Head of Policy and Advocacy
Central London/currently remote, £50,000-65,000 depending on experience
This is a permanent role and full time, but we are happy to talk flexible working including part time
Reporting to the CEO, member of the Management Team
Deadline: Mon 22 Jun at 10 am
Full Fact, the UK’s independent fact checking charity, is recruiting a Head of Policy and Advocacy, a new role at a critical time.
We are an independent charity, a team of fact checkers and campaigners who find, expose and counter the harm that bad information does — to people’s health, to democracy, and in decisions that affect people’s lives.
This will be a high-profile job at the cutting edge of globally-relevant policy debates. You’ll be working initially to influence government policy and legislation on tackling misinformation and disinformation online, on protecting election integrity and updating election law, and to improve the quality of government information.
Over time, you’ll work with the whole team to shape Full Fact’s advocacy work and make sure that the lessons from our fact checking are translated into effective calls to action in support of our charitable mission to inform and improve public debate. That ranges from seeking corrections when high profile people or outlets get things wrong, to influencing government policy, or making the case for responsible AI in our field.
We are a supportive and ambitious team looking for a creative campaigner with a strong policy skillset, committed to supporting and developing an exceptional team of three Policy Managers and one Researcher. The ideal candidate will have a track record in highly-contested or high-profile campaigns to influence legislation, government policy, or the decisions of public bodies.
We created this team because too many of the issues that affect our mission are either stuck in a world of policy slogans like ‘advertising transparency’ or ‘algorithmic accountability’ with too little actionable policy substance behind them; or at risk of dangerous over-reactions that infringe free speech.
At our best Full Fact combines practical experience of fact checking; rigorous research, diagnosis, and policy development; and compelling advocacy to achieve change.
We have strong relationships already: a top-tier cross-party board; collaborations with public bodies such as the ONS and the House of Commons Library; and integrations into major online services such as Google Search, Facebook, and Instagram. We regularly engage with relevant departments, parliamentarians and committees, as well as industry and academic players. There’s plenty of room to build, and plenty to build on.
You don’t need to be an expert in any of our policy areas. You do need to bring your campaigning experience and share our commitment to accuracy in public life, and to freedom of expression.
You’ll report directly to the CEO and be part of Full Fact’s management team alongside the CEO, COO/Deputy CEO, Head of Automated Fact Checking, Head of Communications, and Editor. You will also work directly with the policy sub-group of the board of trustees chaired by Anand Menon.
As a member of Full Fact’s management team, you will have a particular responsibility for nurturing the supportive and ambitious environment we aim for, and for the overall direction of the charity.
If you are interested in applying but not sure you have all the skills, please do apply. We are open both to supporting learning on the job and to rearranging tasks within the team to suit the skillsets of the best applicant. We are happy to talk flexible working, and we are open to part time or job share applications for this role.
How to apply
Please email the CEO, Will Moy, in confidence with a CV and a covering letter that includes your notice period.
We prefer to sift applications anonymously. Please use your initials rather than your name and leave identifying details such as email addresses off your CV and covering letter. Both the covering letter and the CV should be attached to your email so they can be separated from it. Please include your contact details, including a phone number, in your email.
If you would like to arrange a confidential conversation with Will before applying, please email his assistant Paola Churchill.
Before applying please read the requirements we place on staff to protect Full Fact’s independence and non-partisanship. We recognise that candidates for this job may well have been involved in public campaigning before and that’s not a problem. However, we are an independent and non-partisan charity and we need staff who can live up to that. As an acid test, if you cannot respect and understand people who took a different view than you of recent elections or referendums, this is not the job for you.
Policy and Advocacy are central to Full Fact’s work. If you’d like to learn a little more, read our joint statement with Africa Check and Chequeado: Fact checking doesn’t work (the way you think it does).
Applications close 10 am Mon 22 Jun.
How the application process will work
We want to see you at your best to understand your strengths and the contribution you could make at Full Fact with strong support, including for your learning and development. We also want to make sure that we use your time well during this process and don’t ask for more from you than we need to. Of course we will make any reasonable adjustments we need to make to this process to help ensure you can perform at your best.
The interview panel will be Will Moy, CEO; Mevan Babakar, COO and Deputy CEO; and Amy Sippitt, Head of Research. Amy is currently responsible for the team and is now leaving Full Fact after six years in various roles, having started as a fact checker.
The process starts off with an anonymised covering letter and CV. This will be read by at least two people to produce a shortlist for interview.
