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Senior Procurement Manager (Commercial Business Partner)

Planning Inspectorate
£44,220 - £47,441
Closing date
6 May 2024

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Specialist Area
Job Level
Manager, Senior Executive / Officer
Housing, Public Sector
Contract Type
Full Time
CIPS Membership
CIPS member, Non CIPS member

Job Details

Job Summary

The Commercial Team is a centralised function made up of procurement professionals committed to providing an excellent service. Commercial Business Partners work closely with organisation leads to provide professional commercial advice, ensure delivery of our business and strategic plans, understand local challenges and agree practical and effective commercial solutions. They are supported by Procurement Managers and a Procurement Apprentice. 

Our team has a positive reputation and strong relationships with colleagues. Our internal customers are at the heart of what we do and when coupled with our expertise and passion, we achieve great things together for the organisation and our external customers, the general public. 

The work of the Commercial Business Partner 

Our procurement spend is circa £20m per annum which, whilst modest in comparison to larger organisations, presents an excellent opportunity for you to undertake the full range of procurement activity for our more complex requirements and be involved at the heart of decision making. All 3rd party spend flows through us and contracts are managed outside of the team, with support from us. 

Each Commercial Business Partner is responsible for a directorate who they partner with. There will be a portfolio of existing contracts and upcoming procurements across numerous categories of spend. A typical week would include:

  • Meeting with business area leads, developing/nurturing relationships and providing commercial expertise.
  • Developing and maintaining a pipeline of upcoming procurement requirements to ensure a proactive approach, identifying innovative solutions and creative solutions to challenges. 
  • Providing support on contract management, advising on contractual disputes and remedies or negotiating contract variations with suppliers. 
  • Leading on the design of critical end-to-end procurement projects and overseeing the delivery of a range of projects carried out by Procurement Managers. 
  • Analysing commercial data to make informed judgements and bring about improvements, including delivering savings to ensure value for money.
  • Owning and managing risks and issues. 

The Planning Inspectorate has a long and proud history in ensuring a fair planning system for England. The work we do has a significant impact on people’s lives, the communities where they live and the economy.

We want our colleagues to be able to work more flexibly and more collaboratively, exploring new and innovative ways to improve the way we provide services. 

For further information on the Planning Inspectorate, see the information pack attached. 

Job Description

The Planning Inspectorate’s Commercial Team is responsible for all procurement for the organisation. Working in partnership with internal stakeholders and our supply chains, we ensure that we have the goods and services needed to deliver our strategic priorities and business plan.  

A typical week would involve meeting with business areas, developing and nurturing relationships, discussing upcoming commercial requirements to ensure a proactive approach to the development of a pipeline of upcoming procurements and ensuring best practice.  

You could be providing support on contract management, advising on contractual disputes and remedies or negotiating contract variations with suppliers.   

Your day to day activities will include leading on the design of end-to-end procurement projects and supporting the delivery of a range of projects carried out by Procurement Managers.   

You will also analyse commercial data to make informed judgements and bring about improvements, including delivering savings to ensure value for money for the taxpayer.  

Learning opportunities 

If you are looking to continue CIPS or other relevant studies, we will cover your costs and provide paid time off for study and exams.  You will be in a role where you will apply the practical applications of what you’re learning and you will be supported to help you succeed.  

  • Are you an experienced and enthusiastic commercial professional who strives for the best commercial outcomes and has passion to succeed?
  • Do you like communicating and developing effective relationships?
  • Are you proactive and focussed? 

If the answer to any or all these questions is yes, we would love to hear from you.  

For full information on the role and assessment process please refer to the candidate pack attached. 

