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Secondee Opportunity Scottish Government: Age of Criminal Responsibility


Professional Adviser

Care, Protection and Justice Division; Youth Justice and Children’s Hearings Unit; Age of Criminal Responsibility Implementation Team

Salary range: £48,930 to £61,006 (C1 equivalent)


About our work

The Age of Criminal Responsibility Implementation Team leads a programme of work to implement the Age of Criminal Responsibility (Scotland) Act 2019, working closely with officials across the Scottish Government, key agencies and organisations to ensure that the legislation can be commenced as quickly and as safely as possible. 

The post

Reporting to the Age of Criminal Responsibility Act Implementation Team Leader, the post holder will support the implementation of the Age of Criminal Responsibility (Scotland) Act 2019, with a particular focus on working with external partners to develop solutions, guidance, processes and procedures in relation to Part 4 of the Act, in order for full implementation of the Act to be achieved by Autumn 2021.

Priority areas for this post are:

  1. Engage with national and local partners to develop process and procedures in relation to powers set out in Part 4 of the Act, ensuring cooperation between all partners involved in these procedures.
  2. Support the application of evidence-led approaches to implementation of Part 4 of the Act, with a strong focus on the lived-experience of children, and attention to the interdependencies between the Act and (among others): the Promise, revised national child protection guidance,  roll-out of new model for the Joint Investigative Interviewing of Children, development of Barnahus policy. 
  3. Play a key advisory role in identifying appropriate training and resource needs for the social work sector, in order to support the sector play a full role in implementation of the Act.  Insight into Adverse Childhood Experiences and how evidence around these can shape priorities in policy and practice would be beneficial.


Annex A sets out the specification and criteria for the post.

The post holder will have visibility across Government, exposure to stakeholders at every level – both internal (including Ministers) and external – and will have both scope and support to develop skills in areas such as policy development, stakeholder engagement and influencing, delivering through others and project management.  Exporting employers should expect to see benefits on the return of individuals as a result of their experience in terms of knowledge, skills and networks. We would like to fill this post on a secondment basis for 12 months.  We are keen to encourage applications from those working in or who have recent experience in services which support a preventative approach to offending involving children and young people.  Experience, credibility and influencing skills are important to support implementation and improvement.

How to apply

Applications can be made using the Inward Secondment Application Form supplied and must include an employer endorsement. Applications should address the essential, and, where possible, desirable criteria within the job profile.

Candidates are advised that interviews are competency-based with a focus on the competencies in the job profile.

For both applications and interviews, candidates are asked to provide examples from their working life that demonstrate how they meet the required criteria or competency.  You should make clear what your contribution has been in your examples.  In addition, you should not assume any knowledge based on job titles or qualifications.  Please also avoid use of acronyms and jargon without explaining what they mean.

A good example will generally cover a description of the ‘Situation’, the ‘Task’, the ‘Activity’ undertaken and the ‘Result.

We would look to negotiate a maximum four week handover period following acceptance of an offer from the date of the offer to the successful candidate.

The post holder will be paid their current salary or the C1 range minimum if this is higher. On-costs and VAT (if chargeable) will be reimbursed as appropriate.

The closing date for applications is Friday 25 September 2020.  Interviews will take place as soon as possible after the closing date.

Please forward applications using the Inward Secondment Application Form by email to:


Lucy Smith

ACR Implementation Team Leader

The Application form for this post can be downloaded, here. 


For an informal chat about the post, or about the process of arranging a secondment you can contact Tom McNamara (



Annex A – Job profile


Professional adviser: Age of Criminal Responsibility Implementation


Main duties:

The successful candidate will work within the Scottish Government Children and Families Directorate, Care, Protection and Justice Division, and take a key role in working with partners to implement the Age of Criminal Responsibility (Scotland) Act 2019. In particular, the post holder will work closely with Police Scotland and local authority social work colleagues, identifying innovative ways of joint working that straddle the areas of child protection and youth justice. The post holder will have a specific focus on providing practical consultancy support and influencing, making links to related policy developments including the Promise, the revised national child protection guidance, extension and roll-out of new model for the Joint Investigative Interviewing of children, and Barnahus policy.

This is an outward facing role to support partners and the work of the policy team.  To demonstrate success the post holder will be expected to actively work with others to develop and promote pragmatic solutions that work across agencies involved in implementing the Act, and meet Ministerial expectations for implementation by Autumn 2021. The successful candidate will, therefore, be expected to work proactively and constructively with external partners and internal colleagues. To assist in the delivery of this role, the post holder will be supported by colleagues at Social Work Scotland, with direct access through to Chief Social Work Officers and social work Heads / Managers of children’s and youth justice services.

Competencies required for the post:


1. Networking and Influencing

The post holder will be able to quickly build relations with a wide range of internal and external stakeholders, influencing a range of inter-linked policy programmes.  Success will require leadership, influencing and supporting skills to bring together a diverse and large body of internal and external stakeholders with a wide and varied range of views and priorities.  Strong negotiating skills and sensitivity will be required, coupled with developing a clear view of the way ahead and commitment to outcomes.

2. Communication skills

The post holder will have a high standard of written and spoken communication skills and plan effective engagement with partners.  There will be frequent dialogue and links with the wider team and with a wide range of SG and external stakeholders who have a range of pressures and priorities.  Confidence in delivering presentations and ability to add value to policy development, advice and reports is expected.

3. Analytical

The post holder will organise and collate robust information from a variety of sources to support decision-making.  They will interrogate analysis to draw out key messages and findings, and will use analytical and management information to support their decisions.

An ability to combine such evidence with a strong focus on children’s rights and the lived experience of children who may be involved in offending will be valuable. 

Knowledge of improvement methodologies and their role in driving local improvement through tests of change which can be scaled up is desirable.

Skills, Knowledge and Experience Required:


Essential Criteria


1. Recent experience in a child protection or youth justice social work post, or in related services working to improve outcomes for vulnerable children and young people.

2. Up to date knowledge of Scotland child protection and youth justice systems, and of issues relating to their day-to-day operation.    

3. Excellent oral and written communication skills, particularly on complex or sensitive issues.

4. Experience of working with and seeking buy-in from stakeholders to deliver work.

5. Experience of working positively and constructively within a team environment.


Desirable Criteria


  • Knowledge of the Scottish Government’s policies to support children and young people who offend, and children in need of care and protection
  • General awareness of wider children’s policy including GIRFEC and looked after children.
  • Knowledge or experience of issues affecting the delivery of policy on the ground/in an operational context.


Note:  The successful candidate will require a suitable Disclosure Scotland certificate.  In recognition of the Scottish Government’s ongoing measures and guidance in its response to Covid-19 (Coronavirus), we would like to advise applicants that although the official address of the policy area is based at Victoria Quay, Edinburgh, and that some travel may be required, the expectation is that this role will initially require to be fulfilled while working from home.