Role: Knowledge & Policy Manager
Location: London
Responsible to: CEO
Objective: To ensure insight from service users influences fundamental changes to the policy and public debate on people experiencing multiple disadvantage, to innovate new services, and to reform systems.
Salary: Up to £30,000 depending on experience
Hours: Negotiable
Holiday: 25 days per annum pro rata
Probationary period: The post is subject to a six month probationary period


User Voice is a charity led by ex-offenders. We are committed to making the criminal justice system work for everyone. We bring change for institutions, individuals and the agenda – by putting users at the heart:


  • Change for institutions: User Voice Councils give decision-makers feedback and solutions from their service users. In 2017/18 10,000 service users were engaged through Councils, over 200 solutions were put forward and 94% were accepted for implementation.
  • Change for individuals: with the right opportunity, encouragement and support, everyone can play an influential role in society through User-Led Change. Probation areas with a Service User Council have on average a lower reoffending rate than those that do not have Councils.
  • Change in the agenda: bespoke consultations, User Research that gives decision makers the opportunity to hear, and act upon, service user insights.


User Voice represents the views of 1 in 3 people in prison and on probation in England and Wales.

An independent evaluation concluded: “In cost-benefit terms it is quite clear that User Voice activities have generated benefits that far outstrip operating costs.”


At the national level there is a crucial need for insights from people with multiple needs to be used in system reform as this voice is currently almost wholly absent.

At the same time User Voice has an unrivalled and significant footprint across the country engaging with the hardest to reach people, through elected and trained service users who can provide the information to fill this void.

There is no one better placed to identify what works, what doesn’t, and to be part of identifying the solution than people with current and recent experience of the system.  More significantly, there has never been a time when it has been more important and timely that service users are given the platform to be heard, and to be part of transforming services and systems.

The Knowledge & Policy Manager will work closely with the CEO to use the insight from User Voice’s Councils to both influence fundamental changes to the policy and public debate, to innovate new services, and to reform systems.

The successful candidate will have experience of leading projects and communicating the results to affect policy and practice and a strong commitment to the values of User Voice.



Policy and communications:

  • To stay up to date with policy developments and to develop and maintain relationships with stakeholders in justice, homelessness, addiction and mental health
  • To be able to communicate the insight gathered through consultations with external audiences in order to influence system change
  • To produce impactful research that influences a range of stakeholders including central government, policy makers, service providers and the wider policy community
  • To conduct policy reviews and other background research.
  • To write a range of high-quality written materials including research reports, policy briefings, blogs and press articles to support the dissemination of consultation insights.
  • User Voice works primarily with children, young people and vulnerable adults. At times the role will demand unsupervised contact with this group. This role may involve interviewing young people alone in a series of interviews. The person will also be running groups with young people on multiple occasions, eg. Youth Policy Forums. THe young people will be connected with Prisons, Youth Offending Institutions and Youth Offending Teams and will be extremely vulnerable.


 Business development and partnerships:

  • To assist in the production of competitive proposals for external research and evaluation projects which generate income and to work with any partner organisations to manager and deliver those contracts secured.
  • To develop and manage assigned partnerships with external research bodies who meet User Voice’s values
  • To manage any assigned external contracted partnerships with research bodies and/or consultants


Commissioned research and consultation projects:

  • To liaise with clients to ensure that research and consultation projects are clearly defined and the data collected meets their needs.
  • To assist in designing and managing research and consultation projects User Voice are commissioned to undertake.
  • To take the lead on producing reports for clients and any other reporting requirements, such as presentations.
  • To manage projects to budget and ensure that the deliverables are met.




  • Masters level or equivalent relevant experience in social research techniques.
  • Demonstrable communications and policy experience.
  • Demonstrable project management experience.
  • Excellent communications skills, proven both in writing and verbally.
  • Excellent and proven research skills.
  • Experience of developing appropriate methodologies for undertaking research.
  • Experience of leading on the production of research proposals and generating income.
  • Proven IT skills, with experience of developing, maintaining and manipulating large databases and using other analytical tools for research purposes.
  • Good knowledge of safeguarding issues relating to research and practice.



Doctoral level or equivalent relevant experience in social research techniques.

  • Good knowledge of the charity sector and/or criminal justice.
  • Personal experience of the criminal justice system.



Equality and diversity

User Voice welcomes applications from ex-offenders and from all sections of the community regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, age or disability.

Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks

This post is subject to an enhanced criminal record disclosure check via the new Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) processes, as the post holder will have regular unsupervised access to children, young people and/or vulnerable adults. The purpose of the check is to ensure that the nature of the applicant’s criminal record, considered alongside evidence of the applicant’s rehabilitation, does not indicate that his or her employment in this role would put current service users at risk.


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