Deputy Director, Head of Strategic Finance & Planning

Birmingham, London , Leeds
05 Jan 2022
05 Feb 2022
Contract Type

About the job Summary

The Government Finance Function operates across the Civil Service.

We are responsible for supporting the management of over £800 billion of public expenditure each year, as well as over £2,000 billion in assets and £4,500 billion of liabilities.

You will be part of a community of over 10,000 people working across 18 government departments and their agencies. Government Finance touches every aspect of public life in the UK, offering exciting opportunities to build a career working across wide ranging businesses and national agendas. Government Finance offers a wide range of exciting career opportunities for talented professionals. Over the course of your career you are highly likely to work across a range of roles, departments and government agendas.

Job description

DfT Group Finance is responsible for managing the Department’s budget (circa £30 billion in 2021-22) and supporting the business to ensure tax-payers’ money is spent efficiently and effectively. It’s a friendly directorate with around 140 staff based in four divisions across a number of locations including Leeds, Birmingham, London, Hastings. We work hard to create an inclusive working environment for our diverse team.

Leading our Strategic Finance & Planning Division is a fast paced, exciting and critical role at the heart of the department. I hope it appeals to you and we look forward to receiving your application.


This post will form part of the Government Finance Profession. The Head of SFP is at the heart of decision-making in the Department. Specific responsibilities include:
• Directly leading a team of around 15 staff, including five direct reports, maintaining a culture of continuous improvement across your team, and the wider finance function, championing a culture of delivering value for money;
• Being part of the Group Finance Directorate Senior Leadership team, which has collective responsibility for financial management of the DfT Group and delivering a new ERP platform for the department; managing the relationship with HM Treasury; and driving standards in the finance profession in DfT;
• Forming excellent working relationships with the wider departmental Group to ensure that financial planning and decision-making is undertaken consistently and to a high standard, balancing our challenge function with the need to enable business delivery;
• Scrutinising new spending proposals as they arise, and operating as a trusted advisor to the Permanent Secretary on Accounting Officer responsibilities related to value for money, regularity, propriety and feasibility. This often requires operating at pace and rapidly switching between major issues of national importance. You will often find yourself challenging the status quo and presenting complex issues to a varied audience. You will need to influence senior stakeholders effectively, drawing on evidence and considering risks and opportunities in an uncertain context;
• Leading on business planning for the Departmental Group by developing an understanding of DfT’s strategic priorities and translating these into a robust rolling Medium Term Financial Plan and Rail Long-Term forecast. This involves working with budget holders to test the costs of delivery, the opportunities for efficiencies and the relative priorities to help the executive team and ministers take budget allocation and prioritisation decisions that best serve their collective needs;
• Working with HM Treasury and DfT’s Strategy Unit to ensure key fiscal events (Estimates, Budgets and Spending Reviews) reflect the challenges and opportunities for the department and provide us with adequate budget cover. Once budgets are agreed, to then ensure these are captured in the Department’s Main and Supplementary Estimates.
• Managing the Finance Centre of Excellence providing clearance on all investment proposals (current Tier 1 portfolio valued at circa £200 billion whole life costs); deputising for the Group Finance Director at the Investment, Portfolio and Delivery Committee as required; and attending Tier 2 investment boards to support investment decisions across the Department.
• Being a leader in the cross-government Finance Function, ensuring DfT is aligned with and supporting the wider functional agenda, through setting standards, driving consistency and build financial management capability to put Finance at the heart of decision making, both within the department and across the wider Civil Service. Working with the Government Finance Function to share and develop best practice in Financial Planning.

Person Specification

• Proactive and visible leader who can drive improvements while championing an inclusive culture.
• An ability to deliver effectively through building a strong network in Group Finance, the DfT Group and the Government Finance Function, collaborating across disciplines such as policy, programme delivery, commercial and HR and managing stakeholders at the highest levels in Government.
• Strong analytical and decision-making skills, using your finance expertise, understanding of the business, wider insight and political nous to support delivery of strategic objectives.
• Experience of formulating, leading and implementing cross-cutting strategies and plans to match resources to priorities in a challenging financial context.
• Excellent communication skills that allow you to engage authoritatively at the highest levels of government, both verbally and in writing.
• Qualified Accountant (CIPFA, CIMA, ACCA, ACA) or equivalent experience.


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

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


Whatever your role, we take your career and development seriously, and want to enable you to build a really successful career with the Department and wider Civil Service. It is crucial that our employees have the right skills to develop their careers and meet the challenges ahead, and you’ll benefit from regular performance and development reviews to ensure this development is ongoing. As a Civil Service employee, you’ll be entitled to a large range of benefits.

