Chief Operating Officer

London (Central), London (Greater)
circa £110,000
09 Jan 2017
29 Jan 2017
Clearance Level
Job Type

UK Border Force is seeking a new Chief Operating Officer to lead the operational activity of securing the UK Border and promoting national prosperity. If you have a passion for leadership, delivery of change and world class service - and ones that are vital to the nation - this is a unique opportunity to help shape an organisation that operates on a national and global stage on issues that impact everyone in this country. If you think you have the skills and experience to deliver, we want to hear from you.

Border Force’s role – securing the Border – puts it at the heart of the national security agenda. Almost all aspects of terrorism, serious criminality and immigration abuse have a significant trans-border component. As an island nation, and one not within the Schengen area, the UK’s Border is sovereign. It represents a unique point of intervention, to keep our nation safe.

The UK border is also one through which billions of pounds worth of legitimate trade and over 220 million travellers pass each year. The nation’s economy is dependent on the facilitation of this legitimate trade and travel. Our national security, stability and prosperity are dependant on the work that Border Force does to support the economy.

We have around 7,500 staff and operate from 138 UK locations, with an extensive programme of international law enforcement partnerships, as well as controls at Calais, Paris and Brussels. We work closely with over 40 partner organisations to ensure that the opportunities of the UK border are fully exploited across government.

Our work is as high-profile as it is varied, supporting the full range of Home Office objectives on controlling immigration, preventing terrorism, cutting crime, protecting the vulnerable and promoting growth. As volumes of passengers and freight moving across the border are increasing, Border Force are instrumental in disrupting serious organised crime with record seizures of Class A drugs; responding to terrorist events in the near continent; managing the domestic response to the Ebola crisis. Border Force are at the forefront of the UK’s efforts to control the mass flow of migrants from Northern Europe as well as supporting efforts in the Mediterranean and Agean.

Constitutionally, we are accountable to Parliament through the Home Secretary, as a Directorate of the Home Office, and to HMRC and the Chancellor of the Exchequer for our work on border revenue protection. Border Force is led by its Director General, Sir Charles Montgomery. 

Border Force’s constant challenge is to stay ahead of those that threaten our national security; and to support individuals and companies that are working to contribute to the UK’s prosperity. To support this challenge, between now and 2020, Border Force has an ambitious transformation plan, which seeks to:

  • Further improve our work to disrupt terrorism and people trafficking through new technologies and staff training
  • Enhance our checks on the maritime domain, with significant enhancements to capability on the Humber, Tees, Scottish maritime ports and at Holyhead.
  • Manage growth in passenger numbers through an extensive programme of automation and income generation
  • Reengage our people and improve our career pathways, diversity and training offer. Central to this will be strengthening our culture of empowerment, where staff at all levels can use their skills and judgement to manage the border effectively. 
  • Establish ourselves as the best Border Force in the world, able to demonstrate why our systems and capabilities outstrip those of our international rivals. 

The Role

The Border Force Chief Operating Officer has responsibility and line management for Border Force’s day to day operational activity. The COO manages eight operational divisions, which include:

  • Five operational regions who deliver our mission at our ports and airports
  • A national operations command who provide 24/7 Command and Control arrangements; oversee our tasking and planning; manage critical incidents and have operational command of our maritime operations. This unit also manages our national watch listing unit on behalf of a wide range of partners. 
  • An intelligence directorate which provides a flow of intelligence to and from our many partners; prepared and researches targets for front line teams and manages the National Border Targeting Centre.
  • An Operational Assurance Directorate who provides uniformed second-line assurance against Border Force’s operational schemes of control; investigate internal discipline matters and manage liaison with inspectorates. 

These operations are not static. Over the coming years to implement our wide ranging programme of transformation, the COO needs to manage day to day business against tight performance and financial objectives whilst maintaining momentum on this transformation agenda. 

Candidate Profile

An established leader with extensive operational experience and capability, or with the demonstrative capability to exercise operational leadership at this level under the guidance of the DG. This could have been obtained and demonstrated in a wide range of public or private organisations: from law enforcement, the armed forces, local government, the devolved administrations, or perhaps a private company working in transport, security or logistics

Ability to work closely with a wide range of stakeholders, even when relations face tensions. You will have a high degree of political and media awareness, suitable for leadership at this level, and experience of managing crises or critical incidents. 

Ability to use data to improve performance across both security outcomes and deployment planning. You will be comfortable holding personal accountability for financial management at the c. £500m level. 

A fluent and engaging communicator who is able to engage staff at all levels, whilst implementing new strategies for internal and customer facing communications.

If you have a passion for delivery of change and world class services - and ones that are vital to the nation - this is a unique opportunity to help shape an organisation that operates on a national and global stage on issues that impact everyone in this country. If you think you have the skills and experience to deliver, we want to hear from you.

The closing date for applications is 29 January 2017.

This role is based in Central London (but travel around the UK, with occasional overnight stays may be necessary)

Expected starting salary: circa £110,000

Appointment: Permanent or fixed term (minimum 2 year period). A loan or secondment may be considered


The Home Office is committed to a policy of equal opportunity for all staff. We encourage a diverse workforce and aim to provide a working environment where all staff at all levels are valued and respected, and where discrimination, bullying, promotion of negative stereotyping and harassment are not tolerated.


Similar jobs

Similar jobs