See job eligibility requirements: Grade 7 - 25 Year Environment Plan Evaluation Lead

U.K. Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA)

Bristol, UK 🇬🇧

London, UK 🇬🇧

York, UK 🇬🇧

Location: Bristol, London, York

About the job


In this role you will use your analytical and evaluation expertise and experience to lead the first five-yearly review of the Government’s 25 Year Environment Plan and the design of a meta-Evaluation Framework. You’ll ensure that the meta-Evaluation Framework is ambitious and credible – and has real impact in influencing environmental policy and delivery.

Defra is responsible for safeguarding our natural environment, supporting our world-leading food and farming industries and sustaining a rural economy. Our broad remit means we play an important role in people’s day-to-day life, from the food we eat and the air we breathe to the water we drink. The environment, food production, and farming practices increasingly occupy centre stage in public and policy debates.

The Government’s 25 Year Environment Plan (25YEP) sets out goals for improving the environment; delivering cleaner air and water, protecting threatened species, and providing richer wildlife habitats. It calls for an approach to agriculture, forestry, land use and fishing that improves the environment within a generation, outlining ten environmental goals.

The 25 Year Environment Strategy Team leads on the delivery of the Plan. Under the Environment Bill, the 25YEP will become a statutory Environmental Improvement Plan, underpinned by legally binding long-term environmental targets. The team’s role includes investigating and reporting on the progress we are making in delivering 25YEP goals, engaging partners, and identifying changes to policy needed to deliver the 25YEP.

This role is within the Environment Analysis Unit (EAU). The EAU delivers strategic cross-cutting analysis and science to inform policy development and delivery and leads evaluation of key policy programmes across Environment Strategy and Natural Environment, Trees and Landscapes Directorates. Our directorates look to preserve and make tangible improvements to the environment, prevent, and adapt to climate change, and ensure rural interests are fully reflected in levelling up our economy.

Your personal qualities will be as important as your professional experience; and we welcome applications from all backgrounds. If you believe you have the skills and qualities we are looking for, then we would like to hear from you. Defra is dedicated to promoting equality and valuing diversity. We are committed to ensuring that every talented and hard-working person can rise to the top, whatever their background and whoever they are.

The post is on Fixed Term Agreement to the end of March 2023, to align with the publication of the refreshed 25YEP in the January.

Job description

Would you like to use your analytical skills to help develop policies aimed at delivering the 25YEP?

Defra is looking for an experienced analyst or scientist to lead policy analysis and evaluation for the 25YEP and other priority areas across the Environment Strategy and Natural Environment, Trees and Landscapes Directorates.

The successful postholder’s key project will centre around the 25YEP. The policy system the 25YEP is intended to orchestrate comprises numerous inter-related programmes both under and adjacent to the Plan. While Government conducts annual progress reviews, this is the first of the 5-yearly reviews that will inform any revisions to the 25YEP. The project will involve two workstreams. For the first workstream the postholder will lead a review of progress towards meeting the 25YEP goals and associated commitments, identifying key gaps alongside actions and policy measures to address them. This workstream must be completed by March 2022. The second workstream will build upon the first, developing a meta-Evaluation Framework (process, impact, and value-for-money evaluation, including an assessment of the extent to which a natural capital approach has been used), and an early evaluation of progress in delivering the 25YEP. The aim is to assess the range of 25YEP ambitions and commitments as a whole, rather than only the individual initiatives. This is required to be completed by March 2023.

Defra has commissioned a supplier to deliver this project and the postholder will be responsible for managing the contract. This will require proactive engagement, and information collection, from stakeholders (policy and evidence teams) across Defra and delivery bodies to facilitate the development of Theories of Change, synthesise monitoring and reporting activity, map existing arrangements for evaluation that are relevant to the Plan, and ensure lessons are fed back from the evaluation to Defra policy teams.


As the 25 Year Environment Plan Evaluation Lead you will:

• Oversee external contractors producing a review of the 25YEP and an Evaluation Framework for long term 25YEP evaluation
• Deliver high quality, innovative and impactful review and meta-Evaluation Framework for the 25YEP, increasing the understanding of how policies are working, the impact they are having and identifying what can be improved.
• Provide technical guidance and support to improve the quality and standard of evaluations, as well as driving innovative methods and approaches in evaluations, and improving the use and influence of evaluations.
• Help stakeholders to translate evidence, monitoring and evaluation results into improved policy design and delivery.
• Lead, manage and deliver evaluations and perform quality assurance.
• Communicate and share monitoring and evaluation findings, knowledge, and expertise.
• Adhere to Analysis Function standards (Aqua, Magenta and Green books).

