Programme Leader / Sponsor - Major Projects Directorate

Job type 
09 October 2016
Highways England
Leeds, Manchester, Birmingham, Bristol, Bedford, Guildford

Are you an established Programme Leader with a proven track record of successfully leading infrastructure projects? Are you keen to find your next challenge within a dynamic and fast-paced organisation?

Role Purpose

The Post holder of this role will take full ownership and responsibility in setting up the programme or project for success to meet its objectives and deliver the projected benefits within the Regional Investment Programme (RIP). Ensure there is a strategic fit and that the programme/projects are set-up to make an unambiguous and demonstrable link to strategic policy and the delivery plan. Securing and protecting the vision to govern responsibly, reported honestly, escalated appropriately and for influencing constructively the context, culture and operating environments of the programme/project. You might be asked to act as Senior Responsible Officer (SRO) for a project or a sweet of projects.

The Programme Leader must be prepared to make final decisions and should be proactive in providing leadership and direction throughout the life of the programme and/or project. Must ensure the business can fully exploit the outcome of a change and that the change process maintains its business focus, has clear authority and that the overall context, including risk, is actively managed.

The post holder will be required to accept Programme Leader responsibilities consistent with the Governments Infrastructure, Projects Association Guidelines and Office of Government. 


  • Adhere to and drive sound health & safety, quality and commercial standards; and the structure to ensure the programmes/projects meets its objectives.
  • Must own, clarify and certify the strategic fit of programme/project within the business and supporting the development of an effective change control process.
  • Strategically monitor delivery of objectives and benefits, taking appropriate action where necessary to ensure the successful delivery, commercial fit and economic needs.
  • Must ensure the programme/project is subject to review at appropriate governance and financial stages and make certain that any recommendations or concerns from an SGAR are met or addressed before progressing to the next stage.
  • Own the programme/project brief and business case including defining the governance.
  • Must retain the aims of the planned change to continue to be aligned with the direction of the business and establish a firm basis for the programme/project during its initiation and definition.
  • Work with the Divisional Director and other Programme Leader’s to build a fully operational strategy, sponsorship function and clear communication processes.
  • Develop strong and effective engagement between the project team and its stakeholders and sponsors, justifying their trust and retaining their confidence and obtain their commitment to benefits realisation.
  • Provide the clarity on the handoffs from the strategy and sponsorship function to other parts of Major Projects and Highways England (including Capital Portfolio Management and Strategy and Planning).
  • Own and drive high levels of health and safety standards to meet our customer needs and quality requirements across the programme/project. Make recommendations to continually improve our health & safety standards, share best practice examples and any lessons learnt with stakeholders and inter-dependencies.

About Highways England

Are you an established Programme Leader with a proven track record of successfully leading infrastructure projects? Are you keen to find your next challenge within a dynamic and fast-paced organisation?

Highways England is the new government company charged with driving forward our motorways and major A roads. Building on the successful 21 year heritage of the Highways Agency, we maintain and enhance the most important communications network in the country, the Strategic Roads Network. A network valued at just over £104 billion, which carries approximately one-third of all road traffic in England and nearly two-thirds of all heavy freight traffic.

We are responsible for modernising and maintaining the highways, running the network and keeping traffic moving. Over recent years investment in our highways has increased. This has led to advances in technology, such as smart motorways; enabling traffic to flow better. However even more is planned to be done.

Our vision is to be the world’s leading road operator which means that we need to become a high performing organisation. It's an exciting time to start a Highways England career. With £11 billion to invest in major road improvements over the next 5 years, there’s an opportunity for you to be part of something special.

For further information on Highways England, please visit our website: 


You will have

  • Proven capability of successfully leading infrastructure delivery projects, particularly in early phases of their development prior to construction.
  • Proven success in leading and developing multi-disciplinary teams, fostering challenge and innovation, improving team performance and creating a successful delivery culture.
  • Cultural leadership of health and safety.
  • Proven capability in building high performing teams and effective development of team members.
  • Demonstrable evidence of delivery in a complex customer facing organisation using a recognised Programme and Project framework.
  • Evidence of successful engagement and influencing of internal and external stakeholders.
  • Promotion of supply chain engagement and collaborative delivery.
  • Fluent and effective communication skills.
  • Technical qualifications relevant to the role.
  • Ability to drive best practice and business improvement.



This is an exciting time to join Highways England and we keen to receive applications from driven and ambitious individuals who can drive the strategic development and capability of the project. In return we offer a great working environment with flexible working hours and plenty of opportunity to progress your career.

How to apply

All applications must be accompanied with a current CV which will be used to assess your suitability for the role. Please ensure all required skills, experience and qualifications as outlined above are clearly demonstrated within your CV.
17 October 2016