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About the job
The Office of Rail and Road (ORR) is the independent safety and economic regulator for Britain’s railways and the independent monitor of Highways England. We are here to ensure the network operates safely, reliably and provides value for taxpayers and customers.
The Head of Passenger Track Access sits at the heart of decision-making for the UK’s railway, leading ORR’s role in regulating passenger train operators access to the rail network. The role ensures the terms under which operators use the network are fair and non-discriminatory and that infrastructure managers (mainly Network Rail) operate a process for selling network capacity that is prompt, transparent, accurate and impartial. The role is at the heart of significant decisions and changes for the sector including: the best use of network capacity following the coronavirus pandemic, the regulation of multiple infrastructure networks, and the development of rail policy and regulation in a reforming industry.
You will have responsibility for ensuring that passenger operating companies have fair access to the rail network, during a period of significant change for the industry. When train operators’ aspirations do not match the infrastructure manager’s view of capacity, you will lead the cross industry work (including engagement with government funders) to resolve the conflict. Using analysis and stakeholder management you will ensure ORR accurately considers the balance between growth in use of the network, the impact on train performance, competition and the best use of public funds. Your team’s assessment of access agreements will determine whether you approve them or not. You will also play a key role applying the industry codes that govern the commercial relationships, including timetabling.
Please note: Initially you may work remotely, but there will be a future requirement to work within one of the above locations.
Working in our Economics, Markets and Strategy Directorate, you will manage a team of up to 4 people. A highly motivated candidate you will enjoy leading an experienced team and working on a variety of regulatory and policy issues during a period of industry change. You will be comfortable “speaking truth to power” – managing senior stakeholder relationships with industry and government to ensure regulatory compliance and improvement. You will be comfortable dealing with complex, and sometimes conflicting, evidence, and be able to communicate your decisions and recommendations in a clear and compelling way.
Through your leadership of the Passenger Track Access team you will develop our access and holding to account policy, ensuring a consistent approach across multiple network owners. You will work closely with operational, analyst and legal colleagues internally and across industry to consider how access decisions in your team will impact on industry, Government and ORR objectives.
As a high profile leadership role across industry and ORR, you will provide a strategic direction to a high performing team and quickly grasp the technical processes of the rail industry (Railways Act, Network Code and Access and Management Regulations). You will communicate clearly in writing and verbally to persuade a diverse range of stakeholders at a senior level. To be successful you will need to be comfortable assimilating technical, contractual and statutory information and linking this to the bigger strategic picture.
• Leading and developing the Passenger Track Access team and supporting the development of track access expertise across ORR.
• Managing a team of up to four people to efficiently deliver high-quality network access decisions, necessary for operators and infrastructure managers to comply with legal requirements, including new and amended access contracts as well as contentious appeals for network access.
• Leading the coordination and delivery of ORR decisions on access appeals under the Network Code in line with our criteria and procedures.
• Developing the access policy framework to take account of evolving Government policy and new infrastructure (HS2, CrossRail), while supporting continuous improvement internally and externally through holding infrastructure managers to account.
• Building new and sustaining existing productive relationships with external stakeholders, including passenger train operators, industry bodies and Governments.
Assessing your application – There are no specific academic, technical or professional qualification requirements but candidates will need to clearly demonstrate the required experience, technical skills and behaviours.
Behaviours – the actions and activities that people do which result in effective performance in a job.
• Leadership – You will inspire and motivate your team. To develop access policy in the current environment will require collaboration outside your area of responsibility to understand the impact on industry and ORR. Regulation often draws challenge from others, so you will be able to promote or defend your own and team’s decisions where needed.
• Seeing the Big Picture – You will ensure plans and activities in your area reflect wider strategic priorities and communicate effectively with senior leaders to influence future strategies.
• Effective Decisions – A core part of the role is presenting complex and technical analysis clearly and presenting at senior levels to reach decisions in ways that build trust and understanding.
• Changing and Improving – You will join a team which wants to make changes to the access regime and process which add value. Demonstrating you can consider the full impact of implementing changes on culture, structure, morale and the impacts on the diverse range of end users, will define whether those changes are successful.
Technical – the demonstration of specific professional skills, knowledge or qualifications.
• Policy development – evidence of using project management skills to support policy development and to deliver in challenging timescales;
• Ability to use professional skills and demonstrate a robust understanding of a technical subject matter, which stands you in good stead for developing the same for the legal and contractual framework governing access and licensing.
Experience – the knowledge or mastery of an activity or subject gained through involvement in or exposure to it.
• Experienced in using a wide range of analysis to inform decision making, either in a policy development or economic regulation environment or in a comparable field;
Desirable Criteria – indicative only and will only be scored in the event that essential criteria scores are the same.
• Experience of working with legislation, commercial contracts and/or contract management;
• Experience of making decisions within a framework of criteria and procedures in the rail or other network industry.