Head of Commercial Operations Ref. 2558

Disability confident leaderThe Prince's Responsible BusinessSocial Mobility Foundation Award

Finance, Audit and Procurement
London, Buckinghamshire and/or Cheltenham + remote working
£96,994-£97,943 dependent on location

Location(s): London, Cheltenham, Buckinghamshire + up to two days remote working per week
SM1 (SCS 1 in Civil Service terms)
Working pattern:
Full Time, Flexible working opportunities subject to business need
Permanent contract or FTC?
Opportunity for Permanent or FTC 2+1 years contract

About Us

At MI5, MI6 and GCHQ, we work together to keep the UK safe. MI5 gathers intelligence from within the UK, MI6 gathers intelligence from overseas, and GCHQ brings intelligence and technology together. We help to protect the UK from a range of serious threats – everything from terrorism to organised crime, to cyber-crime and espionage. It is challenging, varied and meaningful work you simply won’t find elsewhere.

The Head of Commercial Operations sits within the Commercial function which forms part of Shared Corporate Services serving MI5, MI6 and GCHQ. Our Shared Corporate Services function aims to provide high quality, customer-focused services to meet the wider needs of the Intelligence Agencies.

The Role

As Head of Commercial Operations, you will report directly to the Commercial Director and be responsible for providing a leading-edge Commercial Operations function to the wider Commercial team and Intelligence Agencies. You will be a member of the wider Commercial Leadership Team. You will also sit on both the Commercial transformation and wider Corporate Services transformation boards.

The Commercial Directorate is currently undergoing a considerable transformation programme to deliver a high performing Commercial operations function, enabling us to overcome the challenges of today and the future. The role holder will be responsible for leading this work, including creating, delivering, and embedding policy and working practice changes.

You will be responsible for multiple areas of the Commercial function. This will include delivery of new teams in some areas and pulling together of existing structures in others. These teams will span strategy, people and skills, excellence and continuous improvement, workforce and budget management, commercial systems, intelligence and data insights, policy and assurance, and executive support.

Key responsibilities will include but are not limited to:

• Delivering a new target operating model for Commercial and embedding it into the business.
• Managing and monitoring the necessary improvements against the Government Commercial Operating Standards (Commercial Continuous Improvement Assessment Framework (CCIAF)).
• Delivery of a people strategy which aims to attract and retain Commercial talent from both internal and external markets, alongside an appropriate training offer.
• Improving data quality to support provision of regular reporting and dashboards to Senior Leadership.
• Supporting in the delivery of a new Enterprise Resource Planning Tool (ERP) and embedding new working practices across the Commercial function in relation to this including improving the use of data analytics in the Commercial function.

Person Specification

In this role you will lead a relatively small but diverse workforce across your teams. The workforce is made up of specialists, generalists and contractors. With responsibility for people in the Commercial function, people will be at the heart of what you do. You will have passion for building teams, supporting staff, and ensuring development and inclusion are prioritised.

The successful applicant will have proven experience in leading teams through significant change and embedding new ways of working in a complex environment with considerable senior interest. You will be confident in managing multiple workstreams, ensuring key milestones are hit and have an established toolkit and strategies, including an understanding of project management principles to enable this change and transformation to deliver the new Commercial target operating model.

You will have well-developed stakeholder management, communication, and leadership skills which will allow you to bring the Commercial function on its transformation journey and deliver real results.

You will also have experience of supporting teams to utilise data and reporting to improve performance, improve their relationship management, track progress, and identify benefits; a key objective for the Commercial function.

While no specific Commercial qualifications are required for this role, you will have experience of working within operations in a Commercial environment.

While not essential for the role, a working knowledge of category management best practice, running Government Internal Audit Agency audits, and working with the CCIAF would be advantageous.

Inclusion is at the heart of our organisation. You will actively encourage a supportive and inclusive working environment; role-modelling behaviours which celebrate difference and enable a team culture where everyone can thrive.

