Lead Specialist Advisor Forest Operations

Closing date: 17 April 2023 | Salary: £41,150 - £46,147 (Grade 7) | Location: Flexible

Contract type: Permanent

Work pattern: Full time, 37 hours per week- discussions at interview stage welcome

Post number: 203492

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

To help Natural Resources Wales (NRW) achieve the highest standards of sustainable forest management as befits the longest running continuously certified state forests in the world and an institution and nation that aims to be a global leader for sustainable management of natural resources (SMNR).  The role holder will do this by leading on Timber Harvesting and/or Forest Management operations for how we manage the land in our care by managing the preparation of NRW policy, programmes, plans, strategies and guidance.  These will translate Welsh & UK Government policy, UK Woodland Assurance Standard (UKWAS) requirements and industry standards into practical approaches to the point of delivery.  You will work with colleagues from other teams in Evidence, Policy and Permitting, Commercial, and Operations, officials from Welsh Government and sector representatives.


Your responsibilities include:

  • Lead and project manage specific and complex issues that require development of NRW policies, strategies, plans, programmes.
  • Retain ownership and oversight of forest operations functional policy area to ensure integrity of NRW approaches in relation to UKWAS requirements, regulatory and industry standards.
  • Commission and deliver monitoring procedures and audits.
  • Advise and define knowledge and competency gaps, commission resources, training and programmes to fill the gaps; manage projects, in line with the agreed programme.
  • Maintain a detailed working knowledge of the forestry sector, identifying the implications of legislative, technological and market changes for NRW
  • Lead or contribute to task and finish groups, commissioned through the Land Stewardship Business Board, to prepare defined products as required.
  • Collaborate with the Team Leader to develop and deliver an agreed personal objectives.

Qualifications, experience and knowledge

Knowledge and experience of the following: 

  1. Knowledge of: Welsh and UK legislation and policy drivers related to forestry and the issues and opportunities for sustainable forest management in public forestry in the UK.
  2. Knowledge and experience of timber harvesting operations and/or sustainable forest management.
  3. Knowledge and understanding of the range of partners and stakeholders involved with the forestry sector and sustainable land management in public forestry in the UK and how to apply this in Wales.
  4. Working with companies in the Forest Industry and where necessary with, local authorities, environmental non-governmental organisations, and National Park Authorities.
  5. Experience of a programme and project management environment with Project Management experience and/or qualifications.
  6. You will have Professional membership or will be working towards professional membership of the Institute of Chartered Foresters or another relevant professional body
  7. Representing the organisation in high profile and contentious issues in the public arena.
  8. Share your knowledge and expertise to help solve problems, supporting all Heads of Business in EPP as required.

Welsh language requirements:

Essential Level 1 – able to pronounce Welsh and use basic phrases


Please note - 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

  • Able to undertake complex practical or technical tasks or work, requiring advanced specialist knowledge in the relevant subject matter.
  • Able to provide objective advice to others on related issues based on their knowledge and experience, keeping up to date with advances and changes within their specialist field.
  • Demonstrates relevant substantial experience. Able to demonstrate a high level of knowledge, and personal and professional credibility, for example, able to act as an expert witness in a public enquiry.
  • Able to demonstrate good mentoring, knowledge sharing and supervisory skills as well as the ability to set strategic direction for themselves, their area and others.

Evaluation of Information

  • Able to interpret relevant delivery plans and understand their context in the wider national and NRW policy and strategy.
  • Able to analyse and interpret a wide range of information, which may be of a technical nature, extracting key points and communicate them to individuals at all levels.

Decision Making and Autonomy Requirements

  • Ability to decide how best to achieve results, with the need for some judgment or creativity to alter priorities due to conflicting demands.
  • Responsible for making independent decisions based on input from line management and peers; an understanding of NRW policy; the range of options available; and their potential implications for the business.
  • Able to lead and project manage specific, complex and often challenging issues, that typically carry a high degree of reputational risk.
  • An appreciation that decisions (which may relate to national policy) may be made, leading to changes in established procedures/practices within the post-holder’s area of work.
  • Demonstrates an appreciation of the consequences of making wrong decisions and the adverse effect they may have on the organisation in relation to its external stakeholders, such as partner organisations, lenders, service users etc.  


  • Demonstrates an awareness of how their decisions may encompass a broad range of matters and that the outcomes may not always be immediately clear or apparent.
  • An appreciation that the impact of decisions made by the post holder are likely to be wider than the immediate function or department, and likely to be medium term and from an external perspective, may be at a national level.

Communication and Relationships with Others

  • The post holder will have considerable external stakeholder connections and may be expected to represent the organisation externally, conveying specialist knowledge.
  • Able to interact and foster good working relationships with senior leaders internally and externally, at a national and UK level.
  • Able to discuss policy issues with others, which may be highly technical, specialist or detailed in nature, tailoring the method, style and level of communication appropriately to the audience.
  • The work will involve written and verbal communications; and leading key projects with a high degree of complexity, requiring excellent communication and persuasive skills.
  • Able to facilitate and/or present at internal or external meetings, providing advice on complex technical or specialist issues, including legislative changes and steering the direction of discussion or activities.
  • Able to foster and maintain good relationships and networks.
  • Ability to produce moderately complex documents, reports, accounts, contracts etc., containing advice, guidance or opinion which the recipient will act upon or use, and would have detrimental consequences if incorrect or poorly drafted.
  • Ability to source data and content from multiple locations requiring external research and professional judgment in how such research should be interpreted.
  • The impact of such documentation is likely to be generally longer term in nature.

Benefits of working for us

This role will offer a range of benefits, including:

  • Agile and flexible working
  • 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 at your choice

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

How to apply

Please send a completed Application form to Applications@naturalresourceswales.gov.uk using the post number as the email reference

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

Application closing date 17 April 2023

Successful applicants will be notified of the interview date which may be face to face. 

If you have any queries about the role, please contact Sally Tansey at  Sally.Tansey@cyfoethnaturiolcymru.gov.uk

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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