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Senior Audit Manager (Sustainability Assurance Methodologies)

National Audit Office (NAO)
London or Newcastle
£63,691 - £84,000 + benefits
Closing date
14 Apr 2024

Job Details

Salary: Newcastle range; £63,691 - £75,641; London range; £71,000 - £84,000
Civil Service Employer Pension Contribution of 27.1%

Thank you for your interest in joining the National Audit Office (NAO) as Senior Audit Manager for sustainability assurance methodologies. This job description will give you a better idea of who we are, what you will do when you join us, and what we offer. It also gives more details about the application process.

Our position is unique, and our work is very influential. Totally independent, we examine public spending for Parliament. This means we work for, and for the good of, everyone in the country. We want our work to have greater impact and make a bigger difference to the outcomes and value for money that government achieves on the issues of greatest importance to the UK, both now and in the longer term.

Sustainability reporting requirements are evolving rapidly for both the public and private sector. The National Audit Office has an important part to play in helping to ensure that the system of public sector sustainability reporting that develops is useful, reliable and proportionate. This stems from our remit to examine Value for Money on behalf of Parliament, as well as our financial audit of around 400 public sector accounts.

We are looking for someone with the experience to lead the development and application of our sustainability assurance methodology. Drawing on your specialist knowledge you will interpret and apply relevant standards, guidance and good practice in a way that harnesses the wealth of NAO experience in both financial audit and wider assurance of non-financial information. You will play a central role in our engagement on these issues with senior stakeholders in government and the private sector as well as with national and international standard setters and expert communities. You will also contribute to relevant NAO reports to Parliament and good practice outputs, and provide advisory support to help to build capability and upskill our talented and enthusiastic colleagues.

Alongside this role we are also recruiting for two other roles on sustainability reporting and assurance to create a new team who will lead our work in this area. This role is the most technical of the three, and focused on methodological development for sustainability assurance engagements.

This is an exciting time to join this new team and build a rewarding and fascinating career at the NAO. For more information on the work of the NAO, including our 2022 report on measuring and reporting public sector greenhouse gas emissions, and the other sustainability reporting and assurance roles available see our website.

The role


In this role you will:

  • Develop our methodological approach to sustainability assurance, in accordance with relevant standards, good practice and guidance
  • Manage and advise on relevant assurance work undertaken by the NAO, including:
    • devising and undertaking relevant tests to audit sustainability metrics
    • supervising and reviewing fieldwork, obtaining relevant evidence to support judgements/ limited assurance opinion
  • Work directly with clients and stakeholders on preliminary / pre-assurance work and to build confidence around non-financial reporting
  • Build external networks with expert communities, standard setters and representative bodies
  • Provide expert advice and opinion on sustainability assurance and reporting matters to relevant groups and consultations, harnessing NAO experience in both financial audit and non-financial assurance.
  • Provide tailored, timely and expert advice to teams across the NAO, drawing on and helping to build relevant expertise across the organisation.
  • Contribute to relevant reports for Parliament and good practice guides in line with our quality standards, and engage with external clients and stakeholders to disseminate this work effectively;
  • Take a central role in the development of a learning and professional development plan for sustainability reporting and assurance skills at the NAO;
  • Keep abreast of significant future developments, changes, emerging trends, and issues in the external environment which could impact on our non-financial assurance work and for our clients / stakeholders

You will also contribute to the NAO’s wider work, including financial audits, Value for Money studies, investigations, correspondence (from the public and MPs) and other work to support Parliamentary Select Committees.  

Relationships and accountabilities

Reports to: the Head of Environment and Climate Change, and to the responsible Executive Director on the development of an sustainability assurance methodology.

Internal relationships: Heads of specialist hubs/functions, audit teams covering a range of audited bodies, service line leads for value for money and financial audit, external communications and Parliamentary relations. You will work particularly closely with the NAO’s Financial Audit Practice and Quality team and the NAO’s Financial and Risk Management insights hub.

External relationships: External experts within government and in external organisations. National and international standard-setters.

Staff resources managed: You will work as part of a small team, drawing in others across the NAO where needed on a project basis.

The role can be delivered from either our London or Newcastle offices.

Skills required

We are looking for someone who can demonstrate the ability to: 


  • Draw on a strong technical knowledge of good practice and developments in sustainability/ non-financial assurance


  • Be highly credible and authoritative in developing and providing expert advice and opinion on sustainability assurance matters both within the NAO as well as externally
  • Take ownership of the delivery of high quality projects, including to develop our sustainability assurance methodology, from planning through to completion, delivering work themselves and supporting the work and development of others
  • Perform, manage and advise on high quality sustainability assurance engagements, demonstrating attention to detail, critical thinking, and a strong ability to work across a diverse range of clients and stakeholders
  • Critically challenge existing reporting and use professional judgement and scepticism to assess the quality and validity of audit evidence. Support team members in exercising a professionally sceptical mindset
  • Take ownership to ensure audit documentation meets the highest standards and complies with relevant requirements
  • Build and maintain effective relationships both internally and externally, drawing on excellent communication, relationship management and influencing skills to work collaboratively across all organisational levels
  • Lead, develop and motivate diverse teams and support all colleagues to deliver great work and achieve their potential. 
  • Work collaboratively and flexibly to ensure the office achieves its objectives and to support the wellbeing and development of colleagues.
  • Show creativity and innovation in how we do our work and build insights and support others to do so.


In addition, we are looking for the candidates with the following attributes:  

  • Show a strong commitment to your own self development, to delivering the NAO's strategic objectives, and keeping yourself up to date on office initiatives and information relevant to your work and specialism.  
  • Compliance with corporate responsibilities and interest in supporting others to do so.  
  • Working in accordance with the NAO's values and champion our diversity and inclusion strategy. 
  • Intellectual curiosity, especially about using data and evidence to answer questions.  
  • Flexibility to make a significant contribution across a range of topics and outputs.  
  • Drive and determination to overcome obstacles, resistance or challenges to achieve goals.  
  • Passion for improving government and the ability to defend and promote your point of view in the face of challenge.

Education/work experience

We are looking for candidates who can either already demonstrate an excellent technical knowledge of sustainability reporting and assurance matters, and/or a qualified accountant (e.g. ACA ACCA, CIPFA, CIA, MIIA, CIMA) with a sound grounding in sustainability reporting and assurance issues and the aptitude to build their technical skills quickly.

Conflicts of interest

It is essential that the NAO upholds, and is seen to uphold, the highest standards of propriety in its governance and potential candidates will need to ensure that they do not hold any non-executive posts, any other appointments or any others interests which may be in conflict with their NAO role.

Equal opportunities and diversity

We welcome applications from candidates who work part-time or who wish to fill posts as a job share, and are keen to support colleagues to work flexibly.

Applicants with a disability who wish their application to be considered under the Disability Confidence scheme should confirm this when submitting their application. Under this scheme we guarantee an interview to an applicant with a disability who meets the minimum requirements for the role. You should also let our HR team know if you wish us to consider any Reasonable Adjustments at any stage of the process.

Applicants will not be discriminated against on the grounds of any protected characteristic or any other extraneous factor.

The closing date for applications will be midnight on Sunday 14th April. However, we urge applicants not to wait until the deadline to apply.


The National Audit Office (NAO) scrutinises public spending for Parliament. Our public audit perspective helps Parliament hold government to account and improve public services.

We audit the financial statements of all central government departments, agencies and other public bodies, and report the results to Parliament. Our other work comprises value for money studies, local audit, investigations, support to Parliament and international activities.


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