Job description

The Defence Equipment Sales Authority (DESA) sits within DE&S and handles the disposal of all materiel that can generate revenue within the UK and overseas, including aircraft, aircraft spares, ships, boats, river craft and other marine vessels and spares, military and domestics vehicles. DESA consists of a single team based at Bicester and Bristol and there are three specialist sales teams, one for each Front Line Command, who work closely to strengthen relationships and achieve the optimal disposal solution for Defence.

Our Commercial function provides independent professional judgement on commercial and procurement business matters. It is made up of professionals specialising in: commercial strategies; compliance with public procurement regulations; competition; tendering & contracting and commercial risk.
We are committed to increasing diversity and inclusion, therefore we encourage applicants from diverse backgrounds, experience and beliefs, who share our values and behaviours, this includes individuals from:

– Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities
– People of all ages, abilities, neurodiversity, faiths, religions, gender, LGBT+ communities
– Flexible and part time workers

As a Commercial Manager based at Bicester, you will be providing senior level direction and support to a Delivery Team within DESA and will be responsible for Sourcing, Sales, Contract Management, Disposals and Corporate activities. Within DE&S, the Commercial function is the only function that is contractually allowed to commit taxpayers’ money to support the needs of the Armed Forces. You are given greater levels of responsibility than members of industry and you could hold a commercial delegation up to £10m.

Do you have the following:
• A recent proven track record in a commercial environment,
• Experience in leading and managing the end-to-end tendering process, from devising commercial strategies to managing and leading on negotiations, through to contract placement.
• Experience in managing multiple contracts concurrently, as well as experience with large, complex contracts.
• An understanding of Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) and project management methodologies.
• Excellent communication skills as you will engage with colleagues from other parts of the business as well as Industry professionals.
• Experience of working in a sales environment would be an advantage and your Commercial experience can absolutely be from a career within the private sector.


Responsibilities of a Commercial Manager in DESA can include:

– Developing appropriate contracting methods and strategies
– Negotiating terms and pricing with industry
– Contract Management of sales and disposal contracts to ensure adherence to contractual obligations
– Evaluating tender documents
– Developing supplier and stakeholder relationships
– Risk management
– Adhering to the appropriate Procurement laws, as well as establishing Intellectual Property Rights
– Leadership and people management, providing coaching and mentoring as required.

This is an excellent opportunity to begin or continue your career in the Civil Service. The clear and structured career path within the Commercial function provides many opportunities to develop as we offer an array of training and development opportunities to help our employees develop their skills and experience.
If successful you will undertake the following:

– Leadership development and defence commercial professionalism courses to develop commercial skills and ensure on-going Continuing Professional Development.
– Relevant Study for Chartered Institution of Procurement and Supply (CIPS), if not already held. This will be funded and supported by DE&S / SDA.

What you will be assessed against

To be found successful you must demonstrate the following essential criteria:
• Experience of managing Sourcing and/or Contract Management activities, as well as experience in leading and managing professional teams.

It would benefit your application should you be able to demonstrate the following desirable criteria:
•CIPS Level 4/Chartered Status or Equivalent Experience/Qualifications. Successful candidates will be expected to work towards CIPS Level 5, if not already held.

If you are invited to an interview, you will be assessed against the following technical competencies:
• Tender and Bid Process
• Contract Management

If you are invited to an interview, you will be assessed against the following behaviours:
• Leadership
• Communicating and influencing

What’s in it for you?

You will receive a generous benefits package including market leading employer pension contributions of around 21% of your salary (not including any personal contribution), annual bonuses, a flexible working pattern to fit you where possible, 25 days holiday +1 additional day every year you work up to 30 days with opportunity for movement and promotion. Parking is available at this site.

Find out more about what we offer by clicking here or by reading more about our Employee Benefits.

Applicants should be aware that any move across the Civil Service may have implications on an employee’s ability to carry on claiming childcare vouchers.

About your team

The DE&S & SDA Commercial Function is made up of around 1000 people who provide independent, professional judgement on commercial, procurement and contract management matters to meet the Armed Force’s needs, ensuring compliance with relevant legislation and guidance, whilst driving value for the customer. As a member of the Commercial team, you will play a key part in helping to equip and support the armed forces for everything from disaster relief and reconstruction to peacekeeping and humanitarian aid.

Please click the link below to apply by creating an account and upload your details.

This post is not eligible for relocation allowances.

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Job Details

Job title:

Commercial Manager


£37,400 – £44,000 per annum (plus benefits)

Contract type


Business area


Working pattern

Flexible working, Full-time, Job share, Part time



Number of posts


Recruitment contact

Nathan Mullings

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