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Project Sponsor Officer

Job description

Date: 27 February 2017

Department: Physical Programmes

Post number: 1694 was 1305

Section: Directorate

Job title: Project Sponsor Officer

Grade: PO4

The Role

The Project Sponsor Officer is a generic corporate resource designed to ensure that the council has appropriate and designated resources available to effectively manage and deliver its portfolio of strategic corporate projects and programmes of work.

This post will be located initially within the Physical Programmes department, responsible to the appropriate senior manager, but may be deployed through-out council departments as and when required.

Main purpose of job

To lead on the definition and specification of client department requirements, including any stakeholder and community consultation work necessary to define and specify those requirements. To act as a focal point for day to day management of the client department project, securing its development and delivery.

To represent client requirements consistently and effectively to the Physical Programmes Department technical staff and wider project team through the project lifecycle.

To work closely with the Project Manager(s) and the Programme Management Office and staff within Programmes, who will contribute the technical expertise required from the procurement stage through to final delivery of all strategic and corporate programmes.

To be responsible for the overall performance management of all allocated projects to maximise efficient application of resources including physical, financial and personnel.

To advise council, committees and a range of Member/ officer groups as and when required, under the direction of the appropriate manager and to build relationships across the range of contacts and stakeholders.

Summary of responsibilities and personal duties

  1. To be responsible for the development and delivery of all allocated projects from inception to departmental delivery, with particular emphasis on any preprocurement and close out and monitoring stage of the project lifecycle.
  2. To represent the appropriate manager as required, within the post holder’s sphere of responsibility.
  3. To undertake relevant stakeholder consultations necessary to define and specify client and programme requirements in conjunction with the Project Manager, Programme office and relevant internal and external client departments.
  4. To lead the internal delivery or external procurement of economic appraisal in support of the business case for investment in strategic and corporate programmes for which they are personally responsible.
  5. To be responsible for the effective management of all strategic and corporate programmes assigned and ensure project governance arrangements including all relevant documentation, technical standards, systems and processes are implemented.
  6. Adhere to project change/ variation management procedures and reporting mechanisms.
  7. To ensure that all appropriate commercial considerations are managed and maintained across all elements of the allocated strategic and corporate programmes.
  8. To identify synergies and interdependencies between projects identifying opportunities for efficiencies and value for money at the programme level and to support the Project Manager as appropriate.
  9. To review and quality assure programme and project risk management arrangements, building capacity needed to maximise delivery and report to the appropriate forums.
  10. To develop working relationships and effective communication with appropriate stakeholders, internally and externally, to ensure effective delivery of allocated strategic and corporate programmes.
  11. To represent client requirements consistently and effectively to the Physical Programmes Department throughout the project lifecycle, working in partnership with them as the council’s principal resource of capital investment projects from procurement to delivery.
  12. Assist with the advancement of projects through the internal governance and stage approval process at each stage of project delivery.
  13. To ensure all financial, legal, procurement, design and other technical inputs to teach project within their Departmental commitments are fit for purpose and effectively coordinated with the Project Manager.
  14. To assist with the preparation and validation of any tendering process including advising on and assisting in the negotiation and appointment of bidders and bid evaluations to ensure that the council achieves optimal value for money.
  15. To keep under review new developments and best practice in fields relating to project management, to make appropriate recommendations for change and to share knowledge with other Project Sponsor Officers or relevant officers, where necessary.
  16. To assist in the production of committee reports, other briefing documentation, performance management reports and financial returns documentation and to attend committees, CMT, project boards etc when required.
  17. To understand project management standards and client requirements and to negotiate and communicate effectively with all relevant parties with a view to successful project delivery.
  18. To undertake post project review with the integrated project team, communicating lessons learned and to support relevant community during project implementation.
  19. To motivate and manage any staff, that may be assigned, to the post holder ensure effective service delivery
  20. To participate in all induction and in-service training provided by Belfast City Council and in the induction and support of all newly appointed staff and other human resource management procedures as appropriate.
  21. To participate as directed in the council’s selection interview programme.
  22. To act in accordance with the council and departmental policies and procedures including customer care, equal opportunities, health and safety; safeguarding and any pertinent legislation.
  23. To undertake the duties in such a way as to enhance and protect the reputation and public profile of the council.
  24. To undertake such other relevant duties as may from time to time be required.

NB This summary of responsibilities and personal duties is not intended to be exhaustive. This role will develop and change in line with the council’s portfolio of strategic programmes and projects.