Previous experience and skills

We’d love to hear from you if you have the following skills and/or experience:

• Management of external contracted research projects; ensuring timely, high-quality delivery of evidence to budget.
• Ability to use your analytical expertise to synthesise a range of evidence and challenge policy development and implementation.
• Excellent quantitative and qualitative social science skills, with demonstrable experience in designing and leading high-quality, policy relevant evaluations (including a variety of evaluation approaches) in a complex environment.
• Detailed knowledge and applied experience of evaluation methods and ability to make judgements about which methods are appropriate in different situations.
• Strong knowledge of monitoring and evaluation frameworks.
• Excellent communication skills, both verbal and written, with the ability to articulate the value of evaluation and communicate complex ideas and technical evaluation information in appropriate format to technical and non-technical audiences.
• Well-developed project management skills, able to deliver competing priorities at pace while providing assurance to stakeholders.
• Ability to work collaboratively and build strong networks and relationships to deliver common objectives.
• Able to confidently influence stakeholders from a range of backgrounds.
• Comfortable managing a diverse, complex portfolio of work and able to manage your work flexibly to adapt as priorities change.
• Ability to quickly assimilate information in a new policy area.


Details on the qualification requirements to join the government analytical and science professions are set out in the ‘eligibility’ section below.


This post is open to all those who meet the eligibility requirements for membership of one of the following professions:
• Government Social Research (GSR)
• Government Economic Service (GES)
• Government Operational Research Service (GORS)
• Government Statistician Group (GSG)
• Government Science & Engineering (GSE)
• Government Geography Profession (GGP)

Details on the requirements to join the professions are set out in the ‘eligibility’ section below.


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

  • Leadership
  • Working Together
  • Managing a Quality Service

We only ask for evidence of these behaviours on your application form:

  • Leadership
  • Working Together

Technical skills

We’ll assess you against these technical skills during the selection process:

  • We will assess your technical skills against the requirements for your chosen government analytical or science profession, as set out in the ‘eligibility’ section below.


• Learning and development tailored to your role
• An environment with flexible working options
• A culture encouraging inclusion and diversity
• A Civil Service pension

Things you need to know


Successful candidates must pass a disclosure and barring security check.People working with government assets must complete basic personnel security standard checks.

Selection process details

This vacancy is using Success Profiles, and will assess your Behaviours, Strengths, Experience and Technical skills.


This post is open to all those who meet the eligibility requirements for membership of one of the following professions:
• Government Social Research (GSR)
• Government Economic Service (GES)
• Government Operational Research Service (GORS)
• Government Statistician Group (GSG)
• Government Science & Engineering (GSE)
• Government Geography Profession (GGP)

The eligibility requirements and technical skills frameworks of these professions are set out below.

Within your application, under the ‘technical’ success profile you will be asked to set out the profession you are a member of or consider you are eligible to join, and how you meet the eligibility requirements and technical skills.

If you select GSR, GES or GORS, during the recruitment your technical skills will be assessed to join your stated profession at Grade 7 unless you are already a Grade 7 member of the profession (i.e., you will be assessed if applying on promotion or as a new entrant to the profession) – this is called ‘badging’. If you are already a GSG member and applying on promotion, your assessment will also be badged, but if you are not currently a member of the GSG you will need pass a further badging board to enter the profession.

GSE and GGP are not badged. However, we will still assess your technical skills and experience.

Government Social Research

You must hold an undergraduate degree (minimum 2:1) or 2:2 with a postgraduate degree. The degree must contain substantial social research methods training.

Alternatively, hold an undergraduate degree (minimum 2:1) or 2:2 with a postgraduate degree, in any subject, or a degree equivalent, plus at least four years social research practice experience.

Click here for the GSR Membership & Eligibility Guidance.

Following application – and ahead of the sift – you will also need to pass an online knowledge test.

At application and interview you will need to demonstrate how you meet the Principal Research Officer (G7) Technical Skills. Click here for the GSR Technical Framework.

