Position Profile

Job Title:  Director, Strategic Policy

Work Unit:  Strategic Services and HR Transformation

Ministry:  Alberta Public Service Commission

Competition Number:  1042764

Date:  June 2017
 

Position Summary

 

The position reports to the Executive Director of Strategy and Integration and is responsible for the coordination and development of corporate strategic policy, the legislative planning process and developing strategic policy capacity across the Alberta Public Service with a focus on advancing the transformation of the Alberta Public Service (APS) workforce.

This position will work with Ministry and cross-ministry partners to achieve high quality, integrated and coordinated strategic policy development and legislative coordination that supports the Ministry’s and Government of Alberta’s strategic policy directions and objectives. The position is also responsible for identifying emerging strategic policy issues through strategic foresight.

The position is responsible for the strategic management of the policy development process, including issue identification, research and analysis, options development, implementation, evaluation, and preparation of necessary documentation as the policy proceeds to executive management and the Cabinet decision-making process. This includes building policy capacity by providing guidance to Ministry staff through the policy development process, ensuring that strategic policy considerations are clearly articulated, considered and coordinated. The position has a significant project management role, coordinating resources and providing guidance and expertise to staff, Ministry representatives and stakeholders during review, development or revision of strategic policies and associated legislation.

The position provides leadership for the Ministry’s strategic policy requirements in areas such as coordination with Executive Council and at policy network meetings. The position also manages systems and processes to support information sharing and dialogue, and monitors the status of key policy initiatives. Additionally, this position will provide leadership and direction to a small team of professional staff.

Specific Accountabilities

  1.

Provides senior level leadership and project planning and management services to support initiatives and projects through the timely and effective provision of high quality strategic policy research and legislative support, analysis, advice, recommendations, and issues management.

Activities:

  • This is a key position in the ministry to provide leadership, direction and coordination in developing the corporate strategic policy framework and direction for the ministry.
  • Leads in the development of senior level briefings, advice and recommendations to Executive Team and the Minister on strategic policy issues which are led or coordinated by the position and supported by internal staff, including contributions to Executive Council’s policy analysis process.
  • Provides strategic policy recommendations and advice and support on a broad range of policy areas and initiatives led by other divisions or areas in the ministry to support more consistent and comprehensive policy analysis and coordination.
  • Provides effective leadership and or participation on cross-ministry committees, cross-government working groups and initiatives to ensure the Ministry’s interests are presented and represented.
  • Manages systems and processes to support information sharing and dialogue, and monitors the status of key ministry policy and legislative initiatives.
  • Provides leadership, direction and assistance to ensure coordination to identify and assess current and emerging trends and issues that have the potential to significantly influence the department’s core business areas. This position will anticipate and evaluate emerging policy issues on highly politically sensitive topics.
  • Provides leadership and contribution in the development, implementation and ongoing evaluation of policies, processes and strategies within the context of corporate models (The GOA Policy Development Process, Ministry specific process and where appropriate, industry best practices, and ensure alignment of policies with the Ministry’s and Government’s strategic direction and GOA Strategic Business Plan).
     
  2.

Collaborates with the Public Service Commission Executive Team members to provide support, direction and advice to the Minister's Office on legislature business and Executive Branch of Government on matters impacting the Alberta Public Service workforce.

Activities:

  • Prepares issues, manages and reviews correspondence and briefings prepared for the Minister and the Deputy Minister - Public Service Commissioner, ensuring timely, accurate and appropriate preparation and content. This requires a broad knowledge of the Ministry and Government programs, sensitivity to confidential matters, an understanding of Minister's and Deputy Minister's writing styles and dedication to quality.
  • Identifies and addresses policy/political issues facing the Ministry through the effective, integrated and pro­active management of written briefing materials.
  • As required, monitors the Order Paper and coordinates briefings and responses to written Questions, Motions for Return, Committee of Supply, Public Accounts, Private Member Bills and non-Government Motions.
  • Ensures all legislative business is completed within the time frames prescribed by the Standing Orders.
  • Facilitates passage of department legislation through the government decision making process (Cabinet Committees) which includes the review and coordination of required materials (3-column documents, Recommendations for Orders in Council, Ministerial Orders) and the identification of briefing materials for and meetings with the Deputy Minister and Minister.
     
  3.

Develops a positive collaborate team approach and engages clients using professional and political acumen.

Activities:

  • Ensures outcomes are delivered in accordance with business and operational plans; provides leadership, coaching, and mentoring to staff members to support continual improvement, capacity development and effective decision making; and defines, clarifies and reinforces accountabilities and responsibilities of team members to ensure alignment of team efforts.
     
  4.

Accountable for enhancing policy capacity across the Alberta Public Service.

Activities:

  • Develops policy capacity within the department and across the Alberta Public Service through leadership and delivery of the bi-annual Policy Matters Conference, Policy Essentials Program and Policy Internship Program.

