Chief Officer Finance

Vacancy reference: FIN00215
Location: Flexible within Scotland
Salary: £82,240 – £92,090, offer will be at the base of the scale

Introduction to SEPA and what we deliver

Every day SEPA works to protect and enhance Scotland’s environment, helping communities and businesses thrive within the resources of our planet. We call this One Planet Prosperity.

We have been given a unique and visionary Statutory Purpose: to protect and improve the environment in ways that, as far as possible, also create health and well-being benefits and sustainable economic growth. It’s a very powerful purpose for an environment protection agency and delivering this successfully requires new ways of thinking and new ways of acting.

With around 1,250 staff working across Scotland, a national remit and a budget of over £80 million, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) is responsible for delivering two core services - regulation and flood risk management.

Led by our One Planet Prosperity: Regulatory Strategy, we’re clear that environmental compliance is non-negotiable, and we’ll work to support as many businesses as possible to go even further by encouraging innovation and through partnerships like Sustainable Growth Agreements.

We’re at the forefront of climate resilience and help Scotland prepare more powerfully for future increased flooding.  We’re Scotland’s national flood forecasting, flood warning and strategic flood risk management authority. Working in partnership, we develop flood risk management strategies that set the national direction of flood risk management, helping to target investment and co-ordinate action across public bodies. Through our nationally important flood forecasting and warning work, we have developed over 60 targeted local flood warning schemes and provide free advance notice of flooding through a 24/7 service, Floodline helping people and businesses protect themselves and their property from the impacts of flooding.

The pandemic and a serious and significant cyber-attack against our agency, people and services have defined our focus in recent times, however, they have not constrained our determination to deliver for Scotland.  As we look to the future, we’re building on solid foundations and our organisational recovery will strengthen our delivery of important regulation and flooding priorities, and support transformational change.

At SEPA, we’re changing today, to be fit for the challenges of tomorrow.  In this role, you’ll work with Scotland’s leading corporates, public partners and communities in every corner of our nation.  You’ll help us deliver modern, effective and essential public services and build a workplace reflective of the country we serve.

As a senior executive and member of Agency Management Team (AMT) you will be responsible for the strategic management of SEPA as well as the leadership and management of a flexible, multidisciplinary portfolio. 

The Finance portfolio currently has 27 staff members and incorporates the Finance team offering a wide range of services from transactional finance, finance systems, management, and financial accounting. Our Procurement team supports organisational purchasing and procurement, and the Charging Scheme Teams are responsible for the management and development of SEPA key income charging schemes.

Key purpose of the role

  • Working with others to help the Agency Board set the strategic direction for SEPA and then implement it in your portfolio.
  • Positive leadership of SEPA and your portfolio; creating the conditions that will enable SEPA to achieve its strategic outcomes.
  • Managing and improving performance across your portfolio; implementing actions which deliver the strategic outcomes.
  • Ambassador for SEPA’s, One Planet Prosperity and our flooding strategy.
  • Effective management of financial and non-financial resources.

You can find out more about what this exciting role entails within the generic job description which you can find here job description.

What skills will you need?

You will be qualified in the following:

  • A degree in a relevant discipline (or equivalent experience) is essential.
  • Postgraduate qualification in a relevant accounting qualification e.g., CIPFA/ACA/ACCA/CIMA

Key knowledge skills and abilities include:

  • An understanding of the wider administrative, social and economic context within which SEPA operates
  • Awareness of existing and forthcoming relevant legislation and its impact on SEPA’s statutory duties and powers as a regulator
  • Ability to interpret and use complex, and conflicting information in reaching sound decisions.
  • Ability to analyse, assess and implement proportionate actions in response to complex or sensitive issues or significant organisational risks
  • Ability to build positive working relationships with staff, Trade Unions, Board members, key stakeholders and partners, including, Scottish Government
  • Highly developed influencing and negotiating skills
  • Able to contribute effectively as part of an executive team
  • Positive and effective leadership of staff
  • Ability to give constructive feedback
  • A high standard of written communication on diverse, complex, technical issues; able to prepare robust, concise, coherent and compelling reports
  • Ability to inform, influence and persuade other people who may have different motivators, views and priorities to you
  • High public policy awareness; ability to understand respective roles, positions and interrelationships and use this knowledge to influence the desired outcomes
  • Sound judgement and the ability to take appropriate, calculated risks

Personal attributes

Candidates must be able to demonstrate the following attributes which are key to the success of a strategic leader:

  • High personal resilience
  • Integrity; positive role model
  • Drive to make improvement and overcome barriers and obstacles
  • Open and consultative approach with staff and stakeholders
  • Tenacity
  • Genuine desire to do the right thing

What are the terms, conditions and benefits that SEPA offers?

This is a full-time role based on a 35-hour working week.  We offer a flexi-time scheme as well as other flexible working options to help strike a good work life balance. You will be given 29 days annual leave rising to 33 days after 5 years' service, we also offer seven additional public holidays.

At SEPA we recruit based on merit and are committed to promoting diversity throughout our organisation.  That is why we proudly use the “Happy to Talk Flexible Working” as well as the “Disability Confident Employer” Logos on all of our job vacancies.

When is the closing date?

This is a fantastic opportunity to join us and help us succeed.  Because when we succeed, Scotland succeeds.  It’s the challenge of a lifetime.

If that sounds like you and you are up for the challenge, we would love to hear from you.  You can apply for the role here apply online.

The closing date for applications is 10 July 2022.  Candidates should note that interviews will take place week commencing 25 July 2022, although this date may be flexible.