Deputy Head of Knowledge and Evidence

Closing date: 30 September 2022 | Location: Flexible (but travel to other locations across Wales will be necessary) | Salary: £58,611 - £63,522 (Grade 10)

Contract type: Permanent

Work pattern: 37 hours

Post number: 203295

As an organisation we support flexible working. This role allows hybrid working (a mix of home and office working) and a working pattern suitable for you can be discussed on appointment if you are successful.

You will be contracted to the nearest NRW office to your home, of which you will be required to attend for regular meetings, training and for one-to-one meetings with your manager. These will be planned in advance.

Job Description

As a member of the core Leadership Team of Natural Resources Wales (NRW), you will fulfil a key strategic role, alongside your functional responsibilities, in leading the transformation of NRW to deliver the sustainable management of natural resources.

To provide the Leadership role for Wales on the development of evidence to drive strategy to ensure we are an evidence based organisation.  Leading programmes of work to integrate the objectives and principles of SMNR into corporate and functional policies, strategies plans and processes across the business.

You will provide high level influence and impact across NRW, WG, UK Government and Agencies, as well as the research community. You will lead the strategic approach to programme development in the department using a wide range of complex information and evidence with an emphasis on systems thinking to ensure NRW has a holistic approach to the environment.


Your responsibilities will include:

  • Lead as a strategic manager driving the culture change required to embed our purpose across NRW, collating the evidence to underpin the delivery of Welsh Government Natural Resources Policy across NRW, ensuring we are interpreting and embedding evidence across all our functions.
  • Provide the lead for horizon scanning and innovation within NRW. Ensure that robust quality assurance (including peer review) is established and delivered across NRW while providing strategic oversight and guidance on prioritisation of evidence.
  • Lead and manage the Integrated Evidence Group (IEG) and the preparation of the EBB Service and Knowledge and Evidence Business Plan.
  • Lead the engagement with UK Research International and wider UK Universities and research bodies to enhance the links of NRW with the research community to ensure our evidence is robust and forward looking.
  • Influence and collaborate with key stakeholders, senior external colleagues, Ministers, politicians and officials at Wales, UK and international levels to ensure that NRW fulfils its roles and duties in developing the evidence for operations across NRW
  • Lead and project manage specific complex issues such as the provision of expert advice, guidance, evidence, corporate targets/plans and technical briefings to staff at all levels including undertaking horizon scanning to ensure that future risks/issues and opportunities are identified and where appropriate harnessed and applying evidence at a highly technical level.
  • In conjunction with Environmental Policy and Permitting (EPP) policy leads and Operations to ensure that our strategic approaches, and interventions are well evidenced to enable successful implementation while championing adaptive management approaches where reflexive response to the evidence is required.
  • Steer the overview and ownership of engagement with Welsh Government on engagement the policy areas related to evidence with a focus on the social sciences.
  • Lead on wider management tasks e.g., Change Programmes and deputation as required on behalf of Leadership team.
  • Collaborate with the Head of Knowledge and Evidence to develop and deliver Personal Development Plan across the Knowledge and Evidence function.
  • Although subject to change, it is expected that the post holder will lead on the majority of social science areas e.g., interaction with Natur a Ni, acting NRW JNCC lead and undertake associated administration tasks at a high level. Whilst final decisions, accountability and overall leadership in K&E will rest with the Head of K&E, the postholder will have independence to make decisions in the domains where they lead.

Qualifications, experience and knowledge

You will be able to demonstrate knowledge and experience of the following: 

  1. Knowledge and understanding of the complex priorities, drivers and barriers faced by NRW, partners and stakeholders involved in developing and providing evidence for appraisal of options and outcomes.
  2. Knowledge and understanding of the priorities of partners in the private, public, and third sector and the tools available to support opportunities for collaboration and delivery of environmental benefits to Wales.
  3. Knowledge of: Welsh, UK and EU legislation related to Natural Resources & Well-Being, Integrated Delivery Mechanisms and Environmental Appraisal; Welsh & UK Governments & EU policy drivers in Natural Resources & Well-Being,
  4. Experience of: Research pertinent to Natural Resources & Well Being and the complex range of drivers and barriers to evidencing their delivery
  5. Experience of: Working in a programme and project management environment with Project Management experience and/or qualifications.
  6. Experience of: Representing the organisation in high profile and contentious issues in the public arena.
  7. Experience of: Sharing your knowledge and expertise to help solve problems, across a large organisation.

Welsh language requirements

Essential: Level 1 – Able to pronounce Welsh and use basic phrases

Please note if you do not meet the level 1 requirement i.e., ability to understand basic phrases and ability to pronounce Welsh names correctly, then NRW offers a variety of learning options and staff support to help you meet these minimal requirements during the course of your employment with us.


Applications to this role will be assessed based on the following competencies, both at shortlisting and interview. Please give examples of how you demonstrate these competencies when completing your application form.

Essential Knowledge and Skills

  • The post holder will have professional and associated management and leadership skills. They will also have a detailed knowledge of organisational procedures and policies.
  • The post holder will have substantial broad/generalist knowledge in the relevant field. They may also be a business wide technical expert, with personal and professional credibility at the highest level, both internally and externally.
  • The post holder will be required to actively update their knowledge and remain fully aware of developments in their field of expertise. They will have a clear understanding of the potential impact of any such changes, and able to interpret and apply across the function.
  • The post holder will have people management, financial management, leadership and influencing skills.

