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AMR Head of Policy and Communication - Addlestone, Surrey

Veterinary Medicines Directorate
Addlestone, Surrey
Salary of £52,289 - £60,188
Closing date
5 Jul 2021

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Animal Health, Veterinary
Job Type
Veterinary Surgeon
Contract Type
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Job Details

AMR Head of Policy and Communications Team
£52,289 - £60,188
Ref: 121301

This is an exciting time to join the VMD's Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) team who are currently expanding. This job is one of a series of vacancies we are recruiting and puts you at the heart of the AMR team as we deliver Defra’s commitments in the UK’s 5 year action plan for antimicrobial resistance, which supports the UK’s 20-year vision for AMR. You will lead a small team responsible for the coordination and delivery of the Defra group’s (including VMD’s) commitments in the UK’s national action plan for AMR, and development and implementation of the team’s communications strategy. For leading, advising on, coordinating and communicating policy on AMR as it relates to veterinary medicines and cross-Defra issues.

As Head of Policy and Communications in the AMR team, you will develop government policy on AMR and animal health. This will involve "knowing your brief” - you will become the go-to source of detailed policy knowledge on AMR within the department, framing it as needed for a national or international policy context. You will have, or develop, a good grasp of technical detail to the extent that it informs policy (e.g. relating to veterinary medicine, microbiology, farming systems) that allows you to provide high quality oral and written briefing on AMR to ministers and senior colleagues in government.

You will work closely with colleagues within VMD and across government to develop AMR elements of new UK veterinary medicines legislation to ensure a coordinated, one health approach to international AMR policy. Key to delivery will be engagement with our stakeholders in the veterinary profession, agriculture sectors, pharmaceutical industry and others to implement AMR policy that works."    

You will:
•    Lead, manage and develop a team of four. This includes overall responsibility for staff induction, training and development, performance management and the allocation and prioritisation of duties.
•    Lead on maintaining, promoting and evolving the VMD/Defra AMR policy position, working collaboratively with colleagues within VMD, across the Defra group, and across government including the devolved administrations.
•    Provide expert advice and oversight of the development of VMD policy on AMR. This will include the implementation of the AMR aspects of the new veterinary medicines legislation, and framing of animal-related AMR policy in a national and international context.
•    Be the public face of AMR policy for our external stakeholders (veterinary, farming, pharmaceutical)
•    Oversee, manage and produce high quality AMR policy content for written and oral briefings, submissions, parliamentary questions (PQs) and ministerial correspondence (MCs). This will include face to face briefing of senior colleagues and ministers.
•    Assist the head of team in setting and developing operational and strategic direction on AMR.
•    Lead and oversee the coordination of implementation of the Defra Group’s, including the VMD’s, commitments in the UK’s AMR National Action Plan. (The programme manager coordination role sits within your team of four)
•    Lead and oversee development and implementation of an AMR communications strategy (the communications role sits within your team of four)
•    Represent the AMR team at national and international meetings, conferences and events.

We require some experience in or awareness of the following, or a demonstrable ability to get up to speed with them rapidly:
•    Familiarity with animal health, farming or biological sciences, either through experience working in one or more of these areas, or through a related degree, would be an advantage.
•    Experience of influencing policy and decision making
•    Demonstrable ability to think strategically and grasp complex concepts quickly, which in this role is within a veterinary/biological context, and apply them within a policy context
•    An understanding of policy-making in a political environment, for example through experience of policy development in a government department.
•    Strong leadership skills, including demonstrable experience of successfully leading teams and building staff capability in providing expert advice.
•    Excellent communication skills - both written and oral.
•    Ability to engage, influence and negotiate with stakeholders at all levels.
•    Experience of working within a fast paced work area where excellent time management and prioritisation have been important for doing the job effectively
•    Use of Microsoft Office 365 packages, particularly Word, Excel and Outlook, can navigate the internet and can learn to use the VMD’s bespoke IT systems.

Apply before 11:55 pm on Monday 5th July 2021.

To submit application click the apply button.


The Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) protects animal health, public health and the environment.

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