Employee specification

Date: 9 April 2019

Department: Physical Programmes

Post number: 1694 was 1305

Section: Directorate

Job title: Project Sponsor Officer

Grade: PO4

Essential criteria

Applicants must, as at the closing date for receipt of applications and throughout the selection process, be current Belfast City Council employees or agency assignees.

Qualifications and experience

Applicants must, as at the closing date for receipt of applications, either:

  • have a third level qualification within a relevant professional discipline, or an equivalent relevant qualification and be able to demonstrate on the application form, by providing personal and specific examples, at least one year’s relevant experience in each of the following areas:

or

  • be able to demonstrate on the application form, by providing personal and specific examples, at least two years’ relevant experience in each of the following areas:

(a) leading on the coordination, management and implementation of strategic projects;

(b) working with a range of internal and external stakeholders and networks to achieve acommon goal, ensuring value for money; and

(c) writing complex reports within tight timeframes and presenting them in a manner capable of influencing and persuading a wide range of internal and external audiences.

Special skills and attributes

Applicants should also be able to demonstrate evidence of the following special skills and attributes which may be tested at interview:

Communication skills: the ability to demonstrate highly effective presentation and communication skills capable of influencing and persuading a wide range of people and organisations, both orally and in writing.
Interpersonal and influencing skills: the ability to build rapport and maintain the engagement and commitment of others to secure their support in the delivery of council projects.

Team working skills: the ability to work constructively within a team and build and develop
high levels of communication and cooperation between team members in order to achieve
objectives.

Partnership working skills: the ability to form, maintain and enhance partnership working with
external partners and communities to build consensus around key issues.

Project management and work planning skills: the ability to determine organisational priorities and resource requirements for complex projects and manage allocated workload on the basis of available resources. The ability to look ahead, assess options and lead others to make plans based on the best options.

Analytical skills: the ability to analyse and interpret complex issues and exercise critical judgement in arriving at practical solutions.

Performance management skills: the ability to performance manage projects, including the setting of objectives and targets, monitoring criteria and evaluation performance measures.

Public sector and corporate knowledge: knowledge of local government in Northern Ireland and other public bodies to enable corporate working.

Change management skills: the ability to engage in organisational change and secure the commitment of others to change.

Shortlisting criterion

In addition to the above qualifications and experience, Belfast City Council reserves the right to shortlist only those applicants, who as at the closing date for receipt of application forms, can demonstrate on the application form, by providing personal and specific examples, that they have a third level qualification within a relevant professional discipline, or equivalent relevant qualification and at least two years’ relevant experience or three years’ relevant experience (as outlined above) in each of the aforementioned areas.

Terms and conditions of employment

Project Sponsor Officer (PO4)
'Temporary cover’ post until 31 August 2021, subject to review
Directorate Support Section
Physical Programmes Department

Job applicant privacy notice

Belfast City Council is the Data Controller under the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) for the personal data it processes relating to job applicants. Processing data from job applicants allows the council to manage the recruitment process, assess and confirm an applicant’s suitability for employment and decide to whom to offer a job. It may also need to process data from job applicants to respond to and defend against legal claims.

If you apply for this job, you will be providing your personal data to the council whose lawful basis for processing it is for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest or in the exercise of official authority. In some cases, the council will also need to process your data to ensure it is complying with its legal obligations. For example, to monitor applicants’ sensitive data for equal opportunities purposes and to check applicants’ eligibility to work in the UK before employment starts. The council will collect a range of information about you, including:

  • your name, address and contact details, including email address and telephone number;
  • details of your qualifications, skills, experience and employment history;
  • information about your current level of remuneration, which may include benefit
  • entitlements;
  • whether or not you have a disability, or if your first language is not English, so that it can make reasonable adjustments, as required, during the recruitment process; and information about your entitlement to work in the UK etc.

The council will collect this information in a variety of ways for example, by application forms, through forms of assessment, from interview or from your identity documents. It may also collect personal data about you from third parties, such as references, but it will only seek this data if you have been recommended for appointment to the post and it will inform you that it is doing this. Your personal data will be shared internally within the council with staff who are involved in the recruitment process and, where necessary, between internal departments for the purpose of ensuring a fair, systematic and objective recruitment and selection process is in place. It will also be shared with external consultants for the purposes of candidate attraction and selection, where appropriate. Your personal data will not be shared or disclosed to any other organisation without your consent, unless the law permits or places an obligation on the council to do so. Your data will be stored in a range of different places including the recruitment file, the HR information management system and other IT systems such as email. It will be held and stored by the council in a safe and secure manner in compliance with Data Protection legislation and in line with the
council’s Records Retention and Disposal Schedule.