Office Attendance 

All of our office-based roles are contractually located at Temple Quay House in Bristol. We encourage office attendance to foster collaboration, conversation, group creativity and employee wellbeing. You will be expected to attend Temple Quay House at least 12 times a year. Depending on your role, you may be required to attend more often than 12 times a year either permanently or temporarily to ensure we deliver our services in the most efficient and effective way for our customers. If you would like to discuss our Office Attendance in more detail, please contact  


Essential Criteria  

  • Experience of working within a regulated procurement team with responsibility for procurement and delivery of supplier relationship management for business critical and complex contracts.
  • Strong procurement and supplier relationship management skills, with the ability to understand, manage and communicate complex commercial consideration.
  • Strong commercial appraisal skills, with detailed knowledge of EU/UK procurement regulations.
  • Awareness of the political landscape and knowledge of current (significant) cross government frameworks.
  • Making effective decisions from analysing financial and non-financial information and identifying key risk and options and then making recommendations to senior colleagues.
  • Highly developed written and oral communication skills; excellent requirement and tender writing skills.
  • Ability to think strategically and understand impact of commercial considerations on the Inspectorate’s finances, resources and risks.
  • An ability to communicate, influence and operate commercial decisions clearly and effectively at all levels, including at Board level. 
  • Ability to anticipate, initiate and to manage change, appreciating wider impacts across the business.
  • At least qualified to Level 4 in Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply with a commitment to become a full member through supported training and learning within agreed timescales upon appointment . 
  • Experience of working in a customer focussed environment and/or knowledge of customer needs and insight.
  • Experience of negotiating. 

Desirable Criteria  

  • Experience of procuring digital service contracts used in agile project delivery, preferably through the Digital Marketplace.  
  • Knowledge of the digital marketplace.  
  • Experience of working with Inter-Governmental Service Level Agreements.
  • Understanding of IR35 Off Payroll working regulations.
  • Knowledge of the UK planning system and Inspectorates’ role, structure and operations.


At least qualified to Level 4 in Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply with a commitment to become a full member through supported training and learning within agreed timescales upon appointment.


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

  • Communicating and Influencing
  • Making Effective Decisions
  • Leadership
  • Working Together


Alongside your salary of £44,220, Planning Inspectorate contributes £11,984 towards you being a member of the Civil Service Defined Benefit Pension scheme. Find out what benefits a Civil Service Pension provides.

  • Flexible working options, including flexi-time, part-time, compressed hours and home working if suitable for the role.
  • A working culture which encourages inclusion and diversity.
  • 25 days annual leave increasing by 1 day per year up to 30 days after 5 years, plus 1 privilege day to mark the King’s birthday. In addition to the normal bank holidays.
  • Generous family friendly policies.
  • Fast and modern IT kit which utilises Windows 10 and Microsoft 365, enabling seamless working from home and collaboration across teams. 

For full information see our Benefits information pack. 


Selection process details

This vacancy is using Success Profiles (opens in a new window), and will assess your Behaviours, Strengths and Experience.


Complete the online application form on Civil Service Jobs which requires the following information: 

  • A CV: The CV section is an opportunity for you to detail your career history. It should outline the jobs you have done, the length of time you were employed within each role and a brief description of your role, responsibilities and duties which demonstrate relevance to the role you are applying for against the essential criteria. You must type, or ‘copy and paste’ into the text box called ‘Employment History’ within the online application. You cannot attach a copy of your CV.
  • A Personal Statement (750 words max): The personal statement allows you to outline your suitability for the role in more depth, expanding on your CV evidence. It is an opportunity for you to provide evidence against the essential criteria listed within the candidate pack on the Person Specification page and link your answers to the listed Success Profile elements we are also assessing against. 

We will assess your application on the evidence you have provided against the Essential Criteria and Success Profile elements detailed in the Person Specification in the candidate pack. 

In the event of a large number of applications, a lead sift may take place.  The following point will be used as the lead criteria when shortlisting if this happens, and if you do not meet the minimum standard the rest of your application will not be assessed. 

  • Experience of working within a procurement/commercial team working with others to deliver successful commercial/procurement outcomes 

All shortlisted candidates will be advised of the outcome shortly afterwards. 


If you are shortlisted, you will:

  • Be asked to attend an interview to have a more in-depth discussion about your experience and suitability for the role
  • Interviews will be a blend of behaviour and strength questions 

Candidates who are successful at shortlist stage will be sent full assessment requirements with their interview invitations. 

