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Centre of Excellence Lead

United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA)
Culham, Abingdon
£56,556 + excellent benefits including outstanding pension.
Closing date
28 Dec 2023

Job Details

- Culham Science Centre, Abingdon, gb
- Full-time

Company Description

By 2050, the planet could be using twice as much electricity compared to today. Are you interested in strategically/ leading a team contributing to shaping the future of the world’s energy? If so, read on. 

Fusion, the process that powers the Sun and Stars, is one of the most promising options for generating the cleaner, carbon-free energy that our world badly needs. UKAEA are at the forefront of realising energy from fusion, working with industry and research partners to deliver the ground-breaking developments that will underpin tomorrow's fusion power stations with the aim of bringing fusion electricity to the grid. As we work towards our mission and goals, UKAEA has devised values (Innovative, Committed, Trusted and Collaborative) that capture the spirit of how we work.

Job Description

Who are we looking for? 

The UKAEA is undergoing an exciting transformation as it scales up to meet the test of positioning the UK as a head in fusion energy. As part of this, there is a requirement to establish the optimum Portfolio, Programme and Project (P3M) construct. 

The Centre of Excellence Lead will drive forward the Delivery Life Cycle (DLC) culture at UKAEA, ensure that the P3M processes across the organisation are effective, that the DLC is being complied with and tailored effectively, develop and deliver appropriate training, manage knowledge (including lessons learned), provide self-reliant assurance, ensure three lines of defence assurance is being complied with, and promote a culture that focuses on a Less is More approach, benefits realisation and demonstrating value for money. They will also act as an internal consultancy offering advice on project selection, controlled start-up, whole lifecycle delivery and benefits realisation. 

Note: Salary £56,556 + excellent benefits including outstanding pension. UKAEA offers hybrid working, this role is required to be in the office at Culham at least two days a week. 

What will you be responsible for? 

- Conduct the implementation of the Delivery Life Cycle (DLC) good practice at UKAEA, which is based off of P3M methodologies, governance and standards, in particular IPA good practice.  
- Set and check adherence to standards (such as the Government Functional Standard for Project Delivery), which will help bolster the PfMO as a project delivery ‘centre of excellence’.  
- Act as an internal consultancy offering advice on project selection, controlled project start-up, whole lifecycle delivery, the DLC and benefits realisation. 
- In collaboration with the Risk & Assurance department, develop a ‘3 Lines of Defence assurance framework’ for projects and programmes that align with IPA good practice. 
- Act as a key interface for project professionals across the business, who utilise the PfMO services through a hub and spoke model at UKAEA. 
- Build a network of Champions around the business to embed good practice in line with the DLC. 
- Provide relevant in-house P3M related training and coaching, e.g. deliver workshops to enhance P3M good practice to internal colleagues, training up pools of independent reviewers across the project profession. 
- Promote a delivery culture that focuses on benefits realisation and on Value for Money of public funding. 
- Influence senior heads in UKAEA to adopt a more professional approach to the delivery of programmes and projects.  

As this is a new role for UKAEA this job specification is likely to change as the maturity of the profession develops and in consultation with the Head of PfMO and the businesses Job Review Board. 


Essential skills, experience and competence required 

- Experience of senior management within a complex change portfolio or guiding the successful delivery of major projects/programmes, preferably within a technical environment. 
- Detailed knowledge of project management and programme management tools, methodology, approaches and good practice.  
- Project, Programme or Portfolio Management qualification (e.g. APM, MSP, MoP), or significant equivalent experience. 
- Excellent people management, negotiating and communication skills, with an ability to establish, maintain and develop relationships. Including experience influencing, negotiating with, and providing challenge to Director-level stakeholders. 
- Experience of providing deep technical P3M expertise. 
- Experience implementing PM good practice methodology or framework across a portfolio / programme. 
- Experience of developing successful teams and individuals. 

Ideally, one or more of the below is desirable:

- APM Chartership (ChPP) or Fellowship of APM, or willingness to undertake Chartership within 18 months of joining (which will be funded by UKAEA). 
- Experience working in a similar capacity within a Government Body. 
- Understanding of the Infrastructure and Projects Authority (IPA) good practice, as well as the Government Functional Standard for Project Delivery. 
- Experience of working with enterprise PM tools. 

Additional information

What we offer

Our comprehensive benefits package includes a vibrant culture committed to being fully inclusive, an Employee Assistance Programme and trained Mental Health First Aiders, Flexible working options including family friendly policies, Emergency paid leave, Generous annual leave allowance (30.5 days) increased with length of service, wide range of career development opportunities, outstanding defined benefit pension scheme; Corporate bonus scheme (up to 7% for Levels 1 - 7, as well as 3rd and 4th year apprentices) and a Relocation allowance (if eligible).

Please be advised that we generally advertise vacancies for 4 weeks, however we may close earlier than this if a large or sufficient numbers of applications are received.


UKAEA researches fusion energy and related technologies, with the aim of positioning the UK as a leader in sustainable nuclear energy.

UKAEA is an executive non-departmental public body, sponsored by the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero.

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