As a data subject, you have a number of rights. These include your right to:

  • access and obtain a copy of your personal data on request;
  • require the council to change incorrect or incomplete personal job applicant data; and
  • require the council to delete or restrict processing your data.

If you have any queries regarding the processing of your personal data, please contact our Job Line on 028 9027 0640. If you wish to contact the council’s Data Protection Officer, please write to Belfast City Council, City Hall Belfast, BT1 5GS or send an email to records@belfastcity.gov.uk

Please see further details of the terms and conditions relating to this post set out below:

Appointment

The appointment will be made by the selection panel, but will be subject to ratification by the director of the relevant department.

If you are currently placed on furlough, you will be required to return from furlough to commence in this ‘temporary cover’ post. 

There may be a reserve list of applicants drawn up for this post which would last for a maximum of 12 months. Should a similar post become vacant within this time, it may be offered to those on the reserve list, in order of merit, without further interview. For generic-type posts, this may include posts in another department.

If you are offered and you accept a temporary position e.g. a temporary part-time position for 3 months, and another temporary part-time position arises from the same recruitment campaign e.g. for 1 year, regardless of whether or not you are still working in your temporary part-time position, you will not be offered any further temporary part-time position.

However, in certain circumstances, when all relevant applicants on the reserve list for temporary vacancies, full-time or part-time, have been offered opportunities for which they expressed a preference on their application form, and if the timing of the reserve list is still valid and there are still temporary vacancies to fill before the reserve list expires, the council reserves the right to ‘revisit’ the reserve list in strict order of merit. This is the only time when an individual who has been appointed to a temporary position e.g. a temporary part-time position can be offered another temporary part-time position.

If a similar post does become vacant within this time, it will be offered to candidates on the reserve
list in the following way:

  1. Candidates will be initially contacted by telephone and must respond within three working days to accept or decline the post.
  2. Candidates who cannot be contacted by telephone will be contacted by letter and must

respond by telephone or by return of acceptance form within five working days of the date of the letter.
If candidates do not respond within the above time frames, the post will be offered, in order of merit, to the next person on the reserve list. The names of those candidates who have not responded within the above timeframes will be retained on the reserve list, in order of merit, to be considered for future vacant posts.

However, if candidates have been contacted on three separate occasions, and they have not responded within the above timeframes on these three occasions, the council will assume that they are no longer interested in the post and their names will be removed from the reserve list.

Should your contact telephone numbers or your address change since you submitted your application form, it is your responsibility to notify the HR Employee Resourcing Unit on 028 9027 0640 or by emailing jobs@belfastcity.gov.uk with your new contact details.

This is a ‘temporary cover’ post until 31 August 2021, subject to review. An existing permanent employee of Belfast City Council will, if successful, be appointed on the basis of undertaking a ‘temporary cover’ post with the right to return to his or her substantive post at the conclusion of the ‘temporary cover’ post. An existing temporary or fixed term contract employee will, if successful, be appointed on the basis of a further temporary or fixed term contract into a‘temporary cover’ post but with no automatic right to revert back to his or her original temporary or fixed term contract post. Similarly, an existing agency assignee will, if successful, be appointed on the basis of a ‘temporary cover’ post but with no automatic right to revert back to his or her original agency assignment. Temporary and fixed term contract employees and agency assignees should give consideration to this prior to applying or accepting this post.

For internally trawled permanent or temporary project/cover/review posts, candidates must remain current employees or agency assignees throughout the selection process in order to be recommended for appointment. Candidates who are no longer current employees or agency assignees as at the short-listing, testing/assessment or interview stage will not be eligible to progress through the process; even if they were an employee or agency assignee at the closing date for receipt of applications. Similarly, if placed on the reserve list, candidates must still be current employees or agency assignees as at the point in time that a vacancy arises. Candidates who are no longer Belfast City Council employees or agency assignees will not be offered any future vacant posts from a reserve list, even if the timing of the reserve list is still valid.

Job details

Job description: please refer to the job description for details of the duties of the post. Employee specification: please refer to the attached employee specification for details of any qualifications, experience, etc. which are required for the post. Should an applicant be recommended for appointment to this post, he or she will be required to produce official original proof of any qualifications, memberships, etc. he or she relied upon to support their application. Please also be advised that an applicant must provide evidence to demonstrate that he or she was in possession of such qualifications, memberships, etc. at the closing date for applications.

