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Principal - Online Harms

Ofcom -

Full-time (Permanent)
Published on
9 February 2024
29 February 2024

Team Overview

Almost all of us use online services every day of our lives, enjoying the wide array of benefits that the internet has to offer – from the free flow of news and information, opportunities for self-expression and global community, to commercial opportunities for businesses. However, online services also have the power to lead to significant harm to users. Almost all of us have also experienced harmful content or behaviour online.

The Government has appointed Ofcom as the regulator for online harms in the UK. There has never been a more meaningful and exciting time to join Ofcom and help deliver one of the most rewarding programmes in the history of our organisation. We focus not only on what we do, but how we do it. We pride ourselves on being an organisation of people who genuinely care about helping others.

This role sits in the Policy Development team within the Online Safety Group. The Policy Development team is responsible for producing many of the foundational documents which underpin the new online safety regulations including our codes of practice and guidance for services on how to comply with their new obligations relating to online harms. In addition, a key function of the team is to develop our expertise in and strategy for combatting the key online harms in scope of the new Online Safety regulations.

Purpose of the Role

The focus of this role will be two-fold:

1. The successful applicant will lead our work on the following online harms:

  • sale of weapons

  • sale of drugs

  • organised immigration crime

The role will be focused on the online aspects of these offences. The successful applicant will develop our knowledge and expertise in these online harms (e.g. how do they manifest online, what sort of online platforms are involved, what user demographics they affect etc) and our understanding of the options for combatting them. A key focus of the role will be external engagement with a range of stakeholders across government, law enforcement, academia, non-government organisations, and engaging with national governance structures for serious organised crime threats to understand the system-wide response to these harms.

2. The successful applicant will also lead the Policy Development team’s input into Ofcom’s ‘Illegal Content Judgements Guidance’ which provides online services with guidance about how they can identify whether content is illegal or not. This guidance covers a range of online harms, including but not limited to the harms which the applicant will specialise in.

Key responsibilities

  • Leading Ofcom’s work on the following online harms: sale of weapons, sale of drugs and organised immigration crime

  • Developing our understanding of how and where these harms manifest and are enabled online, and what the options are for combatting them;

  • Leading the development of our policy and strategy for combatting these harms;

  • Leading our engagement with a range of external stakeholders;

  • Engaging with the national governance framework the system-wide response to these harms

  • Leading the Policy Development team’s input into our Illegal Content Judgements Guidance;

  • Line management responsibilities.

Skills, Knowledge and experience

  • Expert knowledge and understanding of the harms covered by the role, with a particular focus on the online aspects of these harms;

  • Knowledge and understanding of the system-wide response to combatting these harms

  • Experience of developing a policy response for one or more harms listed in the job description

  • Experience of engaging with a wide range of external stakeholders at a senior level

  • People Management – experience of playing a key role in the leadership of a multi-disciplinary project team.

  • Ofcom values – evidence and appreciation of and a desire to promote Ofcom’s corporate values of excellence, agility, empowerment, collaboration and respect.

  • A commitment to diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

How to apply

Along with your application, please submit a covering letter of no more than two pages outlining your suitability and experience for the role. Please note, you are able to upload your cover letter at the same time as your CV - there is the option to upload multiple documents.

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