Improvement Officer

Salary: Grade 5 – SCP 33-41 (£36,922-44,863)

Closing Date: Monday 1st November 2021 (09:00am)

Politically Restricted:  Yes                              Welsh Language essential: No. The ability to speak and write fluently is desirable for this role.

About the Role

We are recruiting two exciting roles to our expanding improvement team within the Welsh Local Government Association. The team is delivering and coordinating a new programme of sector-led support to local government.

You will be adaptive, innovative and responsive and sensitive to the challenges and political environment in which local authorities operate.

You will be expected to be flexible and play a key role in supporting peer challenge, support and coordinating new panel performance assessments. You will need to be confident and politically aware, being able to guide and work with senior members and officers as part of peer teams and panel assessment teams within authorities.

The WLGA Improvement Team includes the Head of Improvement Programme, four Improvement Officers and a Senior Programme Support Officer. The Team works closely with the Chief Digital Officer for local government, Data Cymru and the Local Government Association.

The WLGA improvement team is funded through a Welsh Government grant for 2021-22. The Welsh Government has given indicative commitment to a three year programme of improvement grant funding to the WLGA from 2021-24, however, the grant is awarded on annual basis subject to submission and approval of an annual business plan. This post is therefore advertised on a fixed term basis, however, it may be extended or made permanent should Welsh Government commit to longer-term grant funding or should core improvement funding be provided to the WLGA through an RSG top-slice agreed via member authorities.

WLGA Improvement Programme

The Welsh Government has agreed to provide the WLGA with an annual grant of £800,000 to support sector-led improvement. The Welsh Government has a clear expectation that the 2021-22 grant will be used to support councils in the implementation of the Local Government and Elections (Wales) Act 2021. In addition, the Welsh Government provides WLGA with separately managed annual grants of £200,000 to support councils’ decarbonisation activities and £500,000 to support digital leadership and transformation through the Chief Digital Officer and Delivery Unit.  

The WLGA’s approach to sector-led improvement has been endorsed by leaders and chief executives. Sector-led support is predicated on the concept of mutual aid, with political and professional colleagues within the sector providing capacity, support and constructive challenge to address improvement challenges or to support innovation and transformation. The benefits of peer challenge and support are twofold: an authority benefits from receiving expert and experienced peer perspectives in tackling a specific issue or undertaking an assessment/challenge process; and the participating peers are experience other organisations’ approaches, cultures and solutions and brings back new organisational, personal or professional insights and learning.

The Welsh Government has a clear expectation that the 2021-22 grant will be used to support councils in the implementation of the Local Government and Elections (Wales) Act 2021. The improvement programme during 2021-22 will focus on corporate governance and capability, though there are ongoing discussions with Welsh Government departments about service specific support, for example in education and social services.

The improvement grant provides directly delivered support through the WLGA and Data Cymru and commissioned support through external deliverers or partners around four core themes, a universal offer available to all councils – focused on building strong corporate capacity and capability with councils under four interdependent priorities:

  • COVID19 Pandemic Recovery;
  • Local Democracy and Member Development;
  • Corporate Governance and Performance; and
  • Corporate Capability. 

The WLGA also provides proactive and reactive support for those councils who need more intensive and dedicated support to help them improve aspects of their business. 

The WLGA’s improvement activities will be delivered through services provided by Data Cymru and an expanded improvement team of 6 members of staff, reporting to the Head of Policy (Improvement and Governance), including two existing Policy and Improvement Officer roles and four new posts of: Head of the Improvement Programme; two Improvement Officers; and a Peer and Senior Programme Support Officer.

Download Recruitment Pack Here

Download Application form Here

For an initial discussion about the role and the organisation, please contact Jo Hendy, Head of the Improvement Programme on 07469 543709.

To apply, please send a covering letter with a completed application form by the closing date of 9:00am on Monday 1st November 2021 to: HR Manager e-mail recruitment@wlga.gov.uk