Volteface is an advocacy organisation which seeks to reduce the harm drugs pose to individuals and society, through evidence-based policy and reform.
The Senior Policy Advisor has responsibility for the analysis, development and communication of policy on drugs, in order to influence the external policy environment and public policy agenda.
Key roles and responsibilities
- Working closely with the Director of Policy and Volteface colleagues to achieve policy change.
- Managing internal and external relationships, including at senior level, throughout the UK and internationally.
- Communicating Volteface policy positions widely, both internally and externally, including to the public sector and media.
- Writing and managing the production of policy papers, including speeches, briefings, submissions, literature reviews and major reports.
- Commissioning and managing policy projects as required.
- Providing expert advice to the Director of Policy and Volteface colleagues on key policy areas.
- Developing, coaching and line managing staff.
Main accountabilities of the post:
- Identify, monitor and evaluate policy trends in drug policy.
- Under the guidance of the Director of Policy, initiate and formulate policy responses, and develop information resources to drive forward Volteface’s strategic aims.
- Under the guidance of Director of Policy, develop work programmes and undertake projects that explore and research policy issues, drawing on quantitative and qualitative data collation and analysis.
- Explain and promote Volteface’s policy positions to a range of audiences by:
- Providing briefings and presentations to stakeholders (including the media)
- Writing submissions to government and other decision makers
- Publishing policy position papers, blogs and reports
- Writing speeches for senior staff
- Giving speeches and presentations
- Developing and maintaining contacts with voluntary organisations; policy institutes; civil servants; government; politicians; media.
- Engaging with key stakeholders through social media, e-newsletters and by organising workshops and other events.
- Acting as an ambassador for Volteface, representing the organisation at external functions and events.
- Supporting Volteface colleagues with event organisation and facilitation, where required.
- Supporting Volteface colleagues with social media, where required.
- Contribute to the development of work programmes and ongoing and annual monitoring and evaluation of team achievements through the annual planning and reporting processes.
- Attend Volteface team meetings, supervision and internal meetings relevant to the role.
Experience and skills
- Educated to degree level or equivalent demonstrable experience.
Strong understanding and knowledge of public policy issues, political institutions and the process of government.
- Substantive knowledge on drug policy, with a particular focus on regulation.
- Excellent critical and analytical skills including researching information from a range of sources, interpreting and analysing complex and technical information to inform policy.
- Excellent qualitative and quantitative research skills, particularly: conducting interviews and focus focus groups; content analysis; statistical analysis.
- Excellent communication skills, both written and oral – including communicating diplomatically with a range of interests and presenting complex information to a range of audiences.
- Draft and edit high quality written policy products.
- Excellent project management skills, including developing and managing projects.
- Work on own initiative and as part of a team.
- Able to work to tight deadlines and work efficiently under pressure.
- High degree of accuracy and attention to detail.
- Ability to work within a dynamic team in a fast moving environment.
- Ability to work flexibly to meet the needs of the organisation.
- Strong keyboard skills and high degree of computer literacy.
- Significant experience of policy analysis and development at a national level and in complex policy areas, with demonstrable production of high-quality written work that has influenced policy outcomes and/or public opinion.
- Experience of initiating, developing and managing own projects.
- Experience of working with government to inform and influence policy and/or legislative development.
- Experience in presenting and explaining complex policy issues to external audiences, including media.
- Track record of communicating confidently and concisely, with a diversity of audiences including at senior level.
- Experience in managing relationships with a range of stakeholders, both internally and externally, including at senior level.
- Track record of being responsive to change and adapting quickly to develop new options and ideas as circumstances change.
Additional useful information
Starting salary is GBP36,000 per year with annual increments.
Benefits for Volteface employees: Volteface offers attractive benefits including 25 days annual leave, flexible working, cycle to work scheme, generous contributions to a stakeholder pension scheme and training and development opportunities.