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Records Appraisal Manager

Ref FCO0078
Location Hanslope Park, near Milton Keynes
Department FCO
Closing date for applications 23 October 2017

Location: Hanslope Park, near Milton Keynes

Salary: The total package for this role at C4 is a maximum of £27,890 per annum, depending on demonstration of skills, competence and experience. This figure includes a non-pensionable, non consolidated Location Allowance of £1,250.

Future pay awards will be performance related, linked to the annual appraisal process and may also include a non-consolidated Performance Related Payment (PRP) dependant on the level of performance. All future awards are subject to guidance issued annually by HM Treasury and the Cabinet Office.

For existing Civil Servants, the usual FCO rules on starting pay on level transfer or progression/promotion will apply. Please visit Candidate Pack for further information.

Appointment: Permanent, full time.

About the Foreign & Commonwealth Office

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) is the government department responsible for promoting British interests overseas and supporting British citizens and business around the globe.

The FCO works to promote the United Kingdom’s interests overseas. The FCO employs approximately 14,000 staff around the world. Approximately one third are UK-based British Civil Servants whose career typically includes work in the UK and postings overseas; and around two thirds are Locally Engaged (LE) staff, employed by a British Diplomatic Post overseas.

We celebrate diversity and recruit our staff from a broad range of backgrounds so that we benefit from fresh experiences and perspectives.

The FCO’s purpose is to protect our country, our people and our interests; to project our influence and values; and to promote our prosperity. To achieve this we will maintain a global network with the people, partnerships, skills and knowledge to deliver. Our Strategic Objectives are:

Protect our People

Safeguard our national security by countering terrorism, extremism, weapons proliferation, and other state and non-state threats in co-operation with allies and partners. Assist British people living, travelling and working around the world through effective consular services and swift crisis response.

Project our Global Influence

Protect and promote the values and influence of Global Britain, strengthening our partnerships and the rules-based international system. Support good governance, democracy, rule of law and human rights; prevent and resolve conflict; and build stability overseas.

Promote our Prosperity

Promote our prosperity by opening markets, driving economic reform, championing British business, and supporting free trade and sustainable global growth.

Further information about the FCO may be found on our website: www.gov.uk/fco

Main Purpose of Job

Lead on a range of professional records management functions in the Archive Management Team (AMT) centred around the appraisal of historical records awaiting disposal or transfer to The National Archives (TNA). This will include managing the team which organises the intake of paper files from UK departments and overseas posts, as well as being a key member of the project team designing an appraisal and transfer process for FCO born-digital records.

Roles and Responsibilities

The role of the Records Appraisal Manager is to:

  • manage the appraisal of paper and digital records ahead of sensitivity review and then transfer records to TNA, in line with the priorities set out in the AMT project plan.
  • oversee the intake of paper files from FCO departments and overseas embassies, including managing the intake team and advising on specialist records management issues such as retention of legacy material.
  • work closely with the TNA’s FCO-assigned transfer adviser, including preparing submissions to TNA’s Records Decision Panel.
  • maintain a thorough audit trail of records being appraised through the AMT project plan and review spreadsheets.
  • provide expert advice to AMT colleagues on records-related legislation such as the Public Records Act (PRA), Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and Data Protection Act (DPA) working with other colleagues leading on these subject areas.
  • participate on a project basis in emerging areas of work such as the appraisal, review and transfer of electronic records.

This is a broadly-based archive records management role with the principal focus on appraisal and intake, but with opportunities to participate in a wider range of professional records management work. The successful candidate will have substantial experience of records management, a good understanding of how to manage paper and electronic records in an archive context, and a relevant professional qualification in information and/or records management. A candidate who did not already hold such a qualification would undertake to complete it within 2 years of starting in this role.

Good drafting skills are a key part of this role for submissions to the TNA’s Records Decision Panel, the production of written internal guidance on records management processes and the creation of written copy for the FCO archive pages on gov.uk.

