Corporate plan 2021-27

This document explains how WICS intends to fulfil its remit and statutory responsibilities during the regulatory control period 2021-27.

Published Last Updated

This document may not be fully accessible

How our work delivers for customers and communities

Each of the three strategic objectives is underpinned by three outcomes (see Table 1). The nine outcomes encompass all strands of our work. The activities and resources set out in later sections of this Corporate Plan will be used to deliver these outcomes. 

There are clearly many interactions across and between the outcomes, and the delivery of one outcome will frequently support the delivery of another. It is also the case that the outcomes will naturally evolve as customers’ expectations, Scottish Government policy and our approach to regulation evolve. 

We provide more information about each of the nine outcomes below. Section 5 details the activities we will deliver in order to achieve the outcomes. 

For each outcome we provide a key performance indicator (KPI), which we will use to measure success. 

There are 11 KPIs. Underpinning these KPIs is a single KPI that relates specifically to the progress we make in delivering our annual work plan against all outcomes. We will report performance against this KPI in our annual report. 

The KPIs reported here are new and therefore may need to be amended or strengthened in the light of experience of their effectiveness. We will report any changes in our annual workplan as the Corporate Plan period progresses. 


KPI 1: By February of each year of the Corporate Plan period, we will set out in an annual workplan the activities which we will undertake during the year. In the following year our Annual Report will include information on progress against our workplan.


Image
CP Strategic Objectives

 

Outcome 1: Supporting Scottish Water to be sustainable over the long term

Description

To achieve a water sector that is sustainable in the long term requires Scottish Water to take ownership: doing the right thing for customers and communities, at the right time, and for the right reasons. 

Our role is to put in place a regulatory framework that enables Scottish Water to do this. This entails giving Scottish Water the time and space it needs to transform itself as an organisation. We believe that such an approach is the best way to deliver the industry vision and to meet our statutory duty to protect the interests of both current and future customers – as long as Scottish Water is able to grasp the opportunity that the new regulatory approach represents. This is therefore one element of this outcome. 

Another element is ensuring that Scottish Water is appropriately funded to protect service levels for customers today and in future generations. Investment will need to be appropriately targeted and timeous if the sector is to achieve and sustain net zero emissions. By way of example, by 2027, 40% of the time available to achieve net zero emissions will have elapsed. Scottish Water should therefore be determined to be more than 40% towards its net zero emissions target by this stage given that the last steps towards net zero are likely to be the most difficult.

In making decisions we must: 

  • ensure that Scottish Water has the resources it needs to make the investment necessary to protect service levels and to replace assets in an economic and efficient way, while ensuring that customers pay no more than is necessary; and
  • determine an appropriate balance of charges between current and future customers. 

Our analysis suggests that current levels of investment in the assets are below the level that is likely to be required in the long term. Furthermore, there is a clear need to adopt a longer term, more flexible approach to maintaining and replacing the assets. The resilience of the industry and of the services it provides to customers and communities depends on getting this right. 

Future priorities

Our main priority will be to ensure that the regulatory framework supports Scottish Water as it develops and implements its Transformation Plan. We expect to maintain an open and constructive dialogue with Scottish Water and will set out our views consistently, including our rationale and the evidence that supports our thinking.

To support the new approach to investment we will also focus on developing our understanding of: 

  • the industry’s long-term investment requirements; 
  • how investment should be prioritised; and 
  • the funding required. 

As part of this work we will place greater emphasis on our review of Scottish Water’s investment appraisals, which should take full account of all of the costs and benefits, not just those that are easily valued in monetary terms. We will also need to be able to draw on better information about the assets and on improved asset management. 

We will continue to look outwards at other sectors and industries, bringing best practice back to apply in Scotland, and supporting Scottish Water to implement its Transformation Plan.

How we will measure success

Our success in delivering this outcome will be measured by the following KPI:


KPI 2: We will implement a regulatory framework that enables and supports Scottish Water to take full ownership of its relationship with customers and its decision making. We will report annually to the Board, and in our statutory annual report and accounts, on progress. 


