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Position Specification


									Position Specification
Permanent Secretary
Department for Innovation, Universities & Skills

March 2009
Private and Confidential


Position Specification


The Role

Candidate Profile

Terms and Conditions

Selection and Recruitment Process

Application Instructions


Appendix A                                Diversity Questionnaire

Appendix B                          Guaranteed Interview Scheme

Appendix C                                    Civil Service Code

           From the Head of the Home Civil Service and Cabinet Secretary

I am delighted that you want to know more about the position of Permanent Secretary at
the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills (DIUS). It is a key post supporting
the Secretary of State, Rt. Hon. John Denham and his Ministerial team in delivering the
UK Government’s skills, science and research and business and innovation agenda as the
economy faces unprecedented change.

This is an exciting and challenging time for DIUS. The Permanent Secretary will provide
the management and leadership of the department in support of Ministers’ objectives. He
or she will be expected not only to lead across the Department, but also play a role more
widely across the UK civil service.

We are looking for someone with an outstanding record of leadership, and the credibility to
work with senior business leaders. I hope you will be excited by the opportunity which this
post presents and if you think you fit the bill, we would like to hear from you.

Sir Gus O’Donnell

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Formed in 2007, DIUS brings together functions from two former departments: science and
innovation from the Department of Trade and Industry; skills, further and higher education
from the Department for Education and Skills. From being the first brand new department
in Whitehall for 20 years, DIUS has built on the strengths of these policy areas delivering
inherited commitments and setting a new policy direction which responds to the current
economic challenges. This has been achieved while building a new organization from
scratch. In a short period of time DIUS has established itself as a credible player in
Whitehall punching above its weight in terms of influence and delivery. The DIUS mission
is to improve the nation's skills at every level and make the UK the leading place to be an
innovative business or organisation.

Over the last few months DIUS has marked itself out as one of the major economic
departments with a central role in responding to the economic downturn. The department
has already put in place a range of policies that will provide real help to businesses and
individuals. This has contributed to a massive expansion in apprenticeships, a continuing
increase in investment in skills and training at all levels, increasing the number of students
entering higher education and continuing the record investment in funding for science and
research. In addition to this immediate response DIUS seeks to contribute to building a
strong economy of the future ensuring the UK comes through this current downturn with
an even stronger economy.

Aims and Objectives
The department’s overall agenda is to build talent and innovation. In response to the
economic downturn the department is seeking to develop policies and strategies which
provide real help now to those affected, ensure that the economy comes through the
recession stronger and that no-one is left behind when the economic conditions improve.

The department plays a key contributing role in addressing government priorities,
including responding to the economic challenges, improving social mobility, responding to
climate change and building of a low carbon economy, demographic challenges, migration
and obesity

Public Service Agreements
The Government’s Public Service Agreements published in the October 2007
Comprehensive Spending Review set out the key priority outcomes the Government
wants to achieve in the next spending period (2008-11). DIUS will play a leading role in
helping to meet achieve two of these priorities:

      To improve the skills of the population, on the way to ensuring a world-class
       skills base by 2020;

      To promote world class science and innovation in the UK.

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In addition, DIUS will contribute to the achievement of many of the Government’s other
Public Service Agreements in the latest spending review, reflecting the key roles skills,
science, research and innovation have to play in relation to many of the Government’s
longer-term and cross-departmental priorities.

The Government’s Service Transformation Agreement sets out a vision for building
services around the citizen. DIUS activities in support of this vision will include:

     Grouping services in ways that are meaningful to the customer – improving
      strategic management of customer online access to services by progressively
      moving e-services onto two websites where they can be presented and linked in
      ways which customers understand: Directgov for citizens and for

     Learning from citizens and business – conducting surveys of the views of
      customers to help DIUS better understand, track over time and act on the issues
      that are important to them;

     Rationalising services for efficiency and service improvement – over the next
      spending period, up to 2011, facilitating a gradual transfer of Local Authority
      responsibilities for dealing with student support applications to a single assessment
      contact centre;

     Developing public sector innovation policy - supporting government departments in
      designing policies and public management systems that provide the signals and
      incentives for innovation in building services around the citizen. This work will be
      taken forward as part of the follow-up to the Innovation White Paper, ‘Innovation

     Making better use of the customer information the public sector already holds –
      work towards improved data sharing arrangements between the Student Loan
      Company, Universities and Colleges Admissions Service and the Identity and
      Passport Service.

