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Scottish Land & Estates - Musselburgh - Policy Adviser (Rural Business and Property)

Job Description:

Scottish Land & Estates is recruiting a policy advisor to lead on rural business and property issues. The role is an opportunity to use your skills to influence future policy while sharing your knowledge with our members. Ideally suit someone RICS qualified, or currently in training, who has broad knowledge of working with rural land-based businesses and is keen to develop, apply and share this knowledge. Previous experience of policy work is not required but enthusiasm to represent rural land managers and shape the regulatory world in which they function is essential as is a knowledge of rural housing and business matters. This is a high profile and important role for SLE members, which involves communication at high levels, with support from a highly professional team. SLE operate a hybrid working policy with scope for flexible working.

For more information please see full job description below or contact Stephen Young, Head of Policy, for a confidential chat. 07776 99531. To apply, please send your CV and covering letter to

Title: Policy Advisor (Rural Business and Property)

Line Manager: Head of Policy

Based at: Scottish Land & Estates’ Headquarters, Musselburgh with hybrid working options.

Hours: 34.5 hours per week (9 – 5 Mon to Thurs, 9 – 4.30 Fri), with some flexibility.

Holidays: 30 days per year including 6 bank holidays, along with additional leave to cover office closure between Christmas and New Year.

Salary: £28-35k depending on experience.

Benefits: Training and CPD allowance, time off in lieu allowance, contributory pension, supportive and friendly working environment, where we operate a hybridand flexible working policy. As a member facing role there is the opportunity to regularly visit member estates as well as shows and events.

Scottish Land & Estates

SLE is a membership organisation that represents the interests of rural land management businesses across Scotland. Our membership is heavily involved in a wide variety of business sectors, all of which are vitally important to rural prosperity and sustainability. SLE strives to have the true value and contribution of land managers recognised and valued both publicly and politically and aims to promote the contributions of land managers and estates, to protect property rights, to ensure appropriate business and regulatory framework for members’ interests and to play a key role in maintaining and delivering sustainable rural communities.

Policy team

The SLE policy team comprises: Head of Policy,

Policy Advisors (Agriculture & Climate Change; Access & Visitor Management; Conservation & Wildlife Management; Rural Business and Property) our in house Legal Adviser, and Policy Assistant.

In addition, the Director of Moorland works closely with all members of the policy team on issues which impact on grouse moor management or have a moorland dimension.

The team performs several key functions:

1) it works with members to formulate policy positions and identify policy priorities

2) it keeps abreast of policy developments in all areas where members have an interest to ensure that members are informed about changes in policy and regulatory framework and it communicates these changes through a range of communication channels;

3) it represents the interests of members at all stages in the policy development and legislative process, influencing Government policy at local, national and European level;

4) it responds to queries from members on policy topics;

5) it develops, or raises awareness of, good practice across a wide range of policy areas of relevance to members; and

6) it identifies new opportunities and risks for land-based businesses so that members are aware of forthcoming opportunities and challenges.

The work of the policy team covers a broad range of topics but strives to ensure that issues are considered in a holistic and integrated manner.

The policy work of the organisation is supported and guided by our National Policy Group, which is made up of members and staff and chaired by our Vice Chair (Policy). The National Policy Group assists staff in the development of policy and formulation of policy positions and provides advice to staff on policy priorities and objectives. The group also provides a vehicle for monitoring the effectiveness of the organisation’s policy work.

Principal Duties – Policy Adviser

You will be required to identify and develop key policy issues for the rural sector with a focus on rural business and property, produce policy briefings and technical guidance, provide advice to the membership, and support the organisational work across the policy team.

The role will also involve considerable engagement with a wide range of stakeholders as well as representational and lobbying activity. A key part of the job will be working to influence policy development in order to ensure a positive way forward that minimises the impact of proposed legislation, regulation and policy on members’ businesses, and where appropriate seek to enhance policy or advocate policy change in ways that further members’ interests.

Specific policy objectives will be worked up with the Head of Policy and agreed with the Chief Executive

The main areas that the Policy Adviser (Rural Business and Property) role may include are:

  • Housing,
  • Private Rental Sector
  • Digital connectivity,
  • Non-domestic rates,
  • Business Funding
  • Utilities & Energy

Specific duties will entail:

  • To be the policy lead on Rural Business and Property.
  • To advise SLE on all aspects of existing and emerging relevant Rural Business and Property issues.
  • To represent SLE on relevant issues to the Scottish Parliament, Scottish Government and its agencies, and in meetings with stakeholders and partners.
  • To work with the Chief Executive and Head of Policy to identify legislation, regulation and policy at regional, Scottish & UK levels which will impact on the membership.
  • To produce technical information papers and briefings (both internal and external)
  • To respond to relevant consultation papers.
  • To provide relevant input and support to the organisation’s National Policy Group, and provide staff lead for technical and issue specific sub groups relating to areas within your remit.
  • To gather and produce relevant data to support policy work
  • To understand the legislative and regulatory burdens on rural businesses and, where relevant, work to minimise these.
  • To promote best practice across the range of policy issues within your remit.
  • To work with our Communications Team to produce media releases and press briefings.
  • To represent SLE at member meetings, shows and events.
  • To provide advice, within defined criteria, to individual members, such advice being in addition to, and not a substitute for, that of the member’s own professional advisers.
  • To provide generic advice to members through Land Business, policy update, e-news, website, information sheets etc on relevant current and future issues.
  • To support the achievement of the Business Plan objectives, including the production of specific work plans for relevant policy areas.
  • To carry out other duties as agreed with the Head of Policy and the Chief Executive.

Person Specification


  • Good understanding of, and interest in, issues affecting rural Scotland
  • Educated to higher education level, and with relevant work experience.
  • Excellent verbal and written communications skills, including ability to engage with a wide range of people
  • Ability to work flexibly and with enthusiasm, on own initiative and as part of a team
  • Skills in managing priorities in a pressured working environment and working to deadlines
  • High level of tact, diplomacy, and confidentiality
  • Proficient in the use of Microsoft Office
  • Willingness to work occasional evenings or weekends, for which time off will be given in lieu.
  • Access to transport as the nature of the role will involve rural travel.


  • RICS qualification or be working towards this.
  • Experience of working in a policy environment.
  • Experience of working for a membership organisation.
  • Experience in rural surveying in Scotland
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