GOV.UK - Head of Technology and Architecture

London, Bristol, Manchester
Full time (37 hours per week), Job share, Flexible working, Part time
Grade 6 / Band A+
Security Check

29 November 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

As Head of Technology and Architecture for GOV.UK you’ll be responsible for designing and implementing the technical and architectural requirements of the GOV.UK programme to meet the direction set out above. You’ll do this while ensuring the platform is secure, available and resilient.

We’ve published a blog post which provides more information about the Head of Technology & Architecture role for GOV.UK and the application process. We’d encourage you to read over this as well as the below job advert.

We would expect to see practical experience and expertise of designing and developing architectures to cope with these demands, including delivering unifying account infrastructure that can consume digital identities to enable service transformation. Experience of ensuring the security of such services is also of paramount importance. We would though look for evidence of successfully leading technical communities and high-performing agile teams to deliver against strategic aims. Prior experience of government is not essential.


You would be joining during an extraordinary period in the UK’s history as we continue to respond to Coronavirus and as we come to exit the Brexit transition period.


You’ll be part of, and work closely with other members of, the multi-disciplinary GOV.UK senior team to design, iterate and lead our strategy. You’ll lead the engineering and architecture community within GOV.UK.

As the GOV.UK Head of Technology and Architecture you’ll:


  • develop the future GOV.UK strategy as part of the multidisciplinary senior management team in GOV.UK, leading on architecture and engineering

  • design and own the architecture which will delivery the GOV.UK strategy

  • lead the engineering and architecture functions across software, applications, and infrastructure for GOV.UK, and develop these functions to support and facilitate the GOV.UK strategy

  • interface with partners internally and externally who provide some core functionality and services to the GOV.UK programme

  • be accountable for engineering quality and technical capacity planning within the programme, to support both tactical and strategic needs

  • be accountable for the security, availability, and resilience of the technical services that GOV.UK builds

  • ensure engineering standards and guidelines are clearly established and communicated, making sure these are fit for purpose, and aligned with existing and emerging GDS principles and standards

  • work with other discipline heads to ensure that all technology and products are build in line with user needs, and have an effective ownership and operational model for their ongoing support

  • be accountable for the wellbeing of the technical community within the GOV.UK programme

  • provide programme representation in GDS senior technology forums, and contribute to broader GDS technical strategy

Who you'll be

we're interested in people who:


  • are able to demonstrate effectively leading the development of platform architecture to deliver against a strategy, while ensuring the security and resilience of what is designed and built

  • have an expert understanding of web-based technologies, and have experience creating and embedding technology strategies based on this knowledge

  • have wide experience of designing and developing large, service-based web application architectures, and experience of leading teams to build such systems successfully

  • have worked at a senior level, defining and ensuring organisational and technical needs, capabilities, and processes

  • have demonstrable experience of delivering rapidly and effectively to meet user needs in an agile environment, and being proactive in identifying and solving broad architectural and technology requirements

  • are excited by the ambition that GOV.UK helps users understand government, and government to understand its users, and and how we’re making better use of GOV.UK to deliver this

  • are passionate about the potential of technology and what it can enable in the public sector, with the ability to see the potential application of new technologies to user value

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:

communicating and influencing
delivering at pace
making effective decisions
seeing the big picture

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.