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Director, GOV.UK

Premium Job From Government Digital Service
Recruiter: Government Digital Service
Listed on: 18th November
Location: Bristol, Manchester or London
Salary/Rate: £93,000 - £110,000
Salary Notes: negotiable depending on experience
Type: Permanent
Start Date: ASAP

Director, GOV.UK

Government Digital Service

Senior Civil Service Pay Band 2

Salary: £93,000 - £110,000 per annum

Closing Date: 6th December 2020 at 23:55

Welcome from Fiona Deans

Thank you for your interest in the role of Director, GOV.UK at the Government Digital Service (GDS). GDS champions the digital transformation of the UK government so that it works better for everyone. We lead the growing Digital, Data and Technology (DDaT) Function's efforts to tackle some of the biggest collective challenges across government. We want to make the UK's digital government services the best in the world, and GOV.UK is central to realising this goal.

GOV.UK is the award-winning single domain for the UK government. Around 10 million people interact with GOV.UK each day, and this number is growing. When people need or want something from government, they go to GOV.UK - as the trusted, canonical source for government. People may want the latest information and guidance on coronavirus (COVID-19) or Brexit, or want to register to vote, get a passport or apply for a driving license.

Since its launch in 2012, GOV.UK has continued to innovate. It's already starting to deliver on its ambition to deliver joined-up and personalised interaction for users, so that we can provide the right things to the right people at the right time, in the way they want to use them. You can read the latest on our important and exciting work on GOV.UK accounts, in the recent blog post.

I am looking for a leader that embraces the GDS principle of putting the user at the heart of every product, content, design and data decision. The successful candidate will be part of a driven Executive Team, leading the overall strategic direction for GDS and collaborating with digital, technology and policy experts across government and the private sector. You will provide outstanding leadership to a smart, committed group of people in GOV.UK, continuing to embed an inclusive and healthy workplace culture where teams can thrive.

If successful, you will be joining one of the most forward-looking and dynamic places to work in government, where your leadership and work will provide a tangible and real difference to people's lives. I look forward to your application to be Director, GOV.UK, and thank you for the interest you have shown to help solve some of society's hardest problems through digital, data and technology.

Fiona Deans

Director General, GDS

Background to the Cabinet Office

The Cabinet Office is at the centre of Government, coordinating policy and strategy. Headed by the Permanent Secretary and Chief Operating Officer of the Civil Service Alex Chisholm, it comprises a number of different business units.

The Department has three priorities, these are:

  • to maintain the integrity of the Union, coordinate the security of the realm and sustain a flourishing democracy;
  • to support the design and implementation of HM Government's policies and the Prime Minister's priorities; and
  • to ensure the delivery of the finest public services by attracting and developing the best public services and improving the efficiency of government.

At the heart of this are our Cabinet Office values. To deliver our purpose and help make Cabinet Office a great place to work, we all commit to:

  • Treating everyone with Respect
  • Actively Collaborate, and
  • Build Trust

We pride ourselves in our ambition to be the most inclusive government department employer by 2020 and we have a number of staff benefits, including flexible working to ensure we meet this.

Background to Government Digital Service (GDS)

GDS is situated at the heart of the Cabinet Office, overseeing digital transformation and innovation strategies for all of government. It is responsible for growing technical talent across the Civil Service and representing Her Majesty's Government's (HMG) DDaT Profession to industry and other government stakeholders worldwide.

Since its creation in 2011, GDS has worked with departments and Local Authorities to help in the delivery of services that meet the needs of users, save money, and improve the efficiency of the public sector.

GDS provides the functional leadership for Government on DDaT, reaching across a community of more than 15,000 professionals tasked with delivering complex and transformational digital initiatives.

You will be joining as the Function enters an exciting phase with the appointment process underway for a newly established role of Government Chief Digital Officer (GCDO).

GOV.UK began its life about 8 years ago by bringing together government digital estate of websites into a single one, with a consistent brand. 

The work we carry out within the GOV.UK team is fast paced, energetic and rewarding. Our people are passionate about public service and we pride ourselves on our working environment which is diverse, inclusive and celebrates individuality.

Background to Digital, Data and Technology (DDaT) in Government

This is a crucial time for digital, data and technology specialists as government harnesses digital technologies, skills and tools to transform public services on a global scale.