Knowledge / Experience

 

Knowledge Required:

  • A Master’s degree is preferred in social sciences or business.
  • An expert level of knowledge and extensive experience in strategic policy development and the Government of Alberta’s policy development process.
  • Comprehensive knowledge of government roles, structure, and procedures.
  • Considerable working knowledge of government, legislative and political structures and processes (the Legislative Assembly, Cabinet Policy Committees, Legislative Review Committee, Cabinet and Caucus).
  • Knowledge of provincial and federal jurisdictional processes and how the different orders of government interlink on related issues.
  • Strong knowledge of the Government of Alberta’s broad strategic policy directions.
  • Strong knowledge of Government and ministry business plan goals, priorities and strategic issues.
  • Strong knowledge of consultation approaches and experience working with complex issues involving multiple stakeholders.
  • Good knowledge of project management methodologies and tools.
  • Excellent knowledge of applicable Government and ministry policies, functions, standards, protocols and information systems.

Skills Required:

  • Excellent strategic judgment and ability to translate essential information into actions.
  • Strong leadership, organizational, time management and priority setting skills.
  • At least six years of experience in a progressive policy development and legislative coordination, including experience with cross-ministry initiatives, and strategic policy development and coordination.
  • Exceptional conceptual and critical/analytical thinking skills, including the ability to analyze a variety of inputs and risks and make decisions that align with department business plans or Government objectives.
  • Exceptional written and verbal communication skills in responding to inquiries and interpreting policies and procedures to various levels within and external to the Ministry.
  • Demonstrated ability to manage change, influence outcomes and achieve results.
  • Excellent teamwork and staff management skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to develop and maintain excellent working relationships and partnerships with stakeholders both within and outside the Alberta public service.
  • Solid ability to take appropriate initiative work independently, functions under pressure, and use diplomacy and good judgment.
  • Strong knowledge of Microsoft Office Suite.

Leadership and Business Know-How

 
  • Exceptional consultation and collaboration skills and experience in working with a variety of groups who often have differing agendas.
  • Demonstrated ability to deal with complex and sensitive issues that may impact ministry direction.
  • Ability to manage heavy workloads and tight timelines, often with limited direction or in a rapidly evolving environment with tact and diplomacy.
  • Demonstrated ability to manage complex and diverse functional areas and projects.
  • Demonstrated commitment to innovation and continuous improvement.
  • Provide expert advice to senior officials and staff within the Public Service Commission and other ministries.
  • Considerable experience in policy development and coordination to achieve strategic results for the organization.
  • Exceptional analytical, interpersonal, written, and verbal communication skills.
  • Ability to function independently as well as lead and contribute effectively within a team environment.

Problem Solving

 

The position represents the department in discussions and negotiations with various clients and stakeholders to seek solutions and accommodate differences while accomplishing and communicating the department’s objectives. Frequently there is little direction and lack of precedent to rely on due to the nature of the issues. The issues are complex and sensitive and may be controversial. The position provides appropriate judgment in assessing the seriousness and level of political implication/sensitivity and responding to it in an appropriate manner. This includes developing new approaches to managing the issues.

Policy coordination also requires very strong working relationships with the program management to allow for open dialogue and debate on the various policy positions that exist in the department. This position must be able to take the various policy positions and land on a workable solution that best meets the needs of the organization while respecting stakeholder perspectives.

Relationships / Contacts

Clients Frequency Nature and Purpose of Contact

Executive Director, Strategic Policy

Daily

Provide input, information and recommendations, strategize on initiatives, receive direction, and ensure follow-up actions are taken.

Assistant Deputy Minister, Strategic Services and HR Transformation

Weekly or as required Collaborate on development of strategic policy and frameworks, manage projects and strategy development, provide advice and recommendations, exchange information, resolve issues, and identify emerging trends and issues. Provide briefings and recommendations.

Deputy Minister, Leadership and Talent Development and Public Service Commissioner

As required Provide recommendations and receive direction for issues relating to strategic policy directions, recommendations and frameworks.

Executive Team

Weekly or as required Collaborate and share information, review timelines, discuss deliverables, assess policy proposals.

Staff in program areas and other ministries

As required Collaborate and share information, assess policy proposals and address issues.

Impact and Magnitude of Job (Scope)

 

This position is responsible for ensuring that the strategic policy recommendations and legislative directions that are brought forward for review and approval are sound, reliable, accountable, and achieve the policy direction of the ministry on behalf of the Alberta Public Service.

The position operates within the context of relevant government objectives and policy frameworks. The Director’s strategic policy advice and recommendations, once approved, could have significant personnel and directional impacts for the Alberta Public Service, government agencies and other stakeholders, especially in the area of Human Capital.

The position is responsible for effectively representing the Ministry and keeping the Chief of Staff and Deputy Minister informed about key issues as they arise and for developing proposed solutions.

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