Policy Programme Commercial Advisors

Foreign and Commonwealth Office
  • Location
    London, United Kingdom
  • Sector
  • Experience
    Mid Career
  • Apply by
  • Posted
    Nov 18

Position description

To deliver an integrated commercial advisory role that supports all parts of the commercial lifecycle, referred to in the FCO as early engagement, pre-procurement, procurement and delivery (contract management commercial advice). 

The roles will work within a policy programme team, employing a clear category management approach to managing spend and securing contracts that supports a Programme Team for the Prosperity Fund or Conflict, Stability and Security Fund. 

The jobholder will work within their team and engage with internal colleagues to proactively seek opportunities to drive additional value and increase efficiency. Delivery in this role will rely on establishing the needs of the business and translating this into effective category based commercial strategies that enable the achievement of value for money, whilst also maintaining commitment and achieving outcomes relating to relevant policy and strategic requirements for the FCO and HMG. 

These hands on roles, with strategic procurement, programme/project management and supplier relationship management (SRM) being important skills, with support from within the team to build on these skills. Important also will be the requisite interpersonal skills to work with our stakeholders in line with the FCO Commercial Strategy and the FCO Values.

Job description

The jobholder will play a supportive role in shaping and managing the categories; shaping the commercial and procurement strategy for the FCO as well as building an extremely high level of category expertise and procurement capability within the team. 

Government is committed to ensuring diversity and equality of opportunity in the workplace and this requirement supports our wider commitments on this important agenda. 

More specifically, the jobholders will deliver for the FCO on: 

Working Together - 20% 

i) Provide input to category plans, ensuring engagement in business cases and informing drafting on the commercial case for all allocated procurements or commercial activity requiring FCO Commercial engagement 
ii) Maintain and support existing, or create new networks, with counter-parts in other government departments, agencies and the supply base to develop a relevant and up to date understanding of the category or programme of spend for the team 
iii) With members of the team or independently, represent Commercial across government briefings within the Policy Programmes Team 
iv) Support efforts to ensure continuity and consistency of approach across the category from project to project, using required tools, systems and processes such as e-sourcing tools to guide commercial activity and produce high quality commercial management information 
v) Use tact and diplomacy in establishing, maintaining and developing high-level contacts in the FCO, with other government departments and the relevant suppliers for the category or programme 

Managing a Quality Service (Customer Focus) - 35% 

i) Provide guidance to regional procurement teams on category specific projects and ensure their processes are in line with FCO processes and aligned to the category strategy 
ii) Lead allocated procurement projects as part of a team, requiring the drafting of specifications, inputting into the invitation to tender (ITT) and evaluation process 
iii) As part of the category team contribute to providing high quality service delivery, including stakeholder connectivity, category strategy, market engagement and supplier selection 
iv) Use judgement, interpretation and co-ordination to ensure that the solutions developed and delivered are acceptable to senior stakeholders and, when applicable, partners across government 

Delivering at Pace (Problem Solving) - 10% 

i) Develop market awareness for key categories, contributing to the identification of opportunities for new ways of working to key business partners 
ii) Help resolve complex issues, including those that are perceived to be novel and contentious 
iii) Support initiatives to promote and deliver Supplier Relationship Management (SRM) within the category 

Delivering Value for Money (Delivering Results) - 35% 

i) Advising on supplier management for the category in question, producing and using commercial management information to inform FCO Commercial engagement with suppliers 
ii) Business case input - commercial and procurement 
iii) The category team will be expected to deliver sustainable and project value add and cost savings 

Commercial Learning and Recognition 

The FCO recognises the importance of enabling a professional approach to delivering our commercial challenges. As such, we seek to attract, develop and retain commercial professionals with the requisite experience, skills and professional accreditation to meet the challenges of the roles we have. The FCO has selected the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (CIPS) Chartered status as the appropriate accreditation for these roles. We are seeking staff that either already hold the CIPS professional accreditation required or staff who have the experience to meet the role profile and are willing to learn and develop towards a professional accreditation. 

Any candidates who are appointed to join the FCO for these roles with CIPS Chartered status will receive a non-pensionable, non-consolidated allowance of £4,000 per annum as part of the overall salary package to recognise their commercial specialist status in the FCO. 

For candidates who do not have CIPS Chartered status on appointment (or are learning towards achieving Chartered status), the FCO will support and fund those willing to invest in the learning and development to achieve CIPS Chartered status. If those in post then achieve CIPS Chartered Status, this will be recognised through eligibility to receive the non-pensionable, non-consolidated allowance of £4,000 per annum to recognise their achievement of commercial specialist status in the FCO. 

Please note, staff who voluntarily leave the FCO within two years of gaining an FCO funded CIPS qualification will be expected to repay a pro-rata amount. However, staff who are moving to another commercial role within the UK Civil Service will not have to repay. 

Progression to the next grade, C5/SEO is possible within the FCO. Progression to the grade beyond this (D6/G7) would be subject to successfully transitioning into the Government Commercial Organisation (GCO). Please click here for more information about the GCO.


You must be a British Citizen at the time of application and, if invited to interview, you will need to bring your British Passport with you. Satisfactory (Security Check) security clearance is a condition of appointment. For more information about this process, please click here. You must have been resident in the UK for two out of the last five years immediately prior to your application. (Please note: this must have been a consecutive two-year period, unless you have served overseas with HM Forces or in some other official capacity as a representative of Her Majesty’s Government, or have lived overseas as a result of your parents’ or partner’s Government employment). 

It is essential in your application that you provide evidence and proven examples in each of the following minimum criteria as far as you are able to do so. These responses will be further developed and discussed with those candidates invited for interview. 

Minimum Criteria 

• Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (MCIPS) qualification. 
• Equivalent relevant industry experience to meet the role profile and willing to complete the CIPS professional accreditation. 

Skills and experience: 
• Experience of working in a commercial procurement organisation, and/or complex commercial environment 
• An understanding of category management 
• Excellent communication skills across the range of media 
• Ability to be proactive and able to work in a fast-paced environment, managing their own time and prioritising effectively 
• A flexible and customer-focussed approach, with the ability to engage effectively with staff at all levels 
• Strong problem solving skills with the ability to take decisions based on well thought out conclusions and recommendations 
• Close attention to detail, good organisational skills, and the ability to develop and implement effective administrative processes 
• Good commercial awareness and judgement and the ability to understand, control and mitigate risks 
• Proficient use of e-sourcing platforms 
• Proficient use of Microsoft suite


• Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (MCIPS) qualification. 
• Equivalent relevant industry experience to meet the role profile and willing to complete the CIPS professional accreditation.


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

  • Seeing the Big Picture
  • Working Together
  • Delivering at Pace
  • Changing and Improving

Application instructions

Please be sure to indicate that you saw this position on Globaljobs.org

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