OEP – Head of Monitoring Environmental Law – Interim Office for Environmental Protection

Grade: Grade 6

Reference: 124082

Location: Worcester

Salary: £57,114 to £65,740

Closing Date: 21 Jun 2021

Job description

The Head of Monitoring Environmental Law will work to the direction of the Chief Regulatory Officer and will lead the OEP’s work in implementing specific statutory functions under the Environment Bill. These relate to monitoring the implementation of environmental law and advising the government on the development of environmental law and other matters relating to the natural environment.

The team’s function of monitoring environmental law will involve taking a strategic approach to determining which areas of environmental law to assess and determining how that assessment and reporting should be carried out to maximise effectiveness and influence. The purpose of monitoring and reporting on the implementation of environmental law is to advise Government, Parliament and public authorities on how well environmental law is being applied, whether it is achieving its intended objectives, and possible areas for improvement. This is intended to realise environmental protection and improvement through informing more effective application of the law that already exists, and development of improved new laws. The team will set out its findings and recommendations in reports presented to Parliament and Government.

The team will also have a function of advising on the development of environmental law on the OEP’s own initiative, and on other matters affecting the natural environment when requested by Ministers. In respect of the former, the team will need to determine when and how to provide input to the development of new or amended environmental laws that are being proposed by Government, for example in response to public consultations or draft legislation. In respect of the latter, the team will need to consider and respond to requests for advice from Ministers on a wide range of matters concerning the natural environment. In responding to such requests, the team will need to draw on expertise from across the OEP’s as well as accessing expertise and information from outside the organisation.

The Head of Monitoring Environmental Law will lead the development and implementation of the OEP’s approach to these functions. The candidate will lead a small, specialised team (1 x G7, 2 x SEO) which will plan and undertake its own work in monitoring environmental law, while coordinating input and expertise from other OEP teams and outside the organisation as required.

We are looking for individuals, from any background, who have the enthusiasm
and flexibility to help us grow and develop this exciting new organisation. If this sounds like
something you would be interested in, we would love you to get in touch.

Information Webinars:

As the OEP is a new organisation, Defra will be hosting a webinar during the application period to provide potential candidates with further information about the OEP and the roles – for more information please visit the event page: http://oeprecruitment.eventbrite.com


The role holder’s responsibilities will include as follows.

• Being responsible for the effective delivery of the provisions of the Environmental Bill in relation to the OEP’s monitoring environmental law and advice functions
• Developing the OEP’s strategic approach, processes and workplans for the delivery of these functions and leading the team to ensure it operates to high standards in accordance with them
• Ensuring the OEP works to a high quality in terms of both substance and presentation of its work, maximising influence of its analyses and advice
• Providing senior technical expertise on environmental law and its implementation to inform and steer the work of the team
• Providing leadership, challenge and support to the monitoring environmental law team
• Engaging with media and external stakeholders, for example through presenting and explaining the OEP’s findings and by representing the OEP in discussions and meetings with Government, Public Authorities and Parliamentarians
• Managing the resource of the monitoring environmental law team, demonstrating value for money, and working effectively with the Chief Regulatory Officer and Head of Complaints, Investigations and Enforcement to flex resource across the organisation as needed
• Commissioning and managing input from other OEP teams and external specialists when needed to ensure the effective delivery of monitoring and advice functions
• Ensuring that the OEP’s work of monitoring environmental law effectively informs its approach to specific investigations and enforcement activity, and vice versa
• Supporting the effective join-up and cross-fertilisation of the OEP’s work on matters relating to environmental law under the Chief Regulatory Officer with that relating to the OEP’s broader scientific, technical and analytical work under the Chief Insights Officer
• Regularly attending OEP Board meetings to present the work of the Monitoring Environmental Law team and seek steers or decisions on specific matters.


Degree qualification in a discipline closely related to the development and/or implementation of environmental law, or equivalent professional qualifications


Proven track record in senior leadership and/or management roles, providing strategic direction and delivering high performing teams.

Proven experience in analysing, developing or implementing environmental law and policy in a dynamic and complex context.

Experience of successful working with Ministers, Parliamentarians, Board members or other figures of similar seniority.


Expert knowledge of UK environmental law across multiple areas with ability to keep up to date with developments in implementation, evolution of the law, case law and their implications.

Politically astute with a proven ability to understand the long-term implications of policy. Ability to interpret trends and developments to align work areas with government priorities and the OEP’s strategy.

Highly developed communication, interpersonal and influencing skills, able to present findings and make recommendations in a clear and compelling manner. Excellent written and presentation skills.

Excellent project management skills, including the ability to prioritise and coordinate workloads to deliver quality work on time.

Strong leadership skills with the ability to build high performing teams, set clear direction, manage conflicting demands and approach work flexibly to support the needs of the organisation as a whole.

Ability to think and operate strategically, to “see the bigger picture”, so assess the impact of changes to the wider political/legal/socio-economic landscape on their reports and advice and on wider OEP work.

The above list of job duties is not exclusive or exhaustive and the post holder will be required to undertake such tasks as may reasonably be expected within the scope and grading of the post.