Departmental Strategic Objectives
Supporting the achievement of these objectives, DIUS’ six Departmental Strategic
Objectives set out in greater detail the actions DIUS will take over the 2008 - 2011 period:

      Accelerate the commercial exploitation of creativity and knowledge, through
       innovation and research, to create wealth, grow the economy, build successful
       businesses and improve quality of life;

      Improve the skills of the population throughout their working lives to create a
       workforce capable of sustaining economic competitiveness, and enable individuals
       to thrive in the knowledge economy;

      Build social and community cohesion through improved social justice, civic
       participation and economic opportunity by raising aspirations and broadening
       participation, progression and achievement in learning and skills;

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     Pursue global excellence in research and knowledge, promote the benefits of
      science and society, and deliver science, technology, engineering and mathematics
      skills in line with employer demand;

     Strengthen the capacity, quality and reputation of the further and higher education
      systems and institutions to support national economic and social needs;

     Encourage better use of science in Government, foster public service innovation,
      and support other Government objectives which depend on DIUS expertise and remit.

For more information:

                                                    Russell Reynolds Associates | 5 | P a g e
Permanent Secretary, DIUS

The Role
This new department has been created with a distinctive style and values. It is part way
through a three year change programme. At this critical time, the new Permanent
Secretary will take over a recently restructured senior team with two new Director
Generals recently appointed to the board. The department is also planning for the creation
of the new Skills Funding Agency which will be represented on the board by its CEO.

These factors are key in the determining the following challenges facing the new
Permanent Secretary:-

      Work with Ministers to develop policy and prioritise the departmental agenda, in
       order to ensure efficient and effective delivery;

      Work collaboratively across Whitehall to ensure that the talent and innovation
       agenda is represented in cross cutting PSA delivery and to build on the strength of
       Whitehall to contribute to delivery of the DIUS-led Public Service Agreements;

      To rapidly build and lead a Management Board that can respond effectively and
       collaboratively to meeting the critical government priorities;

      To build credible relationships with the wide range of stakeholders critical to
       delivering the department priorities;

      At a time of significant pressures on government funding, as accounting officer for
       the department, ensure that the department operates within its financial budgets for
       both programme delivery (£20bn) and running costs (£80m).

In addition to these key challenges the Permanent Secretary will be responsible for:

      Promulgating and overseeing the actions to improve the Department’s capability in
       response to the recent capability review;

      Ensuring that Management Board shows corporate strategic leadership, identifies
       and communicates a clear sense of management purpose and creating a one
       department culture;

      Ensuring that the department enters into, and establishes, an effective corporate
       services shared service arrangement which meets the department’s requirement
       for systems, processes, people and skills to enable the delivery of its objectives;

      In particular, as Accounting Officer, ensuring that the Department has governance
       arrangements that promote the effective use of resources and management of key

      Contributing to the corporate leadership of the Civil Service and promoting the
       public service reform agenda.

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Candidate Profile
To meet these challenges the new Permanent Secretary will need to:

      Be an effective leader who can demonstrate the ability to pick up new challenges
       quickly ensuring continuity of delivery;

      Have the ability to work in a political setting – supporting Ministers to achieve their

      Demonstrate both credible experience in, and a real passion for, one of the
       Department’s core areas of policy – science, innovation, higher education;

      Have experience of working outside Whitehall and with a wide range of
       stakeholders with conflicting priorities;

      Have strong influencing and relationship management skills;

      Have the intellectual capacity and credibility to build relationships in Whitehall, with
       senior leaders in the science and education community and in business;

      Have a personal style that is consistent with the branding of DIUS as an innovative,
       vigorous, challenging department;

      Integrity and high ethical standards - proven ability to uphold high ethical standards,
       and understanding of the boundaries within which Ministers, special advisers and
       other civil servants operate.

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Terms and Conditions
This is a permanent secretary level appointment under normal Civil Service terms.


The salary for this post is circa £160,000. The starting salary will be set with the
agreement of the independent Permanent Secretaries Remuneration Committee, taking
account of experience/skills and relativity to other similar Permanent Secretary posts. The
salary will be reviewed annually by the independent committee. Like others at this level,
the appointee will be eligible for a non consolidated bonus depending on performance
against their specific delivery objectives.


Whitehall, Central London.


DIUS offers excellent pension arrangements. We offer the choice of either:

      A high quality, index-linked defined benefit pension scheme, nuvos, that currently
       has a 3.5% member contribution rate. We also make contributions and meet the
       bulk of the cost of this scheme; or

      A stakeholder pension, partnership, with an employer contribution. The basic
       contribution is based on age, and DIUS pay this regardless of whether the
       employee chooses to contribute anything. You do not have to contribute if you do
       not wish to but, if you do, DIUS will also match your contributions up to an
       additional 3% of pay.

