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Head of Data Security

Cabinet Office Government Digital Service -

Full-time (Permanent)
£60,500 to £71,000
Published on
26 July 2022
4 September 2022

What you'll do

You will be part of  CDDO and the Data Strategy and Standards (DS&S) Directorate at an exciting time as we build a new data governance and policy function and establish a Data and Technology Architecture Design Authority (DTADA) to sit alongside the established Data Standards Authority. 

Our team has some big ambitions. We want to improve services for end users and improve how new policies are developed through the effective use and reuse of data. A key part of that will be to establish a Data Architecture that is appropriate for system-wide and cross-government adoption, underpinned by agreed principles, policies and standards. Within this function we recognise the need to develop pan government approaches to common data protection and security challenges. We need great people to make that happen. 

This will involve solving complex or/and complicated problems to deliver on the commitments in the National Data Strategy and DS&S’s forward plan. You’ll be working with colleagues from other government departments, as well as external partners, and challenging others to be ambitious in transforming the way data is used and shared across government to help deliver joined-up, trusted, public services that meet the needs of their users. 

You will be expected to work flexibly and collaboratively on a range of projects where your expertise and skills are needed and will support a culture of agile working across your team. You will work closely with the leads in other teams (notably data architecture) to establish task and finish squads to support new standards development.

As the Head of Data Security you’ll:

  • act as a senior advisor on best practice cross government data security development, in relation to our data enterprise architecture, able to deploy multiple levers to ensure the best outcomes. 
  • apply your creativity to how our standards and frameworks are presented so that our reform remit and our ambitious, but achievable, goals are easily understood so that we sustain support for our plans. Excellent verbal and written communications skills are critical to performing this role effectively
  • develop a clear government roadmap and plan for consistent data security  principles and frameworks (inc on risk and compliance)
  • develop a strong market intelligence and horizon scanning function 
  • represent the programme with internal and external senior digital leaders and policy advisors.
  • be part of the DS&S senior team, who you will partner with to lead the delivery of the long term vision and near term strategy for the programme so that it reflects strategic requirements of the whole of government, fits with wider public sector domains, and keeps pace with technology innovation
  • ensure stakeholders across government are both informed about and consulted on priorities, progress and plans, and understand the strategic importance of making effective use of data security standards to meet their business goals

Who you'll be

We’re interested in people who have:

  • experience leading work on data security strategy and frameworks development, with demonstrable experience in the effective application of data security by design in a way that fosters innovative use of data
  • excellent communication and writing skills
  • strong interpersonal skills, including relationship building, listening and influencing, with an ability to build effective relationships with senior management and operate successfully in a political or complex environment
  • ability to negotiate and reach mutually beneficial compromises, remaining calm when under pressure from senior stakeholders
  • demonstrable awareness of the whole of government’s digital and data strategy context
  • ability to balance changing priorities, deal with ambiguity, using astute judgement to make decisions in the absence of full facts
  • a robust understanding and care about the value of data and technology to transform lives, and be committed to working with colleagues in all digital disciplines, as well as those in more traditional government roles.
  • an understanding of agile delivery and development best practices
  • strong experience of team leadership, recruitment, line management and coaching staff.

How to apply

 The standard selection process for roles at CDDO consists of:

  • An application screening process - Simply, click apply.  We only ask for a Cover Letter (max. 1000 words) and a CV. Important tip - please ensure that your cover letter includes how you meet the skills and experience listed in the “Who you’ll be” section above.
  • There will be a scenario to test your data security skills as part of the process.
  • An interview - scheduled for mid-September; subject to change. We will asses you against the behaviours listed in the ‘How you'll be assessed’ section.

Depending on the volume of applications we may also include an additional stage, which you will be invited to should you pass the application screening stage. 

We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our company. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, colour, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status or disability status.

CDDO offers hybrid working for all employees. This means that everyone does some working from home/remote working and also spends some time in their local office. You will agree to your hybrid working arrangement with your line manager in line with your preferences and business needs. 

  •  A reserve list will be held for a period of 12 months, from which further appointments can be made.
  • Candidates that do not pass the interview, however, have demonstrated an acceptable standard will be considered for similar roles at a lower grade.
  • The level of clearance required for this role is BPSS

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