who has the ability to collaborate effectively with internal and external key partners. You have strong influencing skills and are able to challenge at all levels.

We would love to attract someone who has outstanding interpersonal skills and has an in depth understanding of technical language used in the rail sector. You have excellent written communication skills and will be able to support complex decisions.


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

  • Communicating and Influencing
  • Managing a Quality Service
  • Making Effective Decisions
  • Working Together


Being part of our brilliant Civil Service means you will have access to a wide range of fantastic benefits. We offer generous annual leave, attractive pension options, flexible working, inclusive working environments and much more to support a healthy work/life balance.

Find out more about what it's like working at the Department for Transport.

Things you need to know Security

Successful candidates must pass a disclosure and barring security 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 and Experience.

We are closely monitoring the situation regarding the 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. In addition, where appropriate, you may be invited to attend a video interview.

Please continue to follow the application process as normal and ensure that you check your emails regularly as all updates from us will be sent to you this way.

How to apply

When considering your experience, please tailor your CV and personal statement (1000) to provide evidence of when you have;

Analytical experience in distilling large amounts of complex data into easy-to-understand formats.

Experience of effective project management, including managing complexity (e.g. prioritisation of tasks, working with incomplete data sets) and ensuring appropriate and proportionate quality assurance checks are implemented.

Experience of communicating complex data and ideas clearly and tactfully to a range of technical and non-technical audiences in an authoritative, informative and engaging manner.

Experience in Rail, ideally in operational performance and/or timetable planning.

The sift is due to take place w/c 30th November

Interviews/assessments are likely to be held 17th December onwards.

This interview could be conducted via a video interview, details of which will be provided to you should you be selected for interview.

We will try to meet the dates set out in the advert. There may be occasions when these dates will change. You will be provided with sufficient notice of the confirmed dates.

The selection process will be designed specifically for the role. As a result, your assessment could include:

•an interview and presentation

You’re encouraged to become familiar with the role profile, as you may be assessed against any of the criteria recorded within.

The Department for Transport alongside other Government Departments recruit using Success Profiles. This means for each role we consider what you will need to demonstrate in order to be successful. This gives us the best possible chance of finding the right person for the job, drives up performance and improves diversity and inclusivity.

For further information on Success Profiles visit our Careers website.

Further Information

To learn more about applying for a role within the Department for Transport, visit the Application Process page of our Careers website.

Before submitting your application, we encourage you to visit our Things You Need to Know page for further information about applying for a role within the Department for Transport and the Civil Service.

Throughout this job advert there are links to the DfT Careers website, which provides you further information to support your application. Should you be unable to access the information on our website, please email for assistance.

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.

Apply and further information

Once this job has closed, the job advert will no longer be available. You may want to save a copy for your records.

Contact point for applicants Job contact : Name :   Paul Woodrup Email :   Recruitment team : Email : Further information

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