Full details can be found on the Civil Service Pensions website at: www.civilservice-

Leave entitlement

There is an annual leave allowance of 30 days, plus 8 days bank holiday and 2.5 privilege
days to be taken at fixed times of the year.

Selection and Recruitment Process
Janet Paraskeva, the Civil Service Commissioner, will chair the process.           The Civil
Service Commissioners have two key functions.

      To maintain the principle of selection for appointment to the Civil Service on merit
       on the basis of fair and open competition. For the most senior posts in the Civil
       Service, the Commissioners discharge their responsibilities directly by overseeing
       the recruitment process and chairing the final selection panel.

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      To promote an understanding of the Civil Service Code (Appendix 3) which sets out
       the constitutional framework in which all civil servants work and the values they are
       expected to uphold, and to hear and determine appeals made under it. More
       detailed information can be found at on the Civil Service Commissioners website:

Other members of the selection panel will be:

Sir Gus O’Donnell
Sir Leigh Lewis
Sir Alan Langlands

The closing date for applications is 6 April 2009. All applications will be acknowledged,
considered by the selection panel and a shortlist of candidates invited to interview.

The provisional timetable for the process is as follows:

Closing date for applications:                   6 April 2009
Preliminary interviews with Russell Reynolds:    w/c 13 April 2009
Short Listing                                    w/c 20 April 2009
Informal Briefings                               w/c 27 April 2009
Split panel interviews:                          w/c 4 May or 11 May 2009
Final interviews:                                w/c 18 May or 25 May 2009

Equality and Diversity

We are committed to supporting the principle that everybody should have the same
opportunities for employment, development and progression. This should be based on
their ability, competence and suitability for the role.

This means that no applicant should receive less favourable treatment on grounds of their
ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status, disability, religion, transgender
status, family or domestic responsibilities, or working patterns. Also nobody should be
disadvantaged by any specific conditions or requirements, unless it can be justified that
these could affect their ability to undertake the role.


The Department’s recruitment processes are underpinned by the principle of selection for
appointment on merit on the basis of fair and open competition as outlined in the Civil
Service Commissioners' Code which can be found at
If you feel your application has not been treated in accordance with the Code and you
wish to make a complaint, you should contact Esther Wallington, Cabinet Office, (email:; telephone: 020 7276 1591) in the first
instance. If you are not satisfied with the response you receive from the Department, you
can contact the Office of the Civil Service Commissioners.

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Application Instructions
Russell Reynolds Associates, Executive Search Consultants are advising on this role.
Please submit your full application, marked for the attention of Patrick Johnson, to either
of the following addresses:

By email:   

By post to:           Russell Reynolds Associates
                      24 St James’s Square
                      London SW1Y 4HZ

Company Website: and

The deadline for receipt of applications is 6th April 2009.

Applications should quote reference 0903-013L in the subject line. Documentation should
include the following:

      A CV with educational and professional qualifications and full employment history,
       giving details were applicable of budgets and numbers of people managed,
       relevant achievements in recent posts and latest remuneration. It is also helpful to
       have day-time, evening and mobile telephone contact numbers and preferred e-
       mail address for all correspondence, which will be used with discretion.

      A supporting statement giving evidence and examples of your ability to meet each
       of the criteria in the person specification and candidate profile.

      A statement of conflicts of interest: if you, your spouse, dependants, business partner or
       associate have any business interest or other activities which are or could be perceived as
       a conflict of interest with the activities of this organisation, you should declare that in your

      If you have a problem with any of the dates set out in the section on the recruitment
       process, please give details in your covering letter.

      Please also return, duly completed, the Equal Opportunities Monitoring forms and
       Guaranteed Interview Scheme Declaration for people with disabilities as appropriate. All
       monitoring data will be treated in the strictest confidence and will not affect your application
       in any way.

      Please indicate two possible referees. References will not be taken up until shortly before
       the final interview panel and in all cases will be taken with the prior consent of candidates.

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Questions and Informal Discussion:

If you have any queries about any aspect of this appointment, or merely wish to have an
informal discussion, then please contact:

Patrick Johnson                 Carol O’Driscoll              Jim Hinds
Russell Reynolds Associates     24 St James Square            Russell Reynolds Associates
24 St James Square              London SW1Y 4HZ               24 St James Square
London SW1Y 4HZ                 Tel: +44 (0) 20 7830 8047     London SW1Y 4HZ
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7830 8052       Fax: +44 (0) 20 7873 0389     Tel: +44 (0) 20 7343 3632
Fax: +44 (0) 20 7873 0389                                     Fax: +44 (0) 20 7873 0389

   1. Diversity Questionnaire
   2. Guaranteed Interview Scheme
   3. Civil Service Code

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DIVERSITY QUESTIONNAIRE : Permanent Secretary, DIUS                        Appendix 1

 Vacancy Ref:                         Your Date of Birth:
Which groups do you most identify with? Please tick only ONE box in each question
from 1 to 4. The options are listed alphabetically.

