Assistant Private Secretary in Department for International Trade (DIT) 2022 at Darlington,England,UnitedKingdom

Website Department for International Trade (DIT)

This Job Listing is about Department for International Trade (DIT) in Darlington,England,UnitedKingdom 2022

About the job


Darlington, Edinburgh, London

Job Summary

About the job

We are looking for a high performing candidate to join the Services and Skills Private Office and Strategy & Operations team, as Assistant Private Secretary to the Director.

Services and Skills are vital to the UK economy. The Services and Skills Directorate – covering Creative Industries; Digital Commerce; Education; Finance, Professional and Business Services; Retail and Consumer; Sports Economy – contribute 50% of all exports and are enablers and catalysts to trade around the world. Not only are we global leaders in these sectors, but they are amongst the fastest growing sectors of the UK economy. They represent some of the most advanced technologies and innovations coming into the global marketplace.  

The Private Office and Strategy and Operations team supports the Director and Deputy Director, and the wider Senior Leadership Team (SLT), to manage and deliver their priorities.

The successful candidate will support the Director as Assistant Private Secretary. They will represent SLT’s priorities to the Services and Skills Directorate (SSD), ensuring business is delivered in a timely and effective way , and drive join-up amongst teams by recognising connections and being aware of the full range of SSD business. They will maintain oversight of Directorate knowledge management, regularly update core Directorate knowledge products, and provide secretariat to senior meetings as required.

This role is a great opportunity for a candidate seeking exposure to senior leadership and decision-making, with strong organisational skills and a personable, collaborative, can-do approach. The role will provide wide-ranging connections, insight into leadership and management, and exposure to one of the most exciting and important business areas in DIT.

Job Description

  • Managing and organising the day-to-day logistics of the Director’s diary and international travel, including meetings and briefings.
  • Organising and delivering high quality, efficient and effective support services that meet the Director’s and the Directorate’s business objectives.
  • At times you will be required to deal with sensitive issues – you will act with diplomacy and maintain confidentiality at all times.
  • Act as the Secretariat for SLT meetings.
  • Take responsibility for commissioning work and actions on behalf of the Director for upcoming meetings to timescales that allow for successful delivery.
  • Keep informed, through discussion with Directors and others, of live and forthcoming issues so that you can spot linkages between activities and plan activities in the diary effectively.
  • Support the Strategy and Operations Team’s delivery against business objectives.
  • Produce effective written communications for a range of stakeholders.
  • Building strong working relationships with key internal contacts and external stakeholders.
  • Being key player of the Business Support Team and taking on team support for other corporate responsibilities when necessary.
  • Ensure that any commissions and requests which come into the Director’s inbox get to the relevant lead as quickly as possible.
  • Leading on general queries which come in from the business.

Hybrid Working

The role will be based in either London, Darlington or Edinburgh. You will be asked to express a location preference during the application process.

Please be aware that this role can only be worked from within the UK and not overseas.

Informal hybrid working arrangements will be available as agreed with the vacancy manager and in line with the requirements of the role.

Appointments will be made to candidates in merit order based on location preferences.

Most DIT employees will be working a hybrid pattern, spending 2-3 days a week (pro rata) in an office, on average. If your office location is London, you will be eligible to receive London weighting.

Support in applying for our vacancies is available by joining a virtual Candidate Support Session . These sessions include helpful tips and advice on the recruitment process, from application to interview.

Person specification

Essential Criteria

  • Have the ability to plan, organise and work well under pressure – managing conflicting demands effectively.
  • Have effective and confident communication skills – an ability to liaise with staff at all levels effectively and communicate with clarity and confidence.
  • Have the ability to learn quickly and work autonomously and within a team – exercising sound judgement and taking the initiative, at times self-teach and prioritise to ensure smooth running of the private office.
  • Ability to think creatively to get to the heart of a problem and propose practical solutions which meet a range of requirements.
  • Have an ability and willingness to work flexibly across all areas of the Department as required, supporting, and collaborating with colleagues on various issues and a broad range of tasks, as well as being able to operate independently and lead on some areas of work.
  • Have an ability to use sound judgement and examine information in order to provide advice to stakeholders.

Desirable Criteria

  • Understanding of the role of a Private Office.
  • Experience working with diaries and inboxes; including the management and cascading of information to relevant parties in a timely manner.

Personal Attributes & Skills

  • You will work collaboratively, quickly building successful and influential relationships with colleagues in the business.
  • You will be confident in working with senior stakeholders and support them in a considered and professional manner.
  • You will get things done, demonstrating excellent prioritisation skills and a business-minded approach to completing outcomes and learning from delivery.
  • You will communicate effectively to inspire colleagues and stakeholders to achieve desired outcomes.


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

  • Delivering at Pace
  • Managing a Quality Service
  • Working Together


  • Learning and development tailored to your role
  • An environment with flexible working options
  • A culture encouraging inclusion and diversity
  • A Civil Service pension with an average employer contribution of 27%

Things you need to know

Selection process details

This vacancy is using Success Profiles , and will assess your Behaviours, Strengths and Experience.

We are closely monitoring the situation regarding the coronavirus, and will be following central Government advice as it is issued. There is therefore a risk that recruitment to this post may be subject to change at short notice. In addition, where appropriate, you may be invited to attend a video interview.

Please continue to follow the application process as normal and ensure that you check your emails regularly as all updates from us will be sent to you this way.

Sift will take place week commencing 22/11/2022.

Interviews will take place week commencing 05/12/2022.

As part of the application process, you will be asked to complete a CV and Personal Statement. Further details around what this will entail are listed on the application form.

Please align your CV with previous skills and experience. Maximum of 2 A4 pages.

