Transport matters – what we do matters.

Senior Civil Servants (SCS) at the Department for Transport have an impact on lives across the United Kingdom, playing a critical role in ensuring our services and responsibilities to the public are met. This is an exciting time to join the Department, with huge opportunities to develop your career.

What we look for in Senior Civil Servants

Our senior leaders have the opportunity to make decisions to affect change for the better of our transport system. We are looking for someone with outstanding leadership and brilliant communication skills, who can set the strategic direction of the department, and develop new policy or operational response.

The Civil Service is an organisation that values its people, and we work hard to create a supportive and inclusive environment for all staff to grow and perform to the best of their ability. If you have a strong track record of leadership, have the resilience to operate in a high-profile and often high-scrutiny environment, can communicate and influence effectively and can see the big picture, then we look forward to hearing from you.

We take diversity, inclusion and well-being seriously; and take pride in making the directorate a welcoming and fun place to work. Whatever your background, we are looking for someone who is committed to making a success of both what they do and how they do it, through excellent team leadership and the building of trusted relationships within DfT and across the wider sector. In return, we will support you to develop your skills and build your career.

Hear what DfT’s Senior Civil Servants have to say!

Dave Johnson-Allton

Deputy Director for Shared Services Implementation and Performance

Cambyse Jafari Pak

Deputy Director Retained EU Law and Better Regulation

Liz Wilson

Deputy Director for Accessible and Inclusive Travel

What DfT can offer you as a Senior Civil Servant

Whatever your role, we take your career and development seriously and want to enable you to build a 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. Find out more about the Benefits of the pension scheme – Civil Service Pension Scheme here.

  • 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 here. Any move to the DfT from another employer will mean you can no longer access childcare vouchers. This includes moves between government departments.
    • Onsite facilities: Opportunity to use onsite facilities including 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.

Supporting our Senior Civil Servants

DfT Development offer  

The Department for Transport offers a range of specific opportunities to support our SCS, in addition to our wider Learning and Development offer. This includes:

  • A bespoke induction, tailored to your requirements;
  • Access to the DfT Leadership Development programme;
  • Executive Coaching;
  • DfT development and networking events;
  • Opportunities to enrol on accelerated talent schemes

Leadership College for Government

The Leadership College for Government offers training for Civil Service and public sector leaders at different stages of their career, from induction events, and talent programmes to networking events. The offer aims to better prepare our public leaders and managers with the skills, knowledge and networks they need to serve their communities.

How to become a Senior Civil Servant at DfT

As with all roles in the Civil Service, vacancies for DfT’s SCS positions are advertised on the Civil Service Jobs website. However, the selection process you’ll follow once you’ve submitted your application does vary.

  • Shortlist

    Your application will be acknowledged when it is received. The panel will select a shortlist of candidates whose applications best demonstrate suitability for the role, by considering the evidence provided against the essential criteria set out in the Person Specification – failure to address any or all of these may affect your application. Candidates applying under the Disability Confident Scheme who meet the minimum selection criteria in the job specification are guaranteed an interview.

    A decision is  expected to be made within 2 weeks of the application closing date, individual campaigns will provide a loose timeline.

  • Assessments

    Shortlisted candidates may be asked to take part in a series of assessments which could include:

    • Staff Engagement Exercise (SEE) – a presentation and Q&A with a representative staff group from across the DfT.
    • Individual Leadership Assessment (ILA)

    These assessments will not result in a pass or fail decision. Rather, they are designed to support the panel’s decision making and highlight areas for the panel to explore further at interview. You will find out more information about these assessments when the results of the sift are issued.

  • Staff Engagement Exercise

    SEE panels are chaired by an Occupational Psychologist and made up by staff members from the Department. Candidates will be given a topic to prepare for – this could either be in a Presentation format or a Focus Group

  • Individual Leadership Assessments

    ILA’s include two online assessments including Work Strengths and Numerical Reasoning. The Work Strength assessment explores a person’s talents within a work context and roughly takes 20 minutes to complete, more information can be found here. Numerical Reasoning tests evaluate candidates’ ability to evaluate numerical data. The test takes roughly 25 minutes to complete and practice tests can be found here.

  • Interview

    You will be asked to attend a panel interview in order to have a more in-depth discussion of your previous experience and professional competence in relation to the criteria set out in the Person Specification.  You may be asked to prepare a 5 minute presentation to deliver at the interview.  Full details of the assessment process will be made available to shortlisted candidates. Further information can be found here

  • Outcome

    All candidates will be notified as soon as possible after the final interviews, regardless of the outcome. Feedback is available on request.

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