Public Weather Service Customer Group (PWSCG), Independent Member

Body: Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS)
Appointing Department: Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Sectors: Business, Finance & Skills, Culture, Media & Sport, Environment, Food & Rural Affairs, Science & Technology
Location: The office holder will be expected to attend meetings across the UK in order to engage with the Devolved Administrations. Other routine meetings of the PWSCG are usually held in London or at Met Office HQ in Exeter.
Skills required: Business / Commercial, Communication / Media / Marketing, Major Projects
Number of Vacancies: 1
Remuneration: The office holder will receive an honorarium of £10,500 per annum. Reasonable expenses incurred while carrying out the role will be reimbursed.
Time Requirements: 27 days per year

This is not a ministerial appointment.

Campaign Timeline

  • Competition Launched

    17/07/2020

  • Closed for Applications

    16/08/2020

  • Panel Sift

    17/08/2020

  • Announcement

    TBC

  • Final Interview Date

    07/09/2020

 

Assessment Panel

Vacancy Description

The weather affects almost all aspects of our lives in the UK, and it is the job of the Met Office, as the UK’s National Met Service to provide a Public Weather Service (PWS). As well as providing services for Government, the responder community and sectors such as aviation, the PWS is there to serve the needs of all citizens of the UK.

We are looking to recruit the next Independent Member to be part of the team whose role is to ensure the outputs of the PWS meet the needs of all the users of PWS services. The Independent Member has a prominent role in the Public Weather Service Customer Group (PWSCG) which is the independent body that ensures delivery of the PWS to meet the needs of users. The main responsibility of the Independent Member is to represent the interests of the general public within this group.

The purpose of the PWS is to help protect lives, property and infrastructure from the impacts of severe weather and through the exploitation of weather information and services contribute to economic growth in the UK.

The PWSCG is the body which acts as the customer for the PWS on behalf of the public and the public sector. It is independent of Government and has an Independent Chair who is responsible to a Minister.

The Members of the PWSCG are drawn from the emergency services; local and national government and a number of other agencies such as the Civil Aviation Authority and the Maritime and Coastguard Agency. The role of the PWSCG is to define the outputs required from the Met Office and to hold them to account for delivering to a satisfactory level. Funding of the PWSCG is currently approximately £115m per annum, of which circa £95m is paid by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

The Independent Member role is crucial to ensure the voice of UK citizens is fully represented in shaping the public weather service. The individual is independent of both the sponsoring department (BEIS) and the Met Office. The post holder is required to have a good understanding of the mechanisms that can be used to gain insight into the requirements of the public. This will include an awareness and knowledge of the various communication channels used by the PWS including social, digital and traditional mainstream media. The appointed post holder will also be required to effectively engage with all public consultation and market research activities carried out by the Met Office under the instruction of the PWSCG.

It is the responsibility of the Independent Member to provide a voice and represent the interests of the 66 million citizens in the UK! The role requires an individual to ask the probing questions and provide constructive challenge to the Met Office to ensure that the services they are delivering meet the needs of the users of those services. In addition to the main PWSCG, the appointee acts as the main interface between the PWSCG and the Broadcaster community due to the importance of the media in facilitating the ‘reach’ of the PWS outputs and messaging to the general public. The Independent Member currently Chairs the Media and Reach sub-Group (MARG) which provides a specific fora for engagement with TV and Radio broadcasters!

The activities undertaken in the role are likely to include:

  • Representing the interests of the general public at PWSCG meetings
  • Assessing the performance of the Met Office in delivering the PWS as set out in the Customer Supplier Agreement against a specific set of outputs and metrics
  • Acting as the lead on the engagement with Broadcasters, including chairing the MARG
  • Playing an active role to help craft and define the scope of the next Customer Supplier Agreement
  • Provide scrutiny and constructive challenge to both BEIS as the secretariat of the PWCSG, and to the Met Office in delivering the PWS
  • Drawing on experience and expertise to assist the PWSCG in preparations for Spending Review events

The role will require a dedication of approximately 2 to 3 days per month, with a significant proportion of the work being carried out remotely by correspondence. The PWSCG meets three times a year at a UK level and also holds a meeting in each of the Devolved Administrations. As well as these core meetings, the Independent Member will also be involved in more specific areas of work including sub-groups of the main PWSCG such as the PWS Assurance Group (PAG) and the lead role on the Media and Reach sub-Group (MARG). The post-holder will be expected to deputise for the Chair of the PWSCG when required.

The Public Weather Service Customer Group (PWSCG) represents the public and the emergency responders, and act on their behalf in order to ensure that the free at the point of access services delivered by the Met Office as part of the Public Weather Service (PWS) are delivering best value for money. The members of the PWSCG are drawn from the emergency services, local and national government, a representative of the general public (the Independent Member) and a number of other agencies such as the Civil Aviation Authority and the Maritime and Coastguard Agency. The role of the PWSCG is to define the outputs required from the Met Office and to hold them to account for delivering to a satisfactory level. The funding of the PWS is currently at the level of around £115M per annum, of which £95M is paid by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

The Independent Member is the only member of the Customer Group who has a dedicated role to represent the general public and acts to ensure that their needs and requirements are well understood and are considered appropriately during the work of the PWSCG. The Independent Member also deputises for the Chair of the PWSCG as required.

The Public Weather Service is a long-term contract funded and managed by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and delivered by the Met Office to provide:

  1. free at the point of use weather forecasts and severe weather warnings for the UK public, including the general public and the resilience community to allow them to make informed decisions to plan their day-to-day and longer term activities;
  2. support for research and development activities to deliver improvements to the weather forecast and warning services;
  3. underpinning UK infrastructure, science and expertise needed to produce and communicate weather forecasts, nationally and internationally – the National Capability.
  4. international commitments on behalf of UK Government and provide underpinning data for stakeholders.
  5. weather data for re-use by others to drive market creation and innovation supporting the wider weather and climate market.

 

Person Specification

Essential

  • The ability to analyse and understand the needs of the general public and to consolidate and communicate these into the PWSCG.
  • A proven track record of consensus-building at senior level
  • The ability to gain the trust of stakeholders at all levels and to deal with complex discussions with diplomacy
  • Excellent communication, influencing and negotiation skills with the ability to cut through complexity to provide clear advice in respect of customer needs.

Desirable

  • An understanding of meteorology and knowledge of the role of the Public Weather Service
  • Experience of corporate governance in either the public or private sector and an understanding of public sector accountabilities.
  • The ability to manage the delivery of complex outputs, ideally in the context of science and technology.
  • Experience or knowledge of the workings of the broadcast and media sectors and in particular communications and messaging to the general public.

How to Apply

To apply for this post please:

  • Complete the Application Form by clicking here.
  • Please write a supporting statement of no more than 1250 words, on the subject: ‘What do you think would improve the public weather service for UK citizens?’ demonstrating how your skills, knowledge, experience and expertise make you the ideal candidate for the role.
  • Submit your CV and supporting statement to Paul Riches, Head of Public Weather Service and Met Office Sponsorship Secretariats, at paul.riches@beis.gov.uk. Please ensure that you include “Organisation, Role” in the subject box.

Alternatively, if you would like this form in a Microsoft Word document or physical copy, or have any further queries about the application process, please email Paul Riches at paul.riches@beis.gov.uk

The interviews will be held online through MS Teams or in person in London if restrictions permit.

This post is NOT regulated by The Commissioner for Public Appointments.

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