The first round interviews will be a phone (not video) interview with Will lasting no more than half an hour at a time that’s convenient for you. We will record it so at least two people can review each interview to decide who we invite back for the second round. The recordings will be deleted at the end of the process.
The second round will include a structured interview and some exercises which assume no prior knowledge. The interview will be with the full panel by video and last no more than an hour and a half. We’ll tell you everything you need to know to prepare, including anything we’d recommend reading in advance. We will ask you to prepare a short presentation for the interview. You will also have a chance to meet members of the team that you would be managing and ask them questions.
If necessary, we may then choose to have a third round that is tailored to you to go deeper on particular aspects of your skills, experience, or approach. This may include meeting other members of the team, the management team’s executive coach, or trustees as appropriate.
Job definition: Head of Policy and Advocacy
Your job is to secure changes from the people and institutions who influence people’s exposure to bad information, including governments, parliaments, regulators, private companies and others. You and your team work to reduce the harm bad information does by tackling its causes and its consequences.
You run a team of three Policy Managers and one Researcher and you are responsible for the quality and effectiveness of its work, for assigning work within the team, and for the wellbeing, management, and development of its members. As a member of Full Fact’s management team, you have a responsibility for the charity as a whole.
The team you’ll be working with
You’ll be working with an exceptional group consisting of three Policy Managers and one Researcher, and reporting to the CEO.
The rest of our management team—COO/Deputy CEO, Head of Automated Fact Checking, Head of Communications, and Editor—all have strong networks and regularly represent Full Fact to a wide range of audiences.
You will work closely across the team, including making use of evidence from our fact checking work; overseeing the Policy Managers pursuing corrections and other interventions following fact checks and feeding into editorial thinking; overseeing how we use research to make our work more effective; working closely with the communications team, including on media and on involving our supporters; making use of our AI work and automated fact checking tools, and working with them to advocate responsible AI from companies building counter-misinformation tech.
The outcomes you will be responsible for
Standards: Demonstrably maintain the highest standards of accuracy, fairness, and independence in all Full Fact’s work
Knowledge and expertise: Become and stay expert enough in the issues and ever-changing political, regulatory, and legal environment affecting Full Fact’s mission to be able to plan and advocate effectively
Recognition: Within three months, work with colleagues across Full Fact to design and implement a plan to increase awareness of Full Fact and the harms caused by bad information among senior government and political figures
Relationships: Ensure Full Fact maintains and develops strong, trusted, and appropriately challenging relationships with those we work with or work to influence
Policy: Lead Full Fact’s policy development on a range of complex and high-profile issues so that we have specific, credible, proportionate, evidence based and timely proposals to reduce the harm caused by bad information
Advocacy: Secure change in support of Full Fact’s mission and plans
Research and evaluation: Ensure implementation and development of Full Fact's research and evaluation plans and work with our Researcher to make our work more effective
Team: Contribute to a supportive and ambitious culture in your team and across Full Fact, including through goal setting and evaluation, consistent 1:1s with your team members, and regularly seeking and offering supportive feedback
Process: Ensure effective knowledge and information sharing, record keeping, and collaboration across the team
Learning: Within six months, agree your own learning and development plan
What we are looking for from you
Understanding of Full Fact’s mission and environment:
- You act with integrity and you’re happy to commit to Full Fact’s ethos and the seven principles of public life
- You’re politically astute and results oriented
- You understand that part of Full Fact’s work is being a watchdog, and that can attract hostile attention, and how those risks can be managed and mitigated while standing firm for our principles
- You are committed to the political neutrality of our work and have a good understanding of impartiality (please see the rules on our website)
- Significant experience of effective advocacy such as influencing government policy in its early stages; building majority support in parliament on legislation; or influencing regulators’ policy and actions
- Familiarity with some of Full Fact’s policy context would be an advantage, such as freedom of expression, media, internet, data, election law, and government communications
- Track record of working effectively with internal and external stakeholders up to board level
- A fast, flexible thinker, able to guide our team in devising and executing great campaigns
- Able to lead and influence stakeholders, communicating persuasively in person and in writing whether on technical matters or on points of principle
- Able to both oversee and carry out rigorous research and analysis on a range of complex and high-profile issues
Leadership and management:
- You can run a team which is effective and happy
- You want to work collaboratively and you set an example in seeking and giving supportive feedback across the whole team
- Proven ability to plan, prioritise and organise programmes of work, resources, and budgets effectively, including the ability to contribute to the overall strategic planning of Full Fact as part of the management team