To measure success in this area we will ensure that Scottish Water and other stakeholders periodically have the opportunity to identify and suggest amendments to the Commission’s regulatory framework and publish the outcome. 

Key risks
  • If we are unable to engage positively with stakeholders on the benefits of the new regulatory framework then it will not be possible to implement the approach fully.
  • If Scottish Water does not take ownership of its transformation then it is unlikely to deliver the sustainable industry vision, including the net zero emissions and asset replacement challenges.
Dependencies
  • Scottish Water meeting the milestones set out in the development and implementation of its Transformation Plan. 
Control measures
  • Regular review of, and commentary on, Scottish Water’s reporting of its progress against the milestones in the Transformation Plan.
  • Regular engagement with Scottish Water, the Scottish Government and industry stakeholders to understand perceptions of Scottish Water’s progress and to identify and raise any issues arising at an early stage.

Outcome 2: Incentivising an efficient and effective Scottish Water

Description

Customers rightly expect Scottish Water to be as efficient and effective as possible and, as a result, to deliver increasingly better value for money. To date we have made sure this is the case by setting Scottish Water tough but credible targets for efficiency. We have then monitored and reported on performance based on the detailed annual data we have required Scottish Water to submit. 

Scottish Water has already been through a significant transformation, one that was initiated at its creation in 2002. 

This saw both year-on-year operating performance improvements and increases in the level of service such that Scottish Water’s performance is now in line with that of the best performing companies in England and Wales. 

Yet a further transformation is required if Scottish Water is to deliver its net zero emissions target by 2040 in an effective and efficient way. This arguably represents an even greater challenge than the one the business has already overcome. 

We are working with Scottish Water as it embraces EBP. Through this change in approach Scottish Water must take ownership for: 

  • setting its own targets;
  • outlining the steps it will take to meet these targets; and
  • reporting performance (both the good and not-so-good) to its customers and communities in a transparent and accessible way. 

This is very different from the traditional approach of responding to the regulator’s demands. 

Future priorities

As Scottish Water transitions to a fully EBP approach its customers will still want to have confidence that the company is continuing to seek opportunities to make its operations more efficient and effective. 

Our main priority for 2021-27 will therefore be to focus on commenting strategically on Scottish Water’s performance reporting and on offering constructive feedback. 

This will require us to undertake an increased level of engagement with stakeholders so that we understand their perceptions of Scottish Water’s performance and can gauge the level of trust that exists within the industry. 

To put its performance into context we will also need to understand how well Scottish Water’s performance compares with that of the water companies in the rest of the UK and internationally. We will therefore prioritise looking outwards at other sectors and industries, understanding the potential for further improvement that could be realised in the Scottish water industry. 

Ensuring that Scottish Water operates as efficiently as possible is essential to delivering the objectives of the Scottish Ministers in an as affordable way as possible.

How we will measure success

Our success in delivering this outcome will be measured by the following KPI:


KPI 3: By November of each year we will publish our annual reports on Scottish Water’s overall performance in delivering the requirements set out in the 2021-27 final determination and identify any gaps that have the potential to impact on the level of trust among its stakeholders. 


We will do this by engaging with Scottish Water’s stakeholders and by keeping Scottish Water’s progress under review. Our assessment of the reporting framework will be set out in a comprehensive annual performance report.

Key risks 
  • If Scottish Water does not report its performance in an open and transparent manner, then this will erode trust, which in turn could lead to a focus on short-term assurance. 
  • If we are unable to analyse and benchmark Scottish Water’s costs, through either its failure to supply timely information or a loss of our analytical capacity, then we will not be able to comment in a strategic and constructive way on performance.
  • If we fail to engage with wider stakeholders, then we will not develop a holistic view of Scottish Water’s performance.
Dependencies
  • Scottish Water adopting EBP and taking ownership of its transformation.
  • Scottish Water reporting its performance comprehensively.
  • WICS undertaking effective horizon scanning.
Control measures
  • Increase the frequency of stakeholder engagement and ensure that this is at Board level, executive level and senior management level.
  • Provide constructive feedback to Scottish Water as part of a ‘no blame’ culture.
  • Integrate our horizon scanning activities more fully within the office.