The DDaT Function comprises around 15,000 digital, data and technology colleagues across government, and it is rapidly scaling up nationwide in the face of a rapidly changing society and circumstances.

In your capacity as Director, GOV.UK you will support the implementation of the GOV.UK strategy in partnership with the Deputy Director, Governance & Portfolio Assurance and the Deputy Director, Portfolio Delivery, as well as identifying any additional requirements and opportunities, which must be delivered in order to ensure that we keep pace with changing and growing expectations.

The potential to shape our society's future is enormous and our purpose is to ensure the profession is equipped and inspired to deliver real, meaningful change for users; to do the work of digital transformation that makes government work better for everyone.

Director, GOV.UK

GOV.UK has achieved a lot since its creation in 2012. With over 80m weekly visits, GOV.UK is the trusted brand for government to provide digital public services. In particular, GOV.UK plays a central role in the response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and is also an integral aspect of the government's public communications campaign for the UK's Transition Period, following the UK's departure from the EU earlier this year.

The role

We are looking for a creative, strategic leader who can think on their feet, solve problems and build relationships across the organisation, Cabinet Office and Whitehall.

The Director, GOV.UK holds overall responsibility for all aspects of the Government's single platform for most digital services. You will be responsible for the GOV.UK product (the website and publishing tools built and operated by GDS and their ongoing iteration), setting the vision and strategy for GOV.UK, ensuring work across product and content delivery teams is aligned and producing value for users and government, and providing visible senior sponsorship for their work.

We are also passionate about making sure GDS continues to be a brilliant place to work: you will play a key role in shaping the culture and capability of the organisation, including by attracting the best diverse talent from inside and outside of the Civil Service.

Responsibilities

This is a highly influential role requiring visible, persuasive and passionate leadership internally in GDS, and across the DDaT and Communication functions across government.

You will also be responsible for the design and content standards for all government publishing. You will oversee the strategic use of GOV.UK by content, policy and communications teams across all central government organisations to publish and manage their services and information. At present, a major focus of this role is supporting cross-government efforts to ensure the public is informed about the Government's response to COVID-19 and how EU Exit will impact them. You will play a key role working alongside communications professionals to understand and meet user needs.

Reporting into the GDS Chief Executive Officer, you will:

  • own and iterate a long term vision and strategy for GOV.UK's platform and content, ensuring the single domain keeps pace with changing user expectations and technology, and setting clear direction for product and editorial delivery teams
  • act as a vocal and visible ambassador for the strategic use of GOV.UK by central government, elevating the status and profile of GOV.UK within government and exercising GOV.UK's mandate to simplify and open up government for users
  • work with senior colleagues in No. 10 and the Government Communication Service (GCS), to lead cross-government editorial planning around key government events (such as EU Exit, budgets, reshuffles, elections and referenda)
  • lead content operations in GDS, comprising the central content and service design teams (curating and managing the top 1% of content and journeys to services) and governance, training and facilitation of the devolved publishing network across government (creating and maintaining 99% of content)
  • be responsible for cross-government governance over priorities for GOV.UK management and platform development, gathering requirements and communicating roadmaps and progress
  • ensure the effective management of the GOV.UK budget and ensuring the appropriate budget allocation across both product and content delivery teams in order to continue to meet HMG's and citizens needs
  • be responsible for ensuring costs and benefits are tracked so that GOV.UK continues to provide value for money and seek opportunities to increase its use by citizens
  • be a member of the GDS Executive Team, jointly leading the organisation to support the digital transformation of government

Person Specification

Essential

You will manage two Deputy Directors and be responsible for a headcount of approx 220 people working on the GOV.UK platform. You'll also have further influence and reach across a community of 1,000+ publishers across government, located nationwide in the UK and across 200+ countries.

You must provide evidence of your skills and experience of the following essential criteria;

  • a thorough understanding of a variety of disciplines involved in digital delivery, which could include engineering, service design, performance analysis and user research;
  • a proven ability to develop a flexible, responsive and creative culture which mobilises the team to accommodate changing priorities and be resilient, under pressure;
  • successful delivery of digital products and/or programmes at scale, with demonstrable experience setting, monitoring and reporting measurable product performance objectives;
  • excellent personal leadership skills, capable of building a high performing team and operating at pace, with experience of leading multidisciplinary teams in an agile delivery setting; and
  • outstanding verbal, written and visual communication and influencing skills, with an ability to build effective relationships at the most senior levels and operate successfully in a political or complex environment, and the confidence to interact with the most senior civil servants in the country.

