NCSC & GCHQ Comms Officer (Media) - Manchester Ref. 2226

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Information Assurance and Specialists

At GCHQ, diversity and inclusion are critical to our mission. To protect the UK, we need a truly diverse workforce that reflects the society we serve. This includes diversity in every sense of the word: those with different backgrounds, ethnicities, gender identities, sexual orientations, ways of thinking and those with disabilities or neurodiverse conditions. We therefore welcome and encourage applications from everyone, including those from groups that are under-represented in our workforce.

Short Summary of role

GCHQ is a major contributor to the UK’s position as a world-leading responsible cyber power, helping to protect the UK from a range of threats and through its National Cyber Security Centre making the UK the safest place to work and do business online.

Both GCHQ and the NCSC are recruiting communications officers in Manchester to join their respective busy and innovative communications teams. You will be part of a growing community of staff based in our new high-tech city centre hub, pioneering a new kind of security.
The role comes at an exciting time in GCHQ’s history after it opened its new Manchester office in the city centre, at the heart of a vibrant tech community. The office, part of a growing network of publicly avowed sites in the UK, will work across GCHQ’s missions to help keep the country safe, including cyber security.

The national conversation around cyber is growing – and we want to ensure that the NCSC is driving it.

Cyber opportunities will help to usher the UK into a prosperous new age, but cyber threats are one of the biggest risks to the country. GCHQ’s National Cyber Security Centre was set up by the UK Government to make the UK the safest place to live and do business online, and communicating advice to the public is central to our mission.
The successful applicant for this role will have a proven track record working in the media, with an eye for a good story and the ability to build strong working relationships with journalists from national, regional and specialist media. They will be based in Manchester, and will join strong media teams at GCHQ and the NCSC, largely based in London and Cheltenham.
The role will also involve close collaboration with the social media team, ensuring the media team is maximising social media opportunities and delivering ever-more direct and digitally-driven communications.   

What will the successful candidate be doing?

One day will never be the same as the next, so the successful applicant will need to forge strong relationships with colleagues across the NCSC, Whitehall, the Security Services and the private sector.
These roles will be varied as they are exciting, and will require confidence to help deliver on GCHQ and the NCSC’s priorities and communications aims.

The successful applicants will be working in teams who are committed, politically savvy and come from a variety of backgrounds, making our teams vibrant energising places to work where individuals’ ideas are championed.

Who are you looking for?  

Key responsibilities:

The successful applicant will need to have:

The post-holder will need to have:

  • Proven track record of working in the media, either as a journalist, in a press office, or similar;
  • Excellent communication and writing skills and ability to deliver under the pressure of tight deadlines;
  • Political nous and good news judgement;
  • Excellent organisational skills for use internally and externally;
  • Excellent influencing skills, stakeholder management skills and the ability to use evidence to make a convincing argument often in the face of competing agendas;
  • Ability to foster relationships and provide expert advice, guidance and input proactively
  • Experience of working on creative campaigns with use of non-traditional media, influencer and digital storytelling
  • Understanding / experience of the opportunities provided by digital and social channels.

Competency Requirements

  • Communication and Knowledge sharing   - Higher
  • Corporate Vision and Efficiency  - Intermediate
  • Change and Innovation   - Intermediate
  • Analysis and Decision Making - Intermediate
  • Contribution to Delivery   - Intermediate
  • Managing the Customer Relationship  - Higher
  • Working with and Leading Others - Higher

You can familiarise yourself with the general competencies we use to assess the aptitude of candidates here - Recruitment Process

If you’re excited about working with us and think you have some of what we’re looking for but aren’t sure if you’re 100% there yet… Back yourself and give it a go!

Training and Development

Benefits we offer

At NCSC and GCHQ, we are proud of our inclusive and supportive working environment that’s designed to encourage open minds and attitudes.  As an organisation that values and nurtures talent, we are committed to helping you fulfil your potential.  With comprehensive training and development opportunities, tailored to your needs and the requirements of your work, we will enable you to flourish in your role and perform to the very best of your abilities.

  • Access to learning and development tailored to your role and support to gain professional qualifications and certifications.
  • An environment that supports a range of flexible working options (including a flexible working hour scheme).
  • A culture which encourages inclusion and diversity.
  • Support to gain professional qualifications and certifications
  • A civil service pension
  • 25 days annual leave, rising to 30 days based on length of service.


Salary of £34,755



Selection Process

To apply for this position, you must meet our nationality, residency requirements. You’ll find more details here.

As a Disability Confident employer, we will ensure that a fair and proportionate number of disabled applicants who meet the minimum criteria for this position will be offered an interview. This is known as the Offer of Interview (OOI).

To secure an interview for this role, candidates applying under this scheme must meet the criteria for our roles.

Be prepared to dedicate 60-90 minutes to completing your application. We’re conscious this might be more time than you expected, so our system will allow you to save your application at any time and come back to it later. But remember to submit your full application before the closing date.
Once we’ve established that you meet our eligibility criteria, the next steps of this selection process are:

You will be contacted by email and offered a time and date to attend an interview. The format of the interview will be via remote video conference, and will include a written exercise. The whole process will take around 90 minutes.
If you successfully complete these stages, you’ll receive a job offer, conditional upon you completing our SC process which enables you to obtain the level of security clearance required to perform this vital role.

The closing date for this role is 23 March 2021.

Please be aware that we withhold the right to bring forward the closing date for this role from the original closing date once a certain number of applications have been received. Please be mindful of this and submit your application at your earliest convenience to avoid disappointment.

This Program / Vacancy is closed to applications.