Outcome 3: Helping ensure that the retail market maximises benefits for customers

Description

The competitive retail market for water and sewerage services in Scotland opened in April 2008. The market is for all non-domestic customers in Scotland, including businesses, public sector bodies and members of the third sector. Thirty providers are licensed in the Scottish market, serving around 160,000 non-domestic customers, with an annual gross value of c.£350 million.

Much of our activity to date has been to manage new licence applications and support the implementation of the Scottish Government’s principles of charging. This includes changing the charging arrangements for vacant properties and transitioning to more up-to-date rateable values as the basis for charging unmetered services. 

More recently we undertook a comprehensive review – involving extensive engagement and consultation – of the retail market; we are now in the closing stages of the process to update the market framework arrangements. 

These changes will ensure that the market continues to be fit for purpose, to deliver benefits to customers, and to work well for market participants. 

Future priorities 

In addition to continuing to oversee the steady functioning of the market arrangements, our priorities for 2021-27 are as follows: 

  • To support the licensed providers to embed the principles of EBP in their businesses and in their interactions with customers, other providers, the Commission and stakeholders. This will require them to demonstrate their commitment to open, fair and honest behaviours.
  • To ensure that the lessons of the COVID-19 pandemic are learned and that licensed providers are financially resilient to shocks. 
  • To improve the transparency of the information that is available to customers, so that they are able to make informed choices. 
  • To ensure that the market contributes to the industry’s common vision and the achievement of the net zero target. 
How we will measure success

Our success in delivering this outcome will be measured by the following KPIs:


KPI 4: Working with licenced providers, we will seek to put in place by December 2024 effective measures which ensure that all licensed providers have appropriate financial resilience.


Our annual report will comment on the effectiveness and resilience of the market arrangements.


KPI 5: By April 2023 we will introduce a voluntary market-wide process that allows licensed providers to demonstrate behaviours consistent with EBP.


Working with the licensed providers, we will aim to establish this process by April 2023. We will use the Scotland on Tap website to report on progress.

Key risks 
  • If a licensed provider suffers financial failure, then this may cause a detriment to Scottish Water and adversely impact on Scottish customers.
  • If non-household customers are not sufficiently engaged in the opportunities available from the retail market, then they will not receive the benefits the market offers. 
Dependencies
  • The licensed providers adopting EBP principles and engaging in an open and honest manner with customers, the Commission and other stakeholders.
  • The licensed providers embracing the planned market health checks.
Control measures
  • Review the financial resilience of licensed providers and consider further measures to protect the integrity of the market.
  • Develop an engagement plan with the licensed providers on the journey to adopting EBP principles.

Outcome 4: Supporting Scottish Water to become an analytically driven organisation that takes full account of benefits and costs in its option appraisals and decisions.

Description

As part of SRC21 the Commission adapted the regulatory framework to move away from a fixed investment programme for the regulatory period. This change enables Scottish Water to plan and to prioritise its investment programme in a more dynamic way, thereby ensuring maximum long-term value. 

Planning and prioritising in a way that maximises the trust of stakeholders requires Scottish Water to develop and clearly explain a benefits framework that quantifies the consequences and impacts of each of its decisions.

Future priorities

Scottish Water has historically defined upfront the areas requiring investment over the regulatory period, supported by a broad allocation of costs. This process has placed an undue short-term focus on ensuring that outputs are added to the list of investments and delivered using a lowest cost engineering approach.

An ongoing process for planning and prioritising investment allows Scottish Water more time to understand the investment needs for each system of assets over the long term. It will allow Scottish Water to assess all financial and non-financial costs and benefits of each investment while allowing for ongoing engagement with customers and communities, so their views are listened to and incorporated into the decision-making process. 