Evaluation of Information

  • The post holder will develop, contribute and interpret organisational strategy to enable the delivery of plans.
  • Ability to analyse and interpret a wide range of often highly complex information, extracting key points and communicating this to individuals at all levels.

Decision Making and Autonomy Requirements

  • There is high reliance on the post holder and their decisions and actions will influence others. The consequence of decision making & action will be wide reaching and impactful, often organisation wide. The post holder will have autonomy for making decisions within their area of management.
  • The post holder will interpret policy and strategy with a broad scope for freedom of operating, only seeking guidance or authority where action may be outside current policy. There may be conflicting priorities, which they will have to manage, adjusting their work or the work of others. Key milestones and performance indicators will typically be reviewed together with end results.
  • The post holder will have responsible for making independent decisions at management level, based on analysis, research and input from other specialists or experts. They will have an understanding of the options available and the potential implications for the business. They will contribute to overall NRW strategy, as well as defining strategy and plans for their own areas, possibly in conjunction with senior management.
  • Decisions at this level will relate to formulating or changing procedures, which will be applied by others in the organisation. Such decisions will be substantial and may include the commitment of resources within a section or work area, and/or tackle major and difficult problems/situations where many factors need to be taken into account. Decisions may require some original thought, analysis and interpretation in determining the course of action to take. Problems may be complex and require significant assessment, requiring in-depth understanding of the issue and the organisation. The consequence of decisions taken at this level will have the potential to affect the image of the organisation and are likely to be longer term in nature.


  • The impact, influence and consequence of roles at this level are generally sizeable and longer term in nature. The complexity of this role is defined by its breadth and scope, typically organisation wide and across the range of functions the role is responsible for, as well as its impact an influence being at a high level.
  • The post holder is accountable for the performance of the functions within their sphere of management.
  • The post holder is accountable for the management of financial, legal, operational and reputational risk, within their area of management, which may impact on NRW as a whole, as well as their area of management.

Communication and Relationships with Others

  • The post holder will have a high level of influencing and leadership, principally across the Leadership Team and upwards with Executive Directors and Board. They will engage with a wide range of stakeholders internally and externally, communicating at a strategic level and working collaboratively with other partners and large stakeholders at a senior level.
  • You will communicate and interact at a senior level regarding, for example, policy, partnership working, and significant legislative changes which may influence or affect strategy, organisational objectives or other strategic issues. Matters are likely to be complex and may be contentious. This will require advanced influencing abilities to develop, enhance and maintain relationships with a range of individuals or organisations which are critical to the on-going success and development of the organisation.
  • The post holder is able to discuss complex policy or strategic issues, which may be highly technical, specialist or detailed, tailoring the method, style and level of communication appropriately for the audience.
  • The post holder will produce complicated documents, reports, financial/business appraisals,
    etc, which are likely to have a strategic impact. Original thought and content is required for documentation which will  be highly technical, specialist or complex. Data will be sourced from multiple locations and require detailed analytical research and original content. The impact of such documents will be significant - both internally and externally.

Responsibility for People

  • The post holder will provides strategic leadership to a number of discrete functions which may comprise of teams and/or individuals. You will have full management responsibility of staff directly reporting to you. This will include responsibility for the wellbeing, health and safety of those individuals.
  • The post holder will be fully accountable for the people directly reporting to them and for ensuring compliance with all organisational policies and procedures. The role would contribute to the people planning process.
  • Line management may extend to a number of individuals who themselves are managing teams, so that the overall responsibility covers a varied group of people and may include some indirect reports.
  • Post holders may also have responsibility for leading specialist/technical staff, through technical/specialist projects or programmes through a “matrix management” structure.

Responsibility for Resources

  • The post holder will have direct budgetary management and monitoring responsibility, with expenditure of a high value. Responsibility will include contribution to the setting and managing of the budget of significant size, but may still be part of a wider departmental/functional overall budget.
  • The post holder will manage the financial and non-financial aspects of the stakeholder management framework.
  • The post holder will be responsible for the safe use and operation of equipment and data used in order to fulfil the requirements of their role.

Benefits of working for us

This role will offer a range of benefits, including:

  • Agile and flexible working (role dependent) 
  • Civil Service Pension Scheme offering employer contributions of 26.6% to 30.3%
  • 28 days annual leave, rising to 33 days
  • Generous leave entitlements for all your life needs
  • Health and wellbeing benefits and support
  • Weekly well-being hour to use as you choose

See full details for all the employee benefits you will receive.

How to apply

Please send a completed application form to

Before completing your application, please read our Guidance on completing a job application form

Application closing date: 30 September 2022

Interviews will take place: in late October via Microsoft Teams

If you have any queries about the role, please contact Chris Collins at  or 07977041363


Natural Resources Wales embraces diversity and promotes equal opportunity. We recruit by merit on the basis of fair and open competition.

We welcome and encourage applications from groups currently underrepresented, including women, black and ethnic minority groups and people with a disability. We have a guaranteed interview scheme for candidates with disabilities who meet the minimum selection criteria.

We put the principles of human rights, equality, fairness, dignity and respect at the heart of our values.

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