Principal Policy Officer – Water
Reference: OCT20212663
Location: Flexible, with travel to Bedfordshire and London
Salary: £36,604.00 – £44,611.00 Per Annum
Benefits: Pension, Life Assurance, Annual Leave

This is a Permanent, Full Time role, however we are open to applications from candidates who would look to conduct this role on a part-time, pro-rata basis. The successful candidate can be based flexibly, however regular travel to London and Bedfordshire will be required.

This is an outstanding opportunity to help ensure a better future for the UK’s freshwater and coastal habitats and the species that depend upon them. You will lead the development and high-level advocacy of RSPB policy on water policy issues and influence important debates and decisions across the UK.

We are looking for an effective advocate with a high degree of technical expertise and professional experience of influencing policy development and implementation related to our water environment. You will be well respected in your field and passionate about securing the legislative and policy change that helps drive nature’s recovery. In addition to providing thought leadership and high level advocacy, your understanding of the role of communications and campaigning in driving systemic change will be second to none, and you will be brimming with innovative ideas on how we can utilise more ‘outside-track’ techniques to secure the policy changes required.

What’s the role about?

The UK’s freshwater environment and coasts are hugely important for nature. How we manage them, and the land around them, in the coming decades will play a central role in determining whether we can halt declines in nature and combat and adapt to climate change. Impacted by pollution, over abstraction and increasingly extreme weather, our freshwater environment is under more pressure than ever, and our coastal habitats face being squeezed by rising sea levels. This role will allow the successful candidate to work across all these issues and more – providing strategic leadership and maximising the opportunities that our work on freshwater and coastal habitats provides to more effectively tackle the drivers behind poor ecological status.

The Principal Policy Officer will have direct line management responsibility for one policy officer, working within the Land, Seas and Climate Policy team in the RSPB’s UK Policy and Advocacy Department. The role has a UK-wide remit and will work with policy staff across the four UK countries, working to lead the development of our overarching policy positions, helping to develop and coordinate our advocacy strategies and ensure their effective implementation. As part of this you will help facilitate even better join up between our work on the ground – drawing on the incredible experience and knowledge of the RSPB’s operational staff on reserves – and our policy development and advocacy.

The role will be responsible for undertaking high level advocacy on freshwater and coastal policy with a focus on Westminster and Whitehall and providing information, advice and support to other staff internally on these issues.

The successful candidate will need strong leadership skills and the ability to work with a wide range of policy staff across the UK and with colleagues in our Conservation Science, Communications and Campaigns and Operations teams to ensure we have impact.

Key aspects of the role include:

Developing credible policy positions based on sound science and evidence;
Developing influencing strategies that will achieve results;
Undertaking high level advocacy and communicating persuasively to target decision makers;
Coalition campaigning and communications;
Building and maintaining relationships with key stakeholders at senior level; and
Helping to plan and coordinate work across different teams and disciplines to ensure we influence policy decisions in each of the four UK countries.

Essential skills, knowledge and experience:

You will be an expert in water policy in the UK or wider, with relevant academic or professional qualifications
You will be an experienced policy advocate, recognised as a thought leader in your field, and with substantive knowledge of freshwater and coastal policy and practice in the UK or wider.
You will be able to lead and coordinate work with others to develop policy positions, associated influencing strategies and lead their implementation effectively
You will have an excellent understanding of the role of public facing communications/campaigns/engagement in supporting policy advocacy.
You will be able to analyse complex issues in a fast-paced environment.
You will have well-developed negotiating and influencing skills and be able to engage with a wide range of individuals and organisations, including at very senior levels.
You will understand how public institution decision-making occurs and have good political instincts.
You will have written and verbal communication skills to a very high standard; professional and persuasive.
You will be confident and capable of being a public face for RSPB policy and advocacy to the media and through the use of social media.
You will bring with you an extensive network of contacts and relationships in government, agencies, business and NGOs, relevant to water policy and related sectors.

Closing date: 23:59, 17 November 2021

To Apply and for More Information:

If you would like to apply and find out more about this position, please click the apply button to be directed to our website. 

As part of this application process you will be asked to complete an application form including evidence on how you meet the skills, knowledge, and experience listed above.

The RSPB is an equal opportunities employer. This role is covered by the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.

No agencies please.