Excellent communication, management and interpersonal skills are also important, including the ability to lead and motivate a team working to demanding intake and release timetables.

The process of transferring records to the TNA is subject to scrutiny by both the TNA and the Advisory Council on National Records and Archives. Effective quality management is vital to ensure that both information and physical preparation standards are legally compliant and meet TNA standards. This is closely linked to the need for clear and consistent working practices.

The team’s current focus is on implementing a release programme for our non-standard historical records, preparation for our first release of digital records by 2019 and on managing the transition to 20-year release. There will be opportunities to participate in project-based work outside the job-holder’s core areas, aimed at developing new policies and working practices and in introducing new technologies. This is likely to include project work relating to the review and transfer of electronic records.

Person Specification

You must be a British Citizen. Satisfactory security clearance to a high level (Developed Vetting) is a condition of appointment. For more information about this process, click here. You must have been resident in the UK for two out of the last ten years immediately prior to your application. (Please note: at least one year of which must have been a consecutive twelve-month period, unless you have served overseas with HM Forces or in some other official capacity as a representative of Her Majesty’s Government, or have lived overseas as a result of your parents’ or partner’s Government employment.)

It is essential in your application that you provide evidence and proven examples in each of the following minimum criteria as far as you are able to do so. These responses will be further developed and discussed with those candidates invited for interview.

Minimum Criteria

  • Relevant professional qualification in information and/or records management
  • OR

    registration/chartership with a relevant professional body or working towards such a qualification or registration/chartership


    commitment to obtain this within a two year period.

  • Well-rounded and in-depth Records and Information Management (RIM) experience, including experience of managing electronic records and experience of producing and quality assuring records data (eg catalogue lists and records metadata).
  • Knowledge and experience of PRA, FOIA and DPA legislation.
  • Experience of advising and interacting with non-RIM-specialist staff on RIM matters.
  • Experience of staff management (preferably team as well as individual line management).
  • Experience of planning and implementing long-term projects, including proven delivery skills in a project-based environment, and the ability to meet demanding deadlines without sacrificing quality.
  • IT skills, including proficiency in manipulating excel spreadsheets and SharePoint.
  • Meeting the minimum standard of the competences listed below.


The competences you will be assessed on at the application stage and during the interview are as follows:

  • Making Effective Decisions
  • Managing a Quality Service
  • Collaborating and Partnering
  • Changing and Improving

Please see the Civil Service Competency Framework for more information about these.

It is imperative that your application form provides evidence of the competences contained in the Person Specification. You will be tested on two of the four competences for this role on the application form. These are Making Effective Decisions and Managing a Quality Service. The other two competences will be tested at the interview stage. The Specialist Question will be awarded extra credit as part of the initial assessment of your application.

Please note that the FCO carries out name-blind (anonymised) recruitment to help build a more diverse and inclusive workforce. The personal information on your Application form and/or CV will be concealed during the sifting phase and only the names of those who are being invited for Interviews will be made known to the Panel.

Recruitment Process

The FCO has appointed Capita Resourcing, a recruitment agency, to manage the process.

The dates below are indicative:

Closing date for completed applications

Midnight on 23rd October 2017

Panel Interview

Week commencing 20th November 2017

If you are successful at the application stage, you will be invited to attend a panel interview (in person) at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office in Hanslope Park, Milton Keynes. There may be the option to conduct the interview via Skype for overseas candidates. If this is preferred, you must make this clear at the application stage. Candidates will be required to give a Presentation at the Interview and the topic will be given to you 15 minutes before your Interview.

Please note that the FCO will not reimburse any travel costs or expenses incurred as part of the selection process.

Current FCO staff members are advised that this is an external campaign and, as such, you will be required to go through the same process as all other candidates.

Additional information

For further information please use the links below:

If you have any queries then please contact us by emailing candidateenquiries@capitaras.co.uk

Further information about the FCO may be found on its website www.gov.uk/fco

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