Remuneration

The salary will be determined by the council in line with that determined by the National Joint Council for Local Government Services, currently Salary Scale PO4, SCP 35 to 38, £38,890 - £41,881 per annum (in normal circumstances, the starting salary is the minimum point), paid monthly by direct payment by the Bankers Automated Clearing System (BACS) to a bank or building society account of your choice.

Location

The person appointed will be based initially in 9 Adelaide, 9-21 Adelaide Street, Belfast but will be required to work in and/or visit other locations. Please note, given the uncertainty of the ongoing situation with Covid 19 (Coronavirus) and the closure of council buildings, you may be asked, in the first instance, to report to a
different location, work from home and/or be reassigned or redeployed to another area of work within the council.

Pre-employment checks

Prior to taking up duty the person recommended for appointment must:

(a) Enter into an agreement which sets out the main terms and conditions of employment.

(b) Provide evidence of the right to work and reside in the UK via an original full UK birth certificate and original proof of national insurance number (for example, via national insurance card, P45 or payslip etc). No temporary national insurance numbers can be accepted. Individuals who do not have a UK birth certificate will be asked to bring their passport and other documentation as required.

(c) Produce official evidence of his or her qualifications as required. Please be advised that candidates must provide evidence to demonstrate that they were in possession of them at the closing date for applications.

(d) Provide details of the bank or building society account to which his or her salary or wage will be lodged.

(e) Provide two satisfactory work references. If suitably satisfactory references are not received, he or she will not be offered the appointment.

(f) Pass satisfactorily a medical assessment by the council’s Occupational Health Service provider.

(g) Complete the relevant Northern Ireland Local Government Officers’ Superannuation Committee (NILGOSC) membership or opt out forms.

(h) Complete a disclosure of family relationships form.

(i) Complete a disclosure of criminal convictions form, under the Rehabilitation of Offenders (NI) Order 1978. All applicants who are recommended for appointment to a post within Belfast City Council must provide details in respect of any criminal convictions which are not regarded as‘spent’ convictions. Any disclosed convictions will be taken into account only when the conviction is considered relevant to the post and will be seen in the context of the job, the nature of the offence and the responsibility for the care of existing client/customer and employees.

If the person appointed acquires a conviction throughout the course of his/her employment with Belfast City Council, he/she must bring this to the attention of his/her line manager/departmental HR representative. Failure to comply with this request can result in a breach of the terms and conditions of employment and may result in sanction or dismissal. Any information will be dealt with confidentially and help is available.

Please note that if an applicant is recommended for appointment he or she must complete the preemployment checks, outlined above, within 10 working days or consideration will be given to withdrawing the recommendation for appointment and no formal offer of appointment will be made. After pre-employment checks are complete, an applicant must formally accept and commence employment in this post within four weeks.

Council policies

The person appointed will be required to comply with all current and future council policies, procedures, guidelines, agreed working practices and any relevant collective agreements incorporated into the contract of employment.

Conditions

The general conditions of service as prescribed from time to time by the National Joint Council for Local Government Services and by the council for its officers shall apply to the appointment and the Single Status Implementation Agreement dated 2007 as renegotiated from time to time is hereby incorporated into the contract of employment.

A copy of the council’s Disciplinary Procedure and Grievance Procedure will be issued to all new employees at the council’s Induction Course.

Please note if you are an applicant with previous local authority service in England, Scotland, Wales etc., you are advised to clarify your particular situation with regard to the continuity of this service, prior to accepting an offer of appointment from Belfast City Council.

Service and hours of duty

The hours of duty are 37 per week, working five days per week, Monday to Friday. Flexible working hours are in operation between 7.30am and 6.30pm, with set core times that the person appointed must be in work. However, the person appointed will be required to start and finish work at specific times that suit the operational needs of the service and she/he will, when advised, be required to work outside of these hours for operational reasons including on extra statutory, bank and/or public holidays.

In accordance with the National Joint Council for Local Government Services National Agreement on Pay and Conditions of Service variations to the established working week or patterns of work will be reasonable and subject to adequate notice.

Annual leave

Annual leave and extra statutory, bank or public holiday entitlement is calculated in hours/minutes.

A person appointed on the standard full time hours of 37 per week will be entitled to 170.2 hours (23 days) annual leave, plus 88.8 hours (12 days) bank or other holidays. Annual leave entitlement will be increased by 37 hours (5 days) in the case of officers who have not less than 5 years’ continuous service and by a further 22.2 hours (3 days) in the case of officers who have not less than 10 years’ continuous service.
Figures in brackets represent the number of days based upon a standard day of 7.4 hrs.

