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Post 16 Assurance Officer Full Time

at Department for Education Bristol in Bristol (Published at 15-07-2021)

Reference number





Higher Executive Officer

Contract type


Business area

DFE - Education and Skills Funding Agency

Type of role


Working pattern

Flexible working, Full-time, Part-time

Number of posts



Bristol, South West, BS1 6EH : Coventry, West Midlands, CV1 2WT : Darlington, North East, DL1 5QE : Leeds, Yorkshire and the Humber, LS2 8ER : Manchester, North West, M1 2WD : Newcastle upon Tyne, North East, NE1 8QH : Sheffield, Yorkshire and the Humber, S1 2FJ

About the job


At the Department for Education, we are offering you the chance to help deliver a programme of financial monitoring and analysis work for our post 16 colleges and independent training providers. If you join us, you will play an important role in protecting the £60 billion funding we provide to academies, colleges and other training providers.

We are looking to recruit an enthusiastic individual to join our Post 16 Assurance Team. The Team performs a variety of financial assessments and monitoring of colleges and independent training providers, in receipt of funding from the Department, and those wishing to secure funding.

We are seeking to recruit a new team member to join our Post 16 Assurance Team with:

  • A strong interest in financial monitoring and analysis, with recent good experience of reviewing a variety of financial statements and financial forecasts
  • Professional skills achieved in a financial environment
  • Knowledge and understanding of the construct and statutory requirements of financial statement
  • A willingness to consider/continue study through an apprenticeship for a professional accountancy or audit qualification

Interested? Then read on!

Job description

The Department?s vision is to ?provide world-class education and care that allows every child and young person to reach his or her potential regardless of background?.

The Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) is an executive agency, sponsored by the Department for Education, which is accountable for funding education and training for children, young people and adults.

Provider Market Oversight (PMO) is an ESFA Directorate, which anticipates, prevents, and detects the misuse of ESFA funds to address risks to the sustainability and quality of education and skills provision. PMO comprises a team of approximately 190 people based at DFE sites across the country.

The Post 16 Assurance Team, which sits within PMO, is a high calibre team of approximately 40 staff, including 7 managers. The Team performs a range of financial monitoring and analysis reviews over existing or prospective organisations and colleges. We undertake a range of assurance reviews at college and independent training providers, in receipt of ESFA funds.

As an Assurance Officer, you will be a key member of the Post 16 Assurance Team in PMO, reporting to a manager. You will work collaboratively within the team and with teams across the Agency, as well as external stakeholders, in order to support the delivery of planned and responsive financial monitoring and analysis across colleges and independent training providers in line with agreed guidance.


Your main responsibilities will be to:

  • Perform regularity reviews of college financial statements, including the audit and regularity opinions.

  • Perform financial health analysis of colleges? financial plans, including the review of cashflows, identifying those colleges, where there are financial health risks.

  • Undertake financial health assessments of independent training providers, of varying size and structures, identifying those where there are financial health risks.

  • Respond to queries, both internally and externally, in relation to the work.

Essential Criteria

We are seeking an individual with the following experience and professional skills:

  • Recent good practical financial health and analysis experience.

  • Technical and professional skills, achieved in financial review work, with knowledge and understanding of accounting standards and statutory requirements.

  • Bring analytical rigour, credibility and pace to the delivery of assurance activity.

  • Work confidently with financial data when making decisions: interpret issues and risks, using excel or a similar tool.

  • Have a track record of meeting team priorities and tight deadlines.

  • Can convey advice and information to others, including those in more senior grades with a limited understanding of the particular areas, both internally and externally.

It is not essential, but it would be helpful if you have:

  • Knowledge of the post 16 education sector, including financial reporting, assurance and regularity requirements.

  • You can write and communicate well. You can explain difficult concepts to anyone who wants to know.

  • You can think on your feet when under pressure.

  • You enjoy working in a team and supporting colleagues.

  • You want to make a difference.

Willingness to study for a professional accountancy or audit qualification, e.g. CCAB, CIMA, CIPFA or ACCA, as part of an apprenticeship is preferred.

Desirable criteria will only be assessed in the event of a tie break situation to make an informed decision.


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

  • Making Effective Decisions

  • Delivering at Pace

  • Communicating and Influencing


Applicants currently holding a permanent post in the Civil Service should note that, if successful, their salary on appointment would be determined by the Department?s transfer / promotion policies.

As a member of the DfE, you will be entitled to join the highly competitive Civil Service Pension Scheme, which many experts agree is one of the most generous in the UK.

You will have 25 days leave, increasing by 1 day every year to a maximum of 30 days after five years? service. In addition, all staff receive the Queen?s Birthday privilege holiday and 8 days? bank and public holidays.

We offer flexible working arrangements, such as job sharing, term-time working, flexi-time and compressed hours.

As an organisation, which exists to support education and lifelong learning, we offer our staff excellent professional development opportunities.

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