Skills – Policy Officers display the following skills:
Apply analytical techniques; make use of analytical support and key statistics related to policy area; work with experts outside of policy; apply the basics of economic appraisal; handle sensitive information securely
Evidence-based problem solving
Define the policy problem; demonstrate hypothesis-based thinking; seek advice from relevant experts; make decisions based on sound reasoning and evidence previously gathered; know when to escalate issues
Use research and trials to inform policy; consider evaluations of previous policies; read graphs and tables; understand simple descriptive statistics; consider advantages and disadvantages of evaluation methods including validity and reliability
Select and present information in a clear and effective manner; present information according to the audience; use correct grammar and punctuation; structure work in a logical order; write accurately, briefly and clearly; speak confidently and coherently; plan for and be able to answer questions
Communicating with Influence
Communicate confidently; be personable; ask insightful questions; recognise levels of authority; be able to influence others; be able to negotiate effectively and respectfully; confidently represent your organisation; recognise importance of objectivity and impartiality in policy-making
Identify risks and issues; monitor progress of actions; demonstrate effective use of resources; manage conflicting priorities and pressures; work to agreed deadlines and timescales; dedicate time to specific activities
Knowledge – Policy Officers demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:
History of the policy area; policy aims, challenges and issues; how to engage relevant organisations; political context; relevant policy tests; legal implications; international aspects as applicable; consideration of sustainable development duties
Organisational structure; strategy; purpose; activities; aims; values; visions; structures; how to support and achieve these through own role
Government and Parliament - history, structure, relationship and responsibilities; electoral systems and processes; the British constitution and legislative processes; parliamentary committees; local government; public sector bodies; groups and movements influencing policy
Economic; social; technological; legal and environmental factors and the subsequent impact of these on policy; internal and external barriers that exist and how to overcome them
Programme and Project Management
Basic concepts, language and principles; importance of effective project management including delivering to plan, on time and in budget; advantages and disadvantages of different planning methods; importance of identifying risks and issues upfront; importance of continuously reviewing and updating plans
The steps involved in making commercial decisions; organisational procurement processes; the requirement to achieve value for money; how to achieve best value; engaging customers and suppliers; elements of risk; financial and reputational implications
Purpose of consultation; the importance of taking into account stakeholder and public views; engagement with local communities; consultation planning; timescales and deadlines; sample size and quality; advantages and disadvantages of different consultation methods; legal requirements
Policy aims and intended outcomes; what successful implementation looks like; basic delivery systems available; the delivery environment including other organisations involved; user-centred design; reputational risks and public perception; how to measure success of the policy
Behaviours – Policy Officers demonstrate the following behaviours:
Continuous Learning and Agility
Takes responsibility for self-development; reflects on lessons learned and feedback to improve performance; champions continuous improvement; seeks out opportunities to improve ways of working; looks to create effective change
Big Picture Thinking
Takes an active interest in understanding organisational priorities and strategy; looks beyond the immediate role; keeps abreast of wider issues which may impact on policy area; keeps a clear focus on the overall policy aim
Looking to the future
Is mindful of future trends and influences; considers potential risks and opportunities and adapts working style accordingly; anticipates how the future can support actions in the present; considers multiple possible outcomes
Shows consideration for others; seeks to develop trusting and effective relationships; shares knowledge; encourages collaboration; is a team player; promotes diversity; listens to others; appreciates different perspectives and respects alternative opinions
Is proactive; has a ‘can do’ attitude; is open to receiving feedback from others; is tenacious and remains motivated under pressure; deals positively with setbacks
Reflects on own performance and feedback from others; is mindful of the impact of own actions on others; adapts style to suit circumstances; understands limitations of own knowledge and uses networks to inform own work
Individual employers will decide the entry requirement for this apprenticeship, but typically this will be:
- 5 x GCSEs including English Language and Maths (or level 2 equivalent) at grade C and above (or the new grade 4 and above)
- Level 3 qualification(s), including at least one of the below:
- 2 x A-levels at grade D and above; or
- BTEC Extended Diploma at grade PPP and above; or
- Level 3 apprenticeship; or
- Equivalent level 3 qualifications of at least 48 UCAS points.
Apprentices without level 2 English and maths will need to achieve this level prior to taking the end-point assessment.
This is a level 4 apprenticeship.
The apprenticeship will typically take 24 months to complete.
This standard should be reviewed after three years.
Originally published on Gov.uk, this information has been re-used under the terms of the Open Government Licence.";