Defra Roles - Policy Banner


Shape the policies that will create a great place for living.

Defra Roles Policy Mobile Banner


Shape the policies that will create a great place for living.


We are immersed in an exciting period of change. At the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) our work ranges from supporting the UK’s world-leading food, farming and fishing industries to protecting the environment and providing robust defences against natural threats. Leaving the EU will fundamentally transform the work we do and how we deliver it. We are embracing this opportunity to become even more efficient, focused and innovative. Join us, and you will be at the heart of this change – helping us to secure a more sustainable future for the UK.

You may not be working as a Policy Advisor today. More important than your current role is your commitment to a better future. Defra are looking for people with an interest in farming and food from land or sea, the countryside, rural communities, the environment or how an exit from the EU is strategised. Whatever your interest and experience you must be passionate about making the UK a great place to live.

We have opportunities across different parts of the Defra group. Whichever area you join, you will play an active part in developing and delivering our priorities for EU Exit. At this time of change, the opportunity to build transformational policies has never been more significant.

For the UK, the policies you influence at Defra could be life changing. For you, they may very well be career defining.

Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA)

APHA protects animal and plant health for the benefit of people, the environment and the economy. Our policy work focuses on ensuring a functioning UK trade system, protecting UK biosecurity against pest and disease outbreaks, promoting exports by building on our excellent reputation for animal welfare, and maintaining public confidence in the security of animal and plant products.

The Environmental Regulation Directorate

From water and air quality, to waste and resources, chemicals and pesticides, biodiversity and wildlife and beyond, we cover all kinds of policy areas. By developing policies spanning law and regulatory frameworks, and trade with the EU and the wider world through relationships across governments, we aim to create a cleaner, healthier environment.

The EU Exit Overview Directorate

Analysing likely future scenarios and ensuring the integrity of approaches to EU Exit across Defra, this team is instrumental to removing uncertainty, reducing risk and securing opportunities. Our range of policy work includes prioritising Defra’s policy portfolio, providing strategic insight to domestic readiness preparations, supporting senior leaders and championing Defra’s priorities.

The Food Chain Directorate

The agri-food sector is critical for the economy and environment, and affects everyone in the country. We are focused on ensuring the continued supply of food and drink, and making sure our domestic industry remains competitive, after the UK exits the EU. From accessing the right skills, to supporting science and innovation, we will protect consumers and help the industry grow.

The Future Farming Directorate

Policy work here is about what agriculture and environmental land management will look like tomorrow. Our priorities include designing a new system to help farmers improve the environment and productivity, supporting the sustainable growth of businesses throughout the food chain, and delivering a smooth transition for farming as we move away from the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy.

The Marine and Fisheries Directorate

This complex, high profile area is central to Defra’s EU exit work and is of particular interest to Ministers. Work on the Fisheries Bill will maximise opportunities to transform how we manage our fishing industry and access to our waters once we exit the EU. More broadly our work is about protecting and improving the marine environment, and sustainably managing our diverse fisheries.

The Strategy Directorate

Our policy professionals set both the overall strategic direction of Defra and the vision for how the department works together. Analysing decisions about change and resource allocation, they deliver fast-paced policy projects and develop innovative policy approaches to help us to deliver on our strategic vision.