Financial Controller


We are looking for a Financial Controller with excellent analytical, numerical and problem-solving skills and must be able to work to tight deadlines. You will have strong personal and communication skills alongside confident leadership and management. Also, you will be able to demonstrate the ability to influence people at all levels to help drive forward system change and make financial decision making at the heart of everything we do.

The Planning Inspectorate has a long and proud history in ensuring a fair planning system for England. The work we do has a significant impact on people’s lives, the communities where they live and the economy.

We want our colleagues to be able to work more flexibly and more collaboratively, exploring new and innovative ways to improve the way we provide services.

For further information on the Planning Inspectorate, please see the information pack.

Examples of what the Financial Controller may cover in a week include:

Audit and Assurance 

  • Review and report on the findings of audit and assurance engagements across the business and liaise with our internal auditors on next steps.
  • Lead the annual audit cycle.

Corporate and Business Reporting 

  • Lead the team in the preparation of the financial statements.
  • Direct decision making by analysing, evaluating and communicating financial performance and positions of entities .

Financial Management 

  • Advise on current capital projects and ensure correct accounting treatment.
  • Monitor the business plan and advise on the right strategies to manage performance in relation to financial risk.
  • Monitor the business plan and advise on the right strategies to manage performance in relation to financial risk.

Governance, Risk and Control 

  • Work with the Risk Manager to continually assess internal structures and governance to protect the interests of stakeholders in the long term.
  • Recommend the right strategies to ensure the organisation adheres to governance structures and apply best practice internal controls.
  • Monitor and apply legislation, policies, and procedures relevant to the organisation.
  • Direct the organisations’ response to fiscal events- including Spending Reviews, Supplementary Estimates and Budget Setting.

Leadership and Management 

  • Manage and motivate people to optimise performance and effectiveness.
  • Be proactive and strategic in anticipating organisational needs while recognising the wider business environment.

Management Accounting 

  • Work with the Corporate Systems team to embed new ways of working from SAP developments ensuring the best use of technological innovation in financial outputs.

Strategy and Innovation 

  • Work with key stakeholders to develop a robust medium term financial plan to enable the organisation to respond quickly to fiscal events.

For full information on the role and assessment process please refer to the candidate pack attached.

All of our office-based roles are contractually located at Temple Quay House in Bristol. Most of our roles are able to work in a hybrid manner and you will be expected to attend Temple Quay House at least 12 days a year. Depending on your role, you may be required to attend more often than 12 days a year either permanently or temporarily to ensure we deliver our services in the most efficient and effective way for our customers. Please do contact us on if you would like to discuss our Hybrid Working Policy in more detail.


Essential Criteria

  • A recognised finance qualification of an IFAC (International Federation of Accountants) member body (e.g. ICAEW, ICAS, ICAI, CIMA, ACCA or CIPFA)
  • Experience of closing accounts and liaising with auditors
  • Experience and good track record of leading on budget setting and medium-term financial planning
  • Understanding of political context and need to balance financial and policy objectives
  • Experience and good track record for producing business cases for programmes and projects
  • Excellent influencing and negotiation skills
  • Ability to work in a culture of change, to think strategically and work with risk

Desirable Criteria

  • Experience of leading a finance team within the public sector
  • Knowledge of the UK planning system and Planning Inspectorates’ role, structure, and operations
  • Coaching and mentoring skills and ability to develop others
  • Familiarity with people management and HR protocols


  • Flexible working options, including flexi-time, part-time, compressed hours and home working if suitable for the role.
  • A working culture which encourages inclusion and diversity.
  • A generous civil service pension starting at 26.6% employer contribution rate.
  • 25 days annual leave increasing up to 30 days after 5 years, plus 1 privilege day to mark the Queen’s birthday. In addition to the normal bank holidays.
  • Generous family friendly policies.
  • Fast and modern IT kit which utilises Microsoft Office 10 and O365, enabling seamless working from home and collaboration across teams.

