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Head of Real Estate Policy and Compliance

The Department for Work & Pensions touches every citizen in the country at some time in their life. We are the UK Government’s largest public service provider, providing services and support to over 22 million people and managing Whitehall’s biggest annual budget, totalling over £176 billion. At the same time, we are delivering a once in a generation programme of welfare reform.

DWP Estates is accountable for the delivery of all aspects of real estate services and the work we do is critical in ensuring the vital work that the Department undertakes is enabled effectively. DWP’s commercial estate is the largest within Government and our diverse national property portfolio of circa 1000 buildings reflects this scale. We are accountable for the service delivery of key real estate services, facilities management and project management either directly or through third party supplier partners. Ultimately, the Department relies on us to provide safe and secure buildings that are fit for purpose and meet the needs of the business. The work you will be undertaking is therefore crucial in us meeting the needs of all those who use our services.

As a function, we have undergone major change recently, exiting a 20-year PFI contract and introducing a brand-new operating model to transform the way we deliver to the Department. The Head of Real Estate Policy and Compliance will be a critical member of the Estates Team as we adapt our operating model: changing Integrator supplier and moving a number of functions in-house, doubling the size of the function. Helping us step up the new model, you will also stay abreast of all applicable legislative and policy requirements, making sure we translate these into deliverable solutions for the DWP portfolio, instilling a culture of compliance and providing robust assurance.  

Responsible and accountable for all aspects of compliance and assurance for and on behalf of Estates, this role will drive operational excellence, policy and process management. It will promote and lead a strong Health and Safety culture across the Estates portfolio, as well as drive an innovative and effective approach to energy and sustainability. It will enforce regulations in all aspects and levels of business as well as provide guidance on compliance matters, preserving the Department’s integrity by making sure it stays on a lawful and ethical course.

To be successful in this role you will be an experienced property professional, with a track record of effective leadership in Health, Safety, Security and Environment in a large, complex, customer-facing operating context. Confident overseeing multi-disciplinary Estates strategy, plans and programmes of work, you will be capable of delivering through multi-disciplinary teams and directly employed and supply chain partners. Influential and inclusive, you will need to be confident building relationships internally and externally and at the most senior levels, whilst also being able to provide inspiring leadership to your team.

With such a broad brief, it is unlikely that you will be an expert in all areas of your portfolio – but you will need to demonstrate your ability to work effectively with your subject matter experts, challenging and testing their advice, and translating complex, technical concepts into compelling language that colleagues can understand.

This is a challenging role at the heart of a vibrant and ambitious Estates function. If this excites you, we would love to hear from you.

To find out more and to apply please click the ‘Apply’ button and consult the information pack.

For a confidential conversation about the role, please contact

Closing date for applications: 23:55pm on Monday 20 September 2021.

Head of Real Estate Policy and Compliance

Department for Work & Pensions
Flexible – DWP Hub locations (London, Leeds, Sheffield, Blackpool, Newcastle and Manchester)
Head of
Up to £90,000 per annum, plus pension and benefits

Published on 25 Aug 2021

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