Purpose of job
To work with the PR and Campaigns Manager under the direction of the Deputy Chief Executive to develop and communicate Epilepsy Action’s position and response in relation to public policy issues relevant to people with epilepsy; developing and delivering change campaigns directed at target audiences including politicians, officials, the NHS, health professionals and the public. The job will focus on healthcare issues relevant to epilepsy but will also encompass other areas of public policy as the need arises, for example welfare and employment issues.
Scope of activities
People living with epilepsy look to Epilepsy Action, as a national charity, to protect their interests and to work for positive change where services and attitudes present problems or prevent access to the best quality of care and quality of life. As a member-led organisation, Epilepsy Action speaks and acts on behalf of its members in order to achieve the charity’s vision.
The senior policy and campaigns officer is responsible to the PR and campaigns manager and works in the PR and campaigns team with another senior policy and campaigns officer, the senior PR and media officer and the media officer.
Principal duties and responsibilities
These include the following:
1) To work with the Deputy Chief Executive and the PR and Campaigns Manager to influence health policy relevant to epilepsy by:
a) Monitoring and keeping up to date with developments in health policy relevant to epilepsy in political parties, in parliaments and assemblies, in government departments, in statutory bodies, in professional bodies and in other organisations across the UK
b) Maintaining a background awareness of European Union health policy developments relevant to epilepsy
c) Helping to identify and prioritise critical areas of health policy that Epilepsy Action needs to be involved in
d) Helping to identify and develop opportunities for Epilepsy Action to present its views to opinion leaders and policy decision makers at a national and local level
e) Researching and advising on Epilepsy Action’s position on relevant policy issues
f) Researching, drafting and delivering briefings, consultation responses and responses to calls for evidence
g) Developing appropriate relationships with relevant people and organisations outside of Epilepsy Action including working with partner organisations and alliances
h) Liaising and building relationships with elected representatives and Peers to facilitate supportive parliamentary action across the countries of the UK
i) Dealing with requests from politicians, officials, media and others with an interest in the charity’s policy work.
2) To work with the Deputy Chief Executive and the PR and Campaigns Manager to develop and deliver effective change campaigns by:
a) Working closely with senior colleagues to devise, develop and implement strategies and campaigns to influence relevant public policy
b) Developing the necessary tools and materials for campaigns
c) Working with colleagues to establish research based evidence in support of campaigns
d) Establishing key messages and key statistics for PR opportunities arising from campaigns work
e) Working with colleagues to ensure the effective communication and dissemination of campaign messages through all relevant media
f) Lobbying government departments
g) Lobbying professional, statutory and other bodies relevant to epilepsy, such as the medical royal colleges, the Association of British Neurologists, the NHS and local authorities
h) Monitoring, evaluating and reporting on campaign progress and results measured against targets and relevant benchmarks
i) Working with colleagues, including local service managers, and volunteers to support public campaigns at national and local level.
j) Working with policy and campaigns colleagues to support volunteer campaigners to lobby for change locally
3) To support the work of Epilepsy Action by:
a) Working with policy and campaigns colleagues to contribute to campaigns strategies and where necessary to co-ordinate activities
b) Contributing to the charity’s information materials on relevant policy issues
c) Acting as a media spokesperson, when required, to communicate key messages regarding policy issues
d) Making presentations and delivering workshops at relevant conferences
e) Contributing to strategic planning and departmental budget planning
f) Providing own administrative/secretarial support such as writing correspondence, making telephone calls and arranging meetings
a) Act as an ambassador for Epilepsy Action by representing the charity as necessary and when required (for example, within public policy partnership working groups)
b) Consistently upholding the standards of the organisation by both word and example
c) Ensure all work meets the charity’s quality standards
d) Ensure all aspects of work comply with health and safety, equal opportunities and other legislation and established Epilepsy Action procedures
e) Ensure all work is accessible and that the charity’s commitment to equality and diversity is planned into all work in a relevant and effective manner
f) Any other duties reasonably required, which fall within the scope and responsibility of the post
5) Advice and information provision
Level B (See Policies and Procedures Manual for more detail)
a) The post holder is expected to have or gain an in-depth understanding of epilepsy.
b) If approached by anyone requiring specific advice about the condition, the post holder should refer any requests for advice without delay to the Epilepsy Action Helpline.
c) If approached by anyone requiring information about the condition, within the scope of their role, the post holder should provide relevant epilepsy information and/or refer to Epilepsy Action’s resources including publications, website and helpline team.
6) Organisational understanding
a) The post holder is expected to have or gain an in-depth understanding of Epilepsy Action’s services and strategic aims
Qualifications and Experience
1) Educated to at least first degree standard in a relevant field or experience that demonstrates an equivalent knowledge and ability
2) An understanding of the structure and workings of the NHS and the political processes that affect it throughout the UK
3) At least 18 months experience working in a similar policy/campaigns/public affairs role
4) Proven experience of conducting or contributing to public policy and change campaigns
5) Proven experience of drafting policy analyses, briefings and consultation responses
6) Experience of public policy monitoring and research
7) Experience of working with officials from government bodies
8) Experience of relationship building and working in partnership with other organisations
9) Experience of working for a voluntary organisation
Skills and Abilities
1) Excellent written, verbal, presentation and listening communication skills
2) Excellent organisational skills including the ability to work effectively to strict deadlines, to function well under pressure and to prioritise work effectively in a busy environment
3) Good analytical skills and the ability to rapidly understand and communicate complex technical information effectively
4) Excellent interpersonal skills and the ability to work effectively with colleagues and others from diverse backgrounds and political perspectives
5) Efficient administration skills and a good working knowledge of Microsoft Office
6) A demonstrable understanding of and a commitment to equal opportunities, including the needs of different social, cultural and disability groups
7) Able to work evenings and occasional weekends as required – the job will entail travelling all over the UK and working some unsociable hours