• Equality, Diversity and Inclusion.
The Civil Service values and supports all its employees. We have strong and pro-active staff networks, special leave policies for hospital appointments, reasonable adjustments put in place for those who need them, and diversity talent programmes to help everyone irrespective of background, to achieve their potential.

• Pension. Your pension is a valuable part of your total reward package.
A competitive contributory pension scheme that you can enter as soon as you join where we will make a significant contribution to the cost of your pension; where your contributions come out of your salary before any tax is taken; and where your pension will continue to provide valuable benefits for you and your family if you are too ill to continue to work or die before you retire. Visit Civil Service Pension Scheme for more details.

• Generous Annual Leave and Bank Holiday Allowance
25 days annual leave on entry, increasing on a sliding scale to 30 days after 5 years’ service. This is in addition to 8 public holidays. This will be complimented by one further day paid privilege entitlement to mark the Queen’s Birthday.

• Staff Wellbeing

• Flexible working including part-time or time-term working and access to Flexible Working Schemes allowing you to vary your working day as long as you work your total hours.

• Generous paid maternity and paternity leave which is notably more than the statutory minimum offered by many other employers.

• Childcare benefits (policy for new employees as of 5 April 2018): The government has introduced the Tax-Free Childcare (TFC) scheme. Working parents can open an online childcare account and for every £8 they pay in, the government adds £2, up to a maximum of £2000 a year for each child or £4000 for a disabled child. Parents then use the funds to pay for registered childcare. Existing employees may be able to continue to claim childcare vouchers, so please check how the policy would work for you.

• Any move to the DfT from another employer will mean you can no longer access childcare vouchers. This includes moves between government departments. You may however be eligible for other government schemes, including Tax Free Childcare. Determine your eligibility at
• Onsite facilities Opportunity to use onsite facilities including fitness centres and staff canteens (where applicable).

• Season Ticket and Bicycle Loan. Interest-free loans allowing you to spread the cost of an annual travel season ticket or a new bicycle.

Things you need to know Security

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

See our vetting charter.

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 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.

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

To apply for this post, you will need to complete the online application form no later than (23:55) Monday 10th January 2022.

The application will include:

1. A CV setting out your career history, with key responsibilities and achievements. Please ensure you have provided reasons for any gaps within the last two years.
2. A Statement of Suitability (no longer than 1000 words) explaining how you consider your personal skills, qualities and experience provide evidence of your suitability for this role, with particular reference to the criteria in the person specification.

Failure to complete both sections of the form (CV and Statement of Suitability) will mean the panel only have limited information on which to assess your application.

We hope to notify candidates of the results of shortlisting by no later than 20th January 2022. Please note that we are unable to provide feedback to those candidates who are not shortlisted for interview. Written feedback will be made available (on request) to those candidates who attend interview.

Should you encounter any issues with your online application please get in touch with us on:

If you do not receive acknowledgment of your application within 48 hours, please contact Trish Marshall on:

Your application will be acknowledged when it is received.

A panel, including the hiring manager, will assess your application to select those demonstrating the best fit with the role by considering the evidence you have provided against the criteria set out in the ‘Person Specification’ section. Failure to address any or all of these may affect your application.

The timeline later in the candidate information pack indicates the date by which decision is expected to be made, and all shortlisted candidates will be advised of the outcome as soon as possible thereafter.

If you are shortlisted, you will then be asked to attend an interview in order to have a more in-depth discussion of your previous experience and professional competence.

The Success Profile Framework will be used to assess and recruit the most suitable candidate.

The following four behaviours will be used at the interview stage:
1. Making Effective Decisions
2. Seeing the Big Picture
3. Communicating and Influencing
4. Leadership

Full details of the assessment process will be made available to shortlisted candidates.

Assessments are expected to include:
- Staff Engagement Exercise
- Individual Leadership Assessment
- Presentation at Final Interview

Regardless of the outcome, we will notify all candidates as soon as possible.

We will send you a copy of any report for any assessment that you may have undergone as part of the recruitment process (where applicable).

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

This job is broadly open to the following groups:

  • UK nationals
  • nationals of Commonwealth countries who have the right to work in the UK
  • nationals of the Republic of Ireland
  • nationals from the EU, EEA or Switzerland with settled or pre-settled status or who apply for either status by the deadline of the European Union Settlement Scheme (EUSS)
  • relevant EU, EEA, Swiss or Turkish nationals working in the Civil Service
  • relevant EU, EEA, Swiss or Turkish nationals who have built up the right to work in the Civil Service
  • certain family members of the relevant EU, EEA, Swiss or Turkish nationals

Further information on nationality requirements

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 :   Bobbie Prokopi Email :   Recruitment team : Email : Further information

If you feel that your application has not been treated in accordance with the recruitment principles and wish to make a complaint then you should contact in the first instance. If you are not satisfied with the response you receive, you can contact the .

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