Strategic Appraisal and Assurance Lead

Birmingham, West Midlands
11 May 2022
23 May 2022
Full Time
Contract Type


Birmingham, Leeds, London

About the job 

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.

Are you a capable economist with strong people skills and an appreciation of the big picture?

Can you provide credible advice that positively influences critical business decisions?

If so, we’d love to hear from you!

Job description

The Appraisal Assurance and Advice Team plays a critical role in leading on strategic analytical projects including around levelling-up, wellbeing and decarbonisation. They are also responsible for assuring the quality of analysis produced by DfT and ensuring that the evidence and analytical advice used to inform investment decisions is fit-for-purpose.

In this role you will have the opportunity to influence analysis supporting a wide range of transport investment decisions across the DfT portfolio. You will help improve the quality of business cases by ensuring appraisal guidance is consistently applied across the DfT and that issues which arise in the appraisal of real schemes are understood and, where appropriate, incorporated in development of future guidance. This will involve working on cutting-edge and innovative economic appraisal issues such as levelling-up, decarbonisation, wellbeing and people-centred analysis.

You will provide expert advice to teams working on strategic transport schemes across DfT, including High Speed 2, the Roads Investment Strategy and the Integrated Rail Plan, identifying opportunities to bring greater consistency to appraisal approaches and support key decisions being made within the Department.

Benefits of working in the role

This Strategic Appraisal and Assurance Lead role offers excellent career and development opportunities:

• Work on interesting economic analysis for some of the biggest infrastructure projects in the UK and Europe such as High Speed 2, Northern Powerhouse Rail and the Heathrow Expansion.

• Create a valuable professional network with a wide range of colleagues, including embedded teams, Arms-Length Bodies, other government departments such as HM Treasury, DHLUC and Cabinet Office, and academia.

• Develop a strategic cross-cutting view of projects within the Tier 1 portfolio across all transport modes. This is very useful for career progression within the Department, as demonstrating a knowledge of the big picture is a key requirement for further promotion.

• Gain an expert knowledge of DfT’s Transport Analysis Guidance and the overall business case development process, which will provide a strong foundation for a career working as transport economist either in the Department or elsewhere.

• Specialise in areas of professional interest in terms of economic analysis such as decarbonisation. wellbeing or levelling-up.

• Work closely with the Chief Analyst, allowing a unique opportunity to raise your profile and reputation.

• Work in a friendly, inclusive and innovative team with a strong focus on wellbeing, flexible working and learning and development.

• Line management of at least one assistant economist with the potential opportunity to also manage other staff.


You will be responsible for:

• Leading on strategic appraisal projects for example on levelling-up, decarbonisation, wellbeing and people-centred analysis.

• Providing expert advice and assurance to embedded analytical teams and arms-length bodies on individual business cases, including for schemes such as HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail, by building constructive relationships.

• Identifying cross-cutting appraisal issues and challenges arising across DfT’s investment portfolio, providing advice on how these may best be tackled based on existing guidance and, where necessary, recommending ways to improve or fill gaps in guidance.

• Representing TASM at analytical boards for different investment programmes, taking a strategic view of analysis across the transport investment portfolio and driving consistency in assumptions and approaches taken in business cases.

For further information, please see the attached Role Profile.

About You

We are looking for a capable economist who has demonstrable experience leading on strategic appraisals and a strong knowledge of the big picture.

You have excellent communication and interpersonal skills, with experience of engaging and working with a variety of stakeholders to deliver business objectives.

You are proactive and resourceful, with the ability to work strategically across teams, and have the confidence and expertise to provide accurate and expert advice and to influence decisions at senior levels.


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

  • Working Together
  • Communicating and Influencing
  • Making Effective Decisions
  • Seeing the Big Picture

Technical skills

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


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 

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, Experience and Technical skills.

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

As part of the application process you will be asked to complete a CV and personal statement. Further details around what this will entail are listed on the application form.

Please tailor your CV and Statement of Suitability to provide detailed evidence of the following:

• Experience working on strategic analysis and appraisal

• Experience engaging and working with stakeholders to deliver business objectives

• Working strategically across teams, providing expert advice and influencing critical decisions

Your statement of suitability will be limited to a maximum of 750 words.

The sift is due to take place from 24th May 2022.

Interviews/assessments are likely to be held from week commencing 6th June 2022.

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 will include:

• An interview

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

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

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.

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

Further Information

For more information about how we hire, and for useful tips on submitting your application for this role, visit the How We Hire page of our DfT Careers website.

Before submitting your application, we encourage you to visit our Recruitment in Detail page of the DfT Careers website. You will find detailed information about the entire recruitment process and what to expect when applying for a role in 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.

The Civil Service also offers a Redeployment Interview Scheme to civil servants who are at risk of redundancy, and who meet the minimum requirements for the advertised vacancy.

Apply and further information

This vacancy is part of the Great Place to Work for Veterans initiative.

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

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