Director, GOV.UK

7 days left

Government Digital Service
93000.00 - 110000.00 GBP Annual
18 Nov 2020
02 Dec 2020
Information Technology
Contract Type

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

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.


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


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.


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:



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

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