OEP – Senior Complaints Officer – Interim Office for Environmental Protection








£35,895 - £40,613

Closing date:

21st April 2021

The Interim OEP complaints team currently validate complaints submitted by the public to asses if they are within the OEP remit. They are also creating the policies and procedures to enable the OEP to then prioritise and investigate complaints once it is legally established.

The OEP Complaints, Investigation and Enforcement team will manage complaints from members of the public about suspected breaches of environmental law by public authorities. They will assess complaints received against the OEP Complaints and Enforcement policy to decide which are serious enough and should be prioritised, meaning that the OEP should investigate. They will then conduct investigations into the most serious complaints to determine whether a breach of environmental law has occurred and negotiate with public authorities to agree appropriate solutions and remedies. Where a suitable solution cannot be found, they may also need to escalate cases to the OEP Board to decide if enforcement action should be started.

The OEP will be the cornerstone of our environmental governance system now we have left the EU and its complaints and enforcement function will play a central role in its ability to effectively oversee the implementation of environmental law in England. This is a unique opportunity to join the OEP as it is established and help develop its complaints function from the current non-statutory arrangements into a fully operational and high performing service.

We are looking for individuals, from any background, who have the enthusiasm and determination to help us investigate novel and contentious complaints on environmental issues and help us achieve the principal objective of the OEP to protect and enhance the environment. If this sounds like something you would be interested in, we would love you to get in touch.

Candidate Information Webinars
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The role holder will be responsible for the following.

In the Interim OEP
• Oversee the receipt and validation of complaints to the Interim OEP by the team, ensuring they are assessed appropriately, escalated if needed and that any incorrectly submitted complaints are correctly signposted to the appropriate place.
• Ensure the provision of excellent customer service to members of the public who have submitted complaints, providing timely updates, managing expectations of the process and identifying and implementing improvements to communications with the public (e.g. webpage) where needed.
• Support the of development and transfer of the Interim OEP complaints function into the full OEP complaints and enforcement service that will be enacted once the OEP legally exists.
• Work with legal or other specialist advice as necessary to inform complaints triage, validation and investigation as required.
• Ensure the complaints case management is accurate and up-to-date and make improvements to the system as needed and in agreement with the Team Leader.
• Activity management of the HEO Complaints Officers.
• Support the G7 Complaints Manager with stakeholder engagement (e.g. environmental regulators, Ombudsmen and NGOs) in relation to the complaints and enforcement activities as needed to maintain good relations and effective working interactions.

Additional duties once the OEP is established
• Prioritise complaints for investigation in line with the OEP Complaints and Enforcement Strategy.
• Conduct investigations into complex complaint cases, managing the relationship with the relevant public authority, making recommendations to managers around remedies, serving information and decision notices where approved to do so, and drafting investigation reports.
• Support enforcement action that the OEP undertakes e.g. Environmental Review.

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.

• Experience of delivering public facing or operational services. Experience in a case or complaints handling environment would be desirable.
• Experience of using analytical skills to reach decisions based on evaluating a range of evidence.
• Experience of managing customer relations and providing a high-quality service.
• Experience of negotiating an agreement or solution between parties.
• A good working knowledge of UK environmental law and regulation is desirable.

• Excellent decision-making skills in order to assess, prioritise and investigate complaints.
• Effective negotiation skills, able to influence senior stakeholders to reach agreement with public authorities that remedy breaches of environmental law.
• Strong verbal and written communication skills.
• Flexible and adaptable mindset, happy to work across a wide range of cases and change direction quickly in response to changing demands.
• Proactive approach to changing and improving processes/communications etc and identifying new ways of working and improve customer experience.