Connecting Talent to opportunity

Connecting Talent to opportunity

Head of Briefing and Transition Hub


Job Description:


Sitting at the heart of Borders and Trade Group within the Strategy Directorate, this is a challenging and high-profile role which is pivotal in helping HMRC prepare for the end of the Transition Period and the longer-term transformation of border and customs arrangements after 1 January 2021.

The department is responsible for delivering a substantial EU Transition Portfolio which includes major changes to systems, infrastructure, business plans and resourcing.

The scale and complexity of the EU Exit Portfolio is significant, covering Customs, VAT, Excise, Direct tax and security of the border as well as a complex and varied set of external stakeholders. This means that the delivery model of the Portfolio and the level of information to handle is highly complex.

The Group consists of policy & negotiation, portfolio, and delivery directorates to support the Director Generals who have overall responsibility for EU transition and the future border strategy and operations for the department.


Job description

Borders and Trade Strategy Directorate helps set the direction for the wider Borders and Trade Group, acting as an enabler, co-ordinator and challenge function while promoting and defending HMRC interests across and outside government. You will work across the whole Borders and Trade group, providing a central co-ordinating hub that provides a link between business areas, the top of HMRC, Ministers and the centre of government.

You will have direct line management responsibility for 4 team leaders covering briefing, account management and knowledge management functions respectively and the wider team of c.25. You will be accountable for the deployment of the team resource to achieve delivery of the key responsibilities, and accountable for the use of delegated budgets for the team. You will also be an active member of the Strategy Directorate Senior Leadership Team, taking corporate responsibility for whole directorate issues.

The successful candidate will have excellent communication skills, political understanding and excellent judgment of key priorities and messaging, balancing needs of contributors and audiences. Developing and maintaining a class leading briefing, co-ordination and influencing hub is a central part of the role. Working closely with Departmental leads, BPDG, other parts of the Cabinet Office and OGDs to prepare, often at pace, papers and briefing for senior official and ministerial meetings – including XO, is at the centre of this role.#



  • Overall accountability for preparing briefings for Ministers, OGDs (Other Government Bodies), EXCOM and Directors on all EU Transition and related matters
  • Leadership and developing capability of the Briefing Team
  • Ensuring that HMRC provides a consistent message across various critical Whitehall groups, including the Exit Operations (XO) committee and any successor committees
  • Ensuring the accuracy of information flow to the Portfolio Management Office through an Account Manager team whose role is to facilitate reporting, briefing, issue visibility and coordination through detailed knowledge of policy subject areas and operational delivery
  • Ensuring that a robust Knowledge Management strategy is developed, and capability assurance is embedded within Borders and Trade Group, and that the directorate is contributing to the design and delivery of HMRC’s overarching knowledge management strategy
  • Building close and effective working relationships with teams internally and senior leaders; developing a strong, collaborative approach and ensuring a healthy and successful commissioning relationship to capture the range of issues and associated impacts on HMRC


Essential Criteria

  • Experience of building and maintaining effective stakeholder relationships and networks and the ability to operate at a senior level
  • Proven ability to lead, manage and organise teams and manage competing pressures in a complex and fast paced environment across multiple locations
  • Exceptional written and verbal communication skills (briefing and reports), allied to sound political judgment
  • Experience of providing briefing to senior levels on highly complex policy and delivery issues to high quality standards, ideally in an EU Exit context
  • Proven experience of managing resource and delegated budget allocations and supporting prioritisation decisions to optimize delivery of agreed outcomes
  • Being comfortable and can be flexible in working with a significant level of ambiguity, that you are resilient under pressure and can work effectively in a complex and high-pressure change environment
  • Ability to attract top talent by enthusiastically and passionately setting out vision, goals and short-term transformation
  • Proven experience in both internal and external Senior Stakeholder engagement


Desirable Criteria

  • Experience of working on EU Exit or Transition work/projects
  • Relevant Leadership & Management qualifications such as CMI, ILM, PMO and/or a Degree in International Studies, Social Sciences (Politics) Politics, Philosophy and Economics


Selection Process Details

As part of the application process you will need to provide:

  • A copy of your CV
  • A personal statement (a maximum of 2 pages), which will illustrate your personal skills, qualities and experience that will provide evidence of your suitability for the role. Using the STAR process will help achieve a structured document.

Please Note: The successful applicant will need to be eligible for and willing to undergo Security Check clearance following appointment in to the post.


Equal Opportunities

We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, colour, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status or disability status.