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Job Description for DE&S/SDA Commercial Manager

As part of our Commercial function, you’ll join a diverse team of around 1,000 people who support the successful delivery of defence procurement programmes with real world impact. Equipping and supporting the UK’s armed forces, these programmes range from peacekeeping to disaster relief to humanitarian aid projects – and we’re proud to help deliver them while ensuring compliance and best value.

You’ll benefit from a clear career path with plenty of opportunities for progression, support from colleagues and mentors to develop your career, access to specialist training and funded professional qualifications, and a c.27% employer pension contribution. You’ll also have access to a wide range of employee networks, including the Women’s Inclusive Network, Race & Culture Network, Pride Network, Disability Network – and many more. We recognise that the best people for the job may have commitments outside of work, so we’re pleased to promote flexible working to support our colleagues in balancing work and home life.

We are currently looking for Commercial Managers to provide leadership within Commercial teams in DE&S and SDA. Our Commercial Manager roles include contract sourcing, contract management, sales and disposals. You will work collaboratively with other functions in the Project Delivery teams to provide leadership of a complex contract or portfolio of contracts, manage delivery of business and commercial outputs to deliver business requirements. Other Commercial roles can also include those within DE&S/SDA Corporate Commercial, for example supporting Function activities with Assurance and Training or Commercial Business Improvement.

Please note that some of the positions available will be open to Sole UK Nationals only and some successful applicants will need to be able to pass Developed Vetting clearance.

Please note some attendance to the stated site may be required for this position.

We strongly recommend tailoring your CV in line with our CV guidance before applying, with specific sections to highlight Key Achievements, Relevant Experience, and Applied Skills and Knowledge.

Responsibilities for DE&S/SDA Commercial Manager

DE&S/SDA have opportunities for experienced Commercial Managers to join our team, allowing you to work on a huge variety of vitally important programmes that will ensure that people entrusted with the defence of the nation have the tools and equipment to do the best job they can. You will be responsible, as part of a team, in delivering anything from a complex commercial project, or a portfolio of projects, for equipment and/or service, supporting peace-keeping and humanitarian aid missions through to defending UK security; these can be in the pre-sourcing, sourcing, contract management, sales and disposal phases. You will work collaboratively with other functions in the Project Delivery teams to deliver business requirements.

As a Commercial manager in DE&S/SDA your responsibilities may include, but are not limited to:

• Negotiating terms and pricing, placing and management of contracts and negotiating contract amendments up to a maximum delegation of £10M in accordance with the Ministry of Defence policy
• Supporting the development of new Procurement Strategies through analysis of the markets for Defence Equipment and ‘learning from experience’ with other teams in DE&S and using DE&S acquisition tools to advertise defence procurements to future suppliers
• Supplier performance management in accordance with Contract Management Plans
• Due diligence of commercial activity within own area of responsibility in order to provide confidence in commercial outcomes
• Contributing to wider Commercial function and business improvement activities
• Communicating in a timely manner with a range of internal and external stakeholders
• Leading and managing a team of commercial officers and assistants

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 be supported to undertake the following:

• Relevant level of study with the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (CIPS) if not already held. This will be funded by DE&S/SDA
• Practitioner-level accreditation panel to demonstrate Government Commercial Function (GCF) professional standard
• Leadership development and defence commercial professionalism courses to develop commercial skills and ensure on-going Continuing Professional Development

What you will be assessed against

To be successful with your application you must demonstrate that you meet the following essential criteria:
• Previous experience of sourcing and contract management activities
• Some experience of managing, leading and developing others
• Proficient IT skills including Microsoft Office or equivalent and ability to use IT systems and programmes

If not already held, if successful you will be supported to undertake the following:
• level 4/or equivalent, or a willingness to work towards this by commencing study within one year of appointment.
• Have passed the MOD Practitioner Commercial Licence assessment, or be willing to undertake the assessment when agreed by line management.

In addition to the responsibilities above, the following technical competencies and behaviours will be assessed at interview:
• Tender and Bid Process
• Contract Management
• Leadership
• Making effective decisions

What’s in it for you?

Our careers offer stability, training, progression – and much more! Discover more about what our organisations offer in the DE&S Little Book of Big Benefits and the SDA Benefits. Find out more about our pension schemes.

We’re exploring future ways of working with a flexible and a family-friendly approach in mind. This means that successful candidates may be offered the option of hybrid working, combining working at home with working at their contractual location. Further information relevant to hybrid working will be discussed with you prior to you taking up your post, to find a balance that suits your needs and those of the organisation. Please note that employees are responsible for meeting the cost of their travel to and from work when attending site.

We welcome applications from people of all backgrounds and are dedicated to creating a great place to work that reflects the diversity of the society we serve. To help us do this, we particularly encourage applications from women, ethnic minorities, disabled people and people from LGBT communities. By bringing together different ideas, experiences and perspectives, we can achieve our ambitions, together.

Please click the link below to apply for DE&S/SDA Commercial Manager  by creating an account and upload your details.


Job Details

Job title

DE&S/SDA Commercial Manager


£43,400 – £47,000   per annum (plus benefits)

Contract type


Business area


Working pattern

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



Number of posts


Recruitment Contact

Erin Simmons

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