Head of Communications (Rail Group) - Flexible Working Available

London (Central), London (Greater)
£63,520 - £70,859
04 Jun 2019
25 Jun 2019
Full Time
Contract Type

Job description

Are you looking for your next career move in a challenging and politically high-profile space? 

We currently have a great opportunity for someone who has experience in the communication field to provide strategic advice and direction to really influence the wider Directorate within our Rail Group. 

You’ll be working on the highest profile transport issues in our department and play a big part in issues management – so this will really stretch your skills and give you exposure to Senior Leaders including the Rail Minister. 

We have a new team who will look to you to inspire and lead them into becoming an established and professional communications team. 

You’ll draw upon your leadership skills to build their confidence and capabilities - this is your chance to make an impression to the wider department through the performance of your team empowering them to work well and deliver quality results. 

This role will give you access to the Government Communication Services professional community with prospects to move between other Government Departments which will be great additions to your career history. 

You’ll be involved in both the policy and communications areas of the directorate which will require you to sit on two different leadership boards; you’ll be dealing with highly senior leaders and will be self-confident to hold your own when faced with challenges and contribute to discussions. 

For a much more detailed insight into this fantastic role we would encourage you to refer to the role profile attached to this advert. 

About you 

To be successful in this role, you’ll have experience of leading and developing a high-performing communications team and advising senior leaders in an organisation. 

You’ll have a tactical mind set and be comfortable dealing with a large range of issues whilst giving colleagues the scope to deliver your strategic direction. 

Experience of delivering a high-level communications strategy as well as working on high profile often highly politicised issues are key to deliver in this role. 

You’ll be adept at giving both communications and political reputational advice across a wide range of topics which will feed into key decision and deliverables. 

About us 

Rail Group is a single, integrated body established by the Department for Transport to take UK’s railway into the future, and to put passengers at the heart of the journey. With billions of pounds of government funding behind us and strong leadership in place, we have an unprecedented opportunity to drive things forward. 

We are part of the Department for Transport (DfT). DfT is a great place to work, and our ‘one team’ approach really makes a difference. We value our staff and that’s why we’re committed to nurturing an inclusive environment across the Department. 

You’ll be part of an innovative organisation that invests in all our people, ensuring we have the diverse skills to deliver transport that moves Britain ahead now and into the future. 

DfT has been recognised for its leadership on workplace gender equality by being included in The Times Top 50 Employers for Women 2017. 

DfT’s inclusion is recognition of our commitment to make the Department a great place to work through our culture of equality and inclusivity and the great strides we’ve made to raise the number of women in senior positions. 


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

  • Leadership
  • Communicating and Influencing
  • Seeing the Big Picture
  • Making Effective Decisions
  • Delivering at Pace

Technical skills

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

  • Government Communication Service Framework - Insight
  • Government Communication Service Framework - Ideas
  • Government Communication Service Framework - Implementation
  • Government Communication Service Framework - Impact

Benefits Pensions

Civil Service pension schemes may be available for successful candidates.


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.

Things you need to know Security

Successful candidates must pass basic security checks.

Nationality statement

Candidates will be subject to UK immigration requirements as well as Civil Service nationality rules.

If you're applying for a role requiring security clearance please be aware that foreign or dual nationality is not an automatic bar. However certain posts may have restrictions which could affect those who do not have sole British nationality or who have personal connections with certain countries outside the UK.

Selection process details

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

Please tailor your personal statement to provide evidence of your experience leading a high performing communications team through a new strategic approach to a complex communication campaign. 

You should include the leadership approach you took to engage and influence others including senior figures of the organisation, the impact this piece of made to the organisation's reputation and how you dealt with challenge. 

Please tailor your CV to evidence your suitability for the role, taking into account the requirements of the role as outlined in this advert and on the role profile. 

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

• an interview with one or more exercises 

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 please click here 

Your interview may consist of a range of question types. These may include questions about: 

• what energises and motivates you 
• how you would manage situations relevant to the role 
• your previous experience 
• your professional skills and knowledge 

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

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 equality of opportunity. There is a guaranteed interview scheme (GIS) for candidates with disabilities who meet the minimum selection criteria.

Apply and further information Contact point for applicants

If you have any further questions please contact RailResourcing@dft.gov.uk

Sift/interview dates and location

The sift is due to take place from 27/06/2019. 

Interviews/assessments are likely to be held in London between 12/07/2019 and 19/07/2019. 

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. 

If successful and transferring from another Government Department a security check may be carried out. 

Further information

We have adopted anonymised recruitment. This means that your name, date of birth and other personal details will not be seen by the sift panel. 

We may hold a merit list for up to twelve months. During this time, if a similar role is identified and you have been placed on the merit list you may be considered for the post. Within the merit list period, your application form and selection information may be shared across the department and its agencies. 

Please see attached candidate notes for further information about our recruitment process. 

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 DfTRecruitment.grs@cabinetoffice.gov.uk 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 

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: dftrecruitment.grs@cabinetoffice.gov.uk 

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 

Any move to the Department for Transport (DfT) will mean you will no longer be able to carry on claiming childcare vouchers.