Director, GOV.UK

London, Bristol, Manchester
Full time (37 hours per week), Job share, Flexible working
Security Check

06 December 2020

Who we are

GDS exists to help government make brilliant public services that empower people in the UK. We work at the very centre of government to drive digital transformation, focused on users. We build and maintain common platforms, products and tools for others to use and create great public services that are accessible, inclusive and easy to use. We also work with departments to identify patterns, share learning and create change to make a government more efficient.

Our teams are organised around delivering on our priorities, these are:
  • Make it easier for people to find what they are looking for on GOV.UK
  • Build common service platforms to make it simpler and cheaper to build quality digital services
  • Promote agile, user-centred design practices both in the UK and across the world

What you'll do

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 this recent blog post.


The Role

The Director, Head of 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.

As the Director, GOV.UK 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.


As the Director, GOV.UK you will:

  • work with senior colleagues in No. 10 and the Government Communication Service (GCS), to lead cross-government editorial planning around key government events

  • own and iterate a long term vision and strategy for GOV.UK’s platform and content

  • act as a vocal and visible ambassador for the strategic use of GOV.UK by central government

  • lead content operations in GDS, comprising the central content and service design teams

  • ensure the effective management of the GOV.UK budget

  • be a member of the GDS Executive Team, jointly leading the organisation to support the digital transformation of government

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.

Who you'll be

We are looking for people that have:

  • 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.


How to apply

We recommend that you read the candidate pack here before applying. Please contact if you have any questions about your application. 

Click apply to submit your application, for it to be considered you must provide the following:

  • CV

  • A statement of suitability, this needs to include how you meet each of the requirements listed above. 

  • 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.


For more information please read the GDS blog.

How you'll be assessed

In the Civil Service, we use our Success Profiles. 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. We may assess your ability, strength, experience, technical/specialist skills and behaviours.

For this role the following behaviours are the most relevant:

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

Things you need to know

You can find out about the application process and practical details like our office locations on the things you need to know page.

Equal Opportunities 

We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity in our organisation. You can find out more about our commitment to diversity and inclusion and read our equal opportunities statement on our Diversity and Inclusion page.

Redeployment Interview Scheme

Civil Service employees (including Senior Civil Servants and Crown Arms Length Bodies) who are at risk of redundancy and who meet the minimum selection criteria in the job specification are guaranteed to progress to the next stage of the recruitment process. Selection will be on merit and at-risk candidates will be able to self-identify during the application stage,

For all guaranteed interview schemes, there may be exceptions made on reasons of time/resource for high-volume recruitment where the vacancy manager may decide to select the candidates who best meet the minimum criteria rather than all of those that meet the minimum criteria.

This opportunity is closed to applications.