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SDA Cost Controller (Finance) Job Description

The Project Delivery function tracks and delivers some of the most complex and exciting projects in UK defence, offering fantastic variety with the support to shape and grow your career. With Project Controls and Project Management specialists working arm-in-arm, together our teams deliver fast-paced, cutting-edge projects – from the newest armoured vehicles to ground-breaking future aviation technologies – while ensuring critical core programmes keep moving forward, too.

We’re an Association for Project Management accredited organisation, and as part of our team you’ll benefit from plenty of opportunities for development, on-going training, access to 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.

Are you interested in the work we do with Submarines? Are you a Cost Controller (Finance) looking to develop your skills and progress? We have an opportunity for you!

Working for Superintendent Submarines in the SDA team at Devonport, you will take a lead role in the consistency and accuracy of management cost information and financial performance reporting in an in-service support environment

Superintendent Submarines is responsible for managing the delivery of submarine maintenance activities at Devonport Naval Base, including the deep maintenance programme. As a Cost Control Finance Professional, you will work closely with our suppliers and build strong relationships with key stakeholders across multiple teams, to provide financial support to projects.

This could be the ideal career for you, providing a rare opportunity for developing your skills and experience to deliver successful outcomes in a varied environment working on one-of-a-kind projects critical to UK Defence.

Due to security requirements, the post is open for applications from Sole UK Nationals only.

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 & Knowledge.

Responsibilities of the SDA Cost Controller (Finance)

In this role, you will be entrusted with the following:
• Produce accurate and timely forecasts, ensuring any variance and financial risk commentary is accurate and insightful
• Provide financial input, challenge and information at the monthly Forecast of Outturn reviews to empower stakeholder decision making
• Enter and reconcile cost information into various project financial systems, ensuring a clear audit trail.
• Consistently monitor project cost spend against approvals
• Challenge and interpret supply chains’ cost data to support accruals and project forecasting.
• Produce accurate supporting data and inputs for the Annual Budget Cycle /Programme Cost Review process in conjunction with the Project Managers and Cost Control Finance Lead
• Produce accrual and general journals and support the payment of claims, ensuring robust supporting evidence is included.
• Actively support the Cost Control Finance lead with any audit and compliance requests
• Support Estimators to develop cost models and assist in the production of Investment Appraisals and Business Cases
• Communicate key project financial performance data to key members of the project, programme and SDA leadership.

What you will be assessed against

To be successful with your application you must demonstrate that you meet the following essential criteria:
• Typically demonstrate previous cost or financial experience.
• An understanding of budgeting and forecasting, variance analysis and capturing project costs
• Proven team working
• Stakeholder engagement skills
• Intermediate working knowledge of Microsoft Excel, including V-lookups and pivot tables

It will also benefit your application if you are able to demonstrate the following desirable criteria:
• Desirable to hold or be willing to be working towards a suitable technical/professional qualification such as AAT or similar.
• Awareness of wider Project Controls (ie scheduling, risk, project management principles, Earned Value Management (EVM)

In addition to the responsibilities above, the following technical competencies and behaviours will be assessed at interview:
• Cost Management
• Financial Planning, Reporting and Resource Allocation
• Working together
• Delivering at pace

What’s in it for you?

Please note, our salary bands are under review and may increase. If the outcome of the review results in an increase in the minimum salary and your salary offer falls below the new minimum, your salary will be increased to the new amount from your contracted start date. If the new minimum is less than the salary you are offered, the original salary offer will be retained.

Our careers offer stability, training, progression – and much more! Discover more about what we offer by viewing 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, together we can achieve the extraordinary.

Please click the link below to apply for the DE&S / SDA Cost Control Finance role by creating an account and upload your details.

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Job Details

Job title:

SDA Cost Controller (Finance)


£32,500 – £35,000 per annum (plus benefits)

Contract type


Business area

Project Delivery

Working pattern

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



Number of posts


Recruitment contact

Eva Manley – DE&S Talent Acquisition Specialist

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