Principal, Innovation (12 month fixed term contract) - BC-539

The Organisation

Ofwat (the Water Services Regulation Authority) is the economic regulator of the water and wastewater sector in England and Wales. Our role is to help it build trust and confidence with customers, the environment and wider society. Ofwat has an ambitious strategy and as a regulator we are setting ourselves up to achieve and equal the ambition of this new strategy. It matters to us that things on the ground really change so that our impact on customers, the environment and the future of water is tangible and meaningful.

Our work is high-profile and fast-moving, within a dynamic and agile environment. The work that you’ll be involved in every day will be about helping us to deliver our strategy, helping to us to be the regulator we want to be and helping the sector to deliver outcomes that matter to customers and society. Our strategy sets out the role Ofwat will play. We will adapt, be confident, act with purpose and integrity and continuously improve so that we make the greatest contribution possible to improving life through water.

The Role

The performance and outcomes cluster aims to develop and implement regulatory policy, monitor company performance and drive improvement to support our strategic goals for the sector and deliver the best outcomes for customers and the environment.

Role expectations

Our expectation is that the post holder will lead on the design and delivery of Ofwat’s Innovation Fund. This is a high-priority workstream and is a fundamental component of Ofwat’s strategy and approach to improving outcomes for customers in the water sector.  It will require managing a large, high profile, complex workstream, involving multiple stakeholders, including our delivery partner, delivering work which has a direct impacts on customers and water companies which means a high level of interest from both stakeholders and hence a high level of public profile.

The role is challenging and rewarding with the opportunity to design innovation competitions and consider wider/more strategic issues of how to maximise the outcomes of innovation in the water sector.

In leading an area of work in the Innovation work stream, you’ll ensure that we are delivering on our strategic objectives to time and to budget, and in line with our ways of working. You will make an important contribution to understanding and managing strategic risks and opportunities of this work in delivering Ofwat’s strategy and duties.

Internally, our Principals will have a voice at the leadership table, forming part of our wider leadership team, and will take responsibility for cracking our toughest problems to deliver our objectives.

You will have a broad portfolio of issues, and will take ownership of a range of specific policies and procedures, taking responsibility and accountability for their success. You will be expected to have good judgement and to exercise it across complex issues responsibly in line with our strategy and ways of working.

You will be expected to provide support to colleagues across Ofwat, proactively sharing skills and knowledge, and equally will be supported by coaching and mentoring. Effective stakeholder engagement will be important for your success, as you nurture existing relationships whilst developing new ones.

Key deliverables

  • Lead on the design and support delivery of Ofwat’s innovation competitions as part of delivering Ofwat’s Innovation Fund.
  • Lead a team in designing the approach we take to each competition, including the eligibility, application, assessment, monitoring and evaluation of projects, taking into account the potential wider policy implications of our work. This will require working collaboratively with colleagues across the organisation and building relationships with key external stakeholders within and outside the water sector.
  • Familiarise yourself with Ofwat’s strategy,its strategic goals and the role of innovation in Ofwat’s long term aspirations for the sector.
  • Manage and work closely with Ofwat’s innovation partners who are delivering the innovation fund and supporting wider engagement with the water sector.
  • Managing internal engagement, including internal governance to ensure support and agreement from across the organisation to make strong decisions, including from senior leaders, legal and communications colleagues.
  • Contribute to the wider policy development relating to Ofwat’s strategic approach to innovation, looking beyond the initial Fund pilot period (running until March 2022) working with colleagues across the organisation.
  • Identify and explore synergies with other regulators and innovation funds.
  • Be the key point of contact for internal and external questions on innovation competitions, handling issues that companies raise and seek out opportunities to learn and adapt our approach to future innovation competitions.
  • Undertake work to tight timeframes and to a high quality that stands up to external scrutiny.
  • Our organisational culture is very important to us, and we expect all of our people to uphold our values of support, ambition, integrity, learning, ownership, and respect. We have a well-supported, agile and flexible working environment – and have an autonomous and trust based culture to help you succeed within Ofwat.

The Requirements

To thrive in this role and successfully deliver on the above activities you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding in the following areas; (full details can be obtained from the Candidate Information Pack on Ofwat’s careers page):

  • Educated to degree or postgraduate level in a relevant discipline or significant equivalent previous experience.
  • Experience and knowledge of innovation initiatives and introducing new approaches to incentivise and foster innovation.
  • Experience of identifying and managing risks and opportunities.
  • Proven experience of developing strategy and responding to risks and opportunities to the benefit of the organisation’s wider aims and objectives.
  • Able to provide strong intellectual challenge under pressure to produce high quality analysis to tight timescales, while managing competing priorities.
  • Background of building effective relationships with senior staff and external stakeholders, and identifying and facilitating linkages between projects and work streams.
  • Highly skilled in developing policy, including gathering data and evidence to support strong decision making.
  • Skilled in leading a diverse team of multiple skills and experience.

The Offer

Come and take a look, we offer a substantial benefits package including 25 days holiday plus 10 ½ bank holiday and privilege leave days per annum, a fantastic & highly competitive civil service pension scheme, among many other benefits.

A truly flexible, autonomous and trust based working culture is on offer to help you succeed within Ofwat.

Please forward a CV and cover letter, including the relevant experience required for this post. Please ensure that you have outlined how your skills and experience meet the criteria set out in the requirements section of the role profile. All applications require a CV Supplement form (mandatory) and a Diversity form (optional) to be completed as part of the process.

More information is available in our candidate information pack.

Please email your CV and supporting documents to [email protected] with the name of the vacancy in the subject along with the reference number. The closing date is Thursday 29 April 2021 at 5pm.