Other Information 

Shortlist Date: w/c 7th – 10th May 2024 

Interview Date: w/c 20th May 2024   

Interviews are currently being completed remotely using Microsoft Teams. We would like to reassure candidates that the virtual interview will not be recorded (or retained) within the Planning Inspectorate, other than usual interview protocol and in line with the Civil Service jobs Privacy notice. 

We encourage all candidates to make themselves familiar with the role and what we will be assessing you against which is detailed in the Person Specification. 

The Planning Inspectorate is committed to finding the right person for the job. We recruit using Success Profiles and consider the criteria you will need to demonstrate to be successful for the role, by doing this we are pushing up performance, diversifying our workforce and creating an inclusive culture. 

ID and Documents

If specific qualifications/memberships are essential for the role and you are successful, you will be asked to provide accurate scanned or photographed images of the qualifications/memberships that you listed on your application prior to your start date. 

We must check that any successful candidates are allowed to work for the Civil Service before we employ them. If successful, you will be asked to do a right to work check using identity document validation technology (IDVT) through the services of an Identity Service Provider (IDSP), Civil Service Jobs.  If we are unable to confirm your right to work and through the IDVT we will need to do a manual right to work check using original documents with you in person. 

Visa Sponsorship

The Planning Inspectorate cannot offer Visa sponsorship to candidates, we do not hold a Visa sponsorship licence. 

Disability Confident Interview scheme

The Civil Service embraces diversity and promotes equal opportunities. We run a Disability Confident Interview scheme for candidates with disabilities who meet the minimum selection criteria for the job. 

To be considered for an interview under the scheme you must:

  • have a disability defined by the Equality Act 2010
  • provide evidence in your application that you meet the minimum criteria in the job description
  • meet all of the qualifications, skills or experience defined as essential 

While we will endeavour to provide you with all the appropriate information, you are the expert on your specific requirements so if you require any adjustments, you should consider the information provided about the assessment process in the candidate pack and then:

  • 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. The earlier and more clearly you tell us what you need and why you need it, the more likely we are to be able to accommodate you in a timely fashion. 

Include for FTC Recruitments that are being advertised Across Government or Externally: Existing Civil Servants should ensure that they have an in-principle agreement for a loan prior to applying. 

All Planning Inspectorate colleagues must meet the baseline personnel security standard (opens in new window). This is a series of basic security checks to confirm identity and employment history.

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


Successful candidates must undergo a criminal record check.

People working with government assets must complete baseline personnel security standard (opens in new window) checks.

Nationality requirements

This job is broadly open to the following groups:

  • UK nationals
  • nationals of the Republic of Ireland
  • nationals of Commonwealth countries who have the right to work in the UK
  • nationals of the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein and family members of those nationalities with settled or pre-settled status under the European Union Settlement Scheme (EUSS) (opens in a new window)
  • nationals of the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein and family members of those nationalities who have made a valid application for settled or pre-settled status under the European Union Settlement Scheme (EUSS)
  • individuals with limited leave to remain or indefinite leave to remain who were eligible to apply for EUSS on or before 31 December 2020
  • Turkish nationals, and certain family members of Turkish nationals, who have accrued the right to work in the Civil Service

Further information on nationality requirements (opens in a new window)

Working for the Civil Service

The Civil Service Code (opens in a new window) 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 (opens in a new window).

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.


This vacancy is part of the Great Place to Work for Veterans (opens in a new window) initiative.

The Civil Service welcomes applications from people who have recently left prison or have an unspent conviction. Read more about prison leaver recruitment (opens in new window).

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 : 

  • Name : Paula Owen
  • Email :
  • Recruitment team
  • Email :
  • Further information

    If you feel your application has not been treated in accordance with the Principles and you wish to make a complaint, you should contact in the first instance: The Vacancy Manager via the Recruitment Team ( 
    If you are not satisfied with the response, you receive you should then contact, Chief People Officer, via the Recruitment Team (
    If you are still not satisfied with the response you receive from the Planning Inspectorate, you can contact the Office of the Civil Service Commission.


Company info
44 303 444 5291
Temple Quay House

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