Chief Portfolio Officer and Head of Project Delivery Profession

London (Central), London (Greater)
£92,000 - £120,000
08 Nov 2019
24 Nov 2019
Full Time
Contract Type


London or Birmingham

About the job

A new Directorate is being created to drive and support delivery of DfT’s portfolio of capital infrastructure and transformation projects.

This follows an extensive programme of work to learn from issues that have emerged in recent transport projects delivery and then develop recommendations for improvement. The ‘Lessons from transport for the sponsorship of major projects’ report – a joint report from the DfT and Infrastructure Projects Authority (IPA) - was published on 25 April 2019. Since then the Department has been working with its delivery organisations to ensure that the lessons contained in this report are embedded in its projects and programmes, while also exploring wider themes such as how to improve the department’s portfolio management, ensuring roles and responsibilities in the sponsorship and delivery of projects are clear, promoting the right behaviours and culture, and building our own capacity and capabilities.

Looking forward the department wishes to strengthen the capacity of existing teams who have led central efforts on portfolio management, project assurance and project delivery capability, so that they can lead transformational cultural and behavioural change across the wider department’s project delivery work. This will enhance the department’s ability to secure the long-term benefits for the UK of the unprecedented investment in our transport infrastructure.

There is also ongoing interest cross-Government in learning from DfT’s experience and innovation to the benefit of wider Government transformation efforts.

Job description

As Chief Portfolio Officer and Head of Profession you will oversee the department’s portfolio of major projects with responsibility for providing assurance on investment decisions and ensuring there is oversight of these projects in their delivery phase, working closely with project senior responsible owners. You will be influential in decision-making to ensure that projects are properly resourced and successfully delivered. Importantly, you will assess the deliverability and risks of the portfolio as a whole, and take steps to manage these.

You will also have the opportunity to lead development of the department’s project delivery profession, building project delivery capability, embedding best practice and developing a community of skilled project delivery professionals. You will also lead in developing and maintaining close relations with project delivery professionals in the department’s delivery organisations.

You will be a leader in this field and colleagues across the department will look to your team for best practice advice and project support. You will lead the departments relationship with the Infrastructure and Projects Authority and work with other departments across government to promote the development of the profession as a whole.


You will be a senior and experienced project delivery professional with a strong reputation and level of influence within your current organisation. It is important that through your CV and supporting statement you provide detailed evidence and examples of proven experience.

The successful candidate will be able to demonstrate achievement against the following essential criteria:

• A record of leading successful major project delivery and organisational change, including as a senior responsible owner or senior project director, and/or deep understanding, and first-hand experience, of portfolio management in a complex operating environment.

• Strong personal credibility at organisational level, able to understand and engage with the strategic context, and to provide confident, constructive challenge at Board level, with Ministers and senior partners, both within the department and across organisations.

• A passion for developing people and the project delivery profession, with experience of building capability at individual, team and organisational level, and building a culture of learning and support.

• Experience of successfully leading organisational change by influencing and shaping culture, values and behaviours, including through use of innovative approaches.

• Ability to build a diverse, enthused and empowered team, through inspiring leadership.

Appropriate professional qualifications and memberships would be desirable, such as APM Registered Project Professional or Chartership, or graduation from the government Major Projects Leadership Academy (MPLA).

If not already an MPLA graduate, the successful candidate would be expected to attend the MPLA programme on taking up post.


All civil servants can expect to be part of a ‘Brilliant Civil Service’ guided by the Civil Service core values of honesty, integrity, impartiality and objectivity. At DfT our overarching mission is about ‘connecting people and places’ – regardless of your area of work you will be championing passengers in some way. You will find this evident in everything we do and supported by our shared organisational values of:

- Confidence: to challenge, to take action, to innovate.
- Excellence: in our professionalism, in our delivery, in our learning.
- Teamwork: we are inclusive, we collaborate, we support each other.

We also want to make DfT a place people want to work: an organisation proud of doing things well, supporting its people to build their skills, recognising their contribution and creating an environment in which talent thrives.

Being part of our brilliant Civil Service means you will have access to a wide range of fantastic benefits.

This includes:
- a generous annual leave entitlement,
- attractive pension options,
- flexible working,
- good career development opportunities,
- a variety of career paths,
- inclusive working environments and much more to support a healthy work/life balance.

For full details of the comprehensive benefits package please see our Candidate Information Pack.

Things you need to know

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.

Selection process details

For full details of the recruitment process please refer to the Candidate Information Pack.

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

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Contact point for applicants Job contact : Name : 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, you should contact in the first instance. If you are not satisfied with the response you receive from the department, you can contact the Civil Service Commission.

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