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Principal Policy Officer - Water

Reference: JUL20214130
Expiry date: 23:59, 27 September 2021
Location: Flexible, with travel to Bedfordshire and London
Salary: £36,604.00 - £40,608.00 Per Annum
Benefits: Pension, Life Assurance, Annual Leave
Attachments: CandidateGuidanceNotes(1).pdf

This is an outstanding opportunity to help ensure a better future for the UK's freshwater and coastal habitats, and the species that depend upon them. You will lead the development and high-level advocacy of RSPB policy on water policy issues and influence important debates and decisions across the UK.

We are looking for a highly experienced policy advocate who understands and can influence the policies that drive changes in the water environment that impact on biodiversity, both positively and negatively. You will provide thought leadership, already be well respected in this field and your advocacy, communication and campaigning skills will be second to none.

What’s the role about?

The UK's freshwater environment and coasts are hugely important for nature. How we manage them in the coming decades will play a central role in determining whether we can halt declines in nature and combat and adapt to climate change. Impacted by pollution, over abstraction and increasingly extreme weather, our freshwater environment is under more pressure than ever, and our coastal habitats face being squeezed by rising sea levels. This role will allow the successful candidate to work across all these issues and more, managing one policy officer and working within a team of around 18 working across land use, climate and marine policy issues. 

The Principal Policy Officer will have a UK remit and work with policy staff across the four UK countries, working to lead the development of our overarching policy positions, helping to develop and coordinate our advocacy strategies and ensure their effective implementation. The role will be responsible for undertaking high level advocacy on freshwater and coastal policy with a focus on Westminster and Whitehall and providing information, advice and support to other staff internally on these issues.

The successful candidate will need strong leadership skills and the ability to work with a wide range of policy staff across the UK and with colleagues in our Conservation Science, Communications and Campaigns and Operations teams to ensure we have impact.

Key aspects of the role include:

  • Developing credible policy positions based on sound science and evidence;
  • Developing advocacy strategies that will achieve results;
  • Undertaking high level advocacy and communicating persuasively;
  • Coalition campaigning and communications;
  • Building and maintaining relationships with key stakeholders at senior level; and
  • Helping to plan and coordinate work across different teams and disciplines to ensure we influence policy decisions in each of the four UK countries.

What we need from you?

  • You will be an experienced policy advocate, recognised as a thought leader in your field, and with substantive knowledge of freshwater and coastal policy and practice in the UK or wider.
  • You will be able to lead and coordinate work with others to develop policy positions, produce advocacy strategies and implement them and have influence externally at a senior level.
  • You will be able to analyse complex issues in a fast-paced environment.
  • You will have well-developed negotiating and influencing skills and be able to engage with a wide range of individuals and organisations.
  • You will understand how public institution decision-making occurs and have good political instincts.
  • You will have written and verbal communication skills of a very high standard; professional and persuasive.
  • You will have an excellent understanding of the role of public facing communications/campaigns in supporting policy advocacy.
  • You will be confident and capable of being a public face for RSPB policy and advocacy to the media and through the use of social media.
  • You will be an expert in water policy in the UK or wider, with relevant academic or professional qualifications.
  • You will bring with you an extensive network of contacts and relationships in government, agencies, business and NGOs, relevant to water policy and related sectors.

Please note that you will be required to only complete an online application form.

Before applying for this role we would encourage you to read through the candidate guidance notes attached to the top of this advert.

For all role enquiries please contact - 

For all application enquiries please contact -

Please note that we are actively recruiting for this role and reserve the right to close this vacancy once sufficient applications have been received.