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Lead Test Engineer-Office for National Statistics

Government Digital & Data -

Full-time (Permanent)
£53,352 - £62,898
Published on
10 May 2024
23 May 2024

Lead Test Engineer

Office for National Statistics

Apply before 11:55 pm on Thursday 23rd May 2024


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£53,352 - £62,898

London Min £56,487, Max £67,270. Plus a role specific skills allowance of £1,300 (non-pensionable and non-contractual) may be payable.

A Civil Service Pension with an average employer contribution of 27%

Job grade

Grade 7

Contract type


Business area

ONS - Digital and Technology

Type of role

Information Technology

Working pattern

Flexible working, Full-time, Job share, Part-time, Compressed hours

Number of jobs available


ONS operates a flexible hybrid working model across the UK, with colleagues linked to one of our contractual locations in London, Newport, Titchfield (Fareham) or Manchester, and working between office and remote throughout the week.

As part of the hybrid working arrangement there is 40% a minimum office attendance requirement. Attendance is typically at your contractual office, with occasional travel to alternative locations. Due to estates constraints, there are currently temporary exceptions to this for colleagues based at Manchester who are required to attend the office for a minimum of 20% of their work time.

About the job

Job summary

Are you an experienced Test Engineer looking for a role where you can make a real impact, using your technical experience to enable us to deliver our Statistics for the Public Good strategy for the UK? 

We are looking for a Lead Test Engineer where you will help drive forward a package of organisational change and capability, building activities designed to grow the sustainability, quality and reach of the test services offered by ONS.  

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) is the UK’s largest producer of official statistics, covering a range of key economic, social, and demographic topics. These include measuring changes in the value of the UK economy, estimating the size, geographic distribution, and characteristics of the population, and providing indicators of price inflation, employment, earnings, crime, and migration. 

Job description

A Lead test engineer undertakes activity including shaping requirements, the planning, design, creation, execution and results analysis of non-functional and functional testing activities, through an automation first approach to testing, spanning a number of major projects at ONS.  

They define and deploy suitable test methods as part of a broader risk-based approach. As a Test Engineer, you will be responsible for the design and delivery of system, system integration, E2E and acceptance testing frameworks and activities, through an automation first approach to testing, spanning a number of major projects at ONS. 

You will work with a variety of operational users, third party suppliers and in-house development teams and develop effective working relationships with each.  

Your responsibility will be for a range of test activities. These include test harness design, test automation, writing, debugging, and refactoring test code, adapting approaches and frameworks appropriately and in line with any changes, business, and end user needs.  


  • Promote the use of opensource tools.
  • Proficient in multiple test scripting languages.
  • Have a presence in external test communities and regularly share learning.
  • Work closely with leads across the Government Digital and Data Profession to champion quality.
  • Guide test team members to design test strategies (which may involve more complex and larger scale delivery).
  • Manage communications between test and projects to support the control of integrations and dependencies.
  • Enable delivery of QAT functional services for programmes and projects by working closely with software developers to reach a collective understanding of system architecture, system functionality and business requirements, leading to the required test coverage at unit,system, integration, E2E and project/business level.
  • Understand and bring together both functional and non-functional requirements of an application, enabling complex and meaningful testing for projects to be executed in a consistent way.
  • Effectively communicate with projects and business stakeholders to support the control of integrations, dependencies, and risks.
  • Source, collect and extract data that is accurate and fit for purpose, working with developers to configure, test and update configurations.
  • Working with the wider ONS testing teams and ONS testing communities to ensure that the latest testing approaches are adopted across ONS.

In addition to the responsibilities as the lead test engineer, you will write new automation test frameworks based on project requirements. 

  • Own existing frameworks and actively reviewing them, identifying need for new tools & frameworks, and delivering these at scale.
  • Help to solve the technical challenges that team may require assistance with, evaluating efficacy of test engineering processes across the projects and suggesting improvements.
  • Promoting convergence, crafting shared capabilities and data driven approaches within test engineering.
  • Embrace innovation – evaluating tools and recommending approaches that can benefit testing. Enabling detailed, real-time reports of automated test runs.
  • Manage test infrastructure usage and selecting approach to running distributed, parallel tests. Using container, cloud technology to orchestrate faster, scalable tests while optimising costs.
  • Work with teams to promote use of test engineering solutions, accessibility testing etc.

Person specification

Essential Skills Criteria:

  • Functional testing (Expert): You can act as a champion for and apply an automation first testing approach advising on up-to-functional testing techniques. Including creating new test approaches for major projects.
  • Non functional testing (Expert):  You can act as a champion for and apply an automation first testing approach to non-functional testing. Applying Sustainable testing approaches to major projects to measure performance of of software and solutions.
  • Technical breadth (Expert):  Demonstrate knowledge of emerging tools and techniques that can be applied to a range of major projects at ONS to meet bespoke project needs, tooling, cloud applications and software languages.  
  • Test Analysis (Practitioner):  You can investigative problems and opportunities in existing processes to create suitable automation test frameworks.  

Technical Skills:

  • Expert in at least one programming language (Java/JavaScript/C#/Python) to create test automation frameworks.
  • Expertise in the use of testing tools for example Selenium/Cypress/Playwright for UI (User Interface), Postman/RestAssured for API testing and using tools for CI/CD like Git, Jenkins, BrowserStack etc. 
  • Experienced in BDD/TDD style of script development. 
  • Ability to develop performance test scripts using tools like JMeter/Gatling/LoadRunner etc and able to read, interpret and articulate performance reports (Grafana/Dynatrace/Prometheus).
  • You can act as an advisor with strategic understanding of IT trends and technologies for testing.

Further information about skill levels for the Government Digital and Data roles available on Government Digital and Data pages of 


We'll assess you against these behaviours during the selection process:

  • Working Together
  • Communicating and Influencing
  • Managing a Quality Service

Technical skills

We'll assess you against these technical skills during the selection process:

  • Test automation creation
  • Performance testing
  • Use of Code and new testing techniques to deliver a service


Alongside your salary of £53,352, Office for National Statistics contributes £14,405 towards you being a member of the Civil Service Defined Benefit Pension scheme. Find out what benefits a Civil Service Pension provides.

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