ASIAN                                     BLACK

        Bangladeshi                              African

        Indian                                   Caribbean

        Pakistani                                Any other Black background
                                                 (specify if you wish)

        Any other Asian background
        (specify if you wish.)
CHINESE                                   MIXED ETHNIC BACKGROUND

        Any Chinese background                   Asian and White
        (specify if you wish)
                                                 Black African and White

                                                 Black Caribbean and white

                                                 Any other Mixed ethnic background
                                                 (specify if you wish)

WHITE                                     ANY OTHER ETHNIC BACKGROUND

        Any White background                     Any other ethnic background
        (specify if you wish)                    (specify if you wish)

Q 2.

British or Mixed British                  Q 3.   DISABILITY
                                                 Do you consider yourself disabled
                                                           Yes             No
                                          Q 4.   GENDER
                                                   Female          Male
                                          Q 5.   PROMOTION
Or any other? (specify if you wish)              (For civil servants only) Are you applying
                                                 for this post on promotion?
                                                                   Yes   No

Q6.      Do you have any caring responsibilities?

                  Yes                   No

If yes, in which of the following categories

      Dependant Children                 Elderly Relative

      Adult with a disability            Other

Q7.      What is your religion or belief?

      Buddhist              Jewish             Other

      Christian             Muslim             None

      Hindu                 Sikh               Prefer not to Say

Q8.      What is your Sexual Orientation?

      Bisexual                       Heterosexual

      Gay Man                        Prefer not to say
      Gay Woman
GUARANTEED INTERVIEW SCHEME                                                        Appendix 2

We guarantee to interview anyone with a disability whose application meets the minimum
criteria for the post. By ‘minimum criteria’ we mean that you must provide us with evidence in
your application which demonstrates that you generally meet the level of competence
required for each competence, as well as meeting any of the qualifications, skills or
experience defined as essential. We are committed to the employment and career
development of disabled people (the minimum criteria means the essential competences as
set out in the advertisement for the post). To show this we use the Disability Symbol awarded
by Jobcentreplus.

What do we mean by disability?

The Disability Discrimination Act, 1995 defines a disabled person as someone who has a
physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and adverse long-term effect on his or
her ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.

How do I apply?

If you want to apply under the Guaranteed Interview Scheme simply complete the declaration
below and send it in with your application.
We will try to provide access, equipment or other practical support to ensure that if you have
a disability you can compete on equal terms with non-disabled people.


I consider myself to have a disability as defined above and I would like to apply under
the Guaranteed Interview Scheme.

I require the following special arrangements to be made for me to be able to attend an
Name:……………………………………………                           Date: …………………………..

Signature*: ……………………………………………………………………………

Vacancy reference number: REC/          /

* There is no need for a signature if you are submitting the form electronically

                 Please return the completed form with your application

                     CIVIL SERVICE CODE                                                                                                  Appendix 3

                     Civil Service Values

                     1. The Civil Service is an integral and key part of the government of the United
                     Kingdom1. It supports the Government of the day in developing and implementing its
                     policies, and in delivering public services. Civil servants are accountable to Ministers,
                     who in turn are accountable to Parliament2.

                     2. As a civil servant, you are appointed on merit on the basis of fair and open
                     competition and are expected to carry out your role with dedication and a commitment to
                     the Civil Service and its core values: integrity, honesty, objectivity and impartiality. In
                     this Code:

                               ‘integrity’ is putting the obligations of public service above your own personal

                               ‘honesty’ is being truthful and open;

                               ‘objectivity’ is basing your advice and decisions on rigorous analysis of the
                                evidence; and

                               ‘impartiality’ is acting solely according to the merits of the case and serving
                                equally well Governments of different political persuasions.

                     3. These core values support good government and ensure the achievement of the highest
                     possible standards in all that the Civil Service does. This in turn helps the Civil Service to
                     gain and retain the respect of Ministers, Parliament, the public and its customers.

                     4. This Code3 sets out the standards of behaviour expected of you and all other civil
                     servants. These are based on the core values. Individual departments may also have their
                     own separate mission and values statements based on the core values, including the
                     standards of behaviour expected of you when you deal with your colleagues.