Criteria

Success Profiles

In the Civil Service, we use our success profile. This Framework aims to attract and retain people of talent and experience from a range of sectors and all walks of life; for each role we advertise we consider what you will need to demonstrate to be successful. This gives us the best possible chance of finding the right person for the job, drives up performance and improves diversity and inclusivity. We will be looking at your experience, career history and achievements that are relevant to the specific job role.

For this role we'll be assessing your Experience and Behaviours.

As well as the Person Specification (page 3/4), we'll assess you against the following Behaviours during the selection process:

Behaviours:

  • seeing the big picture
  • leadership
  • making effective decisions
  • managing a quality service
  • delivering at pace

The recruitment process and how to apply

Location: Bristol, Manchester or London

We are looking to attract talent from across the UK, with the successful candidate based in London, Manchester or Bristol, where we are developing GDS hubs. The successful candidate might be required to work from London up to two days a week. In return we can offer flexibility, with the opportunity to balance working and offering visible leadership in one of our hubs, with the ability to work remotely.

Salary: This is a Senior Civil Service Pay Band 2 role. Existing Civil Servants will be appointed in line with the Civil Service pay rules in place on the date of their appointment. External candidates should expect their salary upon appointment to be circa £93,000 - £110,000 per annum (negotiable depending on experience).

Contract Type: This role is being offered on a permanent basis.

To apply, please submit the information below via the Jobvite application portal:

  • CV (two pages, font size 12)
  • A Statement of Suitability (no longer than two pages, font size 12) explaining how you consider your personal skills, qualities and experience meet the criteria in the person specification on page 3/4.
  • Within the statement of suitability please include your response to the following question: ‘what makes you suitable for the role and what excites you about the opportunities that exist for GOV.UK'. We are also happy to accept this as a video/audio clip (no longer than 3 minutes), we recognise everyone communicates better in different ways so please choose your preferred option.

The closing date is 6th December 2020.

Failure to submit a full application will mean the panel only has limited information on which to assess your application against the criteria in the Person Specification (page 3/4).

Disability Confident Scheme

Cabinet Office is committed to the employment and career development of disabled people and will guarantee to interview anyone with a disability whose application meets the minimum Essential Criteria (listed on page 3/4) for the post.

The selection process

You will receive an acknowledgment of your application through the online process.

The interview panel will then assess your application, selecting those with the best fit against the criteria set out in the ‘Person Specification' (page 3/4). Failure to address any or all of these points may affect your application. The timeline later in this pack indicates the date by which decisions are expected to be made; you will be advised of the outcome as soon as possible.

If you are shortlisted, you will be asked to take part in two assessments: an Independent Leadership Assessment and a Staff Engagement Exercise. These assessments are designed to support the panel's decision making and highlight areas for the panel to explore further at interview.

You will also have the opportunity to speak to Fiona Deans prior to the panel interview to learn more about the role and the organisation. Please note, this is not part of the formal assessment process.

Shortlisted candidates will be asked to attend a panel interview to have a more in-depth discussion of your previous experience and professional competence. Full details of the assessment process will be made available to all shortlisted candidates at a later date.

Please note, this process may change depending on the evolving situation with COVID-19. Interviews and assessments may be conducted via Video Conferencing. We will endeavour to keep all candidates updated throughout the process.

This competition will be chaired by Natalie Campbell (Civil Service Commissioner), the panel also includes;

Fiona Deans - Director General (GDS)

Sarah Harrison - Chief Operating Officer (Cabinet Office)

Jason Kitcat - Director of Digital, Data & Technology (Department for International Trade)

Recruitment Timeline

Closing date - 6th December 2020 at 23:55

Shortlist - 14th December 2020

Individual Leadership Assessments - commencing 15th December 2020 (remotely)

Staff Engagement Exercise - 6th January 2021 (remotely)

Interviews - 12th January 2021 (remotely)

Terms, Conditions and Benefits

Pension

There is a choice of excellent pension schemes. 

Flexible Working

This is a full time post, although we would welcome applications for flexible working patterns including job-share arrangements.

