DE&S / SDA Senior Commercial Manager

Join an integral part of the UK's Defence and play your part in the procurement and in-service support of all our armed forces’ equipment, from fighter jets, armoured vehicles, submarines and aircraft carriers, to clothing, food, and ammunition. If you have the pride, passion and commitment to be part of an exciting organisation at the forefront of supporting our country's armed forces deliver on operations at home and abroad, then apply online now!.

Job description

We are committed to increasing diversity and inclusion, therefore we encourage applicants from diverse backgrounds, experience and beliefs, who share our values and behaviours, this includes individuals from: 

- Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities 

- People of all ages, abilities, neurodiversity, faiths, religions, gender, LGBT+ communities 

- Flexible and part time workers 

Please note, whilst successful candidates may need to spend a couple of days a week in Abbey Wood site, we will be flexible to home working. 

We are currently looking for Senior Commercial Managers to provide Commercial leadership within DE&S and SDA. As a Senior Commercial Manager, you are responsible for leading and motivating your team to deliver a complex commercial project, or a portfolio of projects, for equipment and/or service, supporting peace-keeping and humanitarian aid missions through to defending UK security; these can be in the pre-sourcing, sourcing, contract management, sales and disposal phases. You will work collaboratively with other functions in the Project Delivery teams to deliver business requirements. Other Commercial assignments can include those within DE&S/SDA Corporate Commercial for example supporting Function activities with Assurance and Training or Commercial Business Improvement. 

Do you have the following: 

- A range of experience in contract management or contract placement 

- Experience of complex or high-risk projects or programmes or a portfolio of projects in single source and competitive markets 

- Demonstrable experience of working with senior stakeholders and collaborating with others for successful outcomes 

- Experience of leading contract negotiations and contract management with suppliers involving challenging and contentious subjects 

- Experience of leading, developing and motivating others – members of your team and the wider business - for continuous improvement 

- The vision and creative thinking to lead teams delivering a portfolio of major procurement projects or programmes 

Please also note that some of the positions available will be open to Sole UK Nationals only


DE&S have excellent opportunities for highly experienced Senior Commercial Managers to join their team, allowing you to work on a huge variety of vitally important programmes that will ensure that people entrusted with the defence of the nation have the tools and equipment to do the best job they can. 

Responsibilities of a Senior Commercial Manager in DE&S/SDA may include: 

- Advise senior team on acquisition strategies for procurements in accordance with public procurement regulations and Government policy. Determine and enact strategies within own delegation limits. 

- Manage major competitive or single source procurements, including the development of commercial models and approaches. 

- Lead development and delivery of complex Invitations to Tender, negotiations and contracts requiring non-standard/bespoke conditions. 

- Negotiate terms and pricing, place and subsequently manage contracts and contract amendments up to a maximum delegation of £100M in accordance with the Ministry of Defence policy. 

- Conduct assurance and due diligence of Commercial activity within own area of responsibility by adhering to Commercial policy. Participate in Peer Reviews across the business as required. 

- Lead contractor performance management assessments to enable effective delivery of the requirement. 

- Lead a team of commercial practitioners, oversee and supervise delivery of team’s commercial outputs and be responsible for multiple teams providing coaching, mentoring and development. 

- Communicate in a timely manner with a wide range of internal and external stakeholders including Senior Leadership, suppliers and Subject Matter Experts.  

This is an excellent opportunity to begin or continue your career in the Civil Service. The clear and structured career path within the Commercial function provides many opportunities to develop as we offer an array of training and development opportunities to help our employees develop their skills and experience. 

If successful you will undertake the following:  

- Leadership development and defence commercial professionalism courses to develop commercial skills and ensure on-going Continuing Professional Development. 

- Relevant Study for Chartered Institution of Procurement and Supply (CIPS) and achieve Level 6 qualification, if not already held. This will be funded and supported by DE&S / SDA. 

- At the appropriate stage of your development you will attend an assessment and development centre. 

What you will be assessed against 

To be found successful you must demonstrate the following essential criteria: 

•Experience of managing Sourcing and/or Contract Management activities on a large scale on more complex or high-risk projects and programmes as well as experience in leading and managing professional teams. 

It would benefit your application if you are able to demonstrate the following desirablecriteria: 

•CIPS Level 6/Chartered Status or Equivalent Experience/Qualifications. Successful candidates will be expected to work towards CIPS Level 6, if not already held. 

If you are invited to an interview, you will be assessed against the following technical competencies

•Tender and Bid Process 

•Contract Management 

If you are invited to an interview, you will be assessed against the following behaviours


•Communicating and influencing 

What's in it for you? 

You will receive a generous benefits package including market leading employer pension contributions of around 21% of your salary (not including any personal contribution), annual bonuses, a flexible working pattern to fit you where possible, 25 days holiday +1 additional day every year you work up to 30 days with opportunity for movement and promotion. Some of our sites include an onsite gym, onsite restaurants, cafes and much more. 

Find out more about what we offer by clicking here or by using 'The Little Book of Big Benefits' booklet PDF at the bottom of this page. 

Applicants should be aware that any move across the Civil Service may have implications on an employee’s ability to carry on claiming childcare vouchers. 

About your team 

The DE&S & SDA Commercial Function is made up of around 1000 people who provide independent, professional judgement on commercial, procurement and contract management matters to meet the Armed Force’s needs, ensuring compliance with relevant legislation and guidance, whilst driving value for the customer. As a member of the Commercial team, you will play a key part in helping to equip and support the armed forces for everything from disaster relief and reconstruction to peacekeeping and humanitarian aid.


Please find 'The Little Book of Big Benefits' attached or click here

This post is not eligible for relocation allowances.

Things you need to know


Successful candidates must meet the security requirements before they can be appointed. The level of security needed is security check.

People working with government assets must complete basic personnel security standardchecks.

Selection process details

Simply click on the apply button to create an account and upload your CV which clearly demonstrates the following areas (which you will be assessed against): 

• Key Achievements 

• Relevant Experience 

• Applied Knowledge and Skills 

For additional guidance on writing a CV for DE&S, please click here

Firstly we’ll check that you meet the essential criteria that are listed for the role. If you do, we’ll then carry out a more detailed review of your CV to see if your qualifications and experience are a good match for the role(s). 

If you’re successful, we’ll invite you to an interview so you can meet us, discuss your Key Achievements, Relevant Experience and Applied knowledge & Skills. In addition to the above, you'll also be assessed against a technical competence and the listed behaviours, aligned to ourDE&S Behaviours which can be found attached at the bottom of the page.

Feedback will only be provided if you attend an interview or assessment.

Nationality requirements

Open to UK, Commonwealth and European Economic Area (EEA) and certain non EEA nationals. Further information on whether you are able to apply is available here.

Working for the Civil Service

The Civil Service Code sets out the standards of behaviour expected of civil servants.

We recruit by merit on the basis of fair and open competition, as outlined in the Civil Service Commission's recruitment principles.

The Civil Service embraces diversity and promotes equal opportunities. As such, we run a Disability Confident Scheme (DCS) for candidates with disabilities who meet the minimum selection criteria.

Apply and further information

Contact point for applicants: Nathan Mullings - DE&S Talent Acquisition Specialist |

Recruitment team:

Further information

For more details on DE&S, please see attached 'DE&S Further Information' PDF. This document also explains how you can make a complaint - click apply now to view these documents