 This Code applies to all Home civil servants. Those working in the Scottish Executive and the National Assembly for Wales, and their Agencies, have
their own versions of the Code. Similar Codes apply to the Northern Ireland Civil Service and the Diplomatic Service.

    Constitutionally, civil servants are servants of the Crown. The Crown's executive powers are exercised by the Government.

 The respective responsibilities placed on Ministers and special advisers in relation to the Civil Service are set out in their Codes of Conduct:
                     Standards of behaviour


                     5. You must:

                               fulfil your duties and obligations responsibly;

                               always act in a way that is professional4 and that deserves and retains the
                                confidence of all those with whom you have dealings;

                               make sure public money and other resources are used properly and efficiently;

                               deal with the public and their affairs fairly, efficiently, promptly, effectively and
                                sensitively, to the best of your ability;

                               handle information as openly as possible within the legal framework; and

                               comply with the law and uphold the administration of justice.

                     6. You must not:

                               misuse your official position, for example by using information acquired in the
                                course of your official duties to further your private interests or those of others;

                               accept gifts or hospitality or receive other benefits from anyone which might
                                reasonably be seen to compromise your personal judgement or integrity; or

                               disclose official information without authority. This duty continues to apply after
                                you leave the Civil Service.


                     7. You must:

                               set out the facts and relevant issues truthfully, and correct any errors as soon as
                                possible; and

                               use resources only for the authorised public purposes for which they are provided.

                     8. You must not:

                               deceive or knowingly mislead Ministers, Parliament or others; or

                               be influenced by improper pressures from others or the prospect of personal gain.

    Including taking account of ethical standards governing particular professions.

9. You must:

      provide information and advice, including advice to Ministers, on the basis of the
       evidence, and accurately present the options and facts;

      take decisions on the merits of the case; and

      take due account of expert and professional advice.

10. You must not:

      ignore inconvenient facts or relevant considerations when providing advice or
       making decisions; or

      frustrate the implementation of policies once decisions are taken by declining to
       take, or abstaining from, action which flows from those decisions.


11. You must:

      carry out your responsibilities in a way that is fair, just and equitable and reflects
       the Civil Service commitment to equality and diversity.

12. You must not:

      act in a way that unjustifiably favours or discriminates against particular
       individuals or interests.

Political Impartiality

13. You must:

      serve the Government, whatever its political persuasion, to the best of your ability
       in a way which maintains political impartiality and is in line with the requirements
       of this Code, no matter what your own political beliefs are;

      act in a way which deserves and retains the confidence of Ministers, while at the
       same time ensuring that you will be able to establish the same relationship with
       those whom you may be required to serve in some future Government; and

      comply with any restrictions that have been laid down on your political activities.
               14. You must not:

                act in a way that is determined by party political considerations, or use official resources
                 for party political purposes; or

                allow your personal political views to determine any advice you give or your actions.

               Rights and Responsibilities

               15. Your department or agency has a duty to make you aware of this Code and its values.
               If you believe that you are being required to act in a way which conflicts with this Code,
               your department or agency must consider your concern, and make sure that you are not
               penalised for raising it.

               16. If you have a concern, you should start by talking to your line manager or someone else
               in your line management chain. If for any reason you would find this difficult, you should
               raise the matter with your department’s nominated officers who have been appointed to
               advise staff on the Code.

               17. If you become aware of actions by others which you believe conflict with this Code
               you should report this to your line manager or someone else in your line management
               chain; alternatively you may wish to seek advice from your nominated officer. You should
               report evidence of criminal or unlawful activity to the police or other appropriate

               18. If you have raised a matter covered in paragraphs 15 to 17, in accordance with the
               relevant procedures5, and do not receive what you consider to be a reasonable response, you
               may report the matter to the Civil Service Commissioners6. The Commissioners will also
               consider taking a complaint direct. Their address is:

                    3rd Floor, 35 Great Smith Street, London SW1P 3BQ.
                    Tel: 020 7276 2613

               If the matter cannot be resolved using the procedures set out above, and you feel you
               cannot carry out the instructions you have been given, you will have to resign from the
               Civil Service.

               19.This Code is part of the contractual relationship between you and your employer. It sets
               out the high standards of behaviour expected of you which follow from your position in
               public and national life as a civil servant. You can take pride in living up to these values.

                                                                                                                                     June 2006

 The whistleblowing legislation (the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998) may also apply in some circumstances. The Directory of Civil Service
Guidance gives more information:

 The Civil Service Commissioners’ Appeals leaflet gives more information: This Code does not cover HR
management issues.

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