Commercial Manager – Programmes 15 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 DfE commercial team delivering departmental objectives.

Job description

You will be accountable for all procurement activity within your team, ensuring compliance with governance policy and processes. You will have personal involvement with strategic suppliers, ensuring a robust approach to relationship management. As a highly visible commercial leader, you will build strong and trusted relationships with stakeholders at all levels across your category area.

You will work closely with senior commercial colleagues to deliver an end-to-end category model and to support continuous improvement throughout the commercial function. This is a challenging and exciting leadership role with a high degree of accountability.


  • Leading a category focused team and managing the full lifecycle of large, complex contracts and grants – existing and new, the experience of which you may have gained within the voluntary and charitable sector;
  • Ensuring savings targets are identified, tracked and delivered; creating initiatives for your team to deliver increasing efficiencies whilst maintaining high performance and managing risk;
  • Supporting, challenging and guiding senior stakeholders (internal and external); providing high-quality support to Ministers, Commercial senior leadership, and other DfE stakeholders;
  • Ensuring the team is creating positive supplier relationships, developing markets, encouraging innovation, “value add” initiatives, a strong customer service ethic, and a culture of continuous improvement;
  • Representing the Commercial Directorate at senior meetings across DfE and externally at industry events, actively networking with peers to remain current with industry trends and commercial best practice;
  • Be central to the development of a category strategy that will deliver the best commercial outcomes, underpinning the delivery of DfE objectives.

Technical skills

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

  • Manages Complexity – Evidence of leading teams at a strategic level in large-scale complex organisations, leading and delivering transformational change;
  • Decisive – Evidence of the successful design and delivery of holistic end-to end strategic category plans and commercial strategies;
  • Commercial Focus – Evidence of the delivery of successful commercial outcomes in managing public money and commercial best practice;
  • Builds Relationships – Ability to gain the respect of senior stakeholders at all levels with strong influencing skills in a complex commercial environment;
  • Coaching Manager – Evidence of leading teams in large-scale complex organisations with a track record of successfully building commercial capability;
  • Procurement Process – Significant procurement and commercial experience ideally delivering contracts.

Closing Date: 29th April 2021 

More Information

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