Government Economic Service

You must hold a first or upper second-class honours degree with at least 50% of the modules in economics or have a Master’s degree in economics. Modules must have covered both micro and macroeconomics to qualify and if you graduated more than five years ago then you must have examples of how you have maintained your economic knowledge on the technical skills section of the application.

You will need to demonstrate how you meet the Economic Advisor (G7) technical/professional skills described in the GES Technical Framework with a focus on Application and Analysis. Click here for the GES Technical Framework.

Government Operational Research Service

You must possess a 2:1 or higher numerate degree, or a 2:2 with relevant work experience or postgraduate qualification.

Highly numerate degrees include: Astrophysics, Data Science, Decision Science, Econometrics, Engineering, Mathematics, Operational Research, Physics and Statistics.

Other numerate degrees, such as Accounting, Biology, Business, Chemistry, Economics, Finance, Geography, IT, Management, Management Science, Psychology, Sociology, Social Sciences and Systems Science, may be accepted if 50% or more of the modules are considered highly numerate.

We’ll assess you assess you against Achieving Impact with Analysis, and Knowledge and Application of OR Skills and Techniques at the Grade 7 level as set out in the GORS Competency Framework. Click here for the GORS Competency Framework.

Government Statistician Group

You must hold a 2:1 honours degree in a numerate subject containing at least 25% taught statistical content (e.g. Statistics, Mathematics, Economics, Sciences, Business Studies, Psychology, Geography or similar).

Hold a higher degree, e.g. a MSc or PhD, in a subject containing formal statistical training (e.g. Statistics, Mathematics, Economics, Sciences, Business Studies, Psychology, Geography or similar).

Have worked in a statistical or data science field and are able to demonstrate Continuous Professional Development (via a log book) in statistics or data science at the same level as a foundation degree or Higher National Diploma (level five).

Have achieved or are on track to achieve a level four apprenticeship including at least two years in a statistical or data analysis field in government and are able to demonstrate Continuous Professional Development in statistics or data analysis (via a log book signed off by a manager or mentor who are members of the statistical profession).

External candidates who meet the eligibility requirements for the Statistical Service and pass their interview will need to go through a further badging board to enter the GSG.

If you are already a badged member of the GSG you will be assessed against the GSG competency framework as part of the recruitment process. Click here for the GSG Competency Framework.

For further information on badging, level transfer and returning to the government Statistical Group (GSG) click here.

Government Science & Engineering

GSE is not a badged profession and has no qualification criteria to join the profession. Candidates will be assessed against the experience needed to deliver this role and the Technical Skills in the GSE Career Framework. Click here for the GSE Career Framework.

Government Geography Profession

The GGP is not a badged profession and has no eligibility criteria to join the profession. Candidates may have qualifications in geography (or related discipline e.g environmental science, earth science, demography, planning, geomatics) and/or experience of practice with geospatial and georeferenced data to generate insight and support decision making.

Information on joining the GGP can be found by clicking here.

For further information please see the draft Government Geography Profession – Career Framework, by clicking here.

Application Process

As part of the application process you will be asked to complete a CV; a 500 word personal statement to evidence your skills and experience according to those set out in the job advert; two 250 word statements setting out how you meet the key behaviours; and a 250 word statement setting out your eligibility for one of the listed professions and your technical skills.

If you have identified GSR as your profession but are not already a member, you will need to pass an online knowledge test after the closing date for applications, and before your application is sifted – you will be given a week to complete the online test. These tests will be issued via Capita.


Should a large number of applications be received, an initial sift may be conducted using the lead behaviour, Leadership.

Candidates who pass the initial sift may be progressed to a full sift, or progressed straight to assessment/interview.

Sift and interview dates are to be confirmed.

Feedback will only be provided if you attend an interview.


If successful at application stage, you will be invited to interview where you will be assessed on your strengths, experience, behaviours and technical skills.

A presentation or additional exercise may be used to assess your experience and technical skills.

Reserve List
A reserve list may be held for a period of 12 months from which further appointments can be made.

Please be aware that this role(s) will be contractually based in a Defra group workplace/office. The successful candidate is required to carry out all their duties from a UK location, and cannot do so from an overseas location at any time.

New entrants to the Civil Service are expected to start on the minimum of the pay band. The internal roles rules apply to existing Civil Servants, i.e. level transfers move on current salary or the pay range minimum, transfers on promotion move to new pay range minimum or receive 10% increase. Either case is determined by whichever is the highest.