For individuals who do not work the standard full-time hours, annual leave and extra statutory, bank or public holiday entitlement will be calculated on pro-rata basis to their contracted hours, based on the standard full time hours of 37 per week and a standard day of 7.4 hours (i.e. 7 hrs 24 minutes).

Employees are entitled to a holiday with a normal day’s pay for each of the statutory, general and public holidays as they occur. Where the balance of the employee’s public / bank and statutory holiday entitlement has been exhausted, additional leave taken for public / bank and statutory holidays will be deducted from the employee’s annual leave entitlement.

All employees required to work on extra statutory, bank or public holidays will be remunerated in
accordance with Part 3, paragraph 2 of the National Joint Council for Local Government Services
National Agreement on Pay and Conditions of Service.

The leave year commences on 1 April. If an employee starts part way through the annual leave
year, the employee will receive annual leave entitlement on a pro rata basis, calculated on the
number of days remaining in the current leave year from the first day of employment.

Sick leave

This scheme is intended to supplement Statutory Sick Pay and Incapacity Benefit so as to maintain normal pay during defined periods of absence on account of sickness, disease, accident or assault. Absence in respect of normal sickness is entirely separate from absence through industrial disease, accident or assault arising out of or in the course of employment with a local authority. Periods of absence in respect of one shall not be set off against the other for the purpose of calculating entitlements under the scheme. Employees are entitled to receive sick pay for the following periods:

Duration of service Sick pay entitlement
During first year of service

one month’s full pay and (after completing four months service) two months half pay

During second year of service two months’ full pay, and two months’ half pay
During third year of service four months’ full pay, and four months’ half pay
During fourth and fifth years of service five months’ full pay, and five months’ half pay
After five years’ service six months’ full pay, and six months’ half pay

Superannuation

The person appointed will automatically become a member of the Local Government Pension
Scheme (Northern Ireland) LGPS (NI) in line with scheme regulations. He or she may opt out of
the scheme. However, the council is required to comply with automatic enrolment provisions and
will automatically enrol the person appointed at certain times. The LGPS (NI) is administered by
Northern Ireland Local Government Officers’ Superannuation Committee (NILGOSC) (www.nilgosc.org.uk).

Car user

This job may require the post-holder to visit and carry out council duties in areas and locations
across the city as and when required. If required to travel for official Council business, the postholder
will be reimbursed at the appropriate mileage rate.

Canvassing

Canvassing in any form, oral or written, direct or indirect, will disqualify an applicant for
appointment. Candidates can, however, contact the relevant department for further information
about the post. The person from the relevant department who provides further information should
not be a member of the selection panel.

Notice

The minimum period of notice to be given by an employee shall normally be the ordinary period
from one payment of salary or wages to the next.

Belfast City Council may terminate an employee's employment with the council by giving the
following period of notice:

Continuous service Period of notice
One month or more but less than two years Not less than one week
Two years or more but less than twelve years Not less than one week for each year of continuous service
12 years or more Not less than 12 weeks

It is usual to give one week’s notice to terminate this temporary cover post arrangement. Your statutory notice periods which relate to your substantive post with the council remain unchanged.

Probationary period

The person appointed may be required to complete a six month probationary period, if this is a requirement of the relevant department, and during this time one week’s notice will be given by the council to terminate employment.

Interview expenses

Reimbursement of interview expenses is not available.

Receipt of applications

Completed applications must be emailed to jobs@belfastcity.gov.uk by 4pm on Monday, 8 March
2021.

Please note, as part of our COVID HR Service Recovery Plan, we are unable to issue or receive
any hard copy application forms, either by post or hand-delivered, at this time.

Please note that it is the candidate’s responsibility to ensure that his or her application form is submitted and received in the Human Resources Section via jobs@belfastcity.gov.uk by this closing date and time. Application forms returned electronically must be submitted as an email attachment. Due to the council’s Computer Use Policy and security protocols, storage services such as SkyDrive are not accessible. Applications submitted as a link to a storage service will not be accepted. No late application forms will be considered. No application forms, or supporting information in respect of an already submitted application form, will be considered after this date and time. Applications will not be accepted by fax.

Short-listing and interview date

It is envisaged that short-listing for this post will take place on Friday, 12 March 2021. Whilst no specific testing or assessment arrangements are anticipated for this post, depending on the volume of applicants, the council reserves the right to include these mechanisms as part of the selection process. It is also envisaged that interviews will be held on Thursday, 24 March or Friday 25 March 2021 and will be held via MS Teams.

The council will make all reasonable efforts to accommodate applicants who are unavailable on the specified interview date but it is under no obligation to do so.

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