290780 Head of Electoral Campaigning Policy (2023)

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Job summary

We are seeking an experienced policy professional to jointly lead the Electoral Campaigning Policy team in the Elections Directorate within the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities. The post-holder will jointly oversee a policy portfolio that includes high profile and complex regulatory issues such as political finance, digital political campaigning, and the role and powers of the Electoral Commission.

We particularly welcome candidates from an ethnic minority background and other underrepresented groups to apply, as we work to continually improve our ability to represent the places and communities we support through our work.

Job description

The Elections Directorate is a welcoming and inclusive team. We are responsible for a challenging and dynamic policy landscape, always in the public eye, covering electoral policy and law. This includes how elections are run, who can participate and how elections and campaigning are regulated.

As part of the directorate, the Electoral Campaigning Policy team leads on the policy and legislation relating to campaigning conduct (the practice of electoral campaigning carried out by political parties, candidates and other campaigners), the role and work of the Electoral Commission (the independent elections regulator), and the regulation of political finance (the spending and funding of political parties and others). The successful applicant will share responsibility for these issues with another G7 head of team, contributing to the leadership of a high performing team developing policy and providing subject matter expertise in a complex and technical area of legislation.

The post-holder will play a key role in delivering government priorities around elections. This will involve developing a team of subject matter experts who are confident in producing high quality advice for ministers at pace. Given the high-profile nature of the policy area it is often the subject of parliamentary and media interest. The role will require the post-holder to work with No.10 and other departments, the Electoral Commission, as well as the wider electoral community and external stakeholders such as political parties and civil society groups. The postholder will work with legal advisors to deliver secondary legislation which will implement parts of the Election Act 2022 and key elements of the Electoral Integrity Programme.

Initially, the post-holder’s share of responsibilities will include policy relating to the Electoral Commission (including the delivery of a new Strategy and Policy Statement for the Commission) and digital political campaigning (including the implementation of the new requirement for ‘digital imprints’).
The post-holder will jointly lead a team of up to nine FTE and directly line manage two SEOs.

The successful candidate will have experience working in a technical policy area, and demonstrate an interest in working in a fast-paced and high profile policy area. Candidates will also have knowledge of how Parliament works, how legislation is passed and the role of regulators. Experience of working in elections policy, digital regulation policy, or working closely with a regulator, is desirable. The successful candidate will demonstrate they are an effective leader and people manager, able to develop colleagues and support teams through challenging periods.


• Jointly lead a team of expert policy professionals, able to produce high-quality advice for ministers - communicating complex issues clearly. Supporting the team to work at pace and helping to create an open, supportive and inclusive environment.
• Initially, take responsibility for a policy portfolio including matters relating to the Electoral Commission and digital political campaigning.
• Support the delivery of secondary legislation relating to the implementation of the Elections Act 2022 and in relation to other government legislative priorities. Work closely with legal colleagues and wider policy colleagues to do this.
• Act as focal points for ministerial and parliamentary interest in electoral campaigning. This will include ministerial briefings (orally and in writing), preparing for parliamentary debates and questions, responding to relevant reports and ministerial correspondence.
• Keep track of and informed of media coverage and research in relation to electoral campaigning. Providing rapid advice in response to current events.
• Play a key role in the development of longer-term considerations of electoral campaigning regulation.
• Work across government to collaborate and provide support where there are electoral campaigning related equities – for example, the Online Safety Bill and National Security Bill.
• Cultivate relationships with our key stakeholders in DLUHC and other government departments. Working closely with external bodies such as the Electoral Commission and the Parliamentary Parties Panel, to ensure we maintain a productive working relationship with stakeholders.

Person specification


• Experience working in a technical and fast paced policy area.
• Experience of working on primary or secondary legislation.
• Experience of working closely with ministers.
• Experience of leading a team.


• Experience working in regulatory policy or working closely with a regulator.