Near miss
Candidates who are judged to be a near miss at interview may be considered for other positions in Defra which may be at a lower grade, but have a potential skills match.

Visa Sponsorship Statement
Please take note that Defra does not hold a UK Visa & Immigration (UKVI) Skilled Worker License sponsor and are unable to sponsor any individuals for Skilled Worker Sponsorship.

Merit Lists
Where more than one location is advertised, candidates will be posted in merit order by location. You will be asked to state your location preference on your application.

Reasonable Adjustment
If a person with disabilities is put at a substantial disadvantage compared to a non-disabled person, we have a duty to make reasonable changes to our processes.

If you need a change to be made so that you can make your application, you should:

– Contact Government Recruitment Service via [email protected] as soon as possible before the closing date to discuss your needs.
– Complete the “Assistance required” section in the “Additional requirements” page of your application form to tell us what changes or help you might need further on in the recruitment process. For instance, you may need wheelchair access at interview, or if you’re deaf, a Language Service Professional.

If you are experiencing accessibility problems with any attachments on this advert, please contact the email address in the ‘Contact point for applicants’ section.

Criminal Record Check
If successful and transferring from another Government Department, a criminal record check maybe carried out.

In order to process applications without delay, we will be sending a Criminal Record Check to Disclosure and Barring Service on your behalf. However, we recognise in exceptional circumstances some candidates will want to send their completed forms direct. If you will be doing this, please advise Government Recruitment Service of your intention by emailing [email protected] stating the job reference number in the subject heading .

Internal Fraud Database Check
Applicants who are successful at interview will be, as part of pre-employment screening subject to a check on the Internal Fraud Database (IFD). This check will provide information about employees who have been dismissed for fraud or dishonesty offences. This check also applies to employees who resign or otherwise leave before being dismissed for fraud or dishonesty had their employment continued. Any applicant’s details held on the IFD will be refused employment.

A candidate is not eligible to apply for a role within the Civil Service if the application is made within a 5 year period following a dismissal for carrying out internal fraud against government.

Loan and Fixed Term Appointments
This is a Fixed-term Appointment as an analyst to support the review and refresh of the government’s 25 Year Environment Plan. The post is a Fixed Term Agreement to the end of March 2023, which is when the refreshed 25 Year Environment Plan will be published.

Existing Civil Servants and applicants from accredited NDPBs are eligible to apply, but will only be considered on loan basis (Civil Servants) or secondment (accredited NDPBs). Prior agreement to be released on a loan basis must be obtained before commencing the application process. In the case of Civil Servants, the terms of the loan will be agreed between the home and host department and the Civil Servant. This includes grade on return.

Higher Security Clearance
This post requires the successful candidate to hold basic security clearance. Candidates posted to 2 Marsham Street, London may be subject to a higher level of clearance because of the security requirements for that location. Job offers to this post are made on the basis of merit. Security vetting will only take place after the receipt of a job offer.

Childcare Vouchers
Any move to Defra from another employer will mean you can no longer access childcare vouchers. You may however be eligible for other government schemes, including Tax Free Childcare. Determine your eligibility at

We are closely monitoring the situation with regard to Coronavirus, and will be following central Government advice as it is issued. There is therefore a risk that recruitment to this post may be subject to change at short notice. Please continue to follow the application process as normal and ensure that you check your emails regularly for any updates from us as this is how we will communicate with you.

As government restrictions continue to lift, Defra group is exploring future ways of working with flexibility in mind. This means, that subject to business need, successful candidates will be offered the option to combine working at home with working at their contractual Defra group workplace, with occasional travel to other work locations. Further information relevant to this post will be available for candidates invited to interview.

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

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)
  • 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

Working for the Civil Service

The Civil Service Code 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.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.

Apply and further information

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 : Caroline Booth
Email : [email protected]
Recruitment team :
Email : [email protected]

Further information

If you feel your application has not been treated in accordance with the Recruitment Principles and you wish to make a complaint, in the first instance, you should contact Government Recruitment Services via email: [email protected] If you are not satisfied with the response you receive from the Department, you can contact the Civil Service Commission: Click here to visit Civil Service Commission




IHE Delft Institute for Water Education - MSc in Water and Sustainable Development