For full information see our Benefits information pack.

Personal Statement Guidance

Please provide a Personal Statement (1000 words max) explaining your suitability for the role in more depth, expanding on your CV evidence. It is an opportunity for you to provide evidence against the essential criteria and success profile elements listed within the candidate pack under the Person Specification that we have indicated we will be assessing. Please see the Guidance on how to structure your CV and Personal Statement attached to the vacancy.

Selection Process Details


Complete the online application form on Civil Service Jobs which requires the following information:

  • A CV: The CV section is an opportunity for you to detail your career history. It should outline the jobs you have done, the length of time you were employed within each role and a brief description of your role, responsibilities and duties which demonstrate relevance to the role you are applying for against the essential criteria. You must type, or ‘copy and paste’ into the text box called ‘Employment History’ within the online application. You cannot attach a copy of your CV.
  • A Personal Statement (1000 words max): The personal statement allows you to outline your suitability for the role in more depth, expanding on your CV evidence. It is an opportunity for you to provide evidence against the essential criteria listed within the candidate pack on the Person Specification page and link your answers to the listed Success Profile elements we are also assessing against .

We will assess your application on the evidence you have provided against the Essential Criteria and Success Profile elements detailed in the Person Specification in the candidate pack.

All shortlisted candidates will be advised of the outcome shortly afterwards.


If you are shortlisted, you will:

  • Be asked to attend an interview to have a more in-depth discussion about your experience and suitability for the role
  • Interviews will be a blend of behaviour, strength and experience questions
  • Need to prepare and deliver a presentation

Candidates who are successful at shortlist stage will be sent full assessment requirements with their interview invitations.

Other Information 

Shortlist Date: 16th March 2023

Interview Date: Week Commencing 20th March 2023

Interviews are currently being completed remotely using Microsoft Teams. We would like to reassure candidates that the virtual interview will not be recorded (or retained) within the Planning Inspectorate, other than usual interview protocol and in line with the Civil Service jobs Privacy notice.

We encourage all candidates to make themselves familiar with the role and what we will be assessing you against which is detailed in the Person Specification.

The Planning Inspectorate is committed to finding the right person for the job. We recruit using Success Profiles and consider the criteria you will need to demonstrate to be successful for the role, by doing this we are pushing up performance, diversifying our workforce and creating an inclusive culture.

ID and Documents

If specific qualifications/memberships are essential for the role and you are successful, you will be asked to provide accurate scanned or photographed images of the qualifications/memberships that you listed on your application prior to your start date.

We must check that any successful candidates are allowed to work for the Civil Service before we employ them. If successful, you will be asked to provide documents that show your Right to Work under Civil Service Nationality Rules and we must check the documents are valid with you present (either in person or over a video call).

Disability Confident Interview scheme

The Civil Service embraces diversity and promotes equal opportunities. We run a Disability Confident Interview scheme for candidates with disabilities who meet the minimum selection criteria for the job.

To be considered for an interview under the scheme you must:

  • have a disability defined by the Equality Act 2010
  • provide evidence in your application that you meet the minimum criteria in the job description
  • meet all of the qualifications, skills or experience defined as essential

While we will endeavour to provide you with all the appropriate information, you are the expert on your specific requirements so if you require any adjustments, you should consider the information provided about the assessment process in the candidate pack and then:

  • Complete the “Assistance required” section in the “Additional requirements” page of your application form to tell us what changes or help you might need further on in the recruitment process. The earlier and more clearly you tell us what you need and why you need it, the more likely we are to be able to accommodate you in a timely fashion.

Complaints Process

If you feel your application has not been treated in accordance with the Principles and you wish to make a complaint, you should contact in the first instance: The Vacancy Manager via the Recruitment Team (
If you are not satisfied with the response you receive you should then contact, Head of HR, via the Recruitment Team (
If you are still not satisfied with the response you receive from the Planning Inspectorate, you can contact the Office of the Civil Service Commission.