As such, our first priority will be to work with Scottish Water as it develops the way in which it prioritises and appraises investment to ensure that all costs and benefits are integrated and monetised in a transparent manner. This will help ensure that Scottish Water gets best value for every pound of customers’ money that it spends.

Although quantifying and costing the impact of carbon will be the immediate focus given Scottish Water’s net zero emissions target, this work extends to all social, environmental and financial benefits and externalities. 

This will form a key element of our involvement in the new Investment Planning and Prioritisation Group (IPPG) process. 

How we will measure success

Our success in delivering this outcome will be measured by the following KPI:


KPI 6: Our annual reports on Scottish Water’s overall performance will include an assessment of its progress in ensuring that project appraisals encompass a full assessment of the economic costs and benefits of investment. This assessment should include aspects such as the carbon impact, and of natural and social capital. 


Key risks
  • If Scottish Water fails to respond appropriately to our engagement in this area, then it will be unable to realise the benefits of becoming an analytically driven organisation. 
Dependencies
  • Scottish Water’s ability to make optimal decisions based on rigorous analysis of all of the relevant costs and benefits.
  • Scottish Water’s ability to evidence all of the relevant costs and benefits. 
Control measures
  • Scottish Water’s key milestones during the development, and in the implementation, of its Transformation Plan.

Outcome 5: Acting as a hub of information and expertise to support decision making 

Description

As economic regulator, we are asked to provide analytical assistance and/or advice drawing on our expertise in economics, regulation, commercial strategy, asset management and the water industry more generally. 

Examples include:

  • analysis on policy areas such as charging policy for the retail market; and
  • analysis on the Scottish Government’s assistance measures to respond to the COVID-19 crisis.

In the spirit of EBR, we believe that we have an important role to play in sharing our expertise; doing so will ultimately secure better outcomes for customers and the environment in the water sector in Scotland. 

In line with the Scottish Government’s Hydro Nation programme, we also recognise that effective governance and regulation of the water industry can have a real impact on people’s lives and wellbeing. It is therefore important that we share information and expertise on economic regulation with our international partners wherever possible (see Outcome 7 below). 

Future priorities

Looking forward, as the industry starts its journey towards realising its ambitious vision, we anticipate that the need for such information and expertise will increase. We are therefore seeking to put our role as a hub of information and expertise on a more formal footing. 

We also need to continue building our corporate knowledge and expertise so that we can provide valuable contributions. Our future horizon scanning and Hydro Nation work is essential in this regard. 

Performing this role provides much wider benefits in terms of developing and retaining our people and ensuring that effective succession planning takes place across our organisation (see Outcome 9, below). This occurs, for example, through providing opportunities to conduct analysis in interesting areas (such as rural development) and by working collaboratively with industry stakeholders and international partners. 

How we will measure success

Our success in delivering this outcome will be measured by the following KPI:


KPI 7: We will report annually on requests for regulatory advice and information and expertise from industry stakeholders and international partners, and on the nature of support we have provided.


Key risks 
  • If we do not have the resources we need (in terms of information, knowledge or capacity) to support advice and requests then we may not be able to provide effective support and our reputation could be adversely impacted. 
Dependencies
  • Scottish Water reports its performance comprehensively (for example through the Annual Return, Regulatory Accounts and other submissions).
  • We continue to update and maintain our UK-wide and international information databases. 
  • We attract and retain talented analysts to ensure that we have capacity to provide such support. 
Control measures
  • If necessary, and in line with an EBR approach, use our powers to request information that Scottish Water has not provided through its reporting.
  • Position ourselves as an employer of choice by providing opportunities for training, development and progression.

Outcome 6: Promoting customer-centric decision making

Description

We have a statutory duty to promote the interests of all customers, whether they are households or non-household customers, and current or future customers. 

