Policy Officer

Job description

Job purpose:  The purpose of this role is to support the Policy Director and other colleagues in developing and implementing policy initiatives in the interests of the AOP's members.

Reports to: Policy Director

Responsible for: N/A

Budget responsibility: N/A

Directorate:  The policy directorate is responsible for the formation of AOP policy through member engagement, and for wide stakeholder engagement, to ensure that the AOP influences the eye health and wider policy agenda for the benefit of its members.

1. Duties and key responsibilities

  • Provide Secretariat support for the AOP’s Council and Policy Committee, and support as needed for other AOP and cross-sector committees, including preparing agendas in liaison with committee chairs, liaising with committee members, writing minutes, monitoring actions and providing feedback and regular updates to Council and committee members
  • Manage the cycle of elections and appointments to the AOP’s Council and the process of appointing committee members and chairs, including arranging inductions, updating the Council Handbook and contracting and liaising with external electoral services providers 
  • Research, develop and prepare policies, position statements, briefings and member guidance for approval, collaborating with and consulting colleagues and AOP’s Council, committees, working groups and members where appropriate
  • Engage with key external stakeholders and decision-makers over policy development, attending meetings, preparing briefings and leading the construction of consultation responses
  • Create effective communication with AOP members and external stakeholders, including Governments, NHS bodies, regulators, representative bodies across the UK and other external bodies, developing effective working relationships at all levels 
  • Consider the impacts of policy changes on other areas of the AOP’s work and member services, highlight these and initiate appropriate discussion and action
  • Take responsibility for resolving queries on policy-related issues for AOP members, Council members and AOP employees
  • Work with colleagues to develop and maintain website content and other internal and external communication activities 

2. General responsibilities

  • Be proactive in keeping up to date with developments affecting work at hand and maintain and improve personal competence through continuous professional development
  • Operate within organisational policies and work collaboratively with staff across the AOP
  • Contribute to team meetings and organisational priorities, strategic goals and performance targets
  • Be flexible and carry out other associated duties as may arise, develop or be assigned within the broad remit of the post

3. Person Specification


  • Two years experience in a policy development role – experience in a healthcare or other regulated setting would be particularly helpful
  • Working  proactively on policy development in a committee based governance structure
  • Developing policy materials, information and resources on varied issues for a wide range of audiences 
  • Working with a range of stakeholders, partnership working and/or strategic networking

Skills and abilities

  • Prioritising and decision making skills, including the ability to meet tight deadlines and work effectively under pressure, balancing conflicting priorities
  • Strong analytical, critical thinking and problem-solving skills, including ability to help generate strategies and to turn them into practical objectives and plans
  • Ability to grasp unfamiliar and sometimes technical issues quickly 
  • Ability to write clear and accessible material on complex issues for a wide range of purposes 
  • Clear communications skills face-to-face, on the phone and in meetings and presentations
  • IT skills at a level that supports writing, email internet and use of databases
  • Self motivated with ability to work both on your own initiative, and cooperatively  as part of a team


  • Knowledge of policy, legislative and regulatory concepts and processes  
  • Awareness of current policy issues in healthcare, NHS, regulatory and/or retail/commercial settings are all desirable  


  • Educated to degree level or equivalent or an additional three years experience in a directly related post

Personal attributes and other requirements:

  • Flexibility and ability to travel and work away from the office for short periods, which may occasionally include evenings and weekends 

To apply

If you are interested in applying for this position, please send a covering letter, explaining your suitability for the role, and your CV to [email protected].

July 2019