In your personal statement, please explain your motivations for applying for the role, and the strengths, skills and experience you would bring if successful. Maximum word count of 500 words.

In the event that there is a high volume of applications, a short sift will be conducted based on Personal Statement Only. Candidates who pass the initial sift may be progressed to a full sift, or progressed straight to assessment/interview.

If successful and transferring from another Government Department a criminal record check may be carried out.

In order to process applications without delay, we will be sending a Criminal Record Check to Disclosure and Barring Service /Disclosure Scotland on your behalf.

However, we recognise in exceptional circumstances some candidates will want to send their completed forms direct. If you will be doing this, please advise Government Recruitment Service of your intention by emailing [email protected] stating the job reference number in the subject heading.

For further information on the Disclosure Scotland confidential checking service telephone: The Disclosure Scotland Helpline on 0870 609 6006 and ask to speak to the operations manager in confidence, or email [email protected]

New entrants are expected to join on the minimum of the pay band.

Applicants who are successful at interview will be, as part of pre-employment screening, subject to a check on the Internal Fraud Database (IFD). This check will provide information about employees who have been dismissed for fraud or dishonesty offences. This check also applies to employees who resign or otherwise leave before being dismissed for fraud or dishonesty had their employment continued. Any applicant’s details held on the IFD will be refused employment.

A candidate is not eligible to apply for a role within the Civil Service if the application is made within a 5-year period following a dismissal for carrying out internal fraud against government.

Please note – the successful candidate will be expected to remain in post for a minimum of 18 months before being released for another role.

The Department for International Trade embraces and values diversity in all forms. We welcome and pride ourselves on the positive impact diversity has on the work we do, and we promote equality of opportunity throughout the organisation.

Please note – harmonised terms and conditions are attached. Please take time to read the document to determine how these may affect you.

Further Information

A reserve list may be held for a period of 12 months from which further appointments can be made.

Any move to the Department for International Trade from another employer will mean you can no longer access childcare vouchers. This includes moves between government departments. You may however be eligible for other government schemes, including Tax Free Childcare. Determine your eligibility at

Reasonable Adjustment

If a person with disabilities is put at a substantial disadvantage compared to a non-disabled person, we have a duty to make reasonable changes to our processes.

If you need a change to be made so that you can make your application, you should:

  • Contact Government Recruitment Service via [email protected] as soon as possible before the closing date to discuss your needs
  • Complete the “Assistance required” section in the “Additional requirements” page of your application form to tell us what changes or help you might need further on in the recruitment process. For instance, you may need wheelchair access at an interview, or if you’re deaf, a Language Service Professional

If you are experiencing accessibility problems with any attachments on this advert, please contact the email address in the ‘Contact point for applicants’ section.

Vetting Requirements

All security clearances require you to provide evidence of your UK footprint where you have been physically present in the UK.

The requirement for SC clearance is to have been present in the UK for at least 3 of the last 5 years.

Failure to meet the residency requirements will result in your security clearance application being rejected.

If you require SC clearance you will need to provide evidence of the below requirements.

Checks will be made against:

  • Departmental or company records (personnel files, staff reports, sick leave reports and security records)
  • UK criminal records covering both spent and unspent criminal records
  • Your credit and financial history with a credit reference agency
  • Security Services records

Feedback will only be provided if you attend an interview or assessment.


Successful candidates must pass a disclosure and barring security check.

Successful candidates must meet the security requirements before they can be appointed. The level of security needed is security check . See our vetting charter .

People working with government assets must complete basic personnel security standard checks.

Nationality Requirements

This job is broadly open to the following groups:

  • UK nationals
  • nationals of Commonwealth countries who have the right to work in the UK
  • nationals of the Republic of Ireland
  • nationals from the EU, EEA or Switzerland with settled or pre-settled status or who apply for either status by the deadline of the European Union Settlement Scheme (EUSS)
  • relevant EU, EEA, Swiss or Turkish nationals working in the Civil Service
  • relevant EU, EEA, Swiss or Turkish nationals who have built up the right to work in the Civil Service
  • certain family members of the relevant EU, EEA, Swiss or Turkish nationals

Further information on nationality requirements

Working for the Civil Service

The Civil Service Code sets out the standards of behaviour expected of civil servants.

We recruit by merit on the basis of fair and open competition, as outlined in the Civil Service Commission’s recruitment principles .

The Civil Service embraces diversity and promotes equal opportunities. As such, we run a Disability Confident Scheme (DCS) for candidates with disabilities who meet the minimum selection criteria.

The Civil Service also offers a Redeployment Interview Scheme to civil servants who are at risk of redundancy, and who meet the minimum requirements for the advertised vacancy.

Apply and further information

This vacancy is part of the Great Place to Work for Veterans initiative.

The Civil Service welcomes applications from people who have recently left prison or have an unspent conviction. Read more about prison leaver recruitment .

Once this job has closed, the job advert will no longer be available. You may want to save a copy for your records.

Contact point for applicants

Job contact :

Recruitment team :

Further information

Our recruitment process is underpinned by the principle of appointment on the basis of fair and open competition and appointment on merit, as outlined in the Civil Service Commissioners’ Recruitment Principles.

If you feel your application has not been treated in accordance with these principles and you wish to make a complaint, you should in the first instance contact DIT by email: [email protected]

If you are not satisfied with the response you receive, you can contact the Civil Service Commission, which regulates all Civil Service recruitment.

For further information on bringing a complaint to the Civil Service Commission please visit their web pages: Click here to visit Civil Service Commission/Complaints
Company: Department for International Trade (DIT)
Vacancy Type: Full Time
Job Location: Darlington,England,UnitedKingdom
Application Deadline: N/A

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