Our regulation in line with EBR principles will provide both Scottish Water and the licensed providers the time and space they need to engage and listen to customers and communities. We will continue to make sure that, as the industry adopts EBP and takes ownership of its decisions, this is done in a way that is in the best interests of customers. 

EBR follows on from and responds to the adoption of EBP by the companies or entities subject to regulation. As noted previously, implicit within the EBR approach we are taking is the assumption that we will adhere to the principles of EBP in our own behaviour.

Future priorities

Our primary focus will be to support Scottish Water as it transforms the way in which it works with customers and communities, to ensure that its investment decisions maximise long-term customer value. 

This includes supporting the business as it develops its approach to engaging with customers as it further understands investment needs and appraises investment. Customer views should have as much authority as the more traditional engineering input. 

The outcome of this approach is that customers can have confidence that what is being done reflects their priorities. To be clear, this is not about undertaking more or better-quality research; rather, it is about living the community view, ensuring that decisions are taken having given proper regard as to what customers and communities would think. This encompasses their views not only on what is to be delivered or how it is to be delivered, but on the process that was adopted to allow these decisions to be taken. 

We also expect licensed providers to take ownership for high standards of conduct with their customers and to act in an open and honest manner with stakeholders at all times. This involves upholding their customer service commitments and communicating these in a clear and transparent way. We expect licensed providers to take individual and collective responsibility for an appropriately functioning market and to work collaboratively together, subject to competition rules, to ensure that the market continues to work in the best interests of customers. 

How we will measure success

Our success in delivering this outcome will be measured by the following KPI:


KPI 8: Our annual reports on Scottish Water’s overall performance will include an assessment of its progress in ensuring that customers and communities are involved in decision making. This will encompass assessing the extent to which customers could reasonably have confidence that their views are being heard and acted upon. 


We will achieve this by working closely with representatives of Scottish Water’s customers.

To measure our success in this area we will ensure that customer representatives periodically have the opportunity to identify and suggest amendments to the Commission’s regulatory framework. We will also publish the outcome of our review.

Key risks 
  • If Scottish Water and licenced providers do not engage appropriately with customers and communities, the customer and community view will be less well reflected in future government policy and service levels will likely fall short of what could be achieved.
  • If the input from customers is skewed towards a vocal minority, then decisions may not be in the overall customer interest.
Dependencies
  • The ability and desire of each company to operate under EBP.
  • The ability of each company to understand customers on an ongoing basis and for these views to influence decisions.
Control measures
  • Work with Scottish Water to develop a strategic assurance process of customer and community involvement.
  • Undertake an engagement programme with licensed providers to ensure they embed the EBP principles.

Outcome 7: Acting as a cutting-edge regulator that contributes to developing Scotland as a Hydro Nation

Description

We support the Scottish Government’s Hydro Nation initiative, which is setting out to build partnerships, share knowledge and expertise, to develop relationships and to undertake joint research. The aim in doing so is to use Scotland’s reputation and expertise internationally in order to improve global water management. 

We have already delivered a number of highly successful projects through our Hydro Nation work, collaborating with economic regulators and government agencies in Europe and more widely. Initial projects often lead to further requests for support and to date this has been the case in both Romania and New Zealand. 

Our activities involve assisting international partners to build capacity and develop strong leadership and expertise. We do this by developing appropriate information framework and analytical capabilities, and by delivering bespoke training programmes to senior management.

It should be noted that our involvement in Hydro Nation work has not been to the detriment of the role we undertake in Scotland; rather, it provides a number of real benefits that ensure that we are a more effective regulator of Scottish Water. 

Our involvement helps ensure that we stay at the forefront of regulatory best practice and promote the Commission’s international reputation by acting as an independent adviser and critical friend. Our participation in international projects also provides development opportunities to members of staff, bringing valuable insights, contributing to the office’s learning and supporting staff recruitment and retention. In addition, our Hydro Nation activities provide analytical work that provides meaningful training and professional development for all of our trainee analysts, helping them learn much faster than they would otherwise have done. Finally, while some of our work is provided on a pro-bono basis, much of it is charged for – bringing in additional income to the Commission. The levy that we receive from licensed providers and from Scottish Water is lower as a consequence of our Hydro Nation activity. 

