Careers | RSPB

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Senior Policy Officer - Water

Reference: FEB20249951
Expiry date: 2024-04-28 22:59:00.000
Location: Flexible in UK
Salary: £38,389.00 - £41,212.00 Per Annum
Benefits: Pension Scheme, Life Assurance Scheme, 26 days' Annual Leave
Attachments: CandidateGuidanceNotes2023.pdf

This is an outstanding opportunity to help turn around the alarming state of England's freshwater habitats. You will work with a diverse range of teams across the RSPB to drive forward our policy and advocacy work on water and coastal policy issues and influence important debates and decisions across the England.

We are looking for an enthusiastic, passionate and motivated person to really lead in this role. The successful candidate will be driven to build effective working relationships across the RSPB and partner organisations. 

What's the role about? 

Water quality is high up on the political and media agenda, as the British public grow increasingly concerned about pollution. Clean water and healthy freshwater ecosystems are vital to much of England's wildlife and essential. This role will help lead the RSPB work to secure the right policies and funding mechanisms to turn this around by driving investment in catchment and nature-based solutions. This is a great opportunity to work  to improve the health of England rivers, streams and lakes, and help society adapt to and mitigate climate change. The successful candidate will have a keen focus on the regulated water sector to ensure ever opportunity is made to deliver benefits for nature and climate. They will also be seeking to explore new public and private funding opportunities helping to develop and define best practice  

This role will allow the successful candidate to work across all these issues and more, as part of RSPB England's Sustainable Land Policy Team. 

The role will play a key role in supporting and delivering against our advocacy objectives in Westminster and Whitehall, and providing information, advice, and support to other staff internally on water policy issues, particularly colleagues working across our network of reserves and priority landscapes. You will also support our work targeting arms-length bodies and the private sector.

The successful candidate will work with a wide range of colleagues in our Conservation Science, Communications and Campaigns, and Operations teams to ensure we have an impact

Essential skills, knowledge and experience:

  • Degree level qualification in a relevant subject
  • Proven experience of operating effectively in a policy and or advocacy role
  • A good understanding of governmental and political institutions of the specified department and location where relevant to environment/biodiversity policy
  • Well honed political acumen coupled with the ability to analyse complex issues in a fast paced environment coupled
  • Ability to identify, target and advocate RSPB policy effectively to relevant external audiences (including government, business, NGOs) through presentations, attendance at conferences appropriate  use of social media, etc to further RSPB policy advocacy objectives.
  • Ability to build and maintain effective relationships with stakeholders in the relevant policy area,  including senior government officials, other NGOs, academia and business in order to build  optimum conditions for successful advocacy for RSPB policy positions.
  • Excellent communication skills (verbal, written and presentational), including an ability to speak confidently and cogently in public to a variety of audiences, including those with opposing views.
  •  A good understanding of the role of public facing communications/campaigns in supporting policy advocacy. 
  • Experience of leading or facilitating  the delivery of relevant policy research to inform policy positions
  • Confident and capable of being a public face for RSPB policy and advocacy to the media and social media.

Desirable skills, knowledge and experience:

  • Good knowledge and understanding of the regulated water sector, and new and emerging private finance opportunities to drive investment in catchment and nature-based solutions.

This is a Permanent role for 37.5 hours per week. 

We are looking to conduct interviews for this position from 7th May 2024. For further information please contact

As part of this application process you will be asked to provide a copy of your CV and complete an application form including evidence on how you meet the skills, knowledge, and experience listed above.

We are committed to developing an inclusive and diverse RSPB, in which everyone feels supported, valued, and able to be their full selves. To achieve our vision of creating a world richer in nature, we need more people, and more diverse people, on nature’s side. People of colour and disabled people are currently underrepresented across the environment, climate, sustainability, and conservation sector. If you identify as a person of colour and/or disabled, we are particularly interested in receiving your application. Contact us to discuss any additional support you may need to complete your application.

The RSPB is an equal opportunities employer. This role is covered by the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.

Before applying for this role, we recommend reading through the candidate guidance notes attached to the top of this advert.