This role can be based in either London, Cheltenham, or Buckinghamshire with the expectation of regular travel to the other sites. Some home working is possible and encouraged. There may also be ad hoc travel required to other government departments.  

This is a two-year fixed term contract role with possibility of extension for a further year on agreement from both parties.  This opportunity is also open to individuals joining on secondment. Civil Servants will be offered this role on secondment and will join on their home department’s terms and conditions.

For a confidential discussion about the role please email confidential@recruitmentoffice.org.uk

Application Process

Our recruitment process is fair, transparent, and based on merit. Here is a brief overview of each stage, in order:

- We’ll sift your CV and covering letter to assess your suitability.
- If you pass, you will be invited to a Telephone Interview.
- If you pass, you will be invited to a Final Selection Board interview.
- If you pass, you will receive a Conditional Offer of Employment and start our vetting process.

Please note, you must successfully pass each stage of the process in order to progress to the next.

Before You Apply

To work at MI5, MI6 or GCHQ, you need to be a British citizen. We do have a strict drugs policy, so once you start your application, you can’t take any recreational drugs and you’ll need to declare your previous drug usage at the relevant stage.

Honesty and integrity are important if you want to work at MI5, MI6 or GCHQ. Take some time to read about the vetting process and make sure you meet the criteria in the vetting pages of the ‘How to Apply’ section. The process can take some time, but this is just because it’s thorough. Giving misleading information and omitting or concealing information during the recruitment and vetting process is viewed very seriously.

Please note, you should only launch your application from within the UK. If you are based overseas, you should wait until you visit the UK to launch an application. Applying from outside the UK will impact on our ability to progress your application.

Equal Opportunities

At MI5, MI6 and GCHQ diversity and inclusion are critical to our mission. To protect the UK, we need a truly diverse workforce that reflects the society we serve. This includes diversity in every sense of the word: those with different backgrounds, ethnicities, gender identities, sexual orientations, ways of thinking and those with disabilities or neurodivergent conditions. We therefore welcome and encourage applications from everyone, including those from groups that are under-represented in our workforce.

We’re Disability Confident

We are proud to have achieved Leader status within the DWP’s Disability Confident scheme.  This is aimed at encouraging employers to think differently about disability and take action to improve how they recruit, retain and develop disabled people.  Being Disability Confident, we aim to ensure that a fair and proportionate number of disabled applicants that meet the minimum criteria for this position will be offered an interview where practicable; this is known as ‘Offer of an Interview’. To secure an interview for this vacancy, the minimum criteria (in order of application process) are:

- Meeting the eligibility criteria
- Meeting the person specification for the role at the CV and covering letter sift

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible to apply, you must be a British Citizen. One of your parents must be a British Citizen or must have one of the nationalities or citizenships from one of the following: British Overseas Territory, British Subject, British National (Overseas), British Overseas Citizen, British Protected Person, citizenship of a country in the Commonwealth, citizenship of a country in the European Economic Area (EEA), or citizenship of the United States of America (USA). If deceased, they should have had such citizenship or nationality before death. If you hold dual nationality, of which one component is British, you will nonetheless be considered. If successful, you will not normally be required to give up your non-British citizenship but, as a condition of your employment or secondment, MI5/ GCHQ/ MI6 may impose restrictions on your postings, work travel and/or general use of that nationality.

Candidates must normally have been resident in the UK for seven out of the last ten years. This is particularly important if you were born outside the UK. Each case will be carefully considered on its own facts. You can apply at the age of 17 years, if successful you will not be offered a start date prior to your 18th birthday. Discretion is vital. You should not discuss your application, other than with your partner or a close family member.

To view the candidate pack for this role, please click here and scroll to the bottom of the page

Please note, you should only launch your application from within the UK. If you are based overseas, you should wait until you visit the UK to launch an application. Applying from outside of the UK will impact on our ability to progress your application. Further information on our eligibility criteria can be found on the Applying section.

This Program / Vacancy is closed to applications.