Role profile: geographic adviser

Geographic advisers use specialist geographic knowledge and techniques to:

  • support and give context to decision-making
  • support and give context to the development and evaluation of policies – this also includes supporting the work being done to achieve the aims of policies
  • develop and promote policies related to geographic understanding or information

Geographic advisers are experts in understanding and analysing environmental or human processes and interactions in places and at scale. They use their knowledge to give advice and evaluate evidence in support of government challenges.

Geographic advisers are skilled at working in multi-disciplinary settings. They are able to co-ordinate the activities of people from different professions to solve business and policy challenges that benefit from geographical insight.

Typical role responsibilities

Geographic advisers:

  • use their knowledge and assessment of related evidence to provide expert advice on business problems that need geographical insight
  • develop and manage programmes of geographic research and create evidence bases that relate to business needs
  • co-ordinate work being done by people from different professions to solve problems – geographic advisers will use their integrated understanding of place, geographical systems, scale and inter-relationships to co-ordinate these activities effectively
  • synthesise geographical research and evidence to produce reports and make recommendations
  • advise colleagues form other analytical professions on geographical aspects of their work – this includes providing information about where to get technical support if it is needed

Skills

There are several important skills that geographic advisers need to be successful in their role.

You must be able to apply fundamental knowledge from a geographic sub-discipline to support government decision-making.

You will be expected to demonstrate these skills at different levels depending on the seniority of your role.

Associate geographic adviser

As an associate geographic adviser, you must have a ‘working’ skill level.

Geographic adviser

As a geographic adviser, you must have a ‘working’ skill level.

Senior geographic adviser

As a senior geographic adviser, you must have a ‘practitioner’ skill level.

Principal geographic adviser

As a principal geographic adviser, you must have an ‘expert’ skill level.

You must be able to evaluate and critique evidence using geographical knowledge and techniques to create a high-quality evidence base around an issue.

You will be expected to demonstrate these skills at different levels depending on the seniority of your role.

Associate geographic adviser

As an associate geographic adviser, you must have a ‘working’ skill level.

Geographic adviser

As a geographic adviser, you must have a ‘working’ skill level.

Senior geographic adviser

As a senior geographic adviser, you must have a ‘practitioner’ skill level.

Principal geographic adviser

As a principal geographic adviser, you must have an ‘expert’ skill level.

You must be able to demonstrate that you understand different technical and government disciplines. You must also be able to co-ordinate and integrate these disciplines to deal with place-based problems.

You will be expected to demonstrate these skills at different levels depending on the seniority of your role.

Associate geographic adviser

As an associate geographic adviser, you must have an ‘awareness’ skill level.

Geographic adviser

As a geographic adviser, you must have a ‘working’ skill level.

Senior geographic adviser

As a senior geographic adviser, you must have a ‘practitioner’ skill level.

Principal geographic adviser

As a principal geographic adviser, you must have an ‘expert’ skill level.

You must be able to demonstrate your knowledge of different sources of geographic evidence and research. You must also be able to synthesise this evidence and research to make policy recommendations.

You will be expected to demonstrate these skills at different levels depending on the seniority of your role.

Associate geographic adviser

As an associate geographic adviser, you must have an ‘awareness’ skill level.

Geographic adviser

As a geographic adviser, you must have a ‘working’ skill level.

Senior geographic adviser

As a senior geographic adviser, you must have a ‘practitioner’ skill level.

Principal geographic adviser

As a principal geographic adviser, you must have an ‘expert’ skill level.

You must be able to develop strategies and plans for geographic policy or research that supports business objectives. You must also be able to manage the process to commission and produce these pieces of work.

You will be expected to demonstrate these skills at different levels depending on the seniority of your role.

Associate geographic adviser

As an associate geographic adviser, you must have a ‘working’ skill level.

Geographic adviser

As a geographic adviser, you must have a ‘working’ skill level.

Senior geographic adviser

As a senior geographic adviser, you must have a ‘practitioner’ skill level.

Principal geographic adviser

As a principal geographic adviser, you must have an ‘expert’ skill level.

You must be able to demonstrate your knowledge of statutory requirements related to your discipline. You must also be able to advise on matters of compliance with these requirements.

You will be expected to demonstrate these skills at different levels depending on the seniority of your role.

Associate geographic adviser

As an associate geographic adviser, you must have an ‘awareness’ skill level.

Geographic adviser

As a geographic adviser, you must have a ‘working’ skill level.

Senior geographic adviser

As a senior geographic adviser, you must have a ‘practitioner’ skill level.

Principal geographic adviser

As a principal geographic adviser, you must have an ‘expert’ skill level.

You must be able to demonstrate your knowledge of different sources of evidence and techniques for evaluating geographical effects of policy.

You will be expected to demonstrate these skills at different levels depending on the seniority of your role.

Associate geographic adviser

As an associate geographic adviser, you must have an ‘awareness’ skill level.

Geographic adviser

As a geographic adviser, you must have a ‘working’ skill level.

Senior geographic adviser

As a senior geographic adviser, you must have a ‘practitioner’ skill level.

Principal geographic adviser

As a principal geographic adviser, you must have a ‘practitioner’ skill level.

Sample career path

The geographic adviser career path shows some of the common entry and exit points for the role. It also shows the typical skill levels needed.

You can enter a geographic adviser role from other analytical professions or other professions, such as the policy profession. You can also exit the role to join these professions.

The diagram shows a potential career path. It shows that you can enter or leave a role from a wide range of backgrounds and experience levels. For example, you could become a geographic adviser by developing your skills in an associate role. You could continue to move up the levels in the career path by taking on more senior geographic adviser roles. Or you could develop your skills by working in a technical specialist role in an analytical or digital profession. You could also develop the necessary skills by working in a profession agnostic role outside of these professions.

A role that could be done by any person with the relevant skills or experience from any profession.

This could be a ‘badged’ or professional role that is subject to entry requirements and development.

Beyond the principal geographic adviser role, you could go into more senior leadership roles. These roles require broader analytical understanding, and the ability to lead multi-disciplinary teams.