Salary: £70,000 - £85,000 Terms and conditions apply for all civil servant applicants

Contract type: Permanent

Grade: SCS Pay Band 1

Hours: 37 per week (excluding lunch)

Working pattern: flexible working, full-time, job share

Location: Bristol, Manchester

Closing date: 27th September 2020

Please read the candidate pack attached to our Civil Service Jobs advert before applying



Who we are

The Government Digital Service (GDS) is part of the Cabinet Office. We lead the digital transformation of the UK government so that it works better for everyone. Our work continues to be user-focused, dynamic and forward-looking, making our organisation an exciting and innovative place to work. 

Find out more at the GDS Blog


What you’ll do

As the Deputy Director for Governance and Portfolio Assurance you’ll be responsible for the wider engagement and understanding of GOV.UK’s plans to ensure policy development and iteration and appropriate scrutiny of the programme. You will join up with the central assurance teams in GDS to ensure that the organisation communicates and delivers effectively as a whole, as required, to.

As the Deputy Director, Governance & Portfolio Assurance you’ll:

  • ensure the GOV.UK portfolio evolves to reflect changes in strategic directives and programme priorities. That includes identifying and managing dependencies, managing resources and a budget in excess of £25million, and providing early advice to projects and policy initiatives in development
  • oversee appropriate levels of assurance, both at operational decision points and on overall governance and progress 
  • ensure strategic and operational risks and issues are identified, prioritised, assessed and mitigated, escalating within the governance structure where appropriate
  • ensure that GOV.UK continues to embed a user-centric and outcome-focussed culture throughout
  • performance reporting to relevant performance boards, the Executive Team and Ministers, providing insight to enable senior management to take the right decisions on prioritisation and delivery
  • lead senior stakeholders in regularly reviewing the continuing relevance of projects based on a clear understanding of cost, risk and contribution to strategic objectives
  • play an active role in GOV.UK’s management team and acting as a role model for a diverse and inclusive workplace
  • work in partnership with one other Deputy Director on GOV.UK who will represent programme delivery
  • line manage 3-4 members of the senior team in GOV.UK. This will be instrumental in ensuring that clear work and development objectives are set for all team members in GOV.UK (c. 250 people) at the start of the new year


Who you are 

We are interested in people who have:

  • highly developed policy and strategic analysis skills, with the ability to understand both the policy detail and the high level strategic context.
  • experience of supporting the development of the business case for change, and the delivery of benefits realisation, demonstrating a return on investment, that are clearly understood by senior stakeholders. Experience of how to lead at scale digital transformations run in an agile way in this context is essential.
  • excellent communication skills with a proven track record of influencing effectively at the most senior levels to ensure continuous constructive feedback and widespread support, both internally and externally, in an environment where there are complex partnerships with competing and/or conflicting priorities.
  • excellent leadership skills, with the ability to inspire and motivate people with authenticity, credibility and transparency at all levels and experience of building high performing teams in an agile environment. 
  • demonstrable experience of how they have built personal credibility and where personal resilience has been critical to the success of delivering significant strategic change through strategic external partnerships.

What we value

All of our Directors are members of the GDS senior leadership team and work with colleagues to provide corporate leadership to the whole of the Cabinet Office as well as their own team. Our leaders always set the example and inspire their colleagues. They make quality time for people and take an interest in them. They know what matters to people - both inside and outside work – and value them as individuals; always finding opportunities to develop them while showing respect and appreciation.

How you’ll be assessed

To apply, please submit the information below via the Jobvite application portal:

  • CV (two pages, font size 12)
  • A Statement of Suitability (no longer than two pages, font size 12) explaining how you consider your personal skills, qualities and experience provide evidence of your suitability for the role, with particular reference to the criteria in the person specification on page 6&7 of the candidate pack.
  • The closing date is 27th September at 23:59. 

Failure to submit both documents will mean the panel only has limited information on which to assess your application against the criteria in the Person Specification (page 6&7).

For more information please contact 

In the Civil Service, we use our Success Profiles. This Framework aims to attract and retain people of talent and experience from a range of sectors and all walks of life; 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. 

For this role we’ll be assessing your Experience and Behaviours.As well as the Person Specification (page 6&7), we’ll assess you against the following Behaviours during the selection process:


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

For more information on Success Profiles, please visit


Please read the candidate pack attached to our Civil Service Jobs advert before applying

Your application during Coronavirus (COVID-19)

During these unprecedented times we remain committed to supporting citizens, enabling them to access government information and services they need.

We’re closely monitoring the situation and will be following central government advice as it is issued. Therefore, this role may be subject to change at short notice. 

If your application is successful you may be invited to attend a video interview. You can keep up to date with your application through your emails.


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.

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.

Based in
Multiple, United Kingdom

Working at GDS is great. You'll get

  • Flexible
    working including part-time working and job sharing
  • Civil service pension with an average employer contribution of 22%
  • 25 days
    annual leave and an extra day off for the Queen's birthday
  • Training and development
  • Season ticket
    loans for travel
  • An in-year
    bonus scheme
  • Bike loans and
    secure bike parking (subject to availability)
  • Eye-care