Associate Commercial Specialist 24 views

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Building a strong Commercial Function in Government, and with it the right commercial capability, is at the heart of a far-reaching programme of Civil Service reform.

We are building a cadre of commercial talent in all Government departments; people who can manage our commercial portfolios, who can lead our most complex and novel programmes and projects, people who have the gravitas and depth of experience to work alongside our policy and operational leaders to develop innovative commercial arrangements, whether through joint ventures, outsourcing or best-in-class contracts.

The Government Commercial Organisation is an employer which is truly committed to creating a welcoming, inclusive workplace where all our people are able to bring their whole selves to work and are able to perform to their potential. We understand the importance of diversity and inclusion and strive for a workplace that reflects the communities which we serve. We especially welcome applications from underrepresented groups including Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) candidates, candidates with a disability and candidates with gender-diverse identities. Appointments will be made on merit on the basis of fair and open competition.

We have already made significant progress through the establishment of the Government Commercial Organisation (GCO), our single employer of senior commercial talent across government. This role will sit within the GCO, but based in our Test & Trace commercial team delivering departmental objectives.”

Job description

NHS Test and Trace’s Commercial team have a number of opportunities across the organisation to support the delivery of Commercial and Procurement activity. As there are a number of roles, the responsibilities will be required over these positions. An individual is not expected to have experience of all the areas, but must have experience of the essential criteria.


Pre-Sourcing & Sourcing:

  • Responsible for establishing and maintaining a category management structure within the NHS Test and Trace Commercial Function. This covers the totality of the procurement life-cycle, and will result in best-in-class procurement and contract management processes based upon the candidate’s deep commercial and category expertise.
  • Provide specialist category expertise to enable delivery of creative and innovative market leading commercial solutions.
  • Own development and delivery of the commercial category strategy including planning, governance and performance management. Perform procurement reporting and analysis of management information to identify improvement opportunities.
  • Support and input into a progressive commercial strategy for the specification, procurement and management of all contracted and outsourced activity.
  • Ensure agreed category cost savings, efficiencies and value add targets are delivered.
  • Support the management of the investment approval processes for NHS Test and Trace.
  • Responsible for cascading guidance and direction on commercial principles and good practice and ensuring the correct application of commercial rules and principles apply when delivering NHS Test and Trace business.
  • Ensure business continuity and that robust contingencies are in place for critical delivery.
  • Lead and support the development of key documentation including business cases and tender documentation.
  • Negotiate Commercial Agreements with third parties, coordinating interfaces and integrating across contracts and suppliers.
  • Lead the development and creation of contracts.
  • Take overall responsibility for the performance of suppliers and manage underperformance to resolution. This includes leading mediation and dispute resolution.
  • Lead transition management, exit strategy and contract renegotiations including driving value from the use of performance metrics and success criteria.

Contract Management:

  • Deliver and embed Test & Trace Contract Management processes and procedures, in line with the Government Commercial Organisation (GCO) Standards.
  • Lead or support or create opportunities to improve performance and value across all classified contracts.
  • Managing aspects of the delivery of the Test & Trace Commercial contract management including contract performance management, contract variation and amendments, and ensuring contracts deliver against scope.
  • Manage Contract negotiations and renewals.
  • Manage Contract disputes and issues and liaise with Legal Team.
  • Develop and manage deep knowledge of Commercial contracts, ensuring they are up to date and compliant.
  • Develop and maintain expert knowledge of respective supplier markets and understand how their categories are evolving in the market to provide expert advice on relevant regulation and compliance issues.
  • Deliver and embed robust Supplier Relationship Management processes and procedures, in line with GCO Standards.

Process, Policy and Risk Management:

  • Manage Commercial contribution to all Change Requests and Project Requests.
  • Maintain comprehensive audit trails and justifications for price control.
  • Be responsible for implementing and maintaining adherence to the department’s risk management framework.
  • Oversee risk register to ensure risk owners across all levels of the department manage risks and put relevant controls in.
  • Engage with staff at all levels as appropriate to ensure that risk management remains visible, accessible, proportionate and relevant to all those involved in decision-making.
  • Lead on continuous improvement activity, supporting the design and implementation of new policies and procedures in line with Commercial best practice.
  • Ensure that effective financial management arrangements are in place for all contracts. This includes financial monitoring, budgetary controls, approving invoices and generally establishing financial control arrangements which provide absolute assurance that the financial terms of the contract are met including responsibility for any adjustments or deductions as applicable.


  • Develop strong strategic relationships with a range of internal and external stakeholders to maximise opportunities to collaborate, achieve efficiencies, improve capability and promote the procurement profession.
  • Lead or support the development or create opportunities to improve commercial leverage and drive best practice across all categories.
  • Provide consistent and clear commercial advice and guidance to internal and external stakeholders and be a key point of contact to the department.
  • Ensure the Department is compliant with all relevant Government, EU and Departmental policies, regulations and legislation.
  • Comply with Civil Service policies and procedures; this includes ensuring that responses to Freedom of Information Requests and Parliamentary Questions are handled robustly and accurately.
  • Develop a commercially focused culture within the team and work to develop relationships with key stakeholders to improve commercial understanding across the business.
  • Proactively support the professional development of all team members, taking responsibility for the ongoing performance and development of staff and performance of the team as a whole.
  • Create an environment that enables empowerment and support of the team.
  • Work collaboratively to deliver the team’s vision and objectives.
  • Provide leadership direction, standards and advice to the wider Commercial department, contributing to the culture of meeting the highest commercial standards and continuous learning and improvement.

Technical skills

We’ll assess you against these technical skills during the selection process:

  • Procurement Process: Managing contracts successfully in a fast-paced, changing environment, keeping ahead of market factors and dependencies to ensure successful outcomes are delivered, demonstrating strategic thinking, flexibility & risk management
  • Manages Complexity – Experience of managing very large contracts with complex commercial structures to ensure value for money is achieved
  • Builds Relationships: The ability to operate and build strong, productive relationships at all levels and with a variety of stakeholders with different backgrounds, perspectives and drivers
  • Commercial Focus: Experience of delivery across the full commercial lifecycle including knowledge and understanding of commercial policies and their practical application as well as the ability to implement the latest commercial methodologies.
  • Coaching Manager: Evidence of leading teams in large-scale complex organisations with a track record of successfully building commercial capability

Closing Date: 28th February 2021

More Information

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