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

  • Seeing the Big Picture

  • Making Effective Decisions

  • Delivering at Pace


  • Learning and development tailored to your role

  • An environment with flexible working options

  • A culture encouraging inclusion and diversity

  • A Civil Service pension with an average employer contribution of 27%

Things you need to know

Selection process details

This vacancy is using Success Profiles (opens in a new window), and will assess your Behaviours and Experience.

We are for everyone

At DLUHC we value diversity and inclusion and actively encourage and welcome applications from everyone, including those that are underrepresented in our workforce. We promote equality of opportunity in all aspects of employment and a working environment free from discrimination, harassment, bullying and victimisation.

We would strongly recommend that applicants get in touch with the vacancy manager to find out more information about this role.

We are for everyone

DLUHC want to bring in a diverse workforce at all levels.

Our application system is designed to remove as much bias as possible from the recruitment system – this means that a hiring manager does not know your name, your details, see your whole application in one go (or have your CV at review stage unless stated otherwise).

Your answers are randomised and chunked up. This means that each assessor views sets of responses to questions for example all candidates’ responses to ‘Seeing the Big Picture’ rather than seeing a candidate’s full application. The science behind this is that recruitment can be subject to ordering and fatigue effects and we want to reduce this as much as possible.

Most of our campaigns utilise multiple assessors and so it is possible that each of your answers would be viewed by different assessors.

When writing your application, remember:

  • The assessor won’t be reading your answers sequentially.

  • Do not assume that the same assessors will have read all of your answers.

  • If talking about something in your first answer, make sure that you write the second answer as if you had not written the first (and so on!)

At sift, we will be assessing

Experience (lead criteria)- How does your experience make you a good fit for the role, referencing the responsibilities and essential experience in the job description?

Behaviour 1 - Seeing the big picture

Behaviour 2 - Making Effective Decisions

Behaviour 3 - Delivering at Pace

There is a 250 word limit per question.

In the event that we receive a large number of applications, we may conduct an initial sift using the lead behaviour listed in the advert. Candidates who pass the initial sift may be progressed to a full sift, or progress straight to assessment/interview 

The interview will be of a blended nature consisting of the following success profiles elements:



The strength based questions will require natural responses from the candidates.

In the full campaign we will test the below Success Profile Elements:

Behaviours: (Seeing the big picture, Making Effective Decisions, Delivering at Pace)

Experience: (Yes)

Strengths: (Yes)

We do not consider direct CV applications to our Recruitment mailbox – you must apply for this role via the application link on Civil Service Jobs

Please note that near miss offers may be made at the lower grade to candidates who do not meet the grade criteria for this campaign.

Grade 7 salary


Transfers across the Civil Service on or after 4 October 2018:
Any move to DLUHC from another employer will mean you can no longer access childcare vouchers. This includes moves between government departments. You may however be eligible for other government schemes, including Tax-Free Childcare. Determine your eligibility at https://www.childcarechoices.gov.uk

For further information about the benefits available to DLUHC employees, please see the attached Candidate Pack.


  • London

  • Bristol

  • Cambridge

  • Leeds

  • Wolverhampton

  • Darlington*

There may be opportunities for candidates to work flexibly depending on the business needs. This will be discussed with the vacancy manager on a case-by-case basis if you are successful for the role.

*Please note: The Darlington Economic Campus (DEC) is a pioneering new cross-government hub which will bring together people across departments and public organisations to play an active role in the most important economic issues of the day. The work of the Campus will make a real difference to people both across the UK and internationally. There will be substantial career opportunities and exciting prospects - a career at the Campus means you will be working at the heart of Government, with access to the benefits and fantastic opportunities offered by the civil service. This role is based at DLUHC and we will be joined on the campus by:

  • HM Treasury

  • Department for International Trade

  • Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

  • Office for National Statistics

  • Department for Education

For further information on the DEC, please take a look at the attached DEC candidate pack.


Sifting is envisaged to take place W/C 5/6/23 with interview dates to be confirmed. All interviews are currently being held remotely via videocall.