Future priorities

Our international work has grown organically, based on the connections and contacts we have made to date. 

Looking ahead, there is a clear opportunity for us to: 

  • formalise and restructure our approach to identifying and selecting opportunities;
  • develop a stakeholder management plan and engage in a proactive way to communicate our successes;
  • pursue further growth in this area. 

We plan to target up to four countries, in accordance with our Hydro Nation strategy criteria, where we will focus our efforts to establish a pipeline of future projects. This is likely to include Romania and New Zealand (where we have already completed successful projects and have developed strong relationships), along with two other countries (potentially from within eastern or central Europe). There may also be opportunities to work as part of a consortium on Hydro Nation activities in future. 

In addition, we have started to discuss with the Scottish Government whether or not there would be benefits in the Commission establishing a separate division of WICS, ‘WICS international’, as the natural progression of the work we have done to date. This would ensure transparency of reporting and robust governance arrangements of our international activities.

How we will measure success

Our success in delivering this outcome will be measured by the following KPI:


KPI 9: We will support the Scottish Government’s Hydro Nation initiative by delivering projects and assistance, providing a minimum annual net contribution to our income from this work of £300,000.


We will achieve this by assisting international partners through training and by offering appropriate information framework and analytical capabilities; we will also recover the full costs of our activity. 

We will measure our performance in this area by the volume of activity we are invited to be involved in. If we generate a contribution to costs that is in excess of that included in our budget, we will either rebate this surplus to Scottish Water and the licensed providers or will support other Hydro Nation activity of the Scottish Government (for example, its work in Malawi). 

Key risks 
  • If the costs we incur in undertaking international activities are not recovered, then this could be to the detriment of Scottish customers.
  • If our international activities are not properly appraised, well managed and resourced then this could have a negative impact on our other core functions.
Dependencies
  • Have access to a talented and skilled pool of analysts to support our Hydro Nation activities.
  • Maintain our reputation as a leading economic regulator by horizon scanning for best practice within the global water industry.
Control measures
  • Governance and assurance arrangements to ensure full recovery of costs incurred in Hydro Nation activities, including overheads and business development costs. 
  • Appropriate project and resource management for international projects to ensure that the Commission uses resources effectively and efficiently and to allow equal access to learning opportunities for members of staff.
  • Limited budgeted revenue from Hydro Nation activity.

Outcome 8: Ensuring that the office operates as efficiently and effectively as possible

Description

With a staff of 24 people we are responsible for regulating an industry with an annual turnover of more than £1.2 billion that provides a vital service to the people and economy of Scotland. We carry out our role at a cost of around 37 pence per person in Scotland each year. 

As a public body we are very conscious of our obligations to deliver value for money. We monitor our expenditure with care, and by maintaining robust financial authorisation, expenditure scrutiny and procurement processes, we ensure maximum cost effectiveness. We review the way in which we achieve our objectives on an on-going basis to ensure that the results of our spending are as targeted and effective as possible. In doing so, we look to learn lessons from other analytical and regulatory processes in other industries and jurisdictions.

Future priorities

We continue to seek ways to be as efficient and effective as possible. Our experience of remote working during the COVID-19 pandemic has allowed us to develop our thinking on how staff might work more flexibly, in ways that maximise our efficiency. We are also focused on taking all opportunities to minimise our environmental impacts by allowing for more flexible travel arrangements and reducing the need for a large office. 

In line with our strategic objectives, we intend to expand our international work in a way that provides cost benefits for water customers in Scotland through earning revenue that makes a meaningful contribution to office overheads. 

How we will measure success

Our success in delivering this outcome will be measured by the following KPI: 


KPI 10: We will ensure that our income and costs remain within budget targets over the regulatory control period and will report our financial performance on a regular basis to the Commission Board. 