Leave allowances

25 days' paid leave per annum rising to 30 days after five years' service. In addition, full-time staff receive eight public holidays and the Queen's Birthday privilege day as well as competitive maternity leave, parental leave and adoption leave.

Expenses and Relocation Costs

We are not able to reimburse you for any costs incurred during the recruitment process. No relocation costs will be available on appointment.

Security Clearance

If successful, you must hold, or be willing to obtain, security clearance to SC level. More information about the process can be found on GOV.UK website.

Equality and Diversity

Cabinet Office is committed to a policy of equal opportunity for all staff. We will not discriminate on grounds of gender, gender identity, race, disability, sexual orientation, religion or belief, age, those with caring responsibilities, part time workers or any other factor irrelevant to a person's work.

We encourage a diverse workforce and aim to provide a working environment where all staff at all levels are valued and respected, and where discrimination, bullying, promotion of negative stereotyping and harassment are not tolerated.

Assessment for recruitment, selection, appraisal, training and career progression purposes is based both on the individual's ability and suitability for the work.

We are committed to providing all staff with opportunities to maximise their skills and achieve their potential, offering flexible working arrangements wherever possible. As a public body, we have statutory duties placed on us that require us to promote equality of opportunity and eliminate unlawful discrimination. We expect all staff to assist the department in meeting these obligations. All staff should have due regard for the need to promote good relations between individuals from different groups and work towards achieving equality of opportunity for all.

As part of the Jobvite application process, you will be asked a number of diversity-related questions. If you do not wish to provide a declaration on any of the particular characteristics you will have the option to select ‘prefer not to say'. The information you provide will help us monitor our progress on becoming the most inclusive employer in the UK.

Civil Service Code

All civil servants are subject to the provisions of the Civil Service Code (see annex) which details the Civil Service values, standards of behaviour and rights and responsibilities.

Childcare

Any move across the Civil Service on or after 4th October 2018 may have implications on an employee's ability to carry on claiming childcare vouchers. Instead, you will need to see if you are eligible under the Tax Free Childcare scheme.

Complaints

The Cabinet Office's recruitment processes are underpinned by the principle of selection for appointment on merit on the basis of fair and open competition as outlined in the Civil Service Commissioners' Recruitment Principles details of which can be found on our website. 

The Civil Service Commission

The Civil Service Commission has two key functions:

  • to maintain the principle of selection for appointment to the Civil Service on merit on the basis of fair and open competition. For the most senior posts in the Civil Service, the Commission discharges its responsibilities directly by overseeing the recruitment process and by a Commissioner chairing the selection panel.
  • to promote an understanding of the Civil Service Code which sets out the constitutional framework in which all civil servants work and the values they are expected to uphold, and to hear and determine appeals made under it.

If you feel your application has not been treated in accordance with the Principles and you wish to make a complaint, you should contact the Cabinet Office Recruitment Team, Human Resources, 4th Floor, 1 Horse Guards Road, London SW1A 2WH in the first instance. If you are not satisfied with the response you receive you can contact the Office of the Civil Service Commissioners.

Annex - Civil Service Code

ANNEX

Civil Service values

The statutory basis for the management of the Civil Service is set out in Part 1 of the Constitutional Reform and Governance Act 2010.

Diversity & Inclusion

The Civil Service is committed to becoming the most inclusive employer in the UK. We are committed to understanding, respecting and representing as broad a range of views and backgrounds as we have in UK society. We know that diverse perspectives and experiences are critical to an effective, modern Civil Service.

Our vision is to ensure the Civil Service represents modern Britain and is a truly inclusive employer - an example to other employers. We will create an organisation where diversity is not only respected and valued - but celebrated.

What's in it for me?

We want to maximise the potential of everyone who chooses to work for us - regardless of background.

If you're interested in becoming a world class leader, developing your career with us - starting with this interesting and challenging role - or doing things differently and inspiring colleagues, then the Civil Service is the place for you.

Our passion for diversity and equality means creating a work environment for all employees that is welcoming, respectful, engaging, and enriched with opportunities for personal and professional development.

What's next?

You've taken the first step and looked through this job pack to understand the skills and experience needed to perform this role. Now join us in achieving our ambitions and let us help you achieve yours.

Contact Name: Government Digital Service
Reference: TJ/8125/govukdir
Job ID: 2872642



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