In the event that we identify more appointable candidates than we currently have posts available, we will hold applicant details on a reserve list for a period of 6 months from which further appointments can be made. This may include roles at a lower grade. Candidates placed on a reserve list will be informed of this. Due to the length of time CTC checks can take, our HR Shared Services team will contact reserve list candidates for London based roles to commence CTC checks. Those candidates who do not wish to remain on the reserve list should contact recruitment@levellingup.gov.uk to be removed from the reserve list.

CTC (Counter-terrorism Clearance):

Important note

Successful candidates for roles based in our 2 Marsham Street building must meet the security requirements before they can be appointed. The level of security needed is counter-terrorist check and the process can take up to 8 weeks to complete.

Please note that successful candidates will need to pass the CTC security checks – this requires you to have been resident in the UK for the past 3 years. Please refer to the DLUHC Notes on Security Clearance section of our Candidate Pack for further information on Counter Terrorism Clearance (CTC). Thank you.

Candidates should also note that with effect from 1st August 2018 the department will also check all applicants who are successful at interview, against the Internal Fraud Database (IFD) held by the Cabinet Office. In accordance with the Civil Service Internal Fraud Policy, any applicant who is included on the IFD will be refused employment by DLUHC. Please see the Candidate Pack for further information on the Internal Fraud Database.

Candidate Pack Information

Please see attached Candidate pack for further information.

Before starting your application it’s very important to make sure that you are eligible to apply and meet the Civil Service nationality requirements. All candidates are expected to read the information provided in the DLUHC candidate pack regarding nationality requirements and rules

Internal Fraud Database

The Internal Fraud function of the Fraud, Error, Debt and Grants Function at the Cabinet Office processes details of civil servants who have been dismissed for committing internal fraud, or who would have been dismissed had they not resigned. The Cabinet Office receives the details from participating government organisations of civil servants who have been dismissed, or who would have been dismissed had they not resigned, for internal fraud. In instances such as this, civil servants are then banned for 5 years from further employment in the civil service. The Cabinet Office then processes this data and discloses a limited dataset back to DLUHC as a participating government organisations. DLUHC then carry out the pre employment checks so as to detect instances where known fraudsters are attempting to reapply for roles in the civil service. In this way, the policy is ensured and the repetition of internal fraud is prevented.

For more information please see- Internal Fraud Register

Feedback will only be provided if you attend an interview or assessment.


Successful candidates must undergo a criminal record check.

Successful candidates must meet the security requirements before they can be appointed. The level of security needed is counter-terrorist check (opens in a new window).

See our vetting charter (opens in a new window).

People working with government assets must complete baseline personnel security standard (opens in new window) checks.

Nationality requirements

This job is broadly open to the following groups:

  • UK nationals

  • nationals of Commonwealth countries who have the right to work in the UK

  • nationals of the Republic of Ireland

  • nationals from the EU, EEA or Switzerland with settled or pre-settled status or who apply for either status by the deadline of the European Union Settlement Scheme (EUSS) (opens in a new window)

  • relevant EU, EEA, Swiss or Turkish nationals working in the Civil Service

  • relevant EU, EEA, Swiss or Turkish nationals who have built up the right to work in the Civil Service

  • certain family members of the relevant EU, EEA, Swiss or Turkish nationals

Further information on nationality requirements (opens in a new window)

Working for the Civil Service

The Civil Service Code (opens in a new window) sets out the standards of behaviour expected of civil servants.

We recruit by merit on the basis of fair and open competition, as outlined in the Civil Service Commission's recruitment principles (opens in a new window).

The Civil Service embraces diversity and promotes equal opportunities. As such, we run a Disability Confident Scheme (DCS) for candidates with disabilities who meet the minimum selection criteria.

The Civil Service also offers a Redeployment Interview Scheme to civil servants who are at risk of redundancy, and who meet the minimum requirements for the advertised vacancy.

Apply and further information

This vacancy is part of the Great Place to Work for Veterans (opens in a new window) initiative.

Once this job has closed, the job advert will no longer be available. You may want to save a copy for your records.

Contact point for applicants

Job contact :

  • Name :James Hairsnape

  • Email :james.hairsnape@levellingup.gov.uk

Recruitment team

  • Email :recruitment@communities.gov.uk

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