To deliver this we will ensure that appropriate cost benefit analysis is carried out in procurement, including in securing consultancy resources. We will also seek to outperform wherever possible and in so doing seek to return excess finances to Scottish Water and licensed providers. Finally, we will make sure that our Hydro Nation activities make a positive financial contribution to the costs of the office.

Key risks 
  • If we do not control our office costs carefully then we will not meet our financial targets, resulting in an overspend and a reduced ability to deliver the objectives. 
  • If the office is not structured appropriately to meet the opportunities and challenges presented by the strategic objectives, then we will be unable to deliver the Corporate Plan.
Dependencies
  • The budget set for the Corporate Plan period is sufficient to meet the strategic objectives.
  • The income from Scottish Water, licenced providers and Hydro Nation activity is in line with expectations.
  • Our proposals to restructure the office to meet the strategic objectives are able to proceed as planned. 
Control measures
  • Maintain the Commission’s comprehensive financial control mechanisms, including internal approval mechanisms, the oversight of the Commission Board and the Audit and Risk Committee on financial performance, and the internal and external audits.
  • Executive oversight of progress with delivering the office structure plans to meet the strategic objectives, including through monitoring progress with the office KPIs.

Outcome 9: Sustaining a high-performing team, with a focus on continuous improvement 

Description

One of our biggest challenges in delivering our objectives is to make sure that we are able to attract and retain the best talent and that our employees have the skills and expertise they need. As we transition to the EBR approach and develop our international work further we need to ensure that our pool of high-quality analytical and corporate talent is maintained.

In particular, in recent years it has sometimes been difficult to attract high-quality graduate applicants and to retain graduate analysts for more than two years. Our corporate team is more established but will benefit from ongoing training and development.

Future focus

Our activities in this area will focus on ensuring that we have the right people, skills and experience in place to deliver our overall strategy and objectives now and in the future. This will involve succession planning at all levels in the organisation and an ongoing commitment to training and development of staff. In particular, the transition to EBR will require staff development across the office. 

A key element of this will be improving our graduate offering. It is important that we are seen as an attractive and supportive place for graduates to begin their careers. To promote the Commission as a first-choice graduate employer, we will further develop our graduate offering so that it comprises a structured training and development programme. Our offer will also include competitive remuneration, a package of wider benefits, and opportunities to work internationally. 

To support our recruitment strategy, and as a key component of our communications strategy, we will invest in more extensive recruitment marketing. We are also developing our corporate website so that it more fully reflects the interesting and rewarding work that we do. 

Our aim is to increase the volume of high-quality applications we receive each year, so that we are ultimately able to build a permanent analytical team of 10-12 people. We should see a consistent stream of new recruits being enrolled into our development programme and an increasing number of recruits staying for four years or more. In the longer term, the intention is that this programme will support our succession planning. We will also continue to invest in the professional development of our staff. This is something we believe is very important as it ensures the continuous improvement of the office, enables employees to achieve all that they are capable of, and helps them develop new skills and expertise. 

How we will measure success

Our success in delivering this outcome will be measured by the following KPI:


KPI 11: We will achieve the desired structure for the office by 2025 and ensure that progress remains on track in the interim.


Key risks 
  • If we do not develop or invest in our staff training needs, then we will be unable to retain them.
  • If we do not engage with universities and participate in graduate fairs, then we will be unable to attract graduate recruits or remain competitive with graduate programmes offered by others.
Dependencies
  • High-quality training and development programmes with clear opportunities for progression for all staff.
  • Delivery of the Commission’s communications strategy, including developing engaging online content and promotional materials for graduate recruitment. 
  • Maintaining our leadership and management capabilities. 
Control measures
  • Appropriate work-planning and resource management for all of our core activities.
  • Putting in place a training and development plan for new recruits.
  • Implementing our communications strategy, including ongoing evaluation.
     
Was this information useful to you?