Communications Manager

Communications Manager Newcastle upon Tyne, England

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Full Time Newcastle upon Tyne, England 37295 - 44724 GBP ANNUAL Today
Job description


Reference number



£37,295 - £44,724
National: £37,295 - £41,425, London: £40,262 - £44,724. For details of our pay on appointment policy, please see below under the heading ‘Salary’.

Job grade

Senior Executive Officer

Contract type

Fixed Term

Length of employment

2 years

Business area

DEFRA - CSA - Chief Scientific Adviser

Type of role

Project Delivery

Working pattern

Flexible working, Full-time, Homeworking, Job share, Part-time, Compressed Hours

Number of jobs available




    About the job


    Things you need to know

    Apply and further information


Bristol, Edinburgh, London, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, York

About the job

Job summary

The (terrestrial) Natural Capital and Ecosystems Assessment (tNCEA) Programme is delivering the key systems, services and capabilities for the monitoring, measurement and assessment of our natural environment. This will assess the success of Government environmental policies, and progress towards Government environment targets, whilst driving better evidence-based policy making and interventions.

Stakeholder engagement and management is the systematic identification and analysis of stakeholders, the planning and conduct of interactions to engage and communicate with them, taking account of their levels of influence and particular interests, ensuring their involvement throughout the project lifecycle.

This role is management focused and an essential part of an energised, fast-paced team facing complex problems, working with the consortium of delivery partners (Environment Agency, Forest Research, Natural England, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and the Joint Nature Conservation Committee). Working in genuine partnership and building these relationships will facilitate rapid application of lessons learned, help shape, drive delivery, and support the foundations being built for future success.

This is a Fixed-term Appointment as a Communications Manager on the (terrestrial) Natural Capital and Ecosystems Assessment (tNCEA) Programme. Your responsibilities will include developing, implementing and managing a stakeholder engagement plan and communications strategy. This post will therefore begin from 01 March 2023 and end on 28 February 2025.

Job description

Manage stakeholder analysis, using and adapting appropriate tools, deciding if in-depth analysis is required for key stakeholders, and develop the strategy with other managers and senior leads, setting out the most appropriate communication channel for each stakeholder group.

Develop the profile by working with the project to understand and map the changing needs of the project against stakeholder influence and involvement, providing advice and challenge to ensure the right stakeholders are involved throughout the project lifecycle.

Manage the development of a stakeholder engagement plan, ensuring this is reflected in the project plan, adapting standard approaches to meet the need of the project.

Working with the project to identify what resources are required to deliver the engagement plan and leading most of the engagement activity.

Ensuring stakeholder feedback is collated throughout the life of the project, analysis the feedback, and using it to challenge the project and amend plans.

Manage the process of capturing stakeholder needs, assessing, defining and justifying those needs to arrive at an agreed schedule of requirements that defines the projects objectives.

Working with senior stakeholders and sponsors to ensure their expectations are reflected.

Person specification

Strong candidates for this role will have demonstrable experience of:

  • Responding confidently to issues / incidents and providing sound professional advice to manage reputation amongst diverse stakeholders and the general public.
  • Media management gained over several years, preferably in a busy press office.
  • Using digital channels to reach audiences effectively and encouraging others to do so as part of the communications mix.
  • Significant strategic communications planning and tactical delivery across a range of channels.
  • Influencing at a senior level to achieve desired outcomes.
  • Building and maintaining strong working relationships across the business and with colleagues from partner organisations.
  • Planning, delivering and evaluating communications campaigns or sustained communications activity.


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

  • Communicating and Influencing
  • Working Together
  • Managing a Quality Service
  • Seeing the Big Picture

We only ask for evidence of these behaviours on your application form:

  • Communicating and Influencing
  • Managing a Quality Service

Technical skills

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

  • Communications strategy
  • Experience with range of digital channels


We’re a firm believer in agile and flexible working. When you join Defra, we’ll kit you out with a new Windows 10 Laptop and smartphone to make sure that you perform your best wherever you are.

25 days' paid leave per annum rising to 30 days after five years’ service, in addition to eight public holidays. We also offer
  • competitive maternity, paternity, parental and adoption leave;
  • study leave for the pursuit of academic studies;
  • 3 days paid leave for volunteering per annum;
  • 15 days paid leave per year for reservist training; and,
  • generous paid sick leave.

Cycle to Work Scheme
Defra loans you a bike for your commute as a tax-free benefit. At the end of the loan period, you have the option to buy the bike, saving 30% of the original cost.

Season Ticket and Bicycle Loan
We offer interest-free season ticket loans, to all Defra employees with more than three months’ service, for purchasing train and bus season tickets, as well as station car parking. For those unable to take advantage of tax-free benefits, we also offer an interest-free bicycle loan to enable the purchase of a bicycle for commuting.

Gym, Social and Sports Activities
Our offices have a range of different onsite facilities, including gym, fitness facilities, games room, showers and cycle storage. There are also a variety of networks and social groups to join. Ask your line manager for more information.

Restaurant and Café Facilities
A range of our offices offer onsite restaurant and café facilities.

Your pension is a valuable part of your total reward package, and you will be given the chance to join one of three different pension plans. You can find more information on the Civil Service Pension on the My CSP Website at

Civil Service Sports Council
The Civil Service Sports Council (CSSC) organises a wide choice of activities throughout the UK, from art, gliding, abseiling and orienteering to cabaret weekends and quiz and curry nights. Your CSSC membership will provide you with FREE access to hundreds of national and local sites, in addition to savings at many high street stores, cinemas, restaurants and historic houses.

Blended Working

Defra operates a blended working policy subject to business need, giving people the flexibility to choose when and where they work and collaborate with others.

Individuals are expected to work from one of the office locations stated in the advert to connect with their colleagues, as required by their role and business team needs. There is flexibility to split the working week, spending minimum of 40-60% in the workplace, unless exceptional circumstances apply and/or you are a contractual home worker.

Things you need to know

Selection process details

This vacancy is using Success Profiles (opens in a new window), and will assess your Behaviours, Experience and Technical skills.

Application Process

As part of the application process, you will be asked to provide a CV, a 500-word statement setting out how you meet the essential criteria for the role outlined above and a 250-word example for each of the Success Profiles: Communicating and Influencing and Managing a quality service. Your CV details will not be assessed during the process but will be used to support discussions at interview.

Please align your personal statement (in no more than 500 words) to how you meet suitability for the role, accounting for the necessary skills and experience as detailed in the job description and person specification.

The deadline for applications: 13 March 2023.


Should a large number of applications be received, an initial sift will be conducted using your personal statement and behaviours.

Candidates who pass the initial sift may be progressed to a full sift, or progressed straight to assessment/interview.

Sift will begin shortly after the advert closes.


If successful at application stage, you will be invited to interview where you will be assessed on all four Behaviours listed above (Communicating and Influencing, Working Together, Managing a Quality Service and Seeing the Bigger Picture), and technical skills.

Interviews are currently scheduled to take place week commencing 27 March 2023, all interviews are being scheduled by Video.

You may also be required to deliver a 5-to-10-minute presentation and be prepared to answer questions based on your presentation. Further details will be provided.


Please be aware that this role(s) will be contractually based in a Defra group workplace/office. The successful candidate is required to carry out all their duties from a UK location, and cannot do so from an overseas location at any time.

For information, our core Defra hub locations are:

  • York – the Kings Pool;
  • Newcastle – Lancaster House;
  • Bristol – Horizon House (Please note that space at this office is limited and it may not be possible for all Policy roles to be recruited to this location);
  • London – Nobel House and 2 Marsham Street.

Internal (core Defra) employees can apply for this role and choose to remain in their current location or to be based in one of the advertised locations.

All other applicants will be based in one of the advertised locations.

Defra continues to support a blended working model and candidates are currently expected to attend their office base for 40-60% of the week.

Travel and subsistence will not be paid for travel to a base office location.

Reserve List

A reserve list may be held for a period of 12 months from which further appointments can be made.

Merit Lists

Where more than one location is advertised, candidates will be posted in merit order by location. You will be asked to state your location preference on your application.


New entrants to the Civil Service are expected to start on the minimum of the pay band. The internal roles rules apply to existing Civil Servants, i.e. level transfers move on current salary or the pay range minimum, transfers on promotion move to new pay range minimum or receive 10% increase. Either case is determined by whichever is the highest.

Visa Sponsorship Statement

Please take note that Defra does not hold a UK Visa & Immigration (UKVI) Skilled Worker License sponsor and are unable to sponsor any individuals for Skilled Worker Sponsorship.

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 [email protected] 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.


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

Criminal Record Check

If successful and transferring from another Government Department, a criminal record check may be carried out.

In order to process applications without delay, we will be sending a Criminal Record Check to Disclosure and Barring Service /Disclosure Scotland on your behalf. However, we recognise in exceptional circumstances some candidates will want to send their completed forms direct. If you will be doing this, please advise Government Recruitment Service of your intention by emailing [email protected] stating the job reference number in the subject heading.

For further information on the Disclosure Scotland confidential checking service telephone: the Disclosure Scotland Helpline on 0870 609 6006 and ask to speak to the operations manager in confidence, or email [email protected]

Internal Fraud Database Check

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 offenses. 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.

A candidate is not eligible to apply for a role within the Civil Service if the application is made within a 5-year period following a dismissal for carrying out internal fraud against government.

Loan and Fixed Term Appointments

The post is not permanent. It is time limited due to a fixed funding period or as part of a specific project. The fixed term will end when the funding or the project expires.

Your responsibilities will include implementing and maintaining the programme's communication strategy, building and maintaining strong stakeholder relationships, responding confidently to issues and using digital channels effectively to reach wide audiences.

This post will therefore begin from the candidate's start date and end two years later.

Higher Security Clearance

All of these posts require the successful candidate to hold basic security clearance. Candidates posted to Marsham Street, London may be subject to a higher level of clearance because of the security requirements for that location. Job offers to these posts are made on the basis of merit. Security vetting will only take place after the receipt of a job offer.

Childcare Vouchers

Any move to Defra from another employer will mean you can no longer access childcare vouchers. You may however be eligible for other government schemes, including Tax Free Childcare. Determine your eligibility at

Feedback will only be provided if you attend an interview or assessment.


Successful candidates must undergo a criminal record check.
People working with government assets must complete baseline personnel security standard (opens in new window) checks.

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) (opens in a new window)
  • 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 (opens in a new window)

Working for the Civil Service

The Civil Service Code (opens in a new window) 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 (opens in a new window).
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 (opens in a new window) initiative.
The Civil Service welcomes applications from people who have recently left prison or have an unspent conviction. Read more about prison leaver recruitment (opens in new window).
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 :

Recruitment team :

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: [email protected]

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

Communications Manager
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
City of London, United Kingdom
Tamara Finkelstein
Unknown / Non-Applicable
